Plant immune systems and SciArt with Eleonora Moratto

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A common thread between the arts and the sciences is storytelling. In both scenarios you’re building worlds, and creating an understanding of the mechanisms that make the system work (or not work), and the relationships within that bubble.

Eleonora Moratto is the Biology Ballerina. She is a freelance professional ballet dancer, and is currently completing her PhD in plant pathogen interactions. Join us as we speak about Eleonora’s work exploring electrical fields and plant immune systems, and her journey as a SciArtist.

About Eleonora Moratto

Eleonora Moratto is The Biology Ballerina. She is completing her PhD in and interactions at Imperial College London and is a freelance professional ballet dancer currently working with the Ballet Dream Arts company. She is involved in SciArt projects, women in STEAM activities, long hair modelling, and historical reenactment.

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  • [00:01:08] Eleonora's path to biology.
  • [00:03:30] Researching plant pathogen interactions, specifically Phytophthora palmivora.
  • [00:05:22] Looking for novel solutions that prevent the spread.
  • [00:07:33] Exploring electric fields around plants and pathogens.
  • [00:11:47] Looking to her future in academia and biological interactions.
  • [00:13:52] The wider applications of research in interactions and electrical fields.
  • [00:15:17] The Biology Ballerina.
  • [00:17:02] A SciArtist's dream.
  • [00:19:00] The balance of the arts and sciences for Eleonora.
  • [00:22:41] Freelancing as a ballerina.
  • [00:25:15] SciArts in the wild.
  • [00:28:37] Encourage the polymaths and multihyphenates.
  • [00:30:25] Passion is interesting.
  • [00:31:45] What advice would you give someone who'd like to do what you do, and what advice should they ignore?
  • [00:34:05] Find out more about Eleonora and her work.
Michele Ong

A common thread between the arts and the sciences is storytelling. In both scenarios, you're building worlds and creating an understanding of the mechanisms that make a system work, or not work, and the relationships within that bubble. Eleonora Moratto is the Biology Ballerina. She's a freelance professional ballet dancer who is completing her PhD in plant pathogen interactions.

Join us as we speak about Eleonora's work exploring electrical fields and plant immune systems and her journey as a SciArtist.

I'm Michele Ong and this is STEAM Powered.

Good afternoon, Eleonora. Thank you so much for joining me today on STEAM Powered I'm really looking forward to speaking with you today about your journey.

Eleonora Moratto

Hello. Hi, Michele. I'm really happy to be here speaking about what I've been doing in the past five to seven years of my life.

Michele Ong

A lot of dedication right there.

Eleonora Moratto

Fair.

Eleonora's path to biology.

Michele Ong

So... Getting started, you study biology at the moment. I would love to know more about what drew you to that field.

Eleonora Moratto

It was, I don't like to say that it was, by chance, but it was definitely a gradual making my way into it rather than knowing already. I'm, I'm not one of those people that, you know, five years old was going to say, Oh, I'm going to be a scientist and a biologist.

Absolutely not. Like at five years old, I had absolutely no idea. So I went to high school in Italy and in Italy, high school has sort of, a lot. We do 11 subjects. So it's quite broad. And in the final few years, I was starting to think, well, what am I going to do? I'm going to go to university, but I'm not really sure.

And I realised that I really liked biology. So I said, well, you know, let's give this a go. And I went to Imperial college in London and I did a Bachelor's degree in biology, and there I was introduced to plant biology and plant sciences and the evolution of plants and all the really interesting developmental aspect of plants.

And that's how I said, well, I'm going to do a Master's degree now, and I'm going to try plant biology. Let's see, let's see what that looks like. And then during my Master's in plant biology, I thought, wow, this like, immune system stuff is really cool, because I think, I think that's how it, I got there and I thought, Oh, I'm really interested in doing some research on plant immunity and how important crop protection is, and how we can't really live without having crops.

And therefore we need to somehow make sure that we sustain our crop production and plant disease is one of the major causes of crop loss. So that's really intriguing to me, and then that's how it sort of spiraled into a PhD in this topic. And, and now we're here, like again, eight years, nine years later, I lost count.

