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Welcome to the mind of Snap podcast with your host, Jeff A. She's a popular twitch broadcaster photographer on somewhere, and Mendel's advocates in this and future cat
expect to fall on with snaps as she
learns more about her mind in the world and her fellow humans. It could get messy, but stick around. You might just learn something as you enter the mind of Snaps a lo and welcome to Episode 11 of the Mind of Snaps Podcast. I'm sorry I've been gone for so long, you guys, It's just been such a master of the A. C has gone out twice now, and I'm preparing for Guardian Khan and I'm not. But I'm excited. I'm excited for tonight's podcast, and I say tonight because it's currently Saturday evening and I'm getting ready to record this podcast with a super nice stewed. So this is gonna be another new segment will say that I'm bringing into the mind of snaps podcast, and we're gonna call this just a day in the life or a D I t. L I'm going abbreviate it to that once we put it under the social media's and stuff because easier to remember But anyway, whenever I meet new people, one of the things I really enjoyed doing is asking them what is a day in your life like So I started thinking about this more and more, and I know so many people with such fascinating jobs or at least seemingly fascinating jobs, and I wanted to get a sense of a day in their life. So this week I'm starting out with a friend of mine who I've known since probably really early into my streaming career. He goes life. You been online? You might know him as mad, which I probably will not refer to him as now because real names just tripped me out. I'm used to only referring to people by the names I know them online by, But You Been is not only a twitch streamer as well, but he's also marine biologists, and I have always been super fascinated by the ocean. At one point, I totally wanted to be a marine biologist. I watch a lot of shark week, and I'm so curious about what his life is like. So this will be the 1st 1 of probably many of these I'm going to have as many other people on as I can to keep asking what a day in their life is like. If you think of anyone else you know, or if you have a super interesting job and you think people should hear about it, let me know. Hit me up on my email mind of snaps at gmail dot com. Or you can hit me up on Twitter or Instagram both our mind of snaps and let me know. Hey, I have a fascinating job. Let me tell you about it and then I would love to hear about it. We can talk about it on this podcast without further ado, though, and without me rambling like crazy. Let's just let's just get into it, man. So let me introduce my body pube in. And just for additional clarification Goes by Pew. Been underscored. Games online Cuban underscore gain. All right, pew been Please introduce yourself and say, What's up to everybody?
What's up, people? My name is pube in, um and ah, yeah, I'm a marine scientist. A k a, uh, coolest job in the world.
Fuck, Yes! Fuck, yes, coolest job in the world. At least as far as I know right now, Like this is this is the first time I'm doing one of these a day in the life of things, but it's got to say something, right? But you're the first person I thought of for the very first episode.
Honestly, I I can't even I'm pretty humbled that you just even asked me to do it, let alone be the 1st 1 No pressure, right? No pressure?
No, no pressure at all. I mean, it's like we were talking about right before we started recording. I mean, this is my content, so I don't think people are really expecting anything too crazy.
I was reading in this puddle. I was sweating in this puddle before we started, so, you know, it has nothing to do with my my nerves. Here.
You were sweating in a portal. Probably because it's hot as well. Yes,
this is true. It's hottest book here.
Where are you right now? Right now, I
am in ST Thomas in the U. S. Virgin Islands.
Okay. And okay, so here's Here's why. I wanted t get get pube in on this, and I was even. You say, like I'm not calling you Matt. I saw that shit on your profile somewhere. But like, I don't know. I don't know this Matt guy, your your pube in. So we're gonna just stick with that.
That's right. I'm Cuban, and I will always be pube into you. Dude,
exactly. All these people trying to give me these real names like I don't play that game? No, no. I've been creeping on all your stuff, and I'm always wondering where the fuck you are. So you're in ST Thomas. You're a marine biologist, your PhD student. I'm reading all of your shit just to make sure that, like people know what this is, if you look through his his instagram, which is actually not under the name pube in its under baldy with a goatee. You see, all these are some pictures. Yeah, waited, not be consistent, bro. But I always I've always been super fascinated by the ocean. I think that's part of the reason you and I got along really well. From the start is once we realized we had that commonality, it was like, let's talk about water. Let's talk about fish. Let's talk about awesome things. And I just think your job is so fucking cool. So you're in ST Thomas right now? You're a mere marine biologist. What is a typical day in the life of
you? Oh, I mean it. It kind of varies. Right. So, um, in in, in what I do right now is a PhD student. You know, I'm one student in, ah, in a lab of multiple students. You know, there's like, say, five or six different students working in my group, each of which have projects in things that they're responsible for. And, you know, when I'm here in the field, so I'm instinct, Thomas, right now doing my actual research. I don't live in ST Thomas year round. We come here and we spend the summer kind of bumping around all the Caribbean. And, like, I actually just got back from Puerto Rico yesterday, I had been in Puerto Rico working for a month. I just got back to ST Thomas yesterday. Um, how, But for my specific work, it's It's more like a night in the life of a lot of times because my grueling we sterling Yeah, we study fish parasites. Um, and it's funny because it had you asked me like, five years ago or told me five years ago. Hey, you know, five years from now you're gonna be studying fish parasites that have been like Fuck yourself. I will not be studying. No fucking fish parasites goes back then I was working with sharks, and I was like, It's always gonna be doing sharks. Um, but you kind of learned to take the opportunities that you get in this field. Um,
this is this is very random, but this makes me think of a lot of doctors that I know that wind up in the field of gynecology, you know, because they're they're never like, Yeah, I just really wanted Thio work on and help people with their post. He's really bad, like that was my end goal. Usually it was like they kind of veered that way during their schooling or their training and realized that they were good at it and they kind of stayed there. But, you know, obviously totally different looking at fish parents.
That's really the Sam buying. You know, I'm really good at dealing with pussy's, too. And that's how I ended up in this jobs. So these parasites that we work with They, uh, they're kind of the marine equivalent of ticks, ticks, fleas, mosquitos, right? They eat blood, they drink blood, they remove blood from an animal. But the parasites that I work with are active at night, mainly so from from sundown until till dawn. Ah, that's when they're most active. So when we're sampling for them or doing work that involves them Ah, lot of times, you know it requires is being in the water at night, you know? So over the last three or four years that I've been doing this work, I've literally been in the water at every possible our you can imagine. Um, so, yeah,
what's what's it like doing? So when you get in the water, are you usually in full scuba gear? So, um,
we we do scoop up when we have to, you know? So So we work. ST. Thomas, ST. John, ST Croix. We work in Puerto Rico. I was in the Bahamas earlier this year. We work in the British Virgin Islands. We work all over the place. A lot of the lot of the reefs that I work on our pretty shallow in their snorkel a ble I don't know if snorkel above words, but they're snorting available there snorkel. But then every once in a while, you know, we work on some deeper areas. And when you know when we have to do that Well, well, you know, they're on the scuba, But most of what I do is actually on snorkel. Probably about 70% of it.
Okay, well, that's kind of cool, though, but you're so you're getting in there at night. And you know what? No, go back. Go back. So you you said that a lot of the time because I have so many questions about this. I'm very excited to learn more, and I'm a very visual person, so I'm trying to get, like, a full on mental picture. Let's go a painting for you, baby. When you say there's a bunch of us in a lab when I hear the word lab, I'll be honest. My mind first goes to half baked t s o. This scene worth ergot is sweeping in. The doctor asks them to go and pick up the weed from the place. That's my picture is, like all clean, white, sterile. A bunch of people in lab coats. It left more than that. Or is it like, equally as fancy? And like Cerrell looking,
um, most of what I do now in the past, with certain work I've done, I have actually gone to the white coat and the goggles and worked in, like, the proper nice, beautiful, sterile, clean lab. Um, I feel where I work now is a marine lab. It's a wet lab. You know, there's lots of tanks with fish, and it's, you know, the floor's always wet their sea water everywhere on, and that's more of the what a Marine lab is. Um, to be honest with you, though, the lab I'm sitting in right now, um is Maur closer to that kind of, ah, sterile type thing. You know, microscopes and centrifuges and test tubes everywhere. That's actually where I'm sitting right now, so it's closer to the sterile thing that you think of when you hear like, a lab. Yeah, but
I need to see pictures list. You're gonna have to send us some pictures to go along with this baby. We'll make a a block post to go with it so people can creep on all your shit like I've been doing
your I'll send you all the pictures.
Yeah, I want to see this lab. I want to see how cool it is. And if you have a lab coat, you need to put that on and look all serious and official and shit.
You're going to see it and be like, What is this? It's a bunch of fucking tanks. What the fuck? Yeah,
my kind of picture It My
white coat is actually more like, you know, a rash guard in board shorts. That's, you know, that's what I That's what I rock most days all day.
Those rash guards are so much more comfortable and necessary than I realized until I started diving regularly, By the way, for Riel. Oh, what a difference.
No kidding. Um and, ah, lot of what I do. Also, like during the days I catch fish because one of the ways that we sample for these parasites is we catch fish and then we put them in cages and we put them on the reef to collect the parasites for us and man catching fish. You bump into a lot of shit because we don't. We don't catch fish with like, you know, hook in line. It's like a net, and you're kind of trapping it in the net. It's pretty dope like it's honestly, I feel really cool that I'm like the best fish catcher on my team because
I though, you know, that's right, man, I got
job security, But But,
you know, you bump into a lot
of stuff and like, just today, I busted my elbow open because I bashed myself on some fire coral, and, you know, uh, helps prevent that a little bit.
