I always really liked animals, and wanted to find out more about them. As a child, I had a lot of books about animals, which sparked my curiosity. Funnily enough, I found biology in school to be really boring, because I did not care about the little things inside cells that we had to learn about (our school did not teach us much about animals as whole organisms). Still, I continuously read about animals, especially small mammals – I found it fascinating that there are so many, and they are so diverse. I guess I just liked knowing things 🙂
Nobody in my family is a scientist, and in fact, my parents weren’t that happy with my choice of career, they thought I’d be better off as a lawyer or a medical doctor. It was only last year, when I was going on a field course to South Africa with my students to look at leopards, that my mum finally said: wow, you really do have the coolest job in the world.
I really like solving problems and asking different questions, this is the job of a scientist! So I was always inclined to become a scientist! I’m a mathematician so I try and use maths to answer scientific questions and think this is really cool! 🙂