Who are you?
I’m Ryan Greenway, a Ph.D. student in the Tobler lab.
Why did you become a scientist?
As a kid, my most prized possession was my collection of dinosaur books. I was determined to become a paleontologist, but as I grew up and spent more time outdoors I realized that the living things around me captured my fascination just as much as dinosaurs and wooly mammoths. I wanted to understand everything I could about animals, so I found a way that I could get paid to do that.
What are you interested in?
I’m really interested in how animals are able to live in the places we find them, and how new species of animals can come to be.
Why is your work exciting?
My work is exciting because I’m helping to answer some of the same questions Charles Darwin asked in the 1800s, and because we’re finding out that evolution can happen much more rapidly than scientists had once thought.
How does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me involves a lot of writing code in various computer programming languages to analyze large datasets, as well as reading and writing scientific papers to communicate the results of my research.
What do you like best about what you do?
I love being able to ask questions about a pattern I observe in nature and then design experiments to try to explain the causes of that pattern.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I hope to become a professor at a university where I will have my own research laboratory to address interesting biological questions and train the next generation of scientists.
What do you like to do when you’re not doing research?
When I’m not doing research you can find me enjoying a drink at my favorite coffee shop, hiking with my dog, fishing, or playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends.