Digging Deeper, Building Better

Catherine Fenselau’s impressive analytical science career has taken her from ancient ruins in Colorado to the analysis of lunar rock samples, from the early introduction of MS technology to the biomedical lab, to the heady days of fledgling mass spec journals. Here, Catherine reflects on the past, present and future of mass spec and explains why analytical science deserves more respect.

An interview with Catherine Fenselau

June 2017

When I was a child, I wanted to be a “lady archaeologist”. We went to Mesa Verde National Park many times on family vacations, and I thought the archaeology there was just wonderful. One of the big mysteries of the Mesa Verde ruins is where the people went; they had a tough couple of decades with drought, inter-tribal warfare and even cannibalism... Then, after 1,300 years or so, they all left. Where did they go? I thought it would be great to find out – form a hypothesis and then dig out the proof. And I suppose that’s what really got me thinking about being a scientist.