Tracking Cats. A Book of Common Ants. Want to meet the mites on your forehead or the bacteria in your armpits? Get all that and more at Your Wild Life.

Your Wild Life (Twitter) is exactly what its name suggests: scientists, science communicators, students, and citizens exploring the ecology all around us. The familiar is subjected to real scientific inquiry so we can all learn where cats go when they leave the house, and what’s the bacteria in our bellybuttons.

In the interview series "Before They Were Scientists," Your Wild Life takes the white coat off scientists to find out what their lives were like in middle school. A sure-fire way to get me sweating! We learn that Amy Savage was into roller skating and watching insects; Danielle N. Lee wanted to be a medical doctor and often corrected other kids’ grammar; Caren Cooper met a very friendly Jane Goodall but was shoved aside by her bodyguard; and Daniel Solomon moved from New York City to Florida in 1950. Middle schoolers of 2014 and beyond are introduced to the many different paths to becoming a scientist or science communicator.

As someone whose journey into science was indirect (see my first post, The Accidental Scientist), I jumped at the chance to be included in "Before They Were Scientists." My middle school self would never in a trillion years have imagined I’d be doing what I’m doing now. As a middle schooler, I thought the world revolved around my friends, Game Boy, Archie comics, Keanu Reeves and after-school snacks. I thought that science teachers had an evil streak and that scientists surely spent their time titrating while simultaneously looking through a microscope. In middle school I didn’t like measuring liquids, I broke cover slips, and I refused to light the Bunsen burner because fire was scary. My ideas of science began and ended with Professor Frink of The Simpsons. Science was clearly not for me. But I guess it is. You can read my "Before They Were Scientists" interview here.

Thanks to Lea Shell and the Your Wild Life team for including me in the series, and to Eleanor Spicer Rice of Buzz Hoot Roar and Verdant Word for recommending me. I don’t remember what’s going on in that photo of me and the bird.