Ruth Welti, Ph.D.
University Distinguished Professor of Biology
Kansas State University
Background: My research specialties are lipid analysis using mass spectrometry and plant lipid chemistry/biochemistry, particularly as related to plant stress responses.
Question 1: Why did you become a researcher/engineer/scientist?
Answer: I grew up without knowing any scientists other than school teachers; before college I hadn't seriously considered science as a career. At the University of Connecticut, I fell in with peers interested in science. Now I'm fully as crazy about my work as the next scientist. I think it's important for potential scientists to realize that if science isn't your childhood passion, you may still enjoy it and do well at it.
Question 2: What fuels your passion for your work?
Answer: Coffee and more coffee.
Question 3: If you could have one day in another profession, what would you want to do?
Answer: One day as a camp counselor might be fun. As a girl, I loved Girl Scouts and particularly camping.
Question 4: Share a Web link/video/blog etc. that you found that really excites you and tell us why.
Answer: I'll share my daughter's rap video on water bears (tardigrades) and my lab's farewell to an excellent graduate student. I like them because I'm a sap!
Question 5: Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer: Gardening is my main outside activity. It's relaxing, I enjoy the healthy food, and it keeps me in touch with a few of the things that can go wrong when plant biology meets the real world.