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Teiya Kijimoto

Teiya in his lab

About your research?

I study the evolution and development of beetles. Specifically, I study how something new may develop; for instance, how beetle horns develop. What I’m interested in is what kind of gene is responsible to make such new things.

If you weren’t working at WVU, what’s the most likely alternative?

That’s tough. I really love doing research. My hope when I was much younger was to be a vet for pets like dogs and cats. If I took that route then I probably would still be in Japan. But, this research position gave me this opportunity to come to this country, which was really wonderful and I really appreciate that opportunity actually.

Moment you knew what you wanted to study?

I think it was when I was in my undergraduate institution. For some reason, I was thinking that I would just keep going and doing this thing in academia. When I was a senior, back at that time in Japan, I chose one lab and it was just fun - tough and fun. My professor was really scary. And when a Japanese professor is scary, they are really scary.

Moment you knew your current role was right for you?

I don’t know if we all know, to be honest. It’s an interesting thing… I’m not sure if a right/wrong thing exists to be honest. It’s more like timing. In that sense, timing was right for me and for the division.

Favorite part of social distancing:

Do people have a favorite part in social distancing?! My family and I often go outside for walks in the mornings and evenings. I see more people and they try to be positive. We’re maintaining distance, but still we greet each other. I feel more that people try to show that they care.

Least favorite part of social distancing:

It forces us to have less communication and direct communication. Going out for beer is not so easy. That’s my least favorite part I think: beer.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’m interested in living in New England to see more history. I’m also interested in living in Germany or South Africa would be interesting or Australia - those are all countries that have my beetles actually.

Just for Fun

Favorite book: It by Stephen King

Favorite movie/tv show: Family Guy

Favorite Spotify playlist/band/song: The Beatles, Extreme

Favorite local restaurant: Chestnut Brew Works

Favorite local activity: Taking walks with my family and going to Black Bears games