At that time, I'd really never been out of Illinois. These creatures were from faraway places, the North Atlantic and Greenland and Iceland. I decided
I wanted to understand them. So I went to talk to my advisor in college, and I said, "I want to work on narwhals." My advisor was a microbiologist.
He looked at me and said, "Forget about the narwhals for now. Learn some
genetics and come back to the narwhals." So I went back to the Field Museum
and started doing genetics.