For the Love of Nature

Just Squiddin' with Dr. Sarah McAnulty

November 15, 2022 Season 6 Episode 8
For the Love of Nature
Just Squiddin' with Dr. Sarah McAnulty
Show Notes Transcript

What do cephalopods and science communication have in common? None other than this week’s special guest, Dr. Sarah McAnulty! Not only is she a squid biologist, science communicator, and street artist, she’s the founder of Skype a Scientist—a nonprofit organization that connects scientists and students (and lifelong learners) around the world through live video chats..

Join Laura, Katy, and Sarah as they dissect what makes squid (and other cephalopods) so incredible and why sharing science in a compelling and easily understood way is so important. 

If you’d like to learn more about Sarah:

Support the show

Laura: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to For The Love of Nature, a podcast where we tell

you everything you need to know about nature, And probably more than you wanted

to know. I'm Laura,

Katy: And I'm Katy. And today this is gonna be a very exciting episode because we are talking about squids and science communication, 

but it's not Laura and I talking about squids and science communication. We have a guest for this 

Laura: Not that we haven't like dabbled in both of those topics earlier, but we're

not by any mean professionals in either one. Okay. 



Katy: Yeah. I was say science,

communication, Come on now. But we, I almost said, yeah we have dabbled in squids before. A little , a little bit , but not too much. Not too 

Laura: squid, dabbling. 

Katy: yeah. But we have an expert.

Laura: Yeah. So

everyone welcome Sarah Mcal. 

Sarah: Hey there. Thanks for having 


Laura: if you've ever listened to any of our episodes before with guests, we're just gonna, get to know Sarah A. Little bit better get to talk with her about her specialties, squids, [00:01:00] and science communication.

And then hopefully and then Sarah too, if you have any questions or comments or wanna add anything, feel 



I guess first let me get, just tell our listeners a little bit about you. So Sarah McNulty is an American squid biologist, science communicator and street artist. She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's in marine Science and then earned her PhD from the University of Connecticut.

She's the founder of Skype a Scientist, a nonprofit organization that connect scientists and teachers around the world for live

video calls. So we are super excited to have her on today, 

Katy: And Laura got all that from Wikipedia, which I feel like that's the crown of when you've 

made it, is that since somebody can pull your information from 


and it be correct, 

Sarah: Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about 

Katy: accurate. Good.

Laura: We also, 

We have to tell you, so our our manager Kim who makes sure that we stay on track about everything. [00:02:00] She's an Uber fan of yours. She's listening to your all episode and there are like several other listeners who are like, Sarah's gonna come on. So

we're trying not to make this too big of a deal, but it is a very big deal for Kim

Sarah: I'm glad. Hear it? 

Laura: Alright. 

I'll you wanna just 

flip flop back and forth, like 

normal Katy 

Katy: We can go. You want me to start first?

Laura: Sure.

Katy: Alrighty. So Sarah, let's go back to the beginning. What influenced you to become a 

scientist and in particular a squid biologist? 

Sarah: Good question. When I was a little kid, I know this is 

a weird thing for a little kid to be into, but I really like squid.

Katy: Listen, that's awesome. 

That is 

Sarah: thought they were so cool. I like octopuses were 

fine, but I really thought that Cuddle. Fish and squid in particular were completely captivating and amazing and weird and cool. And yeah, from when I was a little kid getting like tape outta the library and watching it at home and there was, it was like a general ocean video and it cuttlefish specifically, and I just couldn't believe how weird and cool [00:03:00] they were.

And so I started there and then I eventually went to college and that was like, 10 years later. And didn't know that squid biologist was even a job. I like, my parents were like, my mom was a therapist and my dad was like a Spanish teacher. And so they didn't really know what scientists did, like what the wide breadth of 

scientists do.

No, most of us don't. And yeah, so they were like maybe if you like squid, I guess maybe you'll work at Sea World, like maybe you'll work at the Canson Aquarium. We don't really know where you belong in like a professional world liking squid, so you should just study biology. So I started as a biology major, and then I found the marine science department, which is what I actually wanted to study.

And then I met a 

woman who was a cuttlefish camouflage researcher. She 

came to give a talk. She wasn't at my school. No. She came and gave a 

talk at the Boston University Marine Program. And I like freaked out. I was like, This is it. [00:04:00] This is my job. This is who I'm supposed to be. I was like, Oh my God, I didn't know that this was like real life.

This is great. So, after that I like went up and talked to her. I was like, Hey, like you have my dream job. I, like you don't even understand how. Amazing it is to meet the a person who has the job that I didn't even think existed. And so, long story short, after that I started working with cuttlefish that summer.

That was after my sophomore year. And then I worked with him again the summer after that, and then eventually went to grad school to continue squid stuff. And so in my PhD was on Hawaiian bobtail squid and their symbiosis with bioluminescent bacteria. So my 

PhD is actually on molecular and cell biology, not like marine biology 


or squid PhD.

Yeah, it was, I mean, it was great. I hadn't even 

taken cell biology before going to get a PhD in cell biology. 

Which is perhaps ill advice, but it was 

Katy: that talk. Talk about diving into the deep end. That's diving into the deep end of gasoline while you're on 

fire and just like [00:05:00] hoping 


the best.


Sarah: so I studied marine science as an undergrad, which like honestly was, I don't 

wanna say mostly fisheries management, but a lot of what we'd talk about as a department was like climate change ecology, fisheries management, and like marine geology.

Like I had, I took a 

marine geology course like all it was truly marine science, not marine biology. The degree was not marine biology, so I didn't have a lot of The deeper biology classes. In between undergrad and grad school, I knew that to get a PhD in molecular and cell biology that I was completely ill prepared to actually do that.

So I took off two years and 

went and worked in a lab that was doing diabetes research. Not cause I was 

particularly interested in diabetes, but because I knew I needed some time to fill in 

the gaps. And 

Katy: That's smart call. That's a smart call though. Cause I mean a lot of 

students, Cause I, I know and I help a lot of students with career pathways and career development and it's stuff like that. Sometimes you have to take a step in the, Yeah. Take a step off [00:06:00] to then get 

back on the track that you need to.

And I think so many people forget that, but That's 

Sarah: okay. 


fine. Yeah, and it was great cause 

I moved to Germany for that job and so I 

like got, it was sweet. I like, I had neither boyfriend nor dog at the 

time, so I was like, what are we waiting for? Let's go do, let's live somewhere else.

Before I like settled down into grad school, which, 

So here we are. So yeah, That 

worked with obese mice. It was very cute. 

Laura: I was 

just gonna, 


Sarah: they were so fat and so cute and yeah, so I looked at their pancreases under a microscope. And also during that time, like I used iTunes U, which I don't even know if it exists anymore, but they had, 

Katy: Oh, I forgot about 

Sarah: It was useful at the time.