And we're, and we're finally finishing this PhD and writing a few papers and my thesis hopefully soon. Soon we'll be done. So yeah, I think it was a gradual transition and just a following of what I found exciting at the time.

Michele Ong

Yeah, and that's a great way of doing it, just wanting to pull extra threads as you go and then slowly find yourself sliding down the rabbit hole.

Eleonora Moratto

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Researching plant pathogen interactions, specifically Phytophthora palmivora.

Michele Ong

Yeah, so what are you working on right now?

Eleonora Moratto

So I work on plant pathogen interactions and well, I mean, as we specialise within research, I work on a very specific pathogen. It's called phytophthora palmivora. So this is a tropical pathogen that usually is mostly a problem in big plantations. So cocoa, papaya, durian, palm oil, I think I've gotten the major ones, and it causes fruit rot and root rot. So essentially the whole plant gets infected and it just rots, and at the beginning you tend to just lose, usually for cocoa, you just lose the pods, but then after a while you will end up losing the whole plant and the whole plantation.

So, so this is a huge issue because it's a lot harder to grow a whole new plantation that takes upwards of 10 years, and this pathogen is also very resilient. So it takes a very long time for the soil to be pathogen free.

And there is currently no crop protection strategy available against this.

So it is quite a difficult pathogen to deal with. It's also related, closely related to the Irish potato famine pathogen. So if we have any Irish folk, they were very culturally affected by this.

Michele Ong

Yeah, it's an absolutely devastating pathogen.

Eleonora Moratto

Absolutely. So the phytophthora, that's phytophthora infestans, and phytophthora palmivera does essentially the exact same thing, but on a different set of crops and it is a generalist. So also as climate change warms up the planet, it migrates up north and down south towards the current temperate regions and it kind of start infecting different things.

So in Italy, it's been reported in olive trees, which is not ideal. So as things warm up, it's starting to become more and more difficult to deal with.

Looking for novel solutions that prevent the spread.

Eleonora Moratto

So what I try to understand is how this pathogen identifies its target host. And this is sort of a novel approach. There is a, a lot of research on pathogen resistance from the plant immune system side of things. So looking at breeding a plant, plants that might be resistant that will fight more effectively these pathogens. But obviously, that is still a bit of a long way ahead, partly also because certain countries still are anti-GM, so it is a little bit more complicated in that sense and this type of pathogen that I look into, it looks like a fungus, but it's not a fungus, it's an oomycete. So fungicides don't really work against it. So the chemical industry doesn't really have a good solution for it.

So I am looking at trying to understand how these pathogens respond to electric fields. And that hopefully might bring to a different solution. And I'm also looking to sort of disrupt early stages of infection.

So how does the pathogen actually find and reach the plant? Can we prevent it from finding the plant? And that is sort of an upstream, usually crop protection solutions look at, okay, how do we, once the pathogen is there, how do we get rid of it? And sometimes, like, the idea is... Okay, let's bring it a step further. Let's not even get there. So that's essentially what I do, which is kind of a new way to look at this problem, and I'm quite excited about it. It seems to be taking us some places and, no spoilers, paper's coming up.

Michele Ong

That's very, very exciting. And yeah, because crop protection and just basically all sorts of agricultural considerations in terms of environment and climate change and all that, that that's, it's a hot topic. You know, a lot of people are talking about all these sorts of things because, yeah, if you eat food, you need to care about this. It's a very salient issue that we all really need to be thinking about. So it's amazing that you're looking at the electrical field kind of area of it because it's, it's such a different angle.

Exploring electric fields around plants and pathogens.

Eleonora Moratto

It is a very different angle. So actually electric fields were quite a big interest in the eighties and the 1980s, obviously it all started, I think we're all familiar with Frankenstein and, and essentially the idea of like electrocuting something and making it move. And that's where electric fields and biology really started.

Obviously now it's- you're not going to electrocute anything back to life, I can tell you that. But in the end, what electric fields and electric currents are in nature is ion movement. And ion channels are really, really ubiquitous to every single cell, cell lifestyles. So anybody that did a little bit of biology will know that cells are, even bacteria, even single cells or single mammal cells or single plant cells, have an electrical charge because they maintain a difference in potential between the inside and the outside world.

And that in turn is an electrical current. So it's not a stretch to look at how things do respond to electric fields. I actually recently wrote a little review paper on, it's in the journal of Physical Biology, where I sort of summarise electric fields and plant interactions with other organisms.

And we do know that electric fields play a role in pollination. So, essentially, bees can sense flower electric fields. And there is a lot less research in the sort of root aspect, mostly because it's harder to study roots. It's just, it's just genuinely harder to study anything in roots.

Even plant pathogen interaction research tends to be on the leaf system just because it's so much easier. You don't have to dig anything out and,

Michele Ong

You're not risking your subjects by having to dig them out to do the research.

Eleonora Moratto

Exactly. I'm not saying that nobody's doing anything on roots, like there is a lot of research on roots, but definitely the vaster proportion is on leaves.

So looking at a different system, and there is some research from again the 1980s that measured electric fields along roots, and they realised that there is essentially a root electrical signature. So routes tend to be positively charged, sort of negatively charged at the very tip of the root, then positively charged, and then negatively charged again.

And there is some evidence that certain microorganisms will preferentially attach to either the positive area or negative area. Now, we don't have proper proof-- we're not assuming that this is purely based on that. We know that there are chemical reasons why there might be a preferential attachment. But we're just assuming that this might play a role and it would be interesting also to know what the sensing mechanism is.

So is this microorganism interacting? Also just sensing a specific ion? Is it sensing the charge? So this could be interesting. So reincorporating electrical fields and electrical currents within the field of biology moreso than it already is, would be really interesting in my opinion. And that's what I want to work on as well.

What I've been working on the past four years of this research.

Michele Ong

Absolutely. I mean, it makes perfect sense. There's current everywhere. Animals can navigate using fields. We already know that this happens with ants, and other insects, that will navigate or create territories based on these sorts of things in nature. So it makes sense that if we do research into how we can manipulate, or predict, or observe how the interactions work, then we can kind of understand those areas a little bit better, which is very, very cool.

Eleonora Moratto

Yes, absolutely. I mean, I'm really excited about this. So to be honest, I guess, I guess every time you talk to her, to a researcher, we're just like, yes, this is so awesome. And everybody thinks, what?

Michele Ong

Yeah, but it's magic. That's pretty much it. It's all magic and it's very cool magic that you can look into.

Eleonora Moratto

Fair, fair. Yeah.

Michele Ong

Yeah.

Looking to her future in academia and biological interactions.

Michele Ong

So where are you planning to, you know, because you're finishing your PhD up soon ish and kind of the vague near future, but where would you be thinking of taking all of this skill and knowledge after you finish your academic stint?

Eleonora Moratto

Yes. So, well, I mean, I'm hoping to continue to stay in academia. So I am looking essentially for postdoc positions. And I'm also looking to be able to hopefully in the future, start my own lab. Obviously that is maybe a little bit further on than, than that's maybe like in the next five years or the next two years, but one can always dream.

Michele Ong

Yes. Goals. You got to have them.

Eleonora Moratto

Yes. So, so essentially, yes, I'm hoping to continue in the academic career. I'm hoping to stay within sort of the plant pathogen interaction topic. That is what I've become extremely passionate about. And I'm also interested in increasing my knowledge on filamentous pathogens in general. So this, I currently work on phytophthora palmivera.

I worked on phytophthora infestans. So I'm hoping to get a little bit more involved in also different pathogen interactions, but I'm hoping to stay within the roots, the root aspect. I think that that's-- I've grown extremely interested in, in what's going on underground and all these interactions and I would like to also look at beneficial interactions and not just pathogenic interactions.

And there is a whole field of research that looks at how can a plant tell apart whether a fungus is pathogenic or, or beneficial. And that's again, something that really fascinates me because the mechanisms of interaction seems to be quite similar and sometimes involve similar molecular mechanisms and then have opposite outcomes.

