Emily Estes grew up poking around swamps in Western Massachusetts and has sustained a love for muck throughout her scientific career. A geosciences major in college, she studied how metals move through soils and streams and added another dimension to the picture in her graduate studies under the guidance of her Ph.D. advisor, Colleen Hansel: the role of microbes in metal cycling. Now she is passionate about investigating the ways in which microscale processes, such as biomineralization or photosynthesis, can have global impacts. She finds working with ocean sediments a great way to get muddy while surrounded by water. When not in the lab, she can be found wandering Cape Cod with her dog, Moxie. Her mentor on this project was David Pacchioli, director of research communications at Penn State University.