This was back in like 2012. They had full biology courses from, I think it was Stanford. Randy Shackman is like a Nobel Prize winning cell biologist. He hadn't won the Nobel Prize at that time yet. But I took his biology course, his cell biology course. Like I didn't get graded, but I got all the information into my brain so that when I [00:07:00] did go to grad school, I wasn't totally up the creek without a paddle.

Yeah, that's how I became a squid 


Laura: No, that's really cool. And I think that is all important for listeners because I was just talking to some coworkers the other day who were fresh outta college and thinking, 

biology is so vast, so vast, and nobody really most people going into it have no idea that there are even certain career choices like squid biology or if you can dream it, it exists, 

promise you.

But like finding your person. Did you, did 

you, the woman who came to

talk, was she always passionate about


Sarah: I don't think so. Her name was Lydia Methgar. She grew up in Germany. I don't know like how she got to be cuttlefish biologist.

So she, at the time was a staff scientist under this other guy, Roger Hanlin. Roger Hanlin led the lab. Lydia has her own lab now, but at the time she was a staff scientist, so she wasn't the head of the lab, but she's the head of her lab now and she was really interested 

in the structures in cephalopod skin [00:08:00] that 

ess so she was like doing a lot of stuff on like the structure 


those, the cells slash structures.

Laura: Right. I was just wondering if she 

was like a total squid geek too and was like, Holy crap. This is amazing for

me too. Cuz I have now found a person who is as into cuttlefish as 


Sarah: I don't think she felt that way. I, think she was a little overwhelmed by my enthusiasm. 


Yeah. But that was fine. She was 

so great and she was a really wonderful mentor, cuz also at the time this has certainly gotten better since, since then.

But I hadn't, no, I I had no female role models. The entire marine science department was men. The entire 

department was men. Zero 

Laura: Yeah. And I can see 

like too, the difference between I

bet there are more 

women in marine biology, but not in marine 


Sarah: Maybe. Yeah. What a good 

Laura: I don't know. Maybe not, But like marine

biology, I 


like every girl wants to be a dolphin trainer at some point. in their 

Sarah: I know It was 


Laura: are 

Sarah: It was wild because I think 60 or 70% of the [00:09:00] students, undergrad students in marine science were women. And we looked to the next level, Nothing, nobody. And that wasn't great. So in, in addition to her being a cuttlefish scientist, she was a woman cuddle scientist and 

it was 

just great.

Laura: Yeah. 

Some serendipity that you guys met. 

Sarah: I felt very lucky It all worked out. 


Laura: So follow up to the question of how you

got there. What does a typical day look like now?

 Now that you are of 


biologist, are you doing stuff with

squid A 

Sarah: so, no, not even a little, Well, it depends on how you say doing stuff with squid. So now my job is being the executive director of a nonprofit that does science communication. And the, how this all happened. I, I was a graduate student. I was doing science communication on the side just for fun because I was having a good time doing it.

And then , Trump got elected in early 2017, got inaugurated in early 2017, and scientists online were just in an absolute panic spiral about[00:10:00] a lot of it was like really introspective, sad sack stuff about we've failed as scientists in communicating the direness of climate change if people are voting for this guy.

Because if you vote for this guy, you clearly don't realize how 

bad climate is. So they were like, What can we do? Oh my God. And it was just this Yeah. Doom spiral. And nobody was really making it doing anything productive. It 


Just grief and 


Katy: Freak out. Just 

Sarah: panic and understandable.

And there's space, obviously there's 

there's a need for having that moment. But I was like, Hang on, there's so much energy right now that could be funneled towards something good. And so I founded this program called Skype of Scientists. We match scientists with classroom scout, troops, libraries, anybody who needs to talk to a scientist.

The goal here is to have personal connections made between scientists and people who aren't scientists. And the idea behind that being having a friendly face to science that you can build a some kind of relationship with, might make you trust science a little more. Might make science seem less of.

[00:11:00] This very distant to modern, everyday life stuff, make it more personable and accessible and all of that. Started it then I did it because I thought it needed to be done, not because I thought it was gonna be my job, because I loved being a squid biologist. I loved it. It was the best.

But it kept growing. And then when I graduated with my PhD, two and a half years later, it was too big of a program to continue being a squid biologist and also run it. And there was nobody else to run it. And I know that makes it 

sound like I trapped myself in science 


Katy: Listen, Laura and 

Sarah: But I did. I like, 

I did, and I'm okay with it. 


I, because looking at what your 

actual job is as a professor, the amount of time that you actually get to spend with the animals in the lab is so small that I was like, I don't know if it's worth. 


Generally. And so I, if I could have stayed, if I could make the amount of money I make now, which is not a lot, it's way less than a professor makes, but.

[00:12:00] It's fine compared to what a grad student makes. If I could make this amount of money and do what I did in grad school, run this program and do some squid experiments, like that would be ideal. But that job doesn't exist. So here we are. I'm running this full time and I do a lot of squid communication so I know the people listening to this podcast can't see me, but you at this moment can, I've got these squid that I glue onto poles and walls in public.

It's a street art technique called wheat pasting. And it's all part of this greater project called the Squid Facts Project. The Squid Facts , it's like, it sounds silly, but hear me out. I really think it might be more useful than it, than meets the eye. The Squid Facts Project is like a many pronged beast that all 

is focusing on getting squid facts to people.

Katy: Cause this was the 



right? Because I think I, I think from 

a distance 

not knowing you prior to this, I feel like that's when you really kicked off a presence online. That's whenever I first heard about you [00:13:00] was from the squid facts. The texting thing is 

everything was them pointing back to you on that.

And that's when I first heard about 


was the 


Sarah: there's been a couple 

inflection points in the science communication trajectory here, the Squid Facts Project is it does really well. The idea here as I was spending a lot of time on social media and spending time with other science communicators who primarily use social media to communicate, we were finding on social media, the people who willingly follow a squid biologist, the social media accounts that get a lot of followers, let's not include maybe like Bill Nye or Neil Degrass Tyson, but even them to some extent, if you're following even Bill Nye or Neil Degrass tyson, like you, 

like science, at least a little like you 

are like, yeah, they 

have like, Right, right.

That's not really a new population. Those are people that already like science, probably already trust scientists. So yeah, Bill Nye has 6 million followers on. 

So all of those 6 million people, Yeah. it's a huge reach.

It's a huge number, but it's not like it's, it's made, [00:14:00] it is unlikely to be 

completely new audiences, right? So what that, this is something that a lot of us have talked about again and again, just like been frustrated how do we break out of these bubbles and actually reach people who aren't science interested?

And so I was like, All right let's just start playing around and see what works. And so I started with my car, the Squid Mobile. She's just a rav4. But I drew squid all over her. And then on the back window it says, want a squid fact, text squid to 1 8, 3, 3 side text. And that's the third generation of Squid Mobile.

The, there were earlier things that didn't work as well, but 

that's where we've landed. And then, and that kinda, that worked. 

Laura: Bet I would absolutely in traffic be like, snap a picture.

Katy: Yeah. 

 That's what I saw. And because there was I can't remember what it was, but somebody took a picture of it and then that's, and I think it was oddly enough on and it just took off from there. Cause everyone was like, Oh my gosh, we need to text this number. 

Sarah: that was back in April. It went extremely viral in April, but it's been like that since like 2018. It's been just driving around the east [00:15:00] coast since 2018. And then in 2020 I started with a sticker campaign. So I've got these little four inch by four inch stickers that 

say, wanna a squid fact text. Oh yeah. 

To 1 8 33 side text. to see 

who was 

Katy: which is awesome. Oh, 

Sarah: Oh, yeah. Well, I was thinking, I wanna know who's 

texting from the squid and who's texting from the stickers. So I 

have different 


signs for both. I never really dug into that 

data, but whatever. So here we're, and then I started engaging more in the street art community here in Philadelphia, which is a very rich culture of street art compared to some other places.

Lots of graffiti, lots of stickers, lots of wheat paste, lots of stuff happening in Philadelphia. And then I started doing the wheat pasting, which are bigger. They're handmade. They're all different kinds of squid. And that is where you put wallpaper glue on the wall, you stick your art to that, and then you plop wallpaper glue on top of that again.

And then it, like ki it kind of weather proofs. It'll last a couple months, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, depending on where you put it and how actively the 

city cleans where you put it. [00:16:00] It's definitely not legal, so I don't recommend 


Laura: just gonna say, I was, that was 

my next 

Sarah: Yeah, it's the 

Laura: how is receptive? 

Sarah: Well, it, it really depends on where you live.

Philadelphia, there's a ton of street art. It's like literally part of our culture. So it's, and the fine in Philadelphia is the worst that could happen to you is you get a $300 fine for littering. And in all likelihood, that's probably not going to happen. But it could happen. So if you are, if you know you're already in a vulnerable community where you get targeted more than like a white lady, then then that's the worst that could happen to you.

The worst that could legally happen to you, we know that horrible things could happen to you doing literally nothing. But that's a whole other kind of conversation. So anyway, but if you were in I was talking to a group of graduate students in Edmonton and Canada and that's Alberta, and they were like, 

We don't have hardly any street art.

So I'm like you really shouldn't do this then. This 

is probably, 

Laura: apparent that it was you. Yeah. 

Sarah: probably not the spot to do it, but I it's so ingrained here in Philly that I sign them, like I put my handle on them because there's just it's just, it's okay. Cause a [00:17:00] lot of the street artists do 

that here.

And it's just like normal. 

Laura: As long as you're not defacing private 

Sarah: right? It depends on the place. Most of it is like the subway poles that I do. Some of it will be abandoned buildings, which are technically private property, but they have the plywood over the windows that many people will put stuff on.

So it becomes like a a community art board. And so that you gotta pick your 

spots and have judgment. I'm not gonna 

like put it on somebody's house, obviously, like, 

Katy: Yeah. 

Sarah: but 

like, you know, that would be a 

ridiculous thing for me to do. But yeah, so then we have a hotline that texts people back with squid facts that costs 250 bucks a month to run. 

But originally it was me texting everybody back. 

Katy: Oh my goodness. 

Sarah: yeah, that was that was fine at the beginning because it hadn't gone viral yet. So maybe on it it was increasingly getting busier and there came a point where I was pretty regularly texting 10 different people every day.

And that's when I was like, This is too much. I need 

a robot. So that's when I started with the robot. [00:18:00] Um, it's 

a, it's 

Katy: But also, were you ever texting and anybody was like, Who are you texting? Asking, And they had to be like, I'm Squid Facts. like, 


Sarah: People all the time would be like, Who, what is this? Explain yourself. And other times people would just wanna talk about other 

stuff texting the squid facts hotline. And so I would talk to them about other stuff, like whatever. 

But the robot does not have that 

functionality. The 


just texts you auto,

It's auto 

Laura: At least you, at least you have 

Your mom being a therapist and everything. You've got like 


ear. So 

Sarah: I, my mother certainly taught me patience with people for sure. So that was useful. So eventually, yeah, I switched the robot and then in April of this year it went viral, over and over again. Cuz sometimes when one post goes viral like meme aggregator accounts will rip it and then post it again and again.


25,000 people

texted the hotline in a week.

Laura: Oh 

Sarah: it, 


broke the hotline. The hotline stopped working 

because it was just too [00:19:00] much, too much traffic. 

Laura: The poor


Sarah: robot was doing our best. Uh,

Katy: Yeah, 

Laura: I

Sarah: oh man. It was pretty funny though. But yeah. Anyway. Now. So at the beginning of this year of 2022, about 10,000 people had texted the hotline.

Now, I'm looking at the numbers 

right now. 58,498 people 

Katy: I mean, did you ever, did you ever think that you would hit that 

point? I mean, you weren't, 

obviously you knew at 

some point you 

had to turn it over to a robot, But 

Sarah: But I didn't 

ever think this would happen. No. And I put my stuff in so many places and I try to make different, iterations unique so that it feels new every time to people. And that has, that's worked pretty well. One of the things we're working on for next summer, cause I'm like applying for the grants now, so it's like a lot of lead time is doing bar coasters focused on wildlife that lives down the Jersey shore.

Cause a lot of people in Philly go down the shore for the summer. And so we're focusing on horseshoe crabs, comb jellies, ghost [00:20:00] crabs, animals that people are actually likely to encounter on vacation, but who 

Laura: Yeah. 

Sarah: Really think about them much, know anything about them may not really appreciate them for how cool they are.

And I'm working with local artists here in Philly Each animal will be designed by a different artist and then it'll be like learn more about the shore text shore to the same hotline. But when you text shore, it'll spit out Jersey Shore Animal Facts.

So yeah, we're trying to like, keep it also relevant to the people that we're talking to and not just do all squid all the time. Like the Squid Facts Project is nice because it's just like a playground for testing techniques and seeing what works and what doesn't. And, 

Then I can use that information to then other stuff. 

Laura: Well, I really think to it what 

helps thank goodness your passion is about such a

unknown, quirky creature. I feel if you had 

A, I don't know 

sheep, a sheep of a, 

well, horses maybe, but sheep, No. Um, not as 

many people would take you up as Yeah, 

don't know anything about squid. And they're cool.

And so it's an

animal that is 


[00:21:00] vehicle for this. 

