The Secret Scientist

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol 114
Podcast Interview with
John Truong holding Oscar award from the movie Frozen the 2014 Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Dr. Biology:

This is Ask A Biologist a program about the living world, and I'm Dr. Biology. In a moment, we'll head back to the SICB conference where we have been a guest of the Spatial-temporal Dynamics in Animal Communication group. Our remote studio at the conference has allowed us to catch up with some of the scientists attending the meeting and learn about their work. But for this show, we have a story with a twist and a secret. A secret scientist. Now, let's head back to the conference to learn more about my guest and his passion for a particular animal. 

[Room sounds with people talking in the background.]

The path that leads us to a career in biology is not always as direct as you might think. For example, my guest on this episode grew up creating art that has been viewed by millions of people, which is fantastic! After all, he always wanted to be an artist He started drawing at a young age. Later, he went to college for art. When he graduated, he started working at Pixar Studios. You know where the movie Toy Story was created. And then later he went to work at DreamWorks Animation. 

But it was not until years later he found his dream job. John Truong is an artist and animator who kept a secret from his friends and family for years The secret was his passion for ants. Yes, you heard me right. We're talking about the insects that can show up uninvited for a picnic and can invade your mother's garden. Much to her dismay. This story is an unusual one for Ask A Biologist, but not unusual for many people who take time to find their dream job. So, let's see what led this secret scientist from Pixar to pallid twig ants and beyond. 

Welcome to Ask a biologist, John. 

John:

Thank you for having me.

Dr. Biology:

It's interesting because we've had a chance to talk just briefly, and we start talking about how we got to where we are. You have a different story than most of my guests. Let's start off with where did you come from before your current position?

John:

I started off as a child. I've always wanted to be an artist, so I took that route. Majored in painting and drawing with a BFA in painting and drawing. And then I went to school to get a master's in animation The program was at Texas A&M University. And from there, I got my first job at Pixar. But at the same time, I had a side hobby. I liked ants. I just kept at colleges, and I would go out into the wild and collect queens and then rear them into a mature colony. I've done this for years, and I did this secretly because it's not something you want to just, you know, talk about or brag about or like my parents didn't even know.

Dr. Biology:

So, you were a secret scientist?

John:

I would call myself like a citizen scientist.

Dr. Biology:

Well, you're definitely a citizen scientist, but you're keeping it a secret. 

John:

Yeah. It was not something I readily shared with pretty much anyone. It was it was pretty much in the closet. Really.

Dr. Biology:

Right.

John:

Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

And you picked an animal. These ants are just fascinating because there are so many of them.

John:

Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

There are actually still ants to be discovered.

John:

Absolutely right.

Dr. Biology:

But what gets me is that you started out in the world of art, and you're passionate about that.

John:

Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

Are you still painting and drawing?

John:

Yeah, I draw ants. I mean, I was just in my spare time. I was just sketching an ant.

Dr. Biology:

And you do a lot of illustrations of them.

John:

Yeah. Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

We'll share some of those if that's okay with you.

John:

Yeah. For sure.

Dr. Biology:

On the podcast, you asked me, have we ever had a show on ants? And it's interesting, because this morning, driving to the conference I put on one of the older shows, and one of the older shows is about ant math. And it's with a scientist at ASU, a biologist Stephen Pratt. And Stephen works with a really special kind of. And it's called an acorn ant - Temnothorax 

John:

Yes. Yes.

Dr. Biology:

A mouthful to do. [laughter] These colonies can be as small as 50.

John:

Very tiny. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

Very, very tiny.

John:

Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

But he uses them because when you think of ants, they're actually a very social creature. 

John:

Yes. 

Dr. Biology:

And so they have to work together. So, he is always looking at how are they solving problems? And so that was the story I was listening to this morning. So, it's just pure coincidence that now we get to sit down and talk with you.

John:

Right. Right.

Dr. Biology:

Your quest. Let me just talk a little bit more about this path. So, you finish college, and you get a job right out of college with Pixar.

John:

Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

So, what's the first film you worked?

John:

The first time I technically worked on was not an animated film. It was a live-action film, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Dr. Biology:

Oh, yeah.

 John:

So I was on the team that worked on all the animals and Aslan's Hair. He's a lion, and some of the animals had cloth, and we would animate that. Like Aslan, the lion.

