fbpx

Main Content

Stephanie Manka Schuttler | Fancy Scientist

As a wildlife biologist, author, educator, and founder of Fancy Scientist, I’m on a mission to help wildlife and people by teaching individuals just like you about animals, conservation, and science, and I empower and prepare aspiring and entry-level wildlife professionals so that they can secure good jobs in this competitive career and carry out their life's purpose.

I offer inspiration and hope to this “doom-and-gloom” field into your daily life so that we can collectively make a difference to helping wildlife and healing the planet.

Why the Fancy Scientist?

Hi, I’m Stephanie Manka, Ph.D. (formerly Schuttler)

When you think of science, wildlife, or conservation, probably the last thing you think about is being fancy. 

I have always loved wildlife and nature. But I also have always loved dressing up, putting on makeup, and fashion. 

When I was a young girl, I would get muddy looking for crayfish in creeks, and catch (and release) frogs and snakes, but I also played dress-up with my friends, trying on my mom’s clothes and makeup, and getting my Barbies glamorous for their dates. 

I loved drawing and would draw scenes of grizzly bears catching salmon and on the next page a series of fashion designs. 

When I found out about careers in wildlife biology, I was elated because I could finally turn my love of wildlife into a profession, but I quickly found out that I didn’t quite fit in. 

On top of Mount Kenya for expedition
Stephanie Schuttler Filming
On set filming for the History Channel's The Proof is Out There

Most people wore Tevas and brands like Columbia and Patagonia to work, which I love, but I reserved for the field. Instead, I wore dressy blouses, shoes with heels, and sparkly jewelry.

Hardly any of my colleagues wore any makeup at all, meanwhile I loved to experiment with different shades of eyeshadow every day.

In graduate school, although I loved dressing up and wearing makeup, I didn’t feel comfortable doing it because I was worried people were judging me or thinking I spent too much time on those things over science (which is not true).

Although I was fancier than most, I held back a lot, and quite honestly, didn’t feel that good. Not being able to wear colorful makeup and sparkles dampened my spirit and my confidence.

When I started my postdoc at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the work culture was different because I was now not only surrounded by scientists. I no longer felt uncomfortable embracing who I really was.

I started to dress up again and became happier and more confident. My postdoc included working with K-12 teachers and like most people, they did not expect a scientist, especially a wildlife biologist, to be wearing dangly earrings and mascara.

The teachers loved this and kept telling me how fancy and called me the fancy scientist.

I loved this name and embraced it full on. Because of my work in classrooms, I wanted to show kids, especially girls, that they don’t have to look a certain way to be in science.

I want them to see that they too can be a fancy scientist and feel comfortable expressing their own sparkle and shine.

What-It's-Really-Like-to-Give-a-TED-Talk
Collaborating with teachers on eMammal camera trap research and lesson plans.

About Me​

20

years of experience in wildlife biology
working with the US government, zoos,
in academia, and alongside nonprofits

Years of education in the sciences: Bachelor’s and Ph.D. in biological sciences

10

10+

peer-reviewed scientific publications in
animal behavior, mammal communities,
predator-prey relationships, non-invasive genetics, satellite telemetry, social science, and citizen/community science – full CV here

Continents conducted research on including the countries of Kenya, Gabon, India, Mexico, and Suriname

4

Number of network television shows featured on, including the Discovery, Science, and History Channels

4

As seen in...

Check out My TEDx Talk on the Importance of Connecting Kids with Nature

Need Help in your Wildlife Career?

I help hundreds of aspiring wildlife biologists figure out their career issues. Whether you are just starting out, thinking about starting out, or in your career, feel free to reach out to me with your problem.
.

Connect with me Social Media

Follow me on TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, X ( formerly Twitter) and my Youtube Channel to get access to the best content, tools, strategies & teachings for connecting with nature and wildlife careers.

I understand that inbox can be a lot and I respect your decision. If there’s anything you’d like to share or discuss with me in the future, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

.

I understand that inbox can be a lot and I respect your decision. If there’s anything you’d like to share or discuss with me in the future, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

.

Before we say our goodbye, I want to remind you that you have been an essential part of my journey. If there’s anything you’d like to share or discuss with me in the future, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

.
online course

Join the Free Training

And get the 100+ Job Titles .PDF FREE!

Join the Waitlist

Free Download

The Ultimate Organizer
to Discover the Right Wildlife
Job for You

GIVE IT TO ME