Katy: It's the, curiosity behind 

Sarah: Yeah. 

So when I'm like driving around, 

Philly, I'll have people just be like, like Squid mobile, please explain yourself. Like what? There are no squid in Philadelphia. What are you talking about? And that's always a good yeah, inroads 

to conversations with a scientist.

Katy: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. Really cool. So, where are you getting the money from to do the hotline? 

Sarah: It's hard. Mostly from small donations 

on our Patreon. 

Katy: What's the name

of your patreon on so we can send everybody there as 

Sarah: Please do. It's a scientist, So that supports the whole Skype of Scientist program. But the Squid Facts Project is part of Skype, A scientist. All the science communication I do is, is part of Skype, a scientist. Yeah. Yeah, that would be great for you to support. And we also have a little shop where we have squid stickers.

You can get the one, a squid fact squid sticker and then put it wherever you live. That would be great. Spreading the squid facts that way. And then we have, these are actually like, so silly. We just released these yesterday. These are 

like squid facts, advent calendars and they're 

Katy: Oh my gosh, that's 

amazing. [00:22:00] 

Sarah: They're very cute. Another squid biologist she's actually an octopus 

biologist, but she designed 

them with me. 

They're like scratch offs. So like every, every day of Advent you take a coin and you scratch off the scratch off, and then you 

get a squid fact every single day. So that's at squid facts dot big

That's our, our merch shop And so you can get stickers and advent calendars until, I don't know, the 23rd of November is when we're shipping out the calendars, because I want you to have them 

for the first day of Advent, which is December 1st. 

Laura: Cool. So donations to Patreon, you're getting it that way. And then you 

were just talking 

Sarah: Grants, 

 we are a 5 0 1 C three, so I do apply for some grants. We sometimes get little grants here and there, but we haven't really gotten a big one. I hope to, I one day hope to get a big grant, but it hasn't happened yet. So yeah, that's generally how it works. We haven't gotten any grants for the Squid Facts Project yet, but I've submitted three 

this month, so Fingers crossed.

One is for specifically the Coaster Project. 

Laura: Oh, yes, yes, So a typical [00:23:00] day for you now, now that you have moved away from squid

biology and into science communication, what are you doing on a daily 

Sarah: basis 

Laura: an


Sarah: I'm writing grants, I'm answering emails from teachers helping scientists figure out how to best communicate their work. I'm making things for the Squid Facts Project. I host live streams about once a week during the school year that are q and as that anybody can hop into. So you don't 

have to like go through the process of getting matched to the scientist if you don't want to.

I run science trivia. Right now, it's still every single Thursday night, but starting in December it's gonna be once a month. And the second Thursday of every month you can come to Science Trivia. I. Half of those questions. And then other folkswrite the other half that's, it's a wild mix of what my days are like.

It really depends. It depends. Sometimes I'm filing really boring paperwork with the state of Pennsylvania 

or sometimes that's what I'm doing. It really depends. Yeah. But that's certainly 

Laura: yeah's. Cool. Besides science

communication through Skype, [00:24:00] you're using your art to do it, which is

really cool. I saw you have

an etsy shop. Is that yours personally or for other 

Sarah: my Etsy 

is me. That's when like I embroider 

little squid and stuff like that. And the other thing that's me and not Skype of scientists are the classes that I teach through Atlas Obscura. I teach an animal mating class twice a year and then a squid class twice a year.

And that's 

The animal mating is a four week class. All about animals doing it. It's so silly 

and fun.

Laura: That we've loved, We've done, we've done two episodes so far about animal mating 



Katy: There's some of our, Yeah. Popular 

Sarah: Yeah, I'm teaching it again in late January leading right up to Valentine's Day. So it's every Monday in late January up to the day before Valentine's Day, cuz Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday this year. 

Laura: Yeah. 

Sarah: gonna be a silly time. And yeah, I also teach 

a class 

90 minutes Monday nights.

And you don't have to go you don't have to be there at that time. You can watch it some other time in the week. You don't have to, they're recorded so you can watch 'em later. It's more fun to be there, I think, at the time. Cause then you can ask me questions [00:25:00] live. But you don't have to be if that's not, 

you know, working with your schedule.

And then, yeah, I teach like Cephalopods 1 0 1, but actually I don't really talk about octopuses. We call it life lessons from Cephalopods. Seas the day life lessons from Cephalopods. But I pretty much, I like touch on octopuses, but I don't go too much into octopuses because I feel that 

octopuses get too much attention compared to squid.

And I think, I mean, they're very cool. Okay. I'm not gonna say octopus aren't cool, they're great. It's just that squid are also extremely great and more diverse than octopus is like octopuses for the most part. You're an animal with eight arms and you sit on the sea floor and you do weird cool stuff on the sea floor, but squid.

There are so many different types of squid, different shapes of squid, different behaviors, different habitats. Like there 

are so many ways to be a squid and there's pretty much just one way to be an octopus. And that might be because, I 

Laura: that is like a proverb, but I like 


that on a 

shirt. There are so many ways to be 

a squid, but only one way to be an 


Sarah: Yeah. There's maybe like two ways to 

be an octopus, but

[00:26:00] like 

generally speaking, 

maybe three at the most. But like, yeah, there's like a 

to a 

hundred ways to be a squid


Laura: We, Let's get rid of the saying there's lots of ways to skin a 

cat and we'll just make 

it. There are 

lots of ways to 

be a 

Sarah: Yeah, Yeah, 


There are like about 300 different species of squid. So I like to say there are 300 ways to 

be a squid.

so there you go. Yeah.

Katy: So why do you feel that science communication is important? I mean, obviously this is in, you know, mine and Laura's, field that we love. 

But what's your take on it is, why do you feel 



Sarah: I mean, I think that many of the problems that we're facing right now as a society, not all of them, but a lot of, like the really big ones are solvable with more science, literacy climate change, being one of 'em. And Covid Hello, what what a swing and a miss on that one. Like we could have we could have done it, we could have made this so much better, but people didn't trust science 

and so it was a mess.

Katy: The one time that we 

like, really need people to just like, 

just trust scientists for one, one


[00:27:00] Couldn't, 

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. It's a, it was a real, you had one job science type situation, and we just like Lucy and Charlie Brown 

with the ball. It was it was tough to watch

Laura: to 

Sarah: as someone who's tried to work on science literacy for years and years. I was like, Oh my God. So basically I think that trust in science is incredibly important to saving our own butts.

Climate change being a huge part of that. And we need people to trust science and scientists. And that isn't really happening. And so the silos that we have ourselves in right now, partially because of social media, it's really, really easy for people to really curate the information that they receive in ways that just is already what they already think and what they already think that they know.