00 that's no fun. You know what's funny? Um, one of my favorite stories that my one of my dive not instructors. One of the captains of a boat I used to charter in the keys all the time. Do you know the Christ of the abyss statue in the Florida Keys? Hell, yeah.
I have a picture in front of it. Covering result attempting to cover his genitals.
Really? My goodness. So you're one of the people I would have been like, I hope that you touched the thing, but so my one of the one of the captains is bringing us out. Thio, check that out. Once years ago when I was going to dive it. And he's talking about the usual, you know, don't touch, don't take things. Things are covered in coral and sometimes fire coral and you wanna fuck with that? And he tells us the story about a girl who thought it would be funny to take a picture up on the Christ of the Abyss and for just for reference, guys, the crisis. The abyss is kind of what it sounds like. It's it's literally like a statue of Jesus underwater. And this girl thought it would be fun to get a picture up on Jesus's shoulders. So in, like, it's pretty shallow there in her, like really, I think just her bathing suit. She sits down on his shoulders like bare legs and stuff and like, wraps her legs around his neck and takes a picture and afterwards learns that there's fire coral all over him. And I laughed so hard imagining that, like, how do you explain that rash and everything to people like, Yes, So I can't sit down. I can't work pants. I can't really do anything right now because I thought it would be a good idea to get, like, a picture, acting like I was like, piggy backing on Jesus. Maybe not a great idea, but yet if you're in the in the water, people don't Don't touch things. For the most part, it's not a good idea.
Don't touch. What is it? Uh, take only pictures and leave only footprints. Don't touch the fucking coral.
Oh, I all I ever heard was just no touch. No take, I'm like, Okay, that's cool. I can respect that. Especially because my understanding was that if you touched coral that it's gonna bleach it and die. And I love the coral, and I don't want that to happen. Yeah,
Coral doesn't like to be touched. Um, yeah, it oftentimes will lead to Ah, mortality.
Um, that's so sad. Okay, so you're you're the best fisherman. That's right. And I think I think my chat will be upset at me if I don't just say like you're such a Cody. Uh, because all Cody's like to fish, obviously. But So So you're a great freshmen, and I'm imagining you catching these is almost like, like, lobstering. You said that you're using a knot in your kind of like chasing them around, it's it's pretty
close to lobstering, actually. So I mean, if, you know, I'm sure you know what a castanet is, right? You know, it's essentially a a net that's waited around the outside of it like around net. That has that has waits around the outside. So what we do is we and then it pulls close, so you throw it and then you pull the line, the line through the middle of it closed and it kind of pulls all the weights in, and fish get in theory, get trapped inside of it. But so what we do is got we cut out the line and we just essentially have a weighted net, right? Um and then we, you know, all set that up in certain places, and you just kind of play the behavior of the fish. And you kind of scared the essentially scared the fish into the net and then just pinch off the net and then you have your fish. That's a simplified explanation of how to do.
Of course, everything is easier, but then you get in the water and you have this fucking nothing You're like, OK, this is a pain in the day. How big are these fish that you're catching? What kind of fish are you traditionally going forward? T check out these parasites.
So we I mean, So the parasites that I work with are there. They're generalists. Parasites. So we know of over 20 different species of fish in the Caribbean here that they that they will Paris it ties. Um, but so so you know, I've caught everything from small small Blaney's that or maybe, you know, like an inch inch inch and 1/2 long Thio. You know, I've caught, like, big, big ass parrotfish, you know, just huge, massive parrotfish that literally what they do is just bite chunks of
coral off. That's how strong. And then they poop it out in the sand and they carry fish. They take master, do watch
them do it
same. I've been in so many situations where I saw like like large schools of parrotfish coming at me, and you hear them crunching all that coral and then the lake swim right past you and they, like, put out like a big trail of sand, and it just looks fucking hilarious. Um, by the way, So I'm glad that you You obviously know what a parrot fish looks like. Um, if you have never seen a parrot fish, I need you all to go to go to the Google machine right now. And Google parrotfish because they're they're, like, the most beautiful, dopey looking things ever.
They're super GOP, but they're gorgeous
and their their little little fins on the side, the way they kind of, like, just flutter them almost and move so gracefully it cracks me up. But this this is my impression of a parrot fish. Ah, uh, that's what they look like to me is like a real super nerd. Just like,
uh because if you listen really closely, you might be able to hear him make that noise.
I really think you can. But those are probably like the most some of the most beautiful fish that I can remember seeing. I saw this giant school of midnight blue ones once on, and I was like,
my favorite. You don't see them that often, though. And then
they have to get rich, beautiful color
and just seeing them in just with the blue tint of the water. They are, Yes. Yeah, and you tend to see him. It's technically, of course, like a group of fish that are the same species, of course, is called a school. But the way that they the way that they move together, I always call him a herd because they just looked like a herd of
cows. Oh, my God. You too. Because I always said that to something about the, like, the thickness, these air, some thick fish, man. Something about the way that they move and their dopey look And they're, like, kind of boxing nous. I always thought they just looked like a bunch of weird little sea cows. I always got in the water. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. I feel I feel good now that you're you're backing up my ridiculous thoughts on this.
I feel validated. Thank you for joining me in the herd. You know, parrotfish, herds.
Uh, I need to find a video. I have a video somewhere of one of the times I went diving. Um, where was I? I want to say I was dropping into, like, the French reef in the keys. And there. Yeah, it's not as exciting as I remember the first time There's a lot of other reefs that I like a lot more like molasses. But e dropped in and I'm waiting, um, like, pretty much on the sand maybe like 30 40 feet down And I'm waiting for everyone else to kind of get in the water and move around and I'm just I see ah, couple of like, little midnight blue parrot fish Start durbin towards me And I'm all excited cause I think they're beautiful And then I look off into the distance and it's like, the biggest heard I had ever seen And I just stood, like, not stood, but just stayed still where I waas and they just all came, like moving right past me. And it was one of the coolest things because, like you said, you don't see the midnight blue ones quite as often. And I've never seen that many of them together at once. There was so fucking many, I don't know. Maybe hundreds. Honestly, it was the biggest, like a pack of them I've ever seen.
Yeah, I think I really think I've only seen them once, maybe twice. And I believe it was in the keys. It was either the keys or Florida Fort Lauderdale. And you know,
they're just beautiful. I love those Florida waters for that man. Okay, so you're catching fish. You're catching big guys like those awesome dirt fish. Your caption, little guys. And so these parasites that are on, um are these parasites we want to do these. Do these fishies benefit from the parasites, or are they destroying them and killing them in making him sick?
The fish, they don't. They certainly don't benefit from the parasite. Right? So think of like a mosquito biting you. It's annoying. You don't benefit from it. But it's not really gonna you know, one mosquito isn't gonna do much to you, right?
But am I? Am I completely off base? Are there certain types or am I just thinking of like Like, the symbiotic relationship between, like cleaner fish and other things are their parasites that are beneficial for them?
Um, most most wouldn't be so kind of the definition of like a parasite. A true parasite is Maur the parasite. The organism gets something, and the host is sort of, uh, loses something, even if it's just energy or something that we would consider minor. Um Hey,
so that I'm just smoking. Crack asked question. Great. It's funny
that you mentioned cleaner fishes and cleaner shrimps and things like that because the parasite that I study, which, by the way, is called a Nathan ice a pod Um, Nathan made with G g N a T h i i D. Nathan. That is what is consuming a four year period of my life. Nathan isobars would calm Nathan's, um, Nathan's are actually the primary diet of cleaner fish. Um, so, uh, you know, some people listening might not know. So there are fish on the reef that they, uh their job is to clean other fishes, and so fish comes through. It's like a car wash. Ah, fish will come through and just literally kind of park right in front of, ah, big head of coral or something. And they're the small little fish. Usually they're gobies on, and they kind of just swim all over the bigger fish and they remove parasites and Nathan's, which again, or the parasites that I study are the primary diet of cleaner fishes.
Oh, cool, that's interesting. So you said you used to you used to work with sharks. I'm sure that was super badass. Do you Do you find either to be more fascinating? Because sometimes when you get into the tiny stuff, shit gets crazy, I mean
Oh, that's such a good question, dude. Oh, my God. So, like, you know, I worked with sharks. Sharks are their dope. They're cool, They're big, They're sexy. Sharks are fuckin sex. Who doesn't love sharks or who doesn't think
you know a lot of evil, dude or who doesn't think very scared of them. But they're wrong Sharks. They're amazing. They're beautiful.