Dr. Biology:

So that was the first one.

John:

Yes, that was technically the first one. But then my first, I think credited, like officially credited show was Ratatouille, Pixar. 

Dr. Biology:

[laughter] That one I remember.

John:

Yeah. Yeah. So, if you watched Ratatouille and I was an intern back then, so they gave me really simple tasks, but I made every single bowtie in Ratatouille. So, you watch Ratatouille, and you spot every bowtie from the crowd characters. The waiters always to linguini carrying it. That's me. That's you. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

So, we go from Ratatouille to what?

John:

After Ratatouille, I went to DreamWorks, DreamWorks Animation, and the next show was Over the Hedge.

Dr. Biology:

Okay.

John:

And then after that, I believe it was Kung Fu Panda. And then after that. Oh, How to Train Your Dragon. And then Kung Fu Panda 2. And then Madagascar 3. 

Dr. Biology:

It's funny because you're going through this long list, and I'm waiting for the one that has insects in it, and you don't have anything like that. 

John:

No, we kind of do that. The last show I worked on was Big Hero Six at Disney, and they had these things called if you've seen it, the protagonist builds a group of tiny robots called Microbots. Their little black bots that move around in like a swarm.

Dr. Biology:

Right.

John:

And the way they used that animation, they referenced ants. They referenced how ants, army ants.

Dr. Biology:

Right.

John:

And then they took that. And then in a sense, copied that on microbots.

Dr. Biology:

Interesting.

John:

Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

I mean, it's very common for us to - especially Hollywood to look at nature.

John:

All the time.

Dr. Biology:

On their good days, they really do a good job of showing how nature works. [laughter] And on their bad days they take a little bit more artistic license than maybe we like. 

John:

Yes,

Dr. Biology:

But we don't mind it. And we, I'm talking about biologists and scientists, in general, really don't mind it. I think it's nice to be creative. What we're more concerned about is people thinking that that's really what's going on with nature.

John:

Glad you noticed that because I see it all the time. Yeah. I mean, as a scientist, I mean, if you're not a scientist, you wouldn't notice that. But you're right I see it all the time. Like in Ant-Man. You watch Ant-Man and ants are female.

John:

Yep.

John:

He calls an ant Anthony.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah.

John:

That's incorrect.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah, right. We do a lot of work with social insects at ASU, and one of them, of course, are honeybees.

John:

Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

Again, you know, it's a female-dominated world, right? We just don't think about that. And so as long as everybody realizes that what you're seeing isn't necessarily nature. So, you have this 14 years or so.

John:

About 14 years, years. Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

What got you to switch from your citizen science to a full-time gig?

John:

Right. I've always liked ants and I did it kind of in the closet. Right? So I did it on my own. But I had an Instagram page. Nerds, Ants. Right? Nerds is actually a 3D animation term. NURBS – non-uniform, rational baseline. It's a way to describe a three-dimensional surface. Basically, it takes points in space and based on the position of those points. It makes a three-dimensional surface like a cloth or skin that defines the shape of that cloth. So, that's kind of NURBS surface. 

So, I like NURBS, right? And then I like ants. So, back then, I was like NURBS - ants. So, I had a social page, and I was on the Internet. Not very big, really. But then coincidentally, at the same time, Joseph Parker, Dr. Joseph Parker at Caltech was starting up his lab. And his lab studies myrmecophile beetles that live in ant colonies. And he needed an ant keeper. He needed someone to take care of the ants, to make the nests, to feed them. Just someone who knew how to keep them long-term.

Dr. Biology:

Right.

John:

With a queen. And he found me, and I just happened to live 20, 30 minutes away. That's it. I didn't even apply for the job. He found me, and I was really excited about it, too. I love the job.

Dr. Biology:

So, you make a transition from animator or in Big-budget movies?

John:

Mm hmm.

Dr. Biology:

And you shift into, you know, we'll use a little bit of the cereal and TV series type of thing. Mild-mannered ant keeper [laughter] So how many colonies do you have?

John:

I've never counted, but at the highest point, hundreds. But now, usually during the winter, because they. I usually give them away or sell them. Um, I've got probably about a few dozen, and they're all different species, and they're all native to Southern California. I don't know if you are aware of the laws, but you can't, for example, cross a state line, bring another species over that can reproduce That's technically breaking the law. I'm sure lots of people do it, but it's against, you know, USDA APHIS laws. So, everything that I find is local and I just rear them and I love looking at them. They're just fascinating.

Dr. Biology:

So as an artist, when you start looking at ants and their anatomy, what is it about their anatomy that fascinates you?

John:

I think it's the shapes. I think I find beauty in shapes. In the way it's formed. So, you look at an ant, their thorax, the mesosoma their legs, it's just unique. It looks almost alien.

Dr. Biology:

Well, if you shrunk down to the size of an ant,

John:

Yeah,

Dr. Biology:

It would be not only alien but could be a bit scary. [laughter] Do you have a favorite ant?

John:

Favorite in Southern California I would say is a honeypot. A Myrmecocystus. I've got several species of Myrmecocystus, Mexicanos, Navajo.

Dr. Biology:

So talk a little bit about the honeypot. You know, some people don't know how those ants actually live and why they're called honeypot ants.

John:

Right, right, right. Honeypot ants make what are called repletes. Repeats are like barrels of storage for an organism. They will hang from the ceiling, and they hold food. Usually, nectar from flowers or sweets. They do this because in the desert, food can become scarce. So, the species of ants will contain or hold their food for long periods of time when it's really dry and hot outside. And they were burrow deep and feed off those barrels of food.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah. In the citizen science realm. Have you gotten involved with actually publishing any work?

John:

No, I have not.

Dr. Biology:

Um, have you wanted to do that?

John:

Yes. There's a current project going on right now ant web.

Dr. Biology:

Okay.

John:

AntWeb.org. He's trying to catalog, all the species of ants into a single repository. I just contacted him last year, and with all the ants that I found in Southern California, there's a few I can't key out. I can't identify.

Dr. Biology:

When we talk about keying out is you look at different structures. Does the ad have a big head? Does have a small head. Exactly. All the different pieces to it. And as you go through this key, you actually end up finding out. Well, it's probably one of these, you know, a half dozen species. And then you can get even more in-depth.

John:

Exactly. So, researchers in the past have written keys for certain genus of ants. Right. So, some of the keys are older, like written in the fifties or sixties. But some of the ants I found don't fit into any of those keys. I've been sending him samples that he's going to do a sequence on that. And I think if it is a new species, maybe I can help write it. I don't know. I don't have any experience in that.

Dr. Biology:

Talking about the sequence, we're going to do a DNA sequence. 

John:

Right. Right.

Dr. Biology:

And we're going to check the genome of that particular ant.

John:

And compare it to a database.

Dr. Biology:

Right. And to see if it matches up. Because what a lot of scientists and biologists are finding is that it becomes more and more difficult to tell one species from another at a certain point. Genetically, it becomes easier because it's much more clear when there are changes and differences in the genome.

John:

Right. 

Dr. Biology:

That's interesting because you've found what you think could be new.

John:

Mm hmm. It may not be. Right.

Dr. Biology:

You've done your best through these keys, which is what we've been using for hundreds of years, actually, a long, long time, trying to key things out. Now we're going to go into the genetic world, the molecular world to find out if, in fact, you do have a new one [ant species]. I'll be rooting for you that it's a new one. [laughter] And if you find it, one of the interesting things about when you discover a new species you do have the honor of naming it. Have you thought about that?

John:

No, I actually haven't.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah. Well, I'm going to leave you there. Okay. Just think of it because if that happens and you get to name it.

John:

So that's actually exciting.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah. Be prepared. 

John:

Okay.

Dr. Biology:

When you think about these ants and because you draw them and because you're an animator and you understand the three-dimensional aspects of actually building an ant inside a computer, how do you go about that? Because for me, I'm always fascinated with 3D animation and if it's large, it's a little bit easier to figure out how you do that. But when it's tiny, how do you actually end up building a really good representation of an ant if you're thinking scientifically and not just from an entertainment value? How do you go about building that.

John:

You would need lots of microscopic reference. For sure. I haven't seen a good like if you watch Ant-Man, it's very basic. The modeling of the ants are not super detailed. You can tell it's an ant of course, but as a scientist or an entomologist, when you see them, you know, you'll be like, know it has 11 segments instead of 12 segments, or the mandibles have eight rows of teeth instead of nine. You know, things like that. That would help differentiate one species from another. For you to build that, you would need lots of really good microscopic or macro reference, which is hard to do because it's not easy to get a shot of an ant that's what five millimeters wide, you know.

Dr. Biology:

No, it's difficult. And if you start working with any kind of photography and lenses what you soon find is the closer you get to a subject and the more magnified it is, the less you can see in focus.

John:

The more shallow your depth of field.

Dr. Biology:

Correct.

John:

Which is your wall of focus. 

Dr. Biology:

Right. Exactly. And so. 

John:

Stack the images.

Dr. Biology:

Right? Yeah. The newer technology. I actually have a new camera that's just a little point-and-shoot that allows me to actually take pictures. It'll stack them in internally.

John:

Right. Right

Dr. Biology:

On the fly. And so, I do have a honeybee that it was actually on glass because it was cold in the morning and they couldn't move. So, they're just stuck to the glass.

John:

See, that's the beauty I'm talking about. I find that too is just, I don't know, attractive That's why I think I gravitate towards like those small little things, right? Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

Well, then there are things that you had to take time to actually see them.

John:

Yeah. To appreciate.

Dr. Biology:

Let's go back to your love of ants. When did you first get an ant farm?

John:

I was 11.

Dr. Biology:

And how did you get it? Was it a parent?

John:

No, I had my mom buy it. There was one of those Uncle Milton Ant Farms.

Dr. Biology:

Uh huh.

John:

They didn't have sand it used Styrofoam for sand. I remember it. So, they shipped me a species advanced called Pogonomyrmex. The common name is Harvester ant, they eat seeds. They're red. They do sting, but that was all I remember. And that was.

Dr. Biology:

How long did that.

John:

And Robin Long without a queen. They don't last long.

Dr. Biology:

So, from there, what was the next thing you were doing? I mean, you have that. Didn't you start building your own?

John:

Uh, yeah, I did. Well, keep in mind, I was a child, and during that time, like, I was 11 years old. So, back in the eighties, there's no YouTube, there's no Internet, there's no Google, there's just books, and there's like maybe one or two books on how to make an ant farm. So, I actually rented it out from the library libraries, you know, with the card, and you sign your name, and you take the book out for a week.

John:

And then I found a cell in Nuts Queen, which is a fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, which is an invasive fire ant.

Dr. Biology:

Just what your mom wanted you to have.

John:

Exactly. They didn't approve, but I actually reared it. I put it in a little ant farm. Raised it. It got workers and everything. Yeah. So, I was very proud of myself.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah. And your parents were in horror. [laughter]

John:

Yeah, exactly. They. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I was like most kids, you know, frogs, turtles, lizards. I just loved the small macro world of living organisms.

Dr. Biology:

Lift up a rock. Look underneath.

John:

It. Exactly. Right.

Dr. Biology:

So, there are a lot of innate scientists. And so, you were talking about the citizen science part. And a lot of times, people in the citizen science they start working on a project with someone. You know, there'll be a scientist wanting to collect information or data. They'll be one of the census people. A good example of that is Audubon. When they do the bird count, you kind of jumped all the way in. You went from basically the illustrator artist, and you jumped in both feet into the world of science. I am still trying to grasp. How did that feel to you from, you know, basically outside of science, loving it, being passionate about it and doing all those things, but then being in a laboratory?

John:

It's fun. It's very fun. It's very educational. And scientists from the perspective of an artist, scientists love data. They love it like graphs, pie charts. The more data, the better. So, as an artist, I guess I've never concern myself much with data but going into the world of science, that is that is like key, you know, that is important to your research and now that I'm aware of that I try to keep that data as well. Dates, times, things where I find things or, or, you know, what the temperature was, what the humidity was. When I found that queen after her nuptial flight. It's these kinds of things that I think I didn't do a lot of before I went into a laboratory.

Dr. Biology:

Right. Putting a little more - the term we use rigor into your collections. In the sense that you are more precise, and you collect more information. This is critical for any -

John:

Yes.

Dr. Biology:

- kind of any kind of collection. 

John:

I mean, I had before, but not to the extent that I am doing now. You know, it's almost without data. You don't have science.

Dr. Biology:

You talk about your first ant farm and the Internet wasn't around. So you went and got a book from the library. On Ask a Biologist we actually have a story called Ant Farm. And we have a whole section there, including video how to build an ant farm out of something that is already obsolete. And that's a CD case.