That's a huge problem. And so breaking through that I think is essential and isn't really, Happening enough. So that's what I'm trying to do. And like the Squid Facts 

project seems silly and like objectively is silly, 

but Right. So I, here's my big 

hypothesis going right now. I think that the messaging, just, not even the [00:28:00] messaging, just the reality of climate change is bleak.

The reality of covid was bleak and pretty much like all of the news, maybe not all of it, but like maybe 90% of the news coming out of science, the world of science generally has been negative. And I think, so as a result when your everyday person hears a scientist coming on the news, they brace for bad news.

And so some portion of the population when they see the scientists come on is just gonna literally shut down. Start scroll on their phone, turn off the tv, stop listening, because they're trying to protect themselves emotionally. And maybe that's maladaptive for all of us, but that is Whether or not that's true is almost beside the point, because 


can't stop them from doing it.

They're gonna do it. They're, they're gonna do it. And so we need to 

Stare that reality 

in the face 

and figure out how to fix it. 

Laura: Right that, Right that there's gotta be, I cuz like you're saying, 

I, I feel like it's very, We are, we're on a two way street here, it's very important for us to get the word to the non-scientists out there. [00:29:00] But I also think

it's very important for the scientists

to realize that they also have to 

be better


Sarah: And listen. Yeah. The listening part is half of science communication and is also part of it. That doesn't happen. I think I, particularly in the last I don't know, three to five years, there's been a a heightened focus on moralizing as we talk to each other about what is good, what is bad, and overall that's a good thing.

It's good that we like check ourselves and think about what we're doing, but when that prevents you from having enough empathy for someone who's not doing everything right, voting for the right person and shutting them out, that means that, 

The communication isn't happening. And maybe for you as a person, as an individual, that's the right choice for how you wanna live your life.

And that's totally fine. But if all of science says, Oh, you voted for someone different from me. You don't understand the things that I understand, you're dead to me. We're screwed If that's how 

we approach 

these things, we need to have some of us at least willing to yeah, listen to those folks and empathize with them enough to get our [00:30:00] messages to them effectively.

And I think a lot of it is like repairing emotional damage from the bleak reality of both climate and covid. And so having a silly Squid Facts project. Is, it's not doom and gloom there, it's just silly. It's Hey, you wanna learn a thing about a cool animal? Hey, we're from science. Would you like, So fun science facts.

I promise I won't say anything sad to you right now. And like, and yeah, I could talk about how some deep sea squid are threatened by deep sea mining, but I'm gonna just not for a minute. And allow a positive experience with science to happen in the hopes that we can build off of that for the next thing, 

so that the next time a scientist comes on the tv, they don't literally immediately turn it off. 

Laura: It's because It's definitely gotta be, and I 

know Katy feels the same way that, what we've seen in our career is people have to love something in order to give a crap about it. So you are helping them fall in love with squid,

then we can worry about them wanting to protect squid.

But at first they 

have to love 

them. [00:31:00] And that's with, I think anything in science, 

know, they have to love 

the planet enough to want to save it. 

We've both worked in zoos and a lot of animal people aren't 




They've chosen, they've chosen the career for that very reason. And, but they still have to talk to people. And I think 

Sarah: It's, there 

Laura: be,


almost has to be more training. If you go into a hard science field, you have to realize that 

communication is 


You will not be in a silo. We don't live in that kind




Sarah: Right. Well, the, unfortunately, it's, it's easier than 

ever to be in a silo. It's it's the easiest it's ever been to be in a silo. 

But it's not working out for us. It's but I don't necessarily think that every scientist needs to be a science communicator. I think it's okay for some of them to if you don't want to do 

science communication and you're forced to, the science communication that person does is 

often so bad. 

Laura: Right. So even 

if they're not trained in 

communication, at least be good at sharing information to the people that need to be like, We shouldn't be holding

onto this information that we found.

Because who are you finding this information for? It's [00:32:00] not 


you, like 

Sarah: Yeah, 

Laura: and, and, you know, 

trying to find anything. 

Thankfully we've both been in grad school where we had access to scientific papers, but otherwise

it's really hard to find that 

information out there 

Sarah: is. and to even understand what the heck is going on in a field like 

adjacent to yours, let alone. 

Laura: No. All, 

Katy: That, that's, that's 

a really good segue though, Laura. We wanna go over some


Laura: Yes, Yes. Yeah. So like we were saying, we

think it's very important 

and we do, 

Sarah: artist. 

Laura: hopefully 

Katy: Oh, 

yay. We have a, another


Sarah: We have another 

guest. This is my Otis. She's named after bats. 

Look how cute she 



Laura: Yeah. 

Sarah: She's 

Laura: Giggles has been wanting to be 

Katy: Yeah. 

Sarah: She's been exploring. She's my little dust. 

Laura: a little 

scientist herself. 

Sarah: right. 

Laura: Our listeners know that we sprinkle in the doom and gloom, but in general we're trying to reach what, who we call nature novices, which are the people who are ,

[00:33:00] Listening to my Nature podcast.

So obviously they have a little investment like you were saying, but might not know everything. So we want people to fall in love with the stuff that we fallen in love with. So squids, Katy and I both talked about squids in the past , but like I said earlier, we're by no means experts. So we wanted to ask you a few questions about what makes them so incredible.

First of all, let's super


What makes a squid a squid? What makes it different and unique than

Sarah: Good question. Generally speaking

Squid have eight arms and two tentacles, except for the ones that don't. They generally have color changing structures in their skin called chromatic forres, except for the ones that don't because it's so squid. Here's the thing about squid.

There are a lot of things that we use the word squid to describe. And some of 'em are quite different from each other, like the ones that don't have two tens and the ones that do. But generally speaking, they're a cephalopod which means that they have a mantle, which is basically their torso that holds all of their organs, and then they've got their face [00:34:00] that has their eyes and their arms, so their face has their arms on it.

And that's basically what makes a squid. But there's just so many d. 

Places that they live. Yeah. Whatever rule you come up with for squid, you're gonna be like, Ah, wait. But then there's that one squid that doesn't do that. So it's very hard to say what a squid is. An octopus is like cephalopod with a head and eight arms.

And then there's the squid that have all sorts of different things, but cuttlefish and squid are pretty closely related. They're both what we call decapod cephalopod. So that means 10 limbed broadly cephalopods. And so the cuttlefish also have eight arms and two tentacles and have many of the same internal organs that squid do.

And even some squid have more organs in common with a cuttlefish than they do with other squid. So it's yeah, it's a file of genetic mess. The depos. So like when we say there's octopus squid and cuttlefish, that's true, but. Is that an accurate representation of how everything's 

related to each other? The lines are a little bit blurry, like a cut. What makes a cuttlefish 

is you have a cuttle bone, which [00:35:00] is your a shell that used to be on the outside an evolutionary time, and then was brought inside and it's a buoyancy device. And they are able to transfer gases between their blood and this this internal shell so that they stay neutrally buoyant in the seawater.