They elicit a response. Like you say, shark in people Don't just go move your fucking short. It's all like, Oh, cooler. Ah, fuck. You know, like it always gets a rise out of people. You say, uh, I work on a Nathan Ice about Paris, I tell you that. That's great. Thanks. Uh uh, See you later. Was nice meeting you. And so I like sharks have that sexy factor, and they always will. Their charismatic megafauna, right? Sharks and sea turtles and dolphins and whales. You know, these big, charismatic things that everybody loves. Um,
yeah, I could see that not being as fun to tell people, even though your job is still, like 100% dope to go from like, Yeah, I work with sharks, too. I worked with some underwater parasite. It's true, but And I had a similar
mentality when I got into it. You know? I'm like, Fuck, I'm gonna be studying fucking parasites. Like what The shit do I care? I'm going to do this for four years and move on with my fucking life. Um, but
honestly, there really fucking cool. And I'll send you
pictures, or I've actually put pictures on my instead. I don't know if you've caught them in your feet, but they're actually like they're really fucking cool when you see him up close. They're really neat parasites, and they're super plentiful, like so I put these. So these parasites are anywhere between one and three millimeters long, so they're pretty small. You can see them when they're Am I
looking at one of them right now? Is that this? This one that's ready. The burst with offspring. I'm creeping on your instagram, right? Yeah,
that's a female. That's that's Ah, female.
That looks kind of like a tick, except it looks like it looks like there's ah, like a candle wicks sticking out of its ass. Yeah, kind
of. Yeah, that's the little the little Tell son the little tale. Um, but yes. Oh, that's a female. Um, and she's Yes, she's got I'm I pulled up the picture on my institute so I could make sure I was looking at the right one, but yes. So the brown, the brown kind of body, and there is actual blood. That's blood meal that she's been digested on. And then she developed eggs. Um, why is she
clear? Are they all queer like this?
Yeah, they're all clear. And the only the only coloration really in them is the blood that they, um that they remove that they suck.
It's so weird. I want everyone to go and look at your instagram 1000 taken. See this? Like, I hope you're not driving when you're listening to this podcast right now, person. Because if you go to baldy with a goatee, that's the fucking instagram. Because branding is terrible. Orgel pube in understory underscore games, and he'll have his instagram linked in his pen. Tweet. But like I'm looking at some of these pictures and they're just so cool. And if you see this roast little water tick looking thing, the fact that those two dark spots are blood just makes it so weird and gross and awesome because they kind of look like lungs. They do
a little bit. And that's why because I I was ah, so that Nathan in particular came from ST Croix, and I was the only way to tell. So there are, um, many, many
picture and said she thick. Just realize that
s so funny. Um uh, but so, the only way to tell the different species of Nathan's do you know the only way to tell one species from another unless you're doing like genetic analysis? Big, heavy lab work is to rear them to adulthood. So you take them through their juvenile station stages, and then you can tell what species it is by looking at the males. So I was responsible for kind of ushering thes juvenile Nathan's to adulthood. Oh, and I started that one
time. I was
like, Yeah, I was rearing them giggity. But I saw the blood meal on that one, and it split like that and it reminded me of lungs too. I was like, Oh, that's so cool. I got to get fucking pictures of that and post that shit cause it looks wicked. Um,
somebody most awesome. And it was just another one of the pictures of these. Nathan's, this one. Looks like it's got some crazy ass pinchers on it.
Yes, so that's the mail. So that's they develop the pictures when they become males. Um, and not not before. Only the males have those, and we
don't even exactly know why they fucking have him. So that's the thing. Nobody has studied these things. Dude, I'm like Meyer finding out some, like, really knew shit here, and everything really matters in the ocean. That's why I think it's cool that you're dealing with stuff on, even like this microscopic parasitic level. It all matters
my s o my group. My life I called like the group of people I work with like I refer to is my lab. My lab is one of three labs in the world that study sees.
There's only, like, say, 15 people in the world, if that right
now that are actually studying these critters.
Wow. And are they everywhere? Are they in oceans all over. Like this particular type of Nathan.
They are everywhere. So that this particular Nathan that that is in that picture came from the Caribbean. But Nathan's in general. We have found them in shallow reefs. We found them as we found them in mess A phonetic reefs, like hundreds of feet down. They've been found, like over 1000 feet down. I'm pretty sure one time there's one publication that mentioned that they found them over 1000 feet deep. Basically, anywhere you have fish, you probably have these parasites.
Wow. So what? Do you have anything, like any unanswered questions about these that you're just dying to find out? Like, what are you What are you looking at right now with, um
so my my research in particular So a little like before I studied Nathan's Before I studied this shit. I didn't study parasites. I you know, I told you I worked with sharks. I worked with fish. I did some stuff with sea birds, but everything that I did centered around kind of the food web and how different things interact with each other on the food would. That's been kind of my my field of expertise throughout. My my academic career is kind of analyzing food webs and analyzing who eat, too, and stuff like that. Okay. S Oh, my big angle here with with studying these Nathan's is is I want to know how do they fit into the food web? Right. So what do they feed on what are feeding on them? Just kind of those those basic basic questions about an animal. Right? So, like you live, you find an animal you want to know Where does it live? What does it eat and what might eat it? Those air. You know, those were some of those, like, bottom baseline questions that we still don't really know a whole lot with ease. But this, you know, these kinds of parasites. Um So basically, I'm looking at how they fit into the food web, and I'm looking at OK, how much energy they're transferring from the fish. Um
Oh, by being little bloodsuckers, Yeah. You measure something like that.
So basically, I can I can calculate the amount of volume that's inside. So the amount of volume of blood that there were moving, and then I can kind of I look at that in terms of biomass, right? So how much mass are they removing? And I'm actually comparing that to predation rates. So I have, ah, species of fish that I'm looking at, and I look at how much blood on average is being removed from these fish on the reef. And then I'm comparing that toe How often these fish get eaten by predators because there's their smaller fish. So they get eaten by bigger
grouper and deals with the idea that they like it slowed down because they have less energy. Because I have less blood
potentially, you know, in areas where there, there, getting Parisa ties more heavily, you know they might be they might be less fit. They might be a little bit slower. They might be a little bit more injured. And you know their body is working more on ah, healing themselves rather than giving them energy to escape predation. But I actually presented at a conference this year in Texas. I presented the kind of initial findings of this research and in comparing the amount of energy from that's being removed from predators, comparing that with the amount of energy that's being removed by parasites. Right? So like looking at him side by side. And it's like which one is moving Maur energy out of the food web parasites. These parasites look like they're moving roughly 50 times 50 times Maur energy, then predators. Really? It was like,
How many of these little fuckers are you normally seeing on these fishes? It just like each fish might have one or two. Or do they tend to wind up with a ton of
um, I had a fish in Puerto Rico two weeks ago that came back with just under 700 parasites. What's after sitting on the reef for 45 minutes? 700 sometimes. Sometimes you'll get some that they come back with none. They're very patchy, right? So sometimes you get none. Sometimes get one C to Z. Maybe you get 50 year, but seven. It was a record. It was a new team team record seven. It was 677. Nathan's came back on a single fish. I blew my fucking mind. It took me hours to count them all.
I was just gonna say, Were you guys like pulling these off and then, like dropping him in a little tent and then cheering. 123 Like, all the way to almost 700.
It was more like a man. Man, this looks like a lot. Four hours later, I'm still fucking going. Don't talk to me,
huh? But then when you're done, you're like, Damn, that's fascinating. Okay, so this is something new that we've learned.
Yeah. Yeah, it was And I even I took a picture and I sent it to my advisor, and, you know, he sent me back. Holy
fuck, Yeah, I can imagine. So you're you're saying in the very scientific terms, Normally there's one z twosies, but this one had almost 700 That That must have been a
bit of a shock. Yeah, absolutely. You know, I'd say average an average with, with all the highs and lows that
you get might be,
say, like, 30. You know, maybe you get 20 or 30. Um, 100 is a lot of Put it that way. 100. If I get 100 I'm like, man, this dude got sued, Got nailed. Um, yeah. And so you know, when you when you get 700 it's like holy shit and So the most people talking about that is an interesting they'd rather, you know, hear about. You know, how I saw a great white shark breach in South Africa and stuff like that.
Well, I mean, you can't say something like that, and I'm not expect people to be like, Oh, I do it
myself. When I start thinking about that, I'm like, Wait, Parasite! Parasite. What? No. Yeah, sharks.