John:

Yes. [laughter] 

Dr. Biology:

We used to have so many CD cases.

John:

I already know where you go with that. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah.

John:

It works.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah, they're great. So, if anybody can find a CD case, we have great plans on how to make ant farms out of CD cases. Yeah. It's amazing how fast things become obsolete. 

Dr. Biology:

Since you're an expert on raising these ants and you have so many ant farms. Can you give us the short form how to build an ant farm?

John:

Yes. 

Dr. Biology:

And then we'll put a link in or something if they need more details. 

John:

Sure. You basically just need a few materials Tupperware, a test tube, cotton, water, and some fine quartz sand. So, we put water in the test tube, maybe fill it a third of the way up, put in a jumbo-sized cotton ball where it is not too tight but not too loose. So, it doesn't drown. So, you stick it in there and that creates the water reservoir, your humidity, and then the ants will gravitate towards that source of humidity. You put that test tube in a bin lined with half an inch of fine quart sand, and that's it. That's the basic.

Dr. Biology:

Right.

John:

It depends on the species, of course. But generally, that works for a majority of the ants out there.

Dr. Biology:

Okay. We've built our ant farm. Where do we get the ants?

John:

Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

Well, I mean, let's just. Let's make it more of a citizen science. I'm assuming you can go out. Not necessarily your backyard, but sometimes your backyard and get them.

John:

You can go to your backyard and get them. You don't want to go up there and dig up a mature colony. Okay. You want to go out there and find a single queen that has just mated, which is called their nuptial flights. And depending on the species, some of them fly in spring, some fly in winter, and some fly in summer. So, it depends on the species. But in general, most of them fly late spring to early summer in a heatwave right after rain. Once you do that, you can literally go to your backyard and go out to the mountains or any place that's not a national park, which is illegal, like a BLM land.

Dr. Biology:

Bureau of Land Management.

John:

Yes, exactly. Bureau of Land Management, that is land that you can camp on. You can collect, you know, rocks or meteorites or you know.

Dr. Biology:

Ants. 

John:

Plants, whatever. Right.

Dr. Biology:

So that's the best way to do that. Yeah. Great. We'll make sure that we put a link and people can follow up for those future and farmers.

Well, John, on this show, no guest gets to get out of here without answering three questions. 

John:

All right. 

Dr. Biology:

And the first one is going to be a little bit of a challenge. And I'm thinking about how to word it because I usually ask my scientists, when did they first know they wanted to be a scientist? Was there an aha moment?

John:

Mm hmm. 

Dr. Biology:

And for you, we've already had a discussion that you've always been passionate about ants. 

John:

Mm hmm. 

Dr. Biology:

And we talked about how you ended up in the lab. But I think what I'm going to ask you here is when did you realize that what you really wanted to do for your day job was to raise ants and be involved with a research lab?

John:

Yeah, that's a great question, and I'll be forthcoming. That was never my goal because that position presented itself to me. I was not out looking for an ant keeper job. I didn't even know that kind of a job even existed. Ant keeping for me is a love is a hobby. It was never anything else. I did not do it to make money.

John:

I did not do it to, like, impress my parents or anything. I just liked ants for the only reason, because I just found them interesting. And I did that since I was 11. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I think maybe that was when I was like, Aha, this can kind of be a job. This can kind of be a career. And I don't think you can just go to any town and find it ant keeper your job. I just ironically happened to be in a city close to Caltech that gave me that opportunity. 

Dr. Biology:

So, I would say you're blessed here because most people would really want to have a job that really in your case isn't a job? 

John:

No, it's not. 

Dr. Biology:

So, it's something you're passionate about. So, you really don't go to work, do you? 

John:

No, I don't. I can even raise any kind of ant I want in the lab. And they're like, okay, because they use the arts for all kinds of things, especially the chemicals. It's called pheromones. But I think the specific compound is CHC cuticular hydrocarbon.

Dr. Biology:

Interestingly enough, ants don't have really great vision. 

John:

No.

Dr. Biology:

They really do a lot of their communication through these pheromones. And so that's one of the things that becomes really important. Well, now I'm going to be a little bit mean with you. I'm going to take that away. For you I really feel guilty here because I'm not going to let you raise ants. And we know you can be an illustrator and animator. So, I'm going to take that away from you. If you couldn't do those things, what would you want to do? Is there any other passion you have that you'd want to do if you couldn't do those.