So of course it's very interesting. How does the plant, quote unquote, "know" whether to defend or to attract a certain microorganism in soil. So I think that's really where I want to take my work in the future.

The wider applications of research in interactions and electrical fields.

Michele Ong

That is very cool. And you can see like, even though it is very plant specific, understanding these interactions can also have impacts in other areas of biology and medicine and science, just because understanding the interactions for pathogens, like very timely, but it's a fascinating area of where it can improve application of medicines and how those will interact and be able to create, I guess, more efficient applications or deliveries for all these sorts of things too.

Eleonora Moratto

Absolutely, absolutely. Even electric fields actually have been looked into in terms of wound healing. So, it's not quite my topic, so I hope I don't butcher anything, but I know that there are a few papers looking at using a small electric field to promote wound healing. And we know that it does shorten the healing time by promoting... cell growth in the correct orientation. These things are quite broadly applicable, which is what we want, really. It's a bit similar to like, why should we go on the moon? Well, because the MRI machine came out of it. So all research tend to be beneficial.

Michele Ong

Absolutely. You never know where it goes.

Eleonora Moratto

Exactly.

The Biology Ballerina.

Michele Ong

One of the other things that has been very awesome about your work as well is that you were also able to deliver a summary of your thesis in performance format for Dance Your PhD, which is very exciting and, very cool to know, that you made it to the finals for that too.

Eleonora Moratto

Thank you. I mean I am a professionally trained ballet dancer and before I, I ended up in university and doing all that I did, I did think I was going to be 'just' a professional ballet dancer. Nothing wrong with being that, I mean, just as, as, as very small. But I ended up getting injured when I was 16 and I actually did think that it was all going to be over until I moved to London, which is essentially the city of opportunity. And, and, and, while starting my university, I realised I could genuinely do both.

And I've been doing both ever since. I've been freelancing on the side. And I'm now working within a new emerging company and we've actually performed two days ago, two days ago, three days ago, a few-- like last week.

So we're hoping to, to, we're slowly growing and I'm also looking to do sort of more smaller jobs as I progress within my, my science career. But I'm always open. I've done a lot of collaborations and I really enjoy anything that has STEAM in it. So can, can we use art to communicate and engage people in science as well?

So the thing that I really enjoy that I think science and ballet have in common is storytelling. So they're both tools for storytelling. So why not use one to tell the other story.

A SciArtist's dream.

Eleonora Moratto

I have to be honest, one day I hope to be able to choreograph a ballet on, on like a full PhD topic or a full, like a full on two hour piece about maybe a scientist's story or an actual research topic.

That would be my absolute dream.

Michele Ong

Yeah, and you did so well doing that one for your piece for Dance Your PhD, like, it was very clear, the message of what you were doing was very easy to see, and really good to watch as well, so, being able to extend that, you can tell the narrative that you can convey in academia, in your papers, in the way that you present your materials that can easily be translated into another format that other people can observe and enjoy and be able to gain value from as well, you know, as part of science communication.

So, yeah, I don't think your dream's that far off for that.

Eleonora Moratto

I mean, I, I hope, I hope one day to have enough of a platform, hopefully with this emerging company, we will be able to get-- we're already growing. It's been a two year passion project of mine with Ruth Gordon, who is a former ballet dancer and now again, director of this novel company, of this new company.

And we were slowly growing and hopefully we'll end up being a little bit more established in a few years, and have a bit more funding to be able to achieve something bigger, even though I have to say that what we managed to do within our limited budget and the resources we have at the moment is quite lovely.

So we also incorporate live music and opera within the company. So it is a very high quality show. If anybody's around London and would like to, to attend one of these performances, it's the Ballet Dream Arts Company.

Michele Ong

Amazing, yes. I shall link that as well in the show notes. Very, very cool.

The balance of the arts and sciences for Eleonora.

Michele Ong

Obviously, like you said, the injury is what prevented you from considering pursuing dance as a primary career. So before the injury, did you ever consider either doing both as you are now or was it always going to be a one or the other kind of decision?