They don't sink, they don't float. So when you say what makes a cuttlefish no problem. Eight arms, two tentacles and a cuddle bone, that's a cuttlefish. But what makes a squid? Things get really hairy.

Laura: interesting. It's the, if it's not, it's a cephalapod 

Sarah: not a 

Laura: or a cuttlefish. 


Sarah: Pretty much. Yeah. Yeah. Right, right, right, right. There's also nautilus that are very obviously a Nautilus because they have a, the big spiral shell, but they're way separate in evolutionary time from the rest of them. Um, they're their 

Katy: Yeah. Cool. 

So out of the 300 species of squid, how many have you 

worked with

Sarah: Great question. I've worked with reef squid, market squid, so that's like, um, the market, the squid that you'd eat in calamari bobtail squid. 


Laura: hold on quick, [00:36:00] quick side note. Why do they call them 



Sarah: great question. They're not really squid. So cause round silly little butts and their little fins are really short and stubby and fat. And the fins, I think are the bobtail in that. But bobtail squid many sepal biologists 

say you shouldn't even be using the word squid to describe them. You should just be using the 

word bobtail. Poor bobtails. I'm like, well, but when you use the word 

squid to describe a vampire squid that like really, really isn't a squid, they're more, they're like, they're like their own saying, but like closer to the octopus family than, 

Katy: They're terrifying is what they 

Sarah: They're silly. They're silly guys.

They just eat poop. They eat poop and 

mucus and dead stuff. They're doing their best. They're not trying to hurt 


Katy: That's another T-shirt we, we need Laura. It's just like a little vampire squid. It's like I, I, too and I poop. And then just like a little vampire 


Sarah: Cuts. So I worked with Bob Tails working on symbiosis and then cuttlefish.

I worked well, cuttlefish arent squid but cuttlefish. I worked with sepia a fish, and Alice, the common cuttlefish. I've also [00:37:00] collected at least from freezers broad club, cuttlefish from Japan and little other little bobtails, so Hawaiian bobtail squid. And then these other little bobtails that live in 


I've got those as well. And use those as well for, for, uh, sequencing. Yeah. 

Katy: That's quite a variety. That definitely 



Sarah: And I did work 

with octopuses for a minute as an undergrad brief spell.

Laura: Awesome. 

Katy: you're like,

No, thank you. 


Sarah: They're great. It's, no, I, I 

Laura: but not as 

Sarah: Cool. Cool. You know, not, not cool, 

I just, I say I, I'm trying to give squid their day 


I feel like now talking to you, I, you know how every state has that, neighboring state that they're like, eh, we're from Pennsylvania and it's always West Virginia. . And then here, Texas, 

everyone's like, Uh, Oklahoma. I feel like squid people now are like, Eh, 

Sarah: That's how I think that 

might just be me. Like, I think most other CEP biologists are like, of course octopuses are 

cool. And I'm like, These 

fucking octopuses. I, I've had about enough of 


Laura: That's how all we are with, pandas or [00:38:00] some other things. We're just like, 

they get too 

Sarah: right. Yeah. 

I just think that squid deserve a 

lot of attention. They're so weird, So cool, so 

amazing. And So many d, so many weirdo app adaptations that I want people to know about. 

So that's why I'm like on a crusade to

bring squid to more people. 

Katy: So that brings up a good point. In your opinion, what is the most fascinating aspect 



Sarah: Oh, there's there's so much to, to talk about. I think probably their communication with color change 

is, is one of 

the coolest things. So there's some species that do this in a, in really complex ways, and others that like just don't do it at all. So Humboldt squid have they flash white and red and they've got some bio essence going on in there too to help boost their contrast in those patterns.

And they've got many different patterns that they seem to line up almost like 

words to communicate with each 

Katy: What? 

Sarah: we don't understand 

Katy: See, this is terrifying. Like this is when 

we start to get down the path, it's cool, 

but because they are animals. People 

Laura: Actually 

Katy: enough credit. 

Sarah: They're not, we're not giving humbles [00:39:00] good enough credit. I

Katy: That's what I'm so that's why it's 

terrifying. It's like, all guys, 


Sarah: opportunity 

Yeah. So we're, we've learned a lot about this in the 

last 10 years cuz people have spent more time observing Humboldts with but yeah, we've gotten, so scientists, not me personally, other scientists have put together a library of their patterns and they don't know what they all mean yet.

But they're working on it trying to figure out like when they flash this means this. And by contrast, there's another squid, the Caribbean reef squid, CP Sepia. They live from the east coast of Florida down to northern South America in the Caribbean. And we have a pretty good sense of what each of their patterns means because they're really easy to find.

 You jump in the water where they live, they're pretty abundant. They live in shallow water. They're not super skittish. They're curious about humans. They're like, Huh, what are you? I better check you out. They're really cute. They're like really lovely to swim with because you can't make any sudden movements at them.

It's a wild animal that's much smaller than [00:40:00] you. They will eventually become afraid of you, they will check you out and maybe follow you around for a little bit and just be like, so, yeah, they, we have a pretty good sense of what their patterns mean, but they don't seem to do it in in succession the way that we think maybe the humbolt squid do.

We don't understand enough about the humble squid to make any hardcore state, like clear statements there. But I hope that those scientists keep going and I can soon. So anyway, the, there the reef squid will put on one pattern to particularly around mating. There's a lot of patterns, but put on this one pattern that's I think I might be interested.

And then the male will be like, Well, I'm interested. And then the female will be like, Well, I'm interested. And then it's a different pattern than the first pattern. And then they'll be like, it's 

on. And then mating 

will start happening.

Katy: if only real life was that easy. 

You know what I mean? We 

Sarah: Yep. Uhhuh 

good. Okay. Yeah, I'm 

Laura: Well, it'd be so cool. We've talked about animal communication, one of our episodes and we were talking about dolphins and They've made an advice that you can wear now and communicate with certain noises. It'd be very cool if we could pattern flashing two squid, like [00:41:00] we could there be 

two way communication between humans and squid.

If we could figure out the patterns, like it meant more than mating, 

Sarah: Right. 

Katy: it's like, like close Encounters are vibes 

Laura: go down, you'd 

have like a flashing 

vest and it would be like,

man, that's so cool. 

Sarah: I, you know, give us time. I, I hope 


Laura: Yeah, I think so too. 

Sarah: never know.

Laura: Okay. I love debunking

myths about animals or like wrecking people's perceptions about 

animals. Like, I love wrecking 


perceptions of like penguins and stuff.