Yeah, but that's still like, I'm one of the things that I like about the ocean and one of the things that I tell people because, you know, we talked about mental health all the time and how aw is so powerful, you know, just the act of of being kind of like, blown away by something. It's really good for your mind in one of the first things that comes to my mind whenever I imagine that is being underwater and being really deep down and looking up and seeing fish go by and seeing all of this, this crazy life and feeling like you're in a gigantic aquarium realizing how small you are and personally whenever I get up close to coral reefs and stuff, that's when it really like blows my mind the most, like, damn you look at everything in the vastness. You look around and you see these big fish and it is cool as shit. But then you realize that while you're looking at these giant fish going by, there's like a 1,000,000 tiny little activities going on right in front of you on this big rock looking thing. I think it it's a great reminder of just how small we actually are When you see that like there's a whole fucking civilization on this chunk of coral going on. And as I'm staring at this, there's a turtle behind me. There's a shark that went overhead like the ocean is fucking incredible,
man it every every time you you get in, you know, it's it's something new. There's, there's It's
like it's a different
world, you know, you're exploring a a world that is completely different to yours in every way. Well, almost every way and that, you know, you mentioned get being on scuba, and to me, that's the biggest difference between snorkeling and diving on scuba because I've talked to people. I had a conversation with someone recently where they're not dive certified and they love to snorkel. And I said, you should get dive certified and they're like, what, us? I told them because when you're snorkeling, it's like you visit the world, right? You get to hold your
breath and you
go down and you visit for a second. When you dive when you're on scuba, you you become part of the world because you're able to
stay down the flying Man. It's so cool. It's so cool. And I just I I love that control. I love that sense. And I I totally Ruth, you snorkeling kind of gives me anxiety that diving doesn't anymore. Like I was scared to do it initially because I'm really claustrophobic and I just have anxiety, and I thought it was gonna be a whole thing. But it turns out the water is like, ready for you. It is ready to calm you down and make you feel less anxious and just be a part of it. But snorkeling, you're kind of limited. You can only move so much, you gotta go right back up to get air. Just imagine, floating and being like, neutrally buoyant. You're just sitting there in the water, you're you're flying. If you want to see something at the top of a coral, you flip your fin a tiny bit. If you want to look underneath that, you flip it in, turn a little bit, and then suddenly you're upside down. It's so goddamn magical. I missed diving so much. Like imagine,
you know your snorkeling and you have a good breath. You go down, you see a really cool fish sitting on a coral head. But then imagine you never have to come back up right. You don't have to break that, that interaction you're having or whatever you're watching. You don't have to break it to go up and breathe. You can. You can sit and watch something for as long as you want. Almost. You know you're in there for
an hour, and that's what I would love doing. So whenever I would go diving, I would always do a wreck and then a reef so we'd have we would have a little bit of service time and then go back in and do a shallow dive on the reef. And, like, the wreck is usually where I wanted to see some of the bigger stuff and where I generally would, you know, the Barrack Oda or some sometimes tarpon and cool shit and sharks even. But then you get to the reefs and I feel like the sharks. They were a little bit fewer in between, which is sad because of people being not nice to sharks. But I always really enjoyed just sitting in one spot and trying to watch everywhere, because it seems like the more you move, the more you miss. It's, I don't know, there's just so much fucking going on.
Yeah, so I actually had on And I still remember this during my undergrad. I took an animal behavior class, and I remember that one of the things that he told us in the beginning was instead of trying to go in like chase after nature, just sit in one spot and let it let it come to you. And I do that a lot. I just kind of sit in one spot on a reefer, you know, in an area. And then I just watch what goes on around me instead of constantly moving because you're startling stuff. Your you know, your big in terms of things on the reef. Just sit in one spot and you just just let everything happen around you and it's It's me, It's magic. It's true magic.
It really is. People, I think, think that I'm full of shit when I get really excited like you don't understand. There is something so powerful and so incredible like I I've been working a lot of my mental health. I've been feeling a lot better lately, but I don't think anything compares really to the feeling of getting out of the water after a nice long dive, like an hour underwater somewhere. It's just like you got no cares in the world, man. Everything is okay. It is so perfect. Yeah, and I mentioned that
I I see. You know, you mentioned mental health in working on your mental health and being a PhD student outside of the field is fucking tough. And I've read so many articles about about how you know, PhD students and grad students in general, because of the be the tremendous amount of pressure that's on you to produce and to do work in this and that, there's there's a lot of depression amongst PhD students in just grad students in general. Um and honestly, I feel like one of my biggest saving graces is being able to work in the ocean for so much of the year because it's it's it's like therapy for me. So if I'm if I'm stressed about, you know, something that my advisors hounding me on, you know, I have to get a paper written because, of course, science doesn't stop. Once you collect the data, that's only, you know, 1/3 of the battle. Really? Uh, but, you know, there's so much going on, as as a PhD student or a grad student or a researcher that just being able to hop in the water and just being able to kind of be in that world as often as I am. It just it just helps relieve so much of the tension that that you tend to feel I
can only imagine. Do you still happen? The water on your days off to or when you're done working and learning? Do you look at the water like none? Not today, Fam.
No, if if I now I wish I had days off, but, uh but no, I'm in the water every day like the water is work. But then the water can just as easily in in an instant become like therapy time or relaxation time. Um, you know it? Yeah, it doesn't change for me. So I I will always get in the water. Even if I've spent the entire day working in the water, I'll just kind of just float in a shallow spot or sit in the in the surf on a beach or something. I definitely don't try and avoid it, even though I work in it.
Yeah, I wouldn't want to. I would be all about trying to spend as much time in the waters I could, too. So is this. Is this pew been living his dream right now? Like, did you always want to get into marine biology?
It's so it's funny. I, um, as a kid, I wanted to like as a young kid, I wanted to study dinosaurs, right? I wanted to be a paleontologist in the Jurassic Park era, okay, And you wanted to
be the next Jeff Goldblum. I did. I wanted to be
Jeff Goldblum. I wanted to be a hybrid between Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill's I Wanted to be Dr Grant. And in Malcolm, Um, I wanted I wanted the wit and the kind of sarcasm of Ian Malcolm with just the I guess, the intellect of Of of Dr Grant. Um And and then I also I love marine biology as a kid because Jaws
was one of my favorite fucking movies.
I watched Jaws every every year. I've been watching it since I was a child, and I thought Matt Hooper, who's a marine biologist and Jaws, I was like, I
want to be that that guy is so fucking cool. He gets to work in the water,
and and, uh, you know, I I wanted toe work in kind of studying things ever since I was really young. But I actually when I went away to college, I didn't have that in my mind as a career path. But I ended up coming back to it halfway through college.
Interesting. What did you have in your mind? Is your career path fun?
So, somewhere along the way, somewhere in high school, I think if
you say gynecology, I'm gonna laugh really loud. It's I mean, it's not too
far away from gynecology. I wanted to be just a doctor, right? A medical doctor. Who knows,
Had I gone down around
my sick ass might have been a gynecologist. Who the fuck knows? But I in high school, I thought to myself, I like science. I'm good at science. Um, you know what is someone who likes and is good at science? Do you become a doctor? And so I said, Well, I'm gonna go to school and become a doctor without really considering anything else. I just I just thought that's what you were supposed to do on. So I went, you know, as ah, biology major and undergrad with a concentration in premed. Um, and I said, I'm going to go to med school and I'm gonna be a doctor. And halfway through I said, I don't want to be a doctor. Um, and I took, you know, marine ecology courses, and I took reptile and amphibian evolution courses, and I was like, Yeah, I know. I I I took a course that I went to the keys and I we did some research and stuff in the keys. I was like, Fuck that. This is what I want to do. Like this is. Yeah, this is me. Um, and I just kind of kept going from there.
That's so cool. It's nice that the universe kind of brought you back, huh? It did. Like who the
fuck knows where where I'd be right now, had I not, like, had that moment. It
was a singular moment
in my head. And sometimes that's all it takes is one moment of making a conscious decision that can alter the entire course of your life.
Yeah, so do you. This is just getting into, like, my own excitement over finding people who are doing things they really enjoy. When you when you have that moment, was it like like a strong gut feeling like, Yes. This is right. I'm on the right path again. Finally.
Yeah. And I can I can even remember the moment we were in the keys. We had taken the boat out. We had dropped the anchor. I put my snorkel gear on. I jumped in. I'm in the water. I looked down, I see the reef. I see like my class there. I see my professor and I just kind of had this this internal moment. I'm like, like this is what I want to do. Like I want to keep going with this. And then there was a second moment when I did my senior research project and I was studying sharks in the first shark that I reeled in because we were catching sharks to take samples from the first shark. This was like maybe three months later, the first shark I reeled in was, ah, young tiger shark. And as I was reeling it in, I said, I want to be a marine biologist like this. Is it? I'm This is what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life. Nobody's stopping me. I will give up whatever I have to give up, and I've I've kept with that since then.
That's so cool. So to get even more into that, if someone were to ask you, would you say you're happy?
I'm I'm lucky. And I'm super happy. Yeah, absolutely awesome. I could be happier with with that portion of my life.
Okay. And do you feel it kind of bleeds out into the rest of your life? Like you? I imagine you don't have many days where you come home after work or wherever you're saying after work and you're like, man today just sucked a terrible day at the office. It's it's kind of
all relative. Right. So there are days where I come home, you know? So right now I'm staying in an apartment here on ST Thomas with, you know, with the other people on my team where we all kind of live together. And there are days where I come home and I crack a beer Or, you know, I pour a little bit of rum or something like that. I'm like, Fuck, man, today was today was fucking tough. Um, there's never been a day where I'm like, I don't want to do this anymore, but there are tough days. Um, but But the, you know, like you just I've learned to just take the tough days and absorb them and just realize that even if you're doing what you love, even if you are in your perfect scenario, there's gonna be days that that kick you in the ass. Um,
absolutely. Yeah, that's see this. This is really exciting to me doing this This a day in the life thing now, especially starting with you. Someone who has a dope job Clearly enjoys it because you even said a little bit ago. You you knew that you were good at science and you enjoyed it. So you pursued it. You learned you obviously are busting your ass to do this thing that you like. It could be taxing, challenging, but it's ultimately very rewarding. It sounds like
Yeah, absolutely. I I had There was a moment, um, last week I was in Puerto Rico and we're working Puerto Rico, and, uh, I had we had fish sitting on the reef collecting parasites for us, and it was just a CZ. The sun was going down and I was walking. We had come back in, I was walking along the beach and I just kind of had this moment where I stopped like the surf was hitting me in the feet and the ankles. I look back behind me and, uh, the sun is going down. It was a gorgeous sunset. I was like, Fuck, I'm like, this is this is my job. Is my job to stand here and, like, swim in the ocean and study things that are going on in the ocean. And, you know, I You know, I get paid to be out here and not very much, but I still get paid to be out here at, you know, in this gorgeous location. Uh, just doing this work that is creating new knowledge. That's that's what What I like most about doing research specifically is, you know, you're creating and you're finding out the things that people might read about tomorrow that we never knew.
You're providing so much value to this world. This is so exciting to me. I really hope that people listening to this are going to get the same feeling that I get when I see people living their dreams. And you even mentioned you don't necessarily get paid very much. So many people based so much of their life on what's gonna make them the most money, not what they could do and feel happy doing. In a lot of times. It's a simple as what are you good at? Is there a way that you can learn more about something that you're good at and also enjoy? And can you make that into a job? Is it something that even if you didn't have all the luxuries of life that that you see all over the Internet. Something that you would feel happy with. Yeah, you're doing that. It's fucking cool, you know? Like I said, you know, PhD students. We don't make
a lot of money. No, I'm I'm not. Ah, not shy about that.
I don't try to hide that. I don't
know. I don't drive a super nice car. I don't even have a damn car right now. Um, but I I find value more than you know. I find more value in the experience and and getting to to do the things that I'm doing and getting to do the things that I want to do, rather than you know, something monetary, you know, Had I had I stayed the track and become a doctor, I'd be making way more money than I ever would, you know, being a scientist. But the value that I feel in myself is worth way more to me than ah than any paycheck ever would.
Well, like one of the stories I I tell people when we talk about this when we talk about the idea of you can actually do things that you like. You can have a job that you get excited to go to during the day. It doesn't have to be something that makes you a ton of money. It doesn't have to be something that everyone else agrees is cool or necessary. Order over. Do you like it? Doesn't feel like you have value. And one of my old dive instructors. When I was going back for my advanced certification, he told me about a time in his life where for six months he slept on a sand floor in a tiny shack and he had to use the outdoor showers. I forget where he was on some island, somewhere in beautiful, warm waters, and he taught dive every day. He taught dive to tourists in tow, locals and then went right back to that tiny shack, slept on the sand floor. But he said every single morning that he woke up without anything. He was so fucking happy because he was doing what he wanted to do because he was doing something that he saw value in.
Yeah, and that's it's times like that where you strip away everything that you realize how much you can get by without, Um, yes, yeah, I I thoroughly recommend that people take take time and like, strip yourself away of all the kind of extra stuff the cell phones, the Internet, I listen, I love my Twitter and my instagram and all that, but the times where I'm able to kind of strip it away and just go just go be somewhere and experience life. Without that, you realize how much you can get by without.
Yeah, life is so much more about the moments than the things were. Really absolutely. Man, this is See, this is super interesting. I think I'm gonna really enjoy asking people about their jobs all the time. And I'm even more excited that I decided to start this out with you because I knew I was going to geek out over this shit. Hopefully all the other people listening get excited over ocean stuff, too, because I'm just like I'm going to go and do some research. After this. I'm gonna learn more about fucking parasites and stuff. Yeah, See, they're cool once you get to know a little bit about him, it opens that door, and
it's like old man peers, so it's pretty cool. Um, I'm like I can't wait to toe. Listen to every episode that you do. I'll never you know. I won't listen to mine because I hate the sound of my own voice like everybody at the same time. So listen all the damn other ones. I
can't wait. Yeah, And this this is something. When I was starting out the podcast recording, I even said for all the listeners, when I meet new people when I'm traveling, if I meet someone and I get that sense like we click, we could have a conversation. The next thing I like to do is what is the day in your life like, What do you do? Like I met an art collector in Sedona, Arizona, who ran this little art shop. And I'm looking around at all the things and he's very like, warmly telling me and and Alex, you know, boyfriend about everything. And I just got this sense. Like this man likes what he does. He's happy. So I pulled up a seat to his desk and was like, Tell me about your life, man. What? What have you been doing lately? What is a day in your life like and then He explains how he travels all over toe to get these pieces of art and how much he's learned and how he just loves his job and his life. And he learned something new every day. I'm like, That is fucking rad. I was thinking of that guy when I was reaching out to you. Like I'm about to do the same thing with Cuban. I need to know all of the details like, What is it like when you wake up in the morning? What's the first thing that you do? What is your job like and is also killing you? I think that's everyone, right? Well, not everyone. There are some some strangers out there that don't like coffee.
I don't have room for those people in my life, Snaps. I'm sorry.
No, that double out of here as I'm sitting here wearing my king's coast cropped up. Yep.
Shout out. Get your king's ghost today.
So you're one from sharks to parasites where you're So you went from sharks to see birds, not parasites.
I with my I did mine. So I did my master's in England. I spent a year in England doing my masters and I worked with seabirds while I was there.
Oh, and what did you learn from the birdies?
Um, well, I I learned a lot about where they like to eat. I I looked at all of their foraging patterns and stuff like that. I learned what they were eating and where they were eating it in the Celtic Sea. Actually, super cool. Um, the data that I used that I analyze for my master's project, some of it. I I didn't collect these particular data that I'm telling you about now. But some of the data that I used were collected on the same island that they filmed Star Wars on the newer one. That the Newark who are like Lukes Island in the newer Star Wars is Ah, it's called Skeleton Michael. And some of my data came from that island.
That's cool. Sold you were You were investigating where the birds air snacking and what that's like What? Um, what was the purpose of that? Was there something you were trying to prove at that point as well? It was
It was more so just learning more about, um, learning more about their ecology. Right? So a lot of what I do. And what I've done in the past is is marine ecology, right? So we take a study species in an animal we look at, how does it interact with it's environment? How does it interact with the things that eats or the things that might eat it? Um, you know, how does it fit into its its surroundings? Um, and the adviser that I worked with, uh, he's done a lot of, ah lot of work with this particular kind of seabird. It's Ah, it's called a gannet. They're related to blue footed boobies and throw it at any time. Just movies, huh? But he's had some big time work. One of his papers got published in Science, which is, like de journal to publish your work. And I mean, there's nothing higher than science. So, you know, he studies all aspects of kind of how these birds fit into their bigger world. And I just did a small project for my masters just to find out, you know, where they were eating and what they were eating in all the different places, basically.
Oh, and now I'm looking at pictures of those little fuzz balls I see. Well, that's cool. So Okay, so then shark's to fish to parasites. What's next? Do you know will you not know until you're done working with parasites?
I won't know. So part of part of the thing of being in research like this being in academia is, um you can't plan things out too well, you know, like I'm due to finish my PhD, Um, after next year. So the beginning of 2020 I should be finishing my PhD. At this point, I have absolutely no idea where I'll go next. Um, and I can't say, Oh, I want to go work in North Carolina. Are I want to go work in Southern California. It's gonna be whoever has the job opening that fits, you know, kind of the the the stuff that I know how to do or that I can easily learn how to do. Um, you know, that I can I can compete for the job. Um s Oh, yeah, who knows? You know, I could I could go anywhere. I could end up living on an island or I could end up going overseas. It's it all depends on what what's available when I know when I finished my PhD,
that's fucking cool. I vote for someone, like like with with a great deal of anxiety. Part of me is thinking like that uncertainty would drive me crazy. But then I'm also thinking that's that's actually something that would probably really excite me cause I know I'm doing something that I like. It's something related to that, but different. That's that type of, Ah, mix up in your in your day in your life has got to keep things interesting.
It's definitely a double edged sword, right? So it's super cool of of the idea, like I don't know where I'm gonna be when I finished. So there's so many, you know, potential opportunities, your imagination could go so many different places may be all you know. Maybe there will be a thing open in Africa. I'll get to go back to Africa, or maybe I get to go here. But then it's like but I don't I don't know what what it's gonna be, and I kind of wish I knew what it was gonna be. So I didn't have to worry about what it's gonna be, uh and so it really is Ah, double edged sword. And depending on the day, there are some days where I sit there on like, fuck man. Like, what the hell am I gonna do when I finish this? And then there are other days where I'm like, you know, it's just the next step of the adventure, and we'll see when we get there. Uh,
does this job impact your relationships at all?
Absolutely. Um you know, ah, romantic relationships have absolutely suffered at certain points during Ah, you know, my PhD and my you know, my other ah academic endeavors. Um, it's tough. Like to stay in touch with family. You know, um, I try to try to stay in touch with my family as much as I can, but bumping from island to island sometimes itself. That's one of the reasons it's funny. You mention that. So my mom is on Instagram and she knows that I'm okay when I'm posting on Instagram because she says on my post and all my stories and stuff, and I actually called her today. I tried to call her once every week or two weeks or something like that. She's like there was like, four days where you didn't post on Instagram. I was starting to get worried that you weren't okay.
Oh, that has to be nerve racking, because the ocean is certainly unpredictable. And I could see being a little spooked if I had a kid out there working on stuff like you are seeing the pictures that I see on your Instagram here,
huh? Yeah. So I do try toe kind of. That's one of the reasons why I post on instagram and then on my facebook a cz, often as I do because I know that, you know, my family might my parents and stuff like that's kind of how they know that I'm doing okay, because, you know, I'm not able to call him every day, of course, but they know if I'm able to post a picture of some cool shit I did today, um, that, you know that I'm still still up, right?
Yeah, which is good. Right on top of the water.
But academia is really tough on romantic relationships, You know, I was dating somebody before I went to do my masters and then, you know, imagine someone saying, Well, I'm gonna go to England for a year. And, Ah, you know, I I would really love to keep seeing you, but, you know, I'll see a year from now, you know that that relationship ended pretty shortly
after that conversation, I could imagine. Yeah,
and it's demanding, You know, I spend right now, I spend basically from April to August. I'm bumping around, you know, the Caribbean. So that's just kind of Ah, big chunk of time. The last two years, I've been able to sneak away to go to Destiny and Guardian con. I wasn't able to do it this year, bomber. Yeah, I know. I'm so broken about it. Um, but I got to go the last two years, so I can't complain too much.
Yeah, At least at least you got to go because it's, you know that it's awesome. You know that? Eventually you'll have a chance to go back again
for sure. My ass is gonna be there next year. Don't Don't get it twisted. Uh,
so you're living like this, this cool existence, You've got this dope job, but you're also on twitch.
Yeah, I haven't won a hand with that. What? As often lately, but
But what was What was the driving force that got you on on to twitch?
I was It was Destiny. Was D 100% man. Um, it was so when I started on twitch, Actually, it was It was a joint venture back in the days when I was trigger happy before I was Cuban games. Ah, it was we started that twitch channel as as a clan. It was, you know, me and a few buddies and ah, you know, we started and we said, Oh, we'll take turns streaming and blah, blah, blah. And then I ended up just taking the channel when everybody else dropped off. And then I got big into streaming, and I was I was streaming alongside doing my PhD. Um, And now, you know, I haven't streamed since probably like February, just cause I was balls busy. But but yeah, twitch, twitch is still super important to me, and I lurk, I do more lurking now than active, chatting or streaming, But like, twitch is just part of part of my life. Just like like anything else.
Yeah. So do you. Do you say onto which, primarily for the community, then? Yeah,
it's, you know all the people in streamers and not just dreamers, but streamers And just people who you know, viewers, all the all the different friends that I've made, Um, like like, I can't imagine I miss when I'm not there. You know, if I'm not able to stop by someone stream for a few weeks or something, I'm like, shit, I hope Hope they're doing well. I hope the streams are doing well, You know, I want to drop by when I can. It was just the other day I dropped in, Ah, dropped an evil or a stream. And I love love evil aura. And I hadn't been in a stream in months and I felt so bad because, you know, I when I'm when I'm not in the field, I try toe, you know, bump by all my friends streams as often as I can, just to say hey and stuff like that And, uh, him in particular. I hadn't been there and so long. And, you know, I, um yeah, I just It's It's the friends that I feel like I've made through Twitch, um, both streamer and viewer alike.
Do you? When you started on twitch and you've got this this marine biology career. Did you have any hopes that you'd be ableto kind of tie the two together? Like, have you done any content relating to what you do in the water?
I So it's I haven't found a way to sort of broadcast stuff while in the water, But I have one of the projects that I'm doing. Is I Actually I dissect fish, so I catch fish and I dissect them to see if they're eating my parasites. Um, and last year, I did a series of maybe, like, 10 or 15 dissection streams where I would do an IRA will stream from my from my cell phone. Um, and I was like streaming me dissecting open fish and looking in their guts.
How the fuck did I miss that? I don't know, dude. I put it out on Twitter and everything. Okay? Damn it, That sounds rad. Did you have a lot of interest for people fascinated, or were they like what the fuck, bro? Just eat it, Dude. People fucking loved it. They loved it. I still get asked. Sometimes, like pew been. Are you gonna do anymore?
Dissection streams? Those were fucking cool. I
could imagine that being so interesting because I would be right there, like asking you questions. Like, What's that? What's that? What's that? Tell me more about that. Why did you just make that noise? Was that interesting? Was that bad? Is that good? Yeah. People loved
it. That's exactly how it was. You know, like, ah, chat, chat was super active, just asking all kinds of questions. And, you know, and during that, I was, you know, cutting up efficient stuff. But I would open up questioning Thio. Whatever people wanted to ask about marine biology in general, it
was gonna be my next question. That's so cool.
Yeah. Um and I have I had and have plans of doing more of that this year. But of course, the hurricanes came through last year. So there was Hurricane Irma that hit the V I pretty bad. And then Maria, that did more damage on Puerto Rico, and basically, every every place where I work all of our main field sites got absolutely, you know, destroyed in some ways by these hurricanes. The marina that I'm working at right now, um, actually had its roof completely ripped off of it. Um, and so there's no Internet down at the Marine lab s o I can't it, you know, I can't really do. I are, well, streams down there until the Internet gets back up down there.
Okay, so where does the funding for these labs come
from? Uh oh, dude, that's such a good question. So my lab in particular is really fortunate that we are working off of Ah, pretty substantial grant. And that's the way most labs most. You know, research groups get money to do. Their work is they apply for, for for grants, for government funding. So NSF, which is the National Science Foundation, is kind of the poster boy for kind of funding scientific research. And 33 years ago, Uh, right, Right. About the time I was starting as a PhD student, uh, my my lab got a pretty, pretty big grant. Um, you know, we put together this huge big proposal of all this work that we wanted to do, and then you send it off to them and they read it. Look it over, and they decide whether or not they want to fund your work. Um, and we were accepted to get a big NSF grant, and that's what we've been working off of for the last three years. And now that one's kind of on its tail end. And we're actually working right now, too. Submit kind of the next. The next round of proposals to try and get get the next three years worth of money. But most of it, you know, you rely on grants and things like that in a lot of ways and kind of funding from your university.
Cool. Yeah, that was just, you know, as you're talking about things kind of going wrong and like the roof caving. And I'm just wondering where How do you even rebuild? Who covers that? What is where does that come from? So that's interesting. I'm super fascinated. And I'm super bummed that I missed your streams on twitch about this stuff because I would've been geeking out over that shit.
There will be more. Don't. You were
good. Please do. And you know, um, someone who I think might you know, it's it's a totally different topic, but someone who kind of does things well and I feel like you could do something along that same concept. Have you ever watched Kylie ists?
No, I haven't. Tell me more.
She does. She streams on twitch, and that's S K Y L. I s. And she does a lot of stuff relating to, like, astronomy and the universe and all this stuff, and it's super fascinating. She'll talk about stars and black holes and just all these science fiction theories even. And sometimes she just sits there in front of her computer and she'll bring up, you know, um, I can't remember the name of the engine that she uses, but she brings up this thing and she just kind of zooms around and she explains stuff in, like, relatively basic terms. And I am just, like, locked in any time I could watch her stream. It is so fucking fascinating to me. And I could see watching you do something similar, but with the ocean like, Hey, this is where I started. Here's what I've learned from here. Do you have any questions about this area? About the fish, About whatever. I would love it. Please do that. I would love to
do that, you know? So,
one of the
biggest disconnects in science is taking the work that researchers do in kind of spreading it and getting it to two people who aren't in in science, people who aren't in academia toe, you know, to help them learn about the things that we're learning. And I Honestly, that's why I started doing the dissection streams. Because I'm like, Twitch is such a great platform to be ableto show people the cool shit that we get to do and,
you know, teach
people about you know what? What the hell we're trying to learn and and why we're trying to
learn it. Yeah, why? This stuff matters. Why you wasting? We're not wasting Why you spending four years or however many years waiting at its hair sites on fish is not actually wasting time. Why you're doing all this stuff? Because every little thing does matter. It all impacts our world.
Yeah, um, you know, with I'm going to say the second dirty seaward climate change with with climate change being such yes, climate change, Israel, it Israel.
It sucks that you even have to make a joke about that being a dirty word. Because, like anyone in any form of scientific field, they just accept it. It is like it's It's not just global warming. It's not every everywhere is gonna be hot all the time because of this. It is climate change. Shit is going way wrong right now.
Yeah, and you know, with climate change on Lee increasing in in, it's kind of how devastating it is. Um, though it one of the the kind of I guess vocal fields right now is is modeling how all these different ecosystems function, right? So you know who's living where, who's eating wood, so on and so forth. So that way you can take into account the changes that climate change is causing right? So, you know, sea surface temperatures are increasing. If we know exactly how this ecosystem functions, then we can also have a good idea of how it's going to change and what's going to change as climate change, uh, you know, becomes more and more prevalent if we don't have a lot of these questions answered about how all these interactions happen in an ecosystem, Then when we're trying to say Okay, well, what's gonna happen to this coral reef if you know if the sea temperature increases by two degrees. If we're missing some of those key parts of how that you know those, Ah, all those processes, then we might come up with totally incorrect predictions of what's gonna happen. So that's that's underneath it all. That's one of the biggest things that that studying ecology lets you do is you can model how things respond to change.