John:

You might laugh Uh, like, like as a profession, right? 

Dr. Biology:

Yeah. 

John:

I really love ping pong. Like table tennis.

Dr. Biology:

Yeah. So, a professional table tennis player is. 

John:

Yeah, you can't do that here. You can do that in China or Asia. I'm a second generation Chinese, so my father played. So, when I was young, I have very good memories of my father teaching me how to play. Just, you know, like as a father teaches a son play basketball.

Dr. Biology:

Right.

John:

But I have very good memories of my dad showing me how to play ping pong. And, you know, I obviously wasn't around amazing players, so I never really got really good. But if I was, I would have loved to, like, play competitive table tennis.

Dr. Biology:

That's cool. [laughter]

Dr. Biology:

All right. Now, the last question is advice. In your case, I'm going to do two things because you have had two careers. There will be people listening to this that would love to work for Pixar or Disney, DreamWorks. The question is, what advice would you have for that future animator? 

John:

I would say go for it. But it's also not the glamorous kind of job you want it to be. There are pros and cons. There is a reason why I left. They pulled me 60, 70 hours a week. I didn't have a life. The pay was good, but it really burnt you out. And they need to understand that if they want to get into animation or, you know, become a director or whatever, they need to understand that it's not all a bed of roses. You've got sacrifices to make It is probably why I love my and keeping job so much. I don't ever get stressed.

Dr. Biology:

Right?

John:

Yeah. 

Dr. Biology:

I think that's valid. And I think it's something that everyone should be aware of. When you got out of college and you got your first job. Did you apply multiple places or was it really easy to get in?

John:

Oh, man. The first job was and that's actually the only place I wanted to work. So, that's all I applied. I spent I think about five months working on what's called a demo reel, which is basically your portfolio to show to the companies and go, Hey, here's what I can do. Hire me. So, I spent five or six months on that, and I made sure it was the best I could put out.

John:

It's actually online on YouTube. I mean, it's an old, old reel, you know, from 2002. They looked at it and they gave me the job, and that's how I got my foot in the door.

Dr. Biology:

All right. And then what advice would you have for that burned-out animator that needs a break?

John:

Take that break. This might sound tacky, but it's good for the soul. You know, take that break. You deserve it. If you worked 60, 70 hours for three months, yeah, for sure. It's okay.

Dr. Biology:

Well, John, I want to thank you for joining me on Ask a Biologist. 

John:

Thank you for having me. Yeah.

Dr. Biology:

You have been listening to Ask a Biologist. My guest has been artist, animator, citizen scientist ant lover and caretaker, John Truong. Be sure to check out our episode notes and transcript links for images to some of John's artwork and also images of some of the ants he raises. For those who listen to our show on an app that displays chapter links and images, we'll be sure to include some fun content there as well. 

The Ask A Biologist podcast is produced on the campus of Arizona State University and is recorded in the Grassroots Studio, housed in the School of Life Sciences, which is an academic unit of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. But for the show, we're at the annual research conference for the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. And remember, even though our program is not broadcast live, you can still send us your questions about biology using our companion website. The address is AskAbiologist.asu.edu, or you can just Google the words. Ask A Biologist.  

As always. I'm Dr. Biology, and I hope you're staying safe and healthy.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: The Secret Scientist
  • Episode number: 114
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: March 21, 2022
  • Date accessed: September 29, 2022
  • Link: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/listen-watch/secret-scientist

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2022, March 21). The Secret Scientist (114) [Audio podcast Episode.] In Ask A Biologist Podcast. Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/listen-watch/secret-scientist

American Psychological Association. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "The Secret Scientist." Produced by Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist. Ask A Biologist Podcast. March 21, 2022. Podcast, MP3 audio. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/listen-watch/secret-scientist.

MLA Style

"The Secret Scientist." Ask A Biologist Podcast from Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist, 21 March, 2022, askabiologist.asu.edu/listen-watch/secret-scientist.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/
Honeypot ants hanging from the top of the ant nest with huge abdomens filled with nectar.

Honeypot ants (Myrmecocystus) storing nectar to for times when food is limited. Image by Greg Hume via Wikimedia CC-BY-2.5

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