Ep. 105 - Talking Soil With Author Paul Bogard

The soils beneath our feet comprise a complex ecosystem in and of themselves. Soils support literally every major ecosystem on this planet. Despite all of this, they are largely ignored. Even worse, we continually degrade them without a care in the world. Their degradation is what inspired author Paul Bogard (The End of Night) to write his latest contribution to the world of science communication. Join us for a fascinating discussion about his new book The Ground Beneath Us. Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane.

Learn more about Paul

Click here to buy The Ground Beneath Us

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Ep. 104 - Rock gardens, alpines, and aquatics, oh my!

I don't think I have to say that my favorite people are plant people. Joining us today is Tom Freeth, the man in charge of the rock, alpine, and aquatic gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Tom has devoted his life to growing and understanding plants and has had an amazing journey to get to where he is at today. He passion and interests come through in every word. It was a real pleasure talking with Tom and I know you are going to enjoy this conversation. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane.

Follow Tom on Twitter - @tfreeth

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Ep. 103 - The Trout Lily Project

Calling all citizen scientists! The Trout Lilt Project needs your help! Joining us today is Dr. Emily Austen, a post doc at the University of Ottawa. You may remember Dr. Austen from episode 52 where we discussed her work on the evolution of flowering plants. Shes back today to give us updates on the results of 2016's citizen science reporting as well as to call for more citizen scientists to help with the project. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane.

Click here to get involved!

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Ep. 102 - Building a Flora of Syria

Did you know that there are many regions around the world that do not have a descriptive flora? Syria is one such place and my guest today is working very hard on ameliorating that. With her focus on geophytes, Angham Daiyoub is scouring the mountainous regions of western Syria to characterize the seasonal plant diversity. There are many challenges associated with this task so join us for a fascinating discussion of what its like to be a botanist in Syria. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane.

Make sure to follow Angham on Instagram

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Ep. 101 - Life at an Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center

Today we get a sneak peak of what its like to work at a germplasm lab. Joining us is Andy Schenkel, a research assistant at The Ohio State University Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center. From collecting and storing seeds to conservation of unique cultivars, Andy has his colleagues have their work cut out for them. Join us for an interesting conversation about life in a germplasm lab. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane.

Click here to learn more about the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center

Follow Andy on Twitter - @AndySchenkel

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Ep. 100 - A Tour of My Plant Collection

Wow, 100 episodes! I can't thank you enough. Your support over the last few years really means the world to me. In celebration of this milestone I thought we would do something a little different. Today we are taking a tour of my plant collection. I love being surrounding by interesting plant species. As such, I have compiled quite a living collection of interesting species. Since enjoying plants is best done visually, I teamed up with filmmaker/producer Grant Czadzeck (www.grantczadzeck.com) to bring you a video accompaniment for this episode. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, and Mary Jane.

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Video by Grant Czadzeck

Ep. 99 - Living Collections: Exploring Ex Situ Conservation at Kew Gardens

This week we are joined by Kew Horticulturist Andrew Luke for a conversation about the importance of living plant collections. Ex situ conservation is part of what is required for successful plant conservation. This is especially true in today's fragmented landscapes. Join us for a fascinating discussion revolving around plant propagation efforts. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, and Mary Jane.

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Ep. 98 - Our Changing Planet, a Paleobotanical Perspective

I have always loved fossils, which is why I am so excited about my guest this week. Joining us from the University of Washington is Dr. Caroline Strömberg. Dr. Strömberg's research involves using the fossilized remains of plants to understand how flowering plants have evolved since the Cretaceous and how changes in climate influence changes in environments. One of the best ways to try to understand the future is to examine evidence from the past. Join us for a fascinating dive into the world of a paleobotanist. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, and Mary Jane. 

Click here to learn more about Dr. Strömberg's work

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Ep. 97 - Bulbs, Bulbs, Bulbs!

On this episode we are taking a dive into the world of bulbs. In order to find out more about the various plants that fall under this category, I reached out to Kit Strange from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Kit specializes in growing bulbs and alpine plants and her knowledge on the subject is vast. This is a fascinating discussion about a group of plants that many probably take for granted. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, and Manuel.

Follow Kit on Twitter - @strangekit

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Ep. 96 - Guam's Changing Forests

Guam is a sort of poster child for invasive species. Following the accidental introduction of the brown tree snake, this tiny Pacific Island lost nearly all of its bird populations. With them went all of the ecosystem services they performed. Joining us today is Dr. Haldre Rogers of Iowa State University to talk about some of the ramifications of this ecological upheaval. As you will soon find out, the loss of birds is felt throughout the entire forest ecosystem. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, and Manuel.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Rogers' work

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Ep. 95 - Epiphyte Restoration

Protecting and restoring biodiversity to tropical forests is paramount to maintaining the ecological integrity of these areas. My guest today is Estefania Fernandez and she is working in a brand new field of restoration ecology that focuses on epiphyte communities. Join us for a fascinating discussion on restoring health to tropical forests. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, and Manuel.

Contact Estefania - epi.stef@gmail.com

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Ep. 94 - Winter Botanizing

This week we head out into the prairie to do some winter botanizing. We meet a handful of cool plants along the way. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, and Manuel. 

www.patreon.com/indefenseofplants

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Ep. 93 - Botanizing Ichetucknee Springs

This week we are doing something a little different. We're trading in our hiking boots for a kayak and a paddle. We're going for a paddle on the Ichetucknee River. The crystal clear water was chock full of botanical treasures of all kinds. We were joined by aquatic botanist Dr. Colette Jacono and botanist Dr. Mark Whitten among others. This was a fun trip and I learned a lot. We were in a large group so I apologize in advance for the background noise. This episode was produced by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, and Christopher.

Support this podcast - www.patreon.com/indefenseofplants

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Ep. 92 - The Flora of Middle-Earth

This week's interview is one of the most unique that I have had to date. Joining us this week is Dr. Walter Judd, distinguished professor, emeritus from the University of Florida. Dr. Judd specialized in plant systematics, specifically the taxonomy of members of Ericaceae and Melastomataceae. More recently, however, Dr. Judd has been working on the Flora of Middle Earth. Join us for a fascinating discussion about botany, biodiversity, and the importance of imagination in appreciating the natural world. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, Bryan, Sara, Jennifer, and Christopