How did you learn about the show?
The casting guys approached another professor friend of mine that couldn't do it, and he forwarded the email to a listserve he runs. I called the number on a whim, then sent photos, then a video, and the next thing you know I'm on a plane to LA for a screen test and then to Mexico. Once I made the first phone call, it had a life of its own.

Was there anyone that you bonded with quickly?
Zac and Mary Anne - it's pretty obvious Mary Anne and I hit it off, but what you don't see is that Zac and I were hanging out a lot too - he had great energy and we were doing a lot of projects, like making a fish trap, fixing hammocks, spear fishing - I hope some of that comes out in the next episodes.

How long were you on the island?
Long enough to know I can't answer that!

How long did you have to get ready before you left for the island?
I wasn't certain that I had the part until a couple of weeks beforehand - I spent a lot of time reading survival books, practicing knots, making fires, getting into reasonable swimming shape, and I ever read Russel Johnson's (the original Prof) book.

What did your family think about you going on the show?
My parents are hugely excited about the whole thing. My mom's a big reality TV fan, and I think she's secretly wanted to do something like this anyway...

Where exactly is the island?
South of Cancun...

What was your favorite thing about doing the show?
Getting a break from the reality of my normal life and doing something so completely different - it was really fascinating seeing how the whole reality TV thing and TV production in general really works - from shooting the show to the press shoots, it was all a window into something I never would have seen otherwise.

What was your least favorite thing about doing the show?
The eating competition! You'll see...

Had you done any acting or been on any other shows before?
Other than the typical high school fare, no. I did have one of those interview's on HBO's Real Sex way back when - I was on a first date in San Francisco, and this camera crew comes out of a doorway and starts asking us about our sexual habits. Quite the ice breaker.

What did the people you work with think about you going on the show?
I was really nervous about how this would effect my professional reputation, but so far everyone has been really supportive. Hopefully this will bring good things to Duke as well as to me.

What were the Gingers like? Were they down to earth?
Both Gingers were great. I didn't get to know Angie so much, but Erika was fantastic - she's very down to earth, and a very caring, smart person.

Who did you have the most in common with?
That's a good question - I bonded with several people out there, but I never really got the feeling that I necessarily had a huge amount in common with any of them. I suspect it would probably be the Bounces - they live out West, where I'm from, and they are very cool people.

Do you talk to any of the other cast a ways?
Yes, I do keep in good touch with Mary Anne Mandy, and also with Skipper Charlie, Zac, and Tiy-e. I was just down in Atlanta for a conference and Tiy-e showed me a big night out - he's coming across pretty aggressive on the show, but he's a great friend. The fan forum on the TBS site has been pretty active - we have some interaction there as

How long have you been at Duke and exactly what do you teach/do there?
I've been here 5.5 years now. I'm an assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering - my field is water quality, and specifically biological processes to degrade wastes. This means I get to work with bacteria alot, which are very cool, particularly in light of all of the genetic tools currently available.

Do you think that you would like to do any more reality tv?
This was one of the most fun things I've ever done - I'd love to do more reality TV, Survivor and The Amazing Race would be very cool. Fear Factor? I think not - I ate enough foul things in TRGI.

Why did you decide to do the show?
A fair question. To be honest, shameless vanity certainly played a role. When your 15 minutes of fame knock at your door, will you be choosy? In some small sense I did get to live out the fantasy of being a movie star for a bit--makeup people for press shoots, trailers filled with producers in headphones hanging on my every word, camera crews that came running every time I cracked a coconut. And I admit the prospect of a good self-indulgent adventure loomed large. I was able to set my increasingly adult life aside for a few weeks and be a kid on a tropical island with a group of oddballs I most likely would never have shared a beer with at the airport, much less peddled their shower pumps (you'll see). And of course I hoped to bring good press (let's hope) to Duke and to my research program (interested graduate students please apply within). For the record, my chairman, Roni Avissar, and Dean Kristina Johnson have been enthusiastic throughout the whole endeavor. (this question and an article Andrew wrote can be found here.