Yeah, you're I'm I'm like, I'm jealous, but I'm also not jealous, you know, because I just love What the fuck? Ideo. But this is something I'm super passionate about. And at some point, I want to do some kind of fundraisers for, um anything that allows for conservation or awareness of things that can impact our oceans. Because I just It depressed me when I think about the future that, like my my future ankle biters, might not get to see the reefs as I saw them.
Conservation is is a oftentimes a depressing topic. Like you need it either you need, like a puppy dog. I've made this joke multiple times like that. When you're having, like, a conservation discussion, when you walk out of the room, you need a box of puppies so everybody can just hug a puppy
because it's too really. It's really
it's, It's It's real. And in your face,
man. Well, it's cool that you're on twitch, though, because even just just doing those dissecting streams, you've got people interested in stuff that they might not have ever seen in their feed before. I really hope you keep doing more of those. I hope you can make that happen. And I'm gonna send you sky liest streams. You can see what I'm talking about because it's just It's fascinating, man. And I bet you could talk to twitch about getting front page. If you ever scheduled something, I wonder. Yeah, I would
definitely I would love to do it. Um, and I will definitely check out her page just cause anything nerdy and geeky and science. See, you know I'm in. But to make a statement which I would love to, I would love for science in general. Forget me like I'm sure there's there's other people that will have super cool shit to talk about as well. I would love to have, like, a science section of twitch
like how fucking cool would that be? That would be so cool and This is what we need to be using. I r l four were going off on a different tangent, but most of the audience listening to this probably came from my twitch. That's fine. But like, yes, dude, like I know I'm one of the few people who has viral discussions relating to mental health or mindfulness. There's not a ton of us. I know. Skyler, this is one of the only people I've seen that gets on there and talks about the universe and stars and shit. We need more science on their science is interesting. Yeah. Twist science, baby.
I'm telling you, we should make it a thing.
Yeah, we're Let's just start. Let's everyone started. Started hashtag listening. Listen, you give a shit which you should hashtag twitch science. Let's make this happen because that would be so cool. If you could go on there and see that learning doesn't always have to be just sitting in a classroom reading books. You can go to your favorite place online, watch some people play some video games, then bounce around and learn some dope Shit about fish. The ocean. Yeah, And you know what? Even
at this point, So I do begrudgingly have toe no offense to anybody from Arkansas. But I do have to spend time in Arkansas because that's technically where I go to school. I'm a PhD student at Arkansas State University, but even now, like my time in class, I usually sit in class just sipping a cup of coffee. At this point when I do have to take classes cause it's such like once you get beyond a bachelor's degree and you get into doing your masters or your PhD and you're more specialized classes, arm or like a discussion rather than somebody teaching you, it's more like just an open forum where you're kind of sharing knowledge with each other. Um, and I usually sit back drinking a cup of coffee, and it's like having a discussion with, Ah, whole bunch of people who love the same type of shit that you love s so cool. So, yeah, it's It's pretty cool in that sense, because it's it's relaxed, but it's
high level. Yeah, because you all have, ah great deal of information in your brains about this because you've been learning about it for so long,
and everybody who's there wants to be there.
That's so cool. And, you know, I just finished reading this book that I really enjoyed. It was by Alan Alda, and it was What is the? I always get the exact title right, but it's something along lines. If I understood you what? I have this look on my face. And he was very fascinated by science and by communication and a 1,000,000 other different things. But in all of his studies on science, the thing that he really liked the most was when he worked with scientists because they loved being proven wrong. And I think that's such a cool concept. I've been telling people that, like nonstop since I heard it, because I I feel that now, now that I'm really excited to learn more and I get to do shit like this with the podcast records, talked people doing all kinds of different things. I'm excited to be proven wrong now because it's a whole new path. I'm about to go on and learn all this new shit now. So I I imagine that you're in that same place now. We're being proven wrong is not ah, not like a hit to your ego, but it's It's a light bulb in your mind.
Yeah, because, you know, um, I every time I do a project I come up with, like, my my hypothesis, right? What? And what do I think it's gonna be? I'm going to do this little study, and I think that this is gonna go this way. This is gonna happen regardless of whether or not I'm right. I know what the answer is. So I don't need to be right, you know, I just need to find the answer. Um and that's the cool thing is is, so long as you do the science right and you get the right answer, it doesn't matter what the fuck you thought it was gonna be. I love to be proven wrong because that means that that we're progressing whether you know, whether I called it right or not, it doesn't matter.
You know, a little more than you did yesterday. That's all we can hope for. Yeah,
absolutely. I love being proven wrong. You can't have an ego in research.
No, no, I think I think in general, Like if you want to learn about the world about your life, your existence. You just you can't have an ego like that. You have to be able to accept that you could be wrong about anything in everything and know that it's okay like it's It's a good thing to be wrong sometimes as long as you can accept that and then go and learn what you were wrong about. Yeah, that's too much. And so many people
get caught up in, yeah, having that ego, always having to be right. How always having have all the information, it happens to me. Don't get me wrong. It happens to me to name. But you know, when you kind of take a step back and think about it, it it gives you a chance for personal growth, regardless of whether you're right or you're wrong. It gives you a chance to learn something, to draw something from it, and to come out of it on the other side as someone who's wiser or smarter or or whatever. Yeah,
so you obviously have to sign side of it, too. But it kind of looks like from everything that I've seen your also active in practicing certain aspects of mindfulness, including doing some some yoga which is like mindfulness plus exercise.
I do try, um, it's it's It's a way to kind of keep myself centered in in, you know, in having a life where I move around a lot and there's a lot of moving pieces. Um, and I started doing yoga in particular last year, and it's it's so helpful just to kind of keep my mind. If if everything in my life is moving around, I can at least keep my mind in the right spot.
Yeah, Yeah, that's so cool. I'm so glad that you also do that as we're talking about. You know, you're you're working through all these challenges you're in something that is is tough but rewarding. But you're also making sure that you take time for your mind and your body. And that's so vital, in my opinion. And it's great when I get to
be proven right about that. Yeah, but getting proven wrong there. I'm glad you're right there. Hell,
yeah. Man was from what I've seen, yoga and egos tend to not go very well together.
This is true. This is very true. No. Yeah. Especially when you're just starting out in yoga. You look like a damn fool. So there's no room for an ego there. You get squashed down to the floor real quick.
That's what I liked about martial arts too. Is there? There's no chance of ego because everyone pretty much remembers how silly they felt when they first set foot on those maths. And like in ju jitsu when they tell you to shrimp across the ground and you're like, What? I'm sorry. What? And then you see other people doing it, and it looks so easy, like, Oh, they're kind of just like sliding along the ground. Okay, I'll do that. And then you lay down on the ground, you know, like, I'm gonna do it And you just, like, flop around like a jackass. Like, but it looks so easy. Why can I not do this? Why is standing based so tough? Why are all these like very basic looking movements? So, like not working with my body, but the other people there, they're not laughing at you like you don't even know what a strip? Yeah, they're the ones that lay down next to you on the ground are like, Okay, here's put your leg here move your arm like this Act as though you're pushing yourself away from someone that that lack of ego is just so great when you're tryingto learn things like that.
Yeah, and And I found that in yoga to cause the people that I started, I actually started doing yoga. Last year. In the field I met, I met a couple people. I was in Saint John. And when we work in ST John, which for those of you that don't know is in the U. S. Virgin Islands and it's a small island, we were totally off the grid. And so it was just like my group and the other research groups. And there were a couple of people there that they would do yoga every day. And I had always wanted to start yoga. But I never just took that step. And then they said,
Come on that Come, come do
yoga. They don't call me if you've been sorry. They said,
Come on, towns like, where the fuck is that? Come to yoga
with us? And I'm like, No, no, no. And, you
know, it took me a little while to get over
the fact that I looked like a damn
fool because, you know, you like you like to be good
at things. I like to be good at things. Um, but I just kind of threw myself in the fire, and, you know, I look like I still look like a damn fool half the time, but, uh, you know, I found that people in yoga tend to be so supportive and you know, you you never get judged. It's humbling. It's humbling for yourself. But it's not humbling because other people are making it that way. Um, you know, people are
part of that. It goes along with with, like, learning about the ocean and with, like, jujitsu or martial arts and general yoga. The first thing that you learn doesn't make you think I know so much. It reminds you how little you know. And I'm I love any experience that reminds me that I don't know shit about shit
for dude that, like, truest statement ever made right there. No, it's
great. And I'm looking at this picture of you doing your head stand over here in ST John just being a straight up Yogi. It's pretty dope, man. I'm glad you Oh, that's that. Well,
one of my proudest moments was the first time I nailed the headstand. One of my proudest moments in recent memory. I
I'm a do that. I need to learn that one. I started practicing it in one of the videos that I was working out because I do. Just like the YouTube videos at home. Yoga with Adrian, which is awesome. But my dogs were being a pain in the ass, and they kept, like, pushing me over are not supportive. No. You know what they are? Not Everyone else is supportive of yoga, but the dogs, they are less supportive. They're not as helpful. Or maybe
they are supportive. They're just trying to make it harder on you. So you become a better. You
build that core bitch, push me over. Perfect. Okay, so this this has been fucking super interesting. I'm I'm really excited to do so many more of these. I think this just jumped this off on the exact right start. You have any advice for? Like, we'll start with anyone who is young and thinking I want to be a marine biologist. Do you have any advice for them? If you're
young and you want to be a marine biologist. Um, put yourself out there. Take advantage of and this is honestly, it's more general, but it applies to marine biology. Um, take advantage of every opportunity you possibly can, even if it's something that you have zero interest in. Right? I've never had an interest in my life in oysters, but my first marine biology gig was actually like studying oysters. You just get take every opportunity that you can get, even if it's something you don't give a shit about. And you bust your ass every single day because you never know who's watching, um and yeah, just make make contacts. You always want a network networking. It's really big and social media and twitch, and I think that's why I did all right at the beginning. There was because I have done so much networking and stuff and I've experienced with that in my academia career. Um, but yeah, just meet people. Put yourself out there. And if anybody is ever asking for help, always make sure your hand is the 1st 1 up.
