What do your ears crave? Let us listen to you with a quick click through this seven-minute survey.

Visit the How to Science homepage for more info and other episodes as they’re released.

View the full Meghan Duffy interview transcript.


Highlights from This Episode


  • 8:20 – “People do something called resurrection ecology, where you can take genotypes that were formed a hundred years ago and hatch them out in the lab and compare them to modern genotypes.”
  • 12:08 – “I spoke to one of my committee members, and he was like, ‘You’re setting yourself up to work on this for a career? If it takes an extra year or two to get that right, that’s totally worth it.’ And that was really good advice.”
  • 22:34 – “I definitely feel like a really useful aspect of the blog is to write these sorts of stories about how I almost quit science. I like sending those messages that are like, ‘Yeah, I almost dropped out, too.’ It’s pretty common for students about halfway through grad school to have a point where they’re not sure they can do it. And I think it made me interested in blogging so I could tell those stories more.”
  • 25:50 – “I think as an ecologist, I realize there are a lot of benefits to diversity. Systems are more productive when they’re more diverse. That’s true for a prairie, and I think that’s true for science, too.”
  • 31:27 – “If I look back, it looks like I had this direct path to where I am now, but there were so many other paths that could have seemed in the end as direct, some of which are completely different, where I would be just as happy.”



Scientist Bios

How to Science host Monica Dus is a professor in LSA’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) who studies how the brain responds to the presence and absence of sugar. She wants to figure out how neurons sense and respond to the nutrients eaten as food. Her research relates to feeding behavior, energy balance, physiology, and obesity. She loves her three dogs, whose names are Cupcake, Sprinkles, and Brioche.

Learn more about Monica Dus’s research.

Meghan Duffy is a professor in LSA’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She sunk to a low point in her life and career when some of her early experiments in graduate school failed, but she recovered enough to eventually score a faculty position at U-M, and she recently snagged an invitation to speak at the March for Science in Washington, D.C. She posts articles with ideas, opinions, commentary, advice, and humor at the Dynamic Ecology blog. She’s an ecology professor who takes her responsibilities seriously as a mentor in science, especially to young students of color. At U-M, she’s active in a program that brings the scientific method–and full-tuition scholarships–to young students in underserved high schools.




Related Links



Podcast produced by Elizabeth Wason and Monica Dus
Illustrations by Julia Lubas
Photo of Meghan Duffy by Luna Anna Archey