So is there any myths that you're like, Man, I love 

destroying that one 

Sarah: , God, I bet there are, bobtail squid or not cuttlefish, that's a 

common misconception. Oh, reef squid are also not cuttlefish. Reef squid are often mistaken for cuttlefish because they have a fin that goes all the way around their mantle and so do cuttlefish, but they're different. And they also have eyes that look 

pretty similar. It's 

very understandable, but that's not 

That's not a common 

pro. It's not, [00:42:00] that's 

Katy: Yeah. 

Sarah: myth. 

Laura: I'm trying to think of anything that I think I know about. 

Sarah: that kraken are probably 

dying giant 

squid. Yeah. So when, okay. So here's the 

thing about squid broadly, they have different approaches to staying neutrally, buoyant.

So it would prevent themselves from sinking too much or floating too much. One of them is just a flap, a lot just swim actively and stay where you are. Some of 'em will incorporate ammonia into their tissues and. The reason they do that is that ammonia is less dense than sea water. And it's a lot like, if you've ever heard of sharks will incorporate oil into their liver and stuff to help them stay neutrally buoyant. 

Katy: Yep. 

Sarah: totally similar mechanism. It's just instead of oil, 

 They're using Yeah.

Ammonia and 

so, Totally. Yep. Yep. And so that's why if you ever catch a giant squid, you shouldn't eat it cuz it'll 

taste bad. 

Laura: Just like pee,

Sarah: ammonia. It's like, yeah, like cat pee, Like it's gross. But anyway, so when they're in the process [00:43:00] of dying, a lot of times that like ammonia balance just gets totally outta whack.

And so as a result, they'll float to the surface of the water. And so you often a lot of times when we encounter living giant squid, it's a dying giant 

squid. They just look 

like hell, 

they're like disoriented and, and 

often it's really sad. 

Laura: it. Your worst 


Sarah: know it's not 

Katy: right?

Laura: trying, trying to die here. Alone, 

Sarah: Please. I know. So there's a, there's like a video from 

maybe like two years ago of this Australian dude paddle boarding and he encounters this giant squid and the giant squid's wrapping its arms around the paddle board. But it's just disoriented and dying. It wasn't like aggressive, it wasn't malicious.

It was just like, who are you? What's going on? And that 

kind of is, okay. So imagine that you're in a Viking long ship Longships. Were like, I wanna say 60 to 65 feet long. So not short, but not huge, right? Cause a giant squid with its tentacles completely spread out is 40 feet.


Katy: which is just

Sarah: which is real big. But like their actual 

bodies, so their [00:44:00] mantle and their arms 

is, are nowhere near along. 

Laura: right. Not like sink a,



Sarah: they're not 

ship that's not the, So I think, yeah, maybe, maybe the big myth is 

that giant squid are guardian who, they're in fact just very big squid. They're very big.

They're bigger than me, but they're not. 

Huge. They're not tackle a many I don't know what you call those ships that have many sails they're not like pirate ship. Huge. They're just really big. So if, if you were in a skiff, like a 

little boat, or if you were on even like a Viking long ship, I would imagine that 

maybe they could rock the boat a little bit if they 

Laura: Yeah. see some long arms 


Katy: But, but again, the poor thing's just dying and it's 

probably just like, uh, I just need to go and everyone's like, Ugh. 

Sarah: exactly. Right. 

Laura: How thick how thick is it? Tentacle on a 

squid? That big 

like dinner 


Sarah: wrist. Oh. 

Laura: so like 

Sarah: Tentacle tentacles though are thinner. 

Arms, arms are probably 

arm width. [00:45:00] 

Laura: Okay. 


yeah, nothing 

Sarah: wider. 

Laura: but not beefy. 

Sarah: Yeah, like colossal squid might be a little 

bigger. Colossal squid, by the way, 

are the biggest squid by weight. 

Laura: Okay. So is archis, That's the 

Sarah: arch to this is the giant squid. Yes, 

correct. And the colossal squid is, 


Oh geez. 


Katy: Yes. Somebody else who has trouble. Listen, that's this whole podcast. I, 

we could make a, a whole podcast episode just on 

me, horribly trying to pronounce things so 

I, I 

Sarah: it's hard. But yeah, maybe there's, 

Maybe a giant squids as, as big as my, like bicep in, in parts. I don't know that. Not thin, 

not skinny, like pretty big, but not 

ridiculously huge. 

Laura: yeah, yeah. Like when you see the Kraken in movies, we're


A horse body, thickness of 



Sarah: Yeah. That's not it. That's not 

real life. 


Laura: yeah.

Sarah: Yeah. So they're big. They're not that 

big, but they're still big. 

Laura: Oh, I guess maybe is it a myth or not a [00:46:00] myth? I guess it's just a question. What about the 


Sarah: It's beaks. It's just beaks. 

Yeah. So I believe in Pirates of the Caribbean.

There's teeth in there. And I was when I saw that. I was like, I was like, Beaks are crazy enough. You don't need to 

invent circular teeth. If there's an animal that big with a 

beak, a proportional 

beak, that's scary. Why are we editing 

something already Terrifying. 


doesn't make sense. And there's a tongue in there called a ragula, and the ragula is also covered in like little tiny teeth. 

Like it's not a desk. Exactly. So that's also scary. Open the be and have it do. Its 

like creepy little ra move. That's horrible. 


Laura: flesh off bones. 

Sarah: Yeah. And so the fact that we'd be moving using teeth, I'm just like, this is just silly. This is foolishness. And I don't care for it. Yeah. Yeah. So no teeth except the RA teeth, it's mostly just beaks. And the beaks are very cool. And they all have one [00:47:00] that's one that we can 

say All cephalopods have

Laura: Okay. Okay. Beaks. Cool. Cool. All right, Katy, I think we got two more. 

Katy: All right. So our manager, Kim, wants 

to know if you still have a beak 



Sarah: I do still have a beak, Well, it's not under my bed anymore 

because I have more space than I did in college. My beaks are proudly displayed. 

Do I have any beaks near me? 

Laura: what a good segue that we literally were just talking about 


Sarah: It's 

regular to ask me about 

because I talked about it on The Ologies podcast. and at 

the time, 

Laura: That's where she heard it and she was like curious. 

Sarah: let me just say this, at the time, Ologies was not that big. So I thought I could just tell this silly story about trying to make out with this boy. But now everyone in the world has heard that story and I'm like, No, I'm sorry.

Um, sorry Johnny that I blew up your spot on that, but whatever. Anyway. No, I think all my squid bes are downstairs. But I do have a bunch of squid fossils here. For what that's worth. Hang on, I'm 

gonna like, I'm gonna lose my Sorry, I'm like [00:48:00] attached by the ears over here. 

I've got some like 

amite. These are like, 

Just extinct cep. I'm trying to get it 

to, like, 

if you look at it with your eyeballs, you can see the iridescence in there. Yeah. And it's not really happening. But here's one that's 

has to show up on the camera.

