My name is Cydney Livingston – Cydney with a C. I was born and raised in a rural part of North Carolina and retain my roots in the southern drawl of my voice. Though I haven’t declared yet, I am a sophomore at Duke pursuing a degree in both biology and history. And no, I am not a pre-health student. But at one point I certainly thought I might be. It was my first biomedical class in high school that truly spiked my interest in the magical (though actually very proven and not make-believe at all) world of science. I dropped my dream of going into marketing and knew then that in some capacity I would spend my life dedicated to the discipline of science.

Science endlessly answers and provokes questions of why and how. This is satisfying for someone as desperately curious about the world as I am, albeit equally frustrating at times. I was initially infatuated with how and why the human body functions as it does. I pushed myself to understand intricate details leading to the makeup, to the breakdown, to the human body as a whole. However, at some point following interests in pharmaceutical drug development and epidemiology (probably after reading Evolving Ourselves and Sapiens), I became deeply perplexed by evolution and ecology instead. I love humans, but I love other animals in their many shapes and sizes too. I also really love nature and want to be honest with myself about the things that make me the happiest. Social structures and behaviors, adaptation to environment, and conservation are a few things that really excite me right now.

I can give no specifics about my career projections – and trust me when I say many people have asked – but there is a high probability I will be performing research to quench the thirst I have for comprehending and unraveling the mysteries of the biological state of our world, its interactions, how we got to this point, and what our future may hold.

My love for science parallels that of my love for writing – which aids my frequent self-reflection, inquisitions, and creative works. In addition to writing for The Muse at Duke, I maintain a journal and extensions of my brain live in word documents tucked away in folders on my computer. Staying true to my passions, as well as to my deep desire for connecting with and learning from others, I sought out a position writing for the Duke Research Blog. Through this work I will grow as a scholar, have the chance to meet some of the most brilliant minds, and ultimately be able to give those who read my blogs a glimpse into the realm of research – a realm which alters lives, offers cognizance, and propels our societies in new directions each and every day.

By Cydney Livingston