Okay, I like that. I like that. So now, in terms off advice on a slightly different note, we talked about how you were kind of on a different path initially. And then however, you might want to phrase that you know the universe, your gut, your soul, whatever brought you into this, you fell into this awesome job. You realized that it was what you wanted to do. Do you have any advice for people that are thinking? I I want to do something, but I don't know if I can. Did you have moments where you doubted yourself? What kind of advice can you give to people to help them do what you're doing? Maybe not this job, but I have a job that they like, pursue a passion.
I had times where I didn't know darn early. My undergrad. I had times where I didn't know if science was for me. I remember of my early early science classes, like general chemistry and stuff. I struggled a little bit, and I was like, Man, I don't I don't know if science in general is for me, and actually, I took a semester and I took all literature classes. I was gonna be like a writer or some shit. Um, okay. And I guess my advice would be as let yourself go through those processes if you're if you're doubting and don't give up. But but let yourself explore all the options. Um, okay, it's not necessarily giving up on the thing you're focusing on right there. It's maybe opening a door to something else that might be a better fit for you. Um,
yeah, and who knows that all that literature might have helped you with With Grant writing and all of the stuff that you do, everything seems to tie in somewhere
it does. It's, you know, allow allow yourself to be open to other opportunity. Never shut yourself off from anything, right? So allow other opportunities or other avenues to to be explored a little bit without maybe shutting that first door all the way. Um and And just listen to yourself, you know, listen to your inner monologue. Listen to your mind and listen t your feelings. It sounds cheesiest fucking loosened your feelings. But seriously, like just listen, Thio, listen to that little voice inside your head. And as you know, just if you think if you if you if you are listening to that voice and you sit and you then respond to it and say, No, I can't fucking do that. The answer is yes. You fucking can.
Hell, yeah. I get excited about that. I really enjoy it cause you're you're even talking like not every day is easy for you. I mean, you're going for your fucking PhD. I know from the people who I know who have PhDs, that is not an easy task, but it can be done. It actually can be done. And it's a lot easier, I think, to do when you're pursuing something that you're passionate about. Absolutely. And it's not cheesy to say, Trust your feelings at all. I hate that we have to make these disclaimers all the time cause I do this too. And I'm trying Thio, eliminate those words from my right my regular vocabulary because I tell people all the time Trust your gut. Your gut is gonna tell you when it's time to leap and when it's not, your mind might kind of fuck with you like you're not good enough. You can't do this, but that's because of those behaviors in those thought patterns that you've established. But your gut your gut has your back. You feel this feeling like you have those. Ah ha. Moments when you were doing this, we were like this. I'm going to do this. I had that with streaming. I started out pretty early on in my career, and I quit one of my part time jobs because I had that feeling like this. This is good for me. I don't know where it's gonna go, but something here, I need to explore this further. And I'm I'm so grateful that I trusted my gut and I made that jump. And I'm sure you're feeling the same way now, doing this living, living on the water most of the time doing all these incredible things, learning so much about our world in our environment. It's just it's fucking great.
Yeah. Do the thing
with jazz stopping exhibition. Now you have your test. You'll be happy. Dude, this'll has
been one of the best damn discussions I've had in a long time.
Yeah, because you're not talking about someone who's in your field. You're talking about someone who's outside of it and fascinated by that. I know that field too, when people are like excited about twitch and don't know anything about it. Let me tell you everything. It's actually rad. Come with me
on this journey. You're gonna love it.
Yes. And if you had seen my actual physical reaction to that, like, my hands just flail like I'm just reaching out, I'm so excited. I need to, like, squeeze and break something, man. Well, pube in This was fucking great. Thank you so much for being the 1st 1 on this. This this segment or whatever. The 1st 1 to share a day in your life with me. With us, it's This has been super interesting for me, and I'm I'm thinking everyone else is gonna enjoy it as well.
Seriously, I I'm truly, truly humbled that you asked me. I remember when that when the message came through and I was like, What?
Buck? Yeah, I'm down. Hell, yeah.
Um, yeah, it's, you know, you're a total dude in the in the best way possible. I absolutely love Aaron. Dude to dude. And, uh, you know, yeah, Anything I can ever do the chill and chat and spread the word, You know I'm there anytime.
Hey, man, you keep working on the oceans. That will make me happy as I see you making an impact on the ocean. Since I'm trying to get my ass back in the water, I will be happy about that. Let's goes on anything. Oh God, I need Thio. I need to get the boyfriend certified, though, cause because Alex isn't certified yet,
we can do that easy. We
need to We need to do that. It's It's definitely a goal. I have all these different things I'm working on, and I know that certain things once they kind of study or even out a little bit. Then I'll be able to dedicate the time and resources to go back to martial arts and to go back to diving because it's it's something that I intend to do my entire life. I'm on like a leave of absence from diving right now, but I love it and I'm going back good. And I'm so I'm all jacked up now. I'm gonna watch die. Videos are like old shark going up tonight. Oh man, I will and I'll be like, That's my friend. That's my friend Human. That's his job. That's what he does. That's me, man. That's you. So is there anything else that you want to share with anyone before we wrap this up? Um, actually, I've got some really cool news.
Actually, I haven't tweeted shit about it, but we'll break it here. It's OK. So my 1st 1st author publication was just accepted. So I will be a published author in a couple months in Ah d'oh! That's so Doe Author. Yeah. Um, the first, my 1st 1st author publication of my career and I'm book and stoked about it.
First of many, man. Congrats. That's fucking awesome. You're gonna have to share that with us so that I can I can tweet it out even if people won't understand a damn word. You're saying it's a really cool was pretty
simple. It's about where a specific species of fish shits Awesome. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Yeah, Before the awesome was that kind of head shake. Yeah, awesome. But
no, I honestly might. My eyes went up into my brain, and I'm just thinking like this has lots of implications. People don't even realize it matters. This stuff matters.
I wanted to title the paper. Don't shit where you eat, because that's what we are fine. But when I tweet about it, that's what I'm gonna That's what I'm gonna call it in. My tweet is don't shit where you eat, but
that's awesome. I'm glad that I'm glad that you got to share that with us. Now, I'm gonna include that in your little bio in this published author. That's right. Published scientific author. I don't know. You tell me the right way to say it, right? So that you you sound as cool as you are.
Yeah, we'll get the wording down. Right.
Oh, man. Well, thank you so much again for being a part of this. And I'm just gonna let you drop your social media wherever you want people to follow you. Right now.
Um, so you can follow me on Twitter at Cuban Underscore games. Uh, and on Instagram at Baldy with a goatee. All one word baldy with an I e. And damn, that's so fucking long. I need change that shit all day with a goatee. Yeah,
I'll make sure I link it as well. And then your twitches. Just Cuban games. Also, people underscore games Cuban
understory games on twitch twitch into
a tie So you guys got to follow him so that when he does do more of these streams, you can tune in and learn.
Yeah, Learn all about the ocean. The fish, the sharks, the the whale. Who? The hoop. Unlike the king of poop in the V, I hear. So
Oh, man, thank you again so much. I super appreciate the stewed. And I hope you have an awesome day, man.
Thank you very, very much. You're the best. You have great date as well. Pleasant fishes,
pleasant fishes. Yeah. So thank you for listening to this week's mind of snaps podcast. I am so excited about how that went my conversation with Cuban. I really enjoyed. Make sure you guys will follow him. And if you want to see more of these like I said at the beginning of this, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter Instagram, twitch, email. Whatever. Just just let me know if you think that your job is interesting and you could you could have a podcast episode like this where we could talk about what you do and and a day in your life. Please feel free to hit me up about that, I would love to feature you. In the meantime, make sure that you are following me on Twitter and Instagram. Mind of snaps, YouTube His mind of snaps Facebook is mind of snaps. Those don't get updated quite as often, but I'm working on it. And if you are interested in trying to support the efforts of this podcast and all the other things I'm working on, like the mental health resource is me being able to tour and do more speaking engagements, consider helping out via the patri on. And that's patri on dot com slash she snaps. You get photography and you also get Monday morning positivity podcasts by helping to support their so thank you again for tuning in. And I can't wait for the next episode of the mind snaps podcast. Thanks for everything. I hope you have an amazing day