60 Seconds: UT lecturer Travis LaDuc at the Turtle Pond

Ellen Airhart

Editor’s Note: 60 Seconds is a recurring series that peeks into the lives of professors across campus. This Q&A has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Herpetology curator and lecturer Travis LaDuc has dedicated his life to the study of reptiles and amphibians. He is not afraid of anything — he regularly wrestles rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and copperheads. He shared his thoughts with The Daily Texan on books, snacks and superpowers last week at the turtle pond.

The Daily Texan: Do you prefer snakes, turtles frogs or lizards?
LaDuc: Snakes.

DT: Do you collect anything other than research specimens? If so, what?
TL: Yes. License plates.

DT: What is your all-time favorite book?
TL: “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey.

DT: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
TL: Flight.

DT: What is the coolest city you’ve ever been to?
TL: Cusco, Peru.

DT: What’s your favorite fieldwork snack?
TL: Almonds.

DT: What is the coolest band you’ve ever seen live?
TL: The Untouchables.

DT: What trait do you most dislike in other people?
TL: Meanness.

DT: Did you always want to be a herpetologist when you were growing up?
TL: Yes.

DT: If you could invite anyone ­— dead or alive — to do fieldwork with you, who would you bring?
TL: An old professor of mine, Charles H. Lowe.

DT: If you could teach your daughters one thing, what would it be?
TL: To respect others.

DT: What is the lock screen on your phone right now?
TL: My daughter in a Supergirl costume.

DT: What advice would you bring a freshman just starting at UT?
TL: Keep your eyes open and absorb as much as you can.

DT: What advice would you bring a senior about to graduate?
TL: Make sure you don’t have any misspellings on your CV.

DT: If you could bring back one extinct species, what would you bring back?
TL: My daughter and I like the T. rex.

DT: What are you most afraid of?
TL: I’m not afraid of anything.