Unique Scientist: Dr. Gareth (Gary) Trubl

Let’s all say hello to Dr. Gareth (Gary) Trubl (He/him)! Dr. Trubl is a postdoctoral scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California, USA interested in how viruses influence biogeochemistry in soils.

What kind of scientist are you?
I care about climate change, ecosystem science, and how viruses influence biogeochemistry in soils. Life only became about viruses recently. I started off with a focus on fungi, then bacteria, and during grad school turned my sights on viruses. It was Dr. Mya Breitbart’s “Marine viruses: truth or dare” publication that made me want to know what viruses do in soils. If I have to describe what kind of scientist I am…I would say that I am a rambunctious maverick.

What made you want to become a scientist?
Discovery science. I wanted to research microbes to know about them. I love outreach and communicating science to people. There is nothing better than seeing that click in someone’s eyes when they learn something.

“I have never met another scientist that thinks like me, so I know I have something unique to offer.”

Dr. Gareth (Gary) Trubl

What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I have never met another scientist that thinks like me, so I know I have something unique to offer. I do science because I enjoy it, but it doesn’t define me or consume me. I guess my greatest contribution to science is and will always be talking with people to inspire and provide a bridge to the archaic ivory tower.

What’s something cool you do outside of work?
Ohhh do I have a life…mmm.. I have been spending my post PhD time rediscovering myself. I used to volunteer for the SPCA [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals], play the trumpet, and be an incredible bowler. Currently, I am super witty, love to run and go spelunking. When at home I enjoy a nice RPG or tower defense video games, hanging with my little man, and cuddling with my dogs. I have been taking guitar lessons to get back in touch with my musical side.

If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
Access to all publications would be free and we would teach students in high school how to search and find knowledge. A huge portion of science is funded by the government, which is paid for by the people. So why is it not accessible? #FreeScienceForAll

“I owe everything to amazingly strong women in my life.”

Dr. Gareth (Gary) Trubl

Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
I owe everything to amazingly strong women in my life. Peggy Cianciola, first boss, second mother, and basic life coach. Taken by breast cancer 2017. My grandmother who made sure we were taken care off. Taken by breast cancer 2016. My mother and wife for their love and support. Finally, my PhD advisor Dr. Virginia Rich. She showed my how to balance life, forgive, be true to myself, and be kind. I learned so much from her and will always admire her compassion, intelligence, and generous nature.

Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
I really disagreed with a comment from a reviewer. I felt conflicted about arguing because I understood where they were coming from and my imposter syndrome was telling me I was just making a mistake. I also knew that I was right and instead of listening, I spent hours going back through the literature to prove my point. I decided to take a stand and the editor agreed. Although this is minor this was huge for me, especially when I think about it. I really knew I was right, but still doubted myself. I really wish I would have spoken up more during my PhD and defense and my best piece of to future grads student is to voice your opinion more.


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