You can, you can 

kind of see it. There's a rainbow in there. It's better with your eyes, but what are you gonna do? 

So I've got a bunch of little ammonites. 

This one might do it for us

Laura: Are they, what? Are they closest? Are they like a 




Sarah: so they're on their own. Amite are totally like, 

There's ammonites. There's. Colloid cephalopods, and then there's noids.

And so they all totally, their whole lineage one extinct so that they didn't lead to anything. Meanwhile, the nights Do I have any nights here? What the heck is this? They're like, basically they just look like squid, except that they had a shell inside their body. That's some kind of tooth, a moosa sore 

fossil. Totally. Exactly. And then over time, either [00:49:00] that internalized shell turn into a pen which are like the very, they almost look like a very long more bendy fingernail that keep the structure of the squid presence. So like in a in a market squid, they have 

Laura: remember that. When we 

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Uh, bobtails don't 

have anything in there, 

Laura: Oh, 

Sarah: yeah. 

Laura: okay. Then I was reading about, your research

and about Alpo Immunology. Can you tell our listeners a little 

bit more 



Sarah: Sure. Yeah. The thing that I was really working on was how a bobtail squid, particularly their immune system, can distinguish between bacteria that it wants to keep around and the bacteria that it might wanna destroy. This is all about like how animals have beneficial relationships with bacteria.

Bacteria lives all over us, lives all inside of our digestive system. And so understanding how animals like maintain healthy relationships with bacteria while still killing things that would hurt you is open question that we're [00:50:00] learning more about all the time. And so what I was looking at is how did the immune cells called helotes inside squid how they distinguish between them and basically they're just reading the surface and looking at the sugars on the surface of the.

Bacteria, and that's what they're using to say, Hey, you're my buddy. 

Laura: good 

Sarah: not. Yeah. 

Yeah. Yeah. So that's what I was doing. It was a lot of making movies of cells under a confocal microscope. Very fun, love fancy microscopes. That's one of the things I missed the most about my job as a squid biologist.

Yeah, so that's what I was doing. And I was also looking at this would be a whole thing. We could just knock it into it. But it's another beneficial organ that's only in female squid. So there's this organ, oh, sorry, Ka that's in female squid and cuttlefish. Not all squid, Only some squid, but 

in all 


of course. So it's called ANG that stands for accessory ment gland, but you don't have to worry about what it stands for. You can just call it the a g. It's a like bunch of tubules. And inside each tubul there's bacteria and usually there's like only a [00:51:00] one species of bacteria. We think.

Maybe we're starting to think maybe there's more than one sometimes, but whatever. The gist is that when the female goes to lay her eggs, she's taking the bacteria from those tubes and squeezing it out, like pastry bag style and mixing it into the jelly code of the eggs. And the reason she's putting bacteria into her egg coat is to protect the baby's squid because the bacteria will 

make antibiotics and antifungals that 

Katy: That's cool. 

Laura: Just like our own babies, like when we give 

Sarah: Totally. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. We 

do the same 


Yeah. So they we're looking at what is the diversity of different ceppos species ANGs, Like how many species do all NGS have in common? What determines what's in your ng? Is it where you live or who you evolve from?

all sorts of questions like that 

Laura: You'd think you're right. You'd think well, I would think that it would be place based 

because of the Right. Which is so weird because you'd think that it

would be where you are, [00:52:00] you have to be adapted


deal with bacteria in 


Sarah: mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. 

Laura: yeah.

Sarah: Yeah. It's very 

Laura: Weird. 

Sarah: So that's what I worked on.

Katy: Yeah. 

Laura: cool was there anything else you wanted to mention

besides going to your Patreon and going to Skype? A scientist, anything 


Sarah: That's really it. Follow me on social media please, Especially because I might lose all of my Twitter followers and any day. I'm @SarahMacAttack on all the social medias that I'm on. On mastadon, I'm at Sarah Mcac Sycom, xz y xyz, xyz. And on I'm on Tumblr and Twitter and Instagram @SarahMacAttack and 

@SarahMackAttack as well. 

Laura: Okay. And we'll put all of that In the episode description. Okay then. With all this being said and the importance of science communication, how can our listeners participate in science communication? 

Sarah: tell your friends fun squid facts. Text the Squid Facts hotline, and then Text your Friends some squid facts. That's good. If you're a [00:53:00] scientist participate in Skype of Scientist. We'll give you opportunities to connect with classrooms all over the place. I think doing science communication on social media is a great place to both practice and also actually do science communication.

And if you're a scientist that wants to bring a science, communication, street art project to wherever it is that you live, whether it's this kind of street art that I tend to do or Commissioned murals please reach out to me. I can help with that. Let me know what you wanna do, cuz Skype, a scientist also will become part of grants for the National Science Foundation to help get, make projects happen locally, wherever you are.

So that's a thing that we can do to help out with whatever 

you got going on. Happy to help. 

Katy: That's so cool. All right, so finally, and this is definitely our most important question of this whole episode. If you could be any species of squid, 

which would you be and why? Choose wisely. 

Sarah: I think Humboldt 

squid. Mm, Humbolt squid eat each other. I take that back. 

Laura: Yeah. [00:54:00] 

Sarah: I ,,,,,but they're so big and strong and cool. And they talk to each other and I like talking. So that attracts me maybe a reef squid. Cuz they also, they're beautiful. They're like rainbow colored and they also talk to each other and they spend all 

night eating and 

all day talking to each other. So that

sounds ideal. That's, Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And the reef, it's beautiful there. Like, part of me wants to be a deep sea squint cause I just wanna experience what that is but I'm like, will I be cold? And then I'm like what a 

human saying to San. Of course they're not 

gonna be cold, they're gonna be regular.

That's where they live. 

Laura: Right. Like we would be I would be 


Sarah: I would be too, but maybe they're 

not lonely, Right? Because that's just their vibe. But would I be me in their bodies 

living their experience? I don't know what a question. But I think reef 

Katy: re squid 


Sarah: gonna have a good 

Laura: Yeah, that's a good choice. That's a good

choice. Well, Sarah, thank you so much for joining us today. We've both, I've definitely learned a lot about both science, communication and squid. And as a fellow science [00:55:00] communicator,

we appreciate the fact that you are passionate about it and that you 

Katy: Yeah, absolutely. 

Sarah: Yeah, Great. Thank you for having me. This was really 


Laura: Yeah. Keep doing what you're doing. We will push your stuff too. Skype scientist sounds like a really awesome thing to be doing. And I actually

will keep that in mind too for projects 



Sarah: Great. 

Sounds good. 

Laura: All


Thanks for joining us, everybody.

Katy: you. Bye.