Eleonora Moratto

Let's say that I don't think that I was ever really thinking about only pursuing one. I don't think I could live with only one. I could not live with myself with only one. In a way the injury didn't stop me for that long. So I think, when I was 16, I did think, Oh, this is not really going to happen because I got injured, but luckily it was a minor, well, "minor" quote unquote injury.

Um, so I was able to continue training and to continue training professionally. And at the time, I guess I didn't realise that this could still bring me to perform. So when I moved to London for my university, I thought, well I think I'll only be able to keep this as a hobby. And then I realised, wow, like there is so much I can do that is not just join one major company coming from a major ballet school.

I can still be a ballet dancer and still pursue so much. And, I am currently, frankly, also looking for jobs in ballet companies. So as, as a, as a, as a space, obviously you never know with-- both with ballet and science, job stability is quite an issue. So I'm always, every time I come to a major sort of end of, well, in this case, my PhD, but even end of my Master's, I start looking for ballet jobs, for research jobs, and let's see what comes. It's also a matter of that. I mean, I might be in a company for a year and then doing a postdoc or vice versa, who knows! But it's definitely not-- it was never a question for me that I would be doing somehow both and multiple things.

I mean, I'm interested in science communication and that's obviously something that started later on after I became a scientist, but I've always been interested in art and art history. And that's something that I do as a hobby. I always love to go to museums and visit places.

So, they are definitely all important parts of my life that were always going to be in my life regardless. Now, which one is my current money-making part is, is really what changes over time.

Michele Ong

Oh yeah, it's, it's always going to be the persistent passions, but yeah, the income, where it comes from is a little bit more variable.

Eleonora Moratto

Yeah, Yeah, absolutely. I think, I think what changes is which one of these is my current major source of income.

Michele Ong

Yeah, and having the flexibility to be able to bounce between these different avenues is also an amazing opportunity, too. So, yeah, very envious of that. Ha ha ha.

Eleonora Moratto

I mean, it does come with a lot of work and a lot of tiredness. I have to say, there are occasional moments in which you just want to sleep, but I think like for all of us.

Michele Ong

Sleep, what's that?

Eleonora Moratto

But it's definitely something that, I mean, when I was injured and I couldn't dance for a few months, I was devastated. I was like, Oh, I can't, I can't do this. It's too hard.

Michele Ong

Yeah, esp- If it's such a big part of your life and you feel that you have to shut one of them down, it really is very devastating. So yeah. I'm very glad for you that it was only a temporary setback.

Eleonora Moratto

Thank you.

Freelancing as a ballerina.

Michele Ong

So In your bio, you mentioned that you are part of this emerging company, but you're also a freelance ballerina.

And I hadn't realised that that was an option. Like I always thought, as you mentioned, single school, single company, and that's pretty much how you're bound. But what's the work life of a freelance ballerina like?

Eleonora Moratto

Well, you essentially end up finding-- you get contacted for a smaller jobs, maybe one show or one appearance in like a certain video, for example. And then essentially, learn it, go for the few rehearsals, do it. That's essentially it. I'm not actually sure how easy it is to be a freelance in different places.

So of course London is-- there is a lot of shows, even in sort of one off or a few off shows that happen in London. And there are also many companies that will need extra dancers for specific shows. So what you do is essentially audition, end up doing a few, few shows working for a few months with this group, or sort of smaller shows, smaller appearances.

That sort of activity that is easier to balance with your, with your PhD.

Michele Ong

I was going to say, it's like, balancing that with your PhD. Very challenging.

Eleonora Moratto

Yeah. I mean the advantage of Research work is that it is very experiment based and it is also very a sort of, focused on what you can deliver rather than focused on a nine-to-five job. Of course, I try to be there every day, but if one day, if one week I need to be off to do a show, then I can catch up on weekends or work longer hours, as long as I have results and everybody's informed, that's usually perfectly fine.

Michele Ong

You have that little bit of extra flexibility.

Eleonora Moratto

Yes, even though as most researchers will tell you, the fact that it's not a nine-to-five job means that it's a 24/7 job.

Michele Ong

It is, very much.

Eleonora Moratto

Not much to say about that.

Michele Ong

No, not much to say about that at all. You end up with two 24/7 jobs.

Eleonora Moratto

Essentially, yes. I think, I think that's what's going on in my life really.

Michele Ong

Oh gosh. A true challenge, and one that, yeah, I don't know. It sounds like a dream and also a nightmare in equal measure.

Eleonora Moratto

As long as you keep focusing on the idea that it is a dream, you won't have too many nightmares.

SciArts in the wild.

Michele Ong

Definitely. So what other sort of SciArts projects have you been involved with?

Eleonora Moratto

So there are several things. I mean, I think obviously Dance Your PhD has been something that has been sort of out for a few years now.

I think it is growing. So there is more interested-- interest even in institutions for SciArt content. I have more recently started working with Imperial on some SciArt activities with their scicomm offices.

So as part of my PhD, I had to do an internship and I did this in Kew Gardens, which is the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. So that's the major botanical gardens in the UK. And I worked with their science communication team.

And at the moment they are sort of more writing focused or sort of blog style communication, but I was talking to them and saying, well, we should start-- you should start adding some art, and they are actually maybe pursuing some of this in the future.

So, even with social media and it's becoming a bigger way to sort of get people interested in science. And there are certain festivals. So, for example Imperial is part of the Exhibition Road Festival. So Imperial is located next to the, uh, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London.

Which essentially means that the Exhibition Road is the road that runs along all of these buildings and I think in summer, once a year, there is this huge festival, science festival, and they do a lot of SciArt. There is music, there is dance, there are several things.

I have contributed to some of these events, but not quite, in the way that I would have liked. So I hope to be able to do more in the future and I have talked to some people so I think we're slowly increasing the amount of SciArt that is happening. I just wish it would be more of a job avenue at the moment it is more of a like free-on-the-side activity that people do, which is, which is, fantastic.

Michele Ong

It's still treated like a gimmick.

Eleonora Moratto

It is, It is, And I hope it will grow because it's such a beautiful way to-- to create art and bring such new ideas and things that are not usually talked about that much directly to the public.

And it's such a good way to engage both sort of people that might become scientists one day, but also people that are just interested in science and like to hear about it and want a more digestible format.

Michele Ong

Yeah, absolutely. And it's really great that we're seeing, like people are commissioning data, I'm sorry, art out of data scientists and getting them to actually produce things, either machine learned or from the actual data itself directly to create these amazing bits of artwork, but it's still kind of bits and pieces here and there.

It's not really-- it still feels very novel and very spontaneous as opposed to, let's see how we can properly integrate this and let's see how we can actually convey this particular science in a way that's not usually delivered academically. So yeah, it'd be great to see more of those sorts of opportunities come up and as an actual job.

Eleonora Moratto

Maybe one day. We can always dream.

Encourage the polymaths and multihyphenates.

Eleonora Moratto

I, I want this to become a bit more normalised, people with several careers, and people that have very different careers.

And I think it is, it is definitely, the amount of positive feedback that I have received is a lot higher than the negative feedback. So I think it is becoming a lot more interesting and a lot more normalised, and I just want to encourage anybody who has more ideas, more dreams, more talents, more interests, to just do all of them.

Do all of them. You never know what was going to happen. And obviously it is normal to, to have times in your life and during the year, during the day, during the week that you spend more time on one rather than the other. Obviously I would not be able to be in a full time ballet company job and do my PhD at the same time, but I can obviously do them in different parts of my life.

So at the moment I've focused on my PhD and then more freelance, little ballet jobs. And then maybe next I will be doing a full time ballet job and we'll be, I don't know, writing a little science book on the side.

Why not?

Michele Ong

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, these days, I feel that it's becoming more common to see more polymaths and more multihyphenates and portfolio careers than they used to be before, because people are starting to embrace the fact that they do have different aspects to who they are. And they're not all just one thing, and they want to be able to blend all these things together. So, it feels like we're heading down the road where this is becoming normalised, and people are starting to feel more comfortable with exploring those things. So, all very achievable, I think.

Passion is interesting.

Eleonora Moratto

Yes. Yes. And I, I really, really hope to see a lot more people like this. I have a few friends that are like this and I really really enjoy their company. They're such interesting people.

Michele Ong

And yeah, they are interesting people because they're passionate about things.

And that's what makes them interesting.

Eleonora Moratto

Yes. I mean talking to passionate people is always, whatever they're passionate about is always a big eye opener. It's so interesting to hear what people think and have to say and what else they do in their life. Even I have a friend who is, is really, we did our, our Master's degree together, and he's also a plant biologist, but he's a fashion designer on the side, and he incorporates all of these, all of these sorts of plant and sort of algae, micro algae textures in his drawings. And they're such lovely, lovely blends of, of art and science. And

Michele Ong

Yeah. It, it's beautiful because you can see how we're inspired by so many things in both directions. So he'll be inspired by what he creates in his science and what he creates in his fashion from his science as well. So it, it just feeds back and forth.

Eleonora Moratto

Absolutely.

Michele Ong

All right, so we can probably wrap that up.

What advice would you give someone who'd like to do what you do, and what advice should they ignore?

Michele Ong

Last thing that I always ask all my guests What advice would you give someone who'd like to do what you do? And what advice should they ignore?

Eleonora Moratto

Well, what advice should they ignore? Anybody who's going to tell you, you can't do both. You absolutely can do both. You can find a way to do both. It is absolutely possible. And I think that's the most-- the comment I've received in my life is you have to choose. And the answer is no, you do not have to choose.

You can choose to follow your dream. That's the only thing you have to choose. So, my advice is, if you have multiple interests, follow both or all three, or all five. Hopefully not all 20, that sounds like a lot.

Michele Ong

Yes, might have to cut back a bit when it gets to that volume.

Eleonora Moratto

Yes. but, genuinely, try to follow your multiple dreams and look, you never know in life what opportunities will pop up and how you're gonna use something that you thought was over or was done or that you thought would never be useful in your life.

Having multiple skills and multiple ideas at the same time can be extremely useful in one or the other topic that you actually do. I think that's my advice. Just follow your interests. If you're passionate about something, dedicate yourself to it.

Michele Ong

Yes, absolutely. And we've got so many other opportunities now than we had before that gives us the ability to be able to look at what we've got and what we can do in different ways. So yeah, you're not going to risk anything by giving it a shot and trying to pursue multiple passions.

Eleonora Moratto

Absolutely.

Michele Ong

Yeah. So thank you so much Eleonora for speaking with me today. It has been absolutely wonderful hearing about your story, hearing about your fascinating work. I'm really going to be going down a rabbit hole about like, is electroculture a bad word? But yeah.

Eleonora Moratto

I mean, I've never heard it called like that, but why not?

Michele Ong

Why not? Yeah. I was reading about that and, you know, they were saying it was called electroculture in the 19th century.

Like, okay, cool. Yeah. So definitely going down that rabbit hole later on.

Find out more about Eleonora and her work.

Michele Ong

So if people would like to know more about what you do, where can they go?

Eleonora Moratto

So, my website I guess is the best way to find me. It's a Google sites, /eleonoramoratto, and then I think my Instagram and my Twitter, which are both @eleonoramoratto or my LinkedIn, same handle. I think those are the best. And you'll find through my website, you'll find links to pretty much everything I do.

So I think, yeah, that's, that's that.

Michele Ong

Absolutely. All of that will be in the show notes. And yeah, thank you again so much for speaking with me and waking up early to do so.

Eleonora Moratto

Well, thank you. Thank you for having me and, and for being interested in what I do.

It's always lovely to hear.

Michele Ong

Ah, it's so fascinating. And yeah, I, I love people who just have multiple things on the go because it sounds so much fun and you sound like such fun people.

Eleonora Moratto

Thank you.

Michele Ong

Cool. So thank you again and I hope you have an amazing rest of your day.

Eleonora Moratto

Thank you. And have a lovely evening on your side.

Michele Ong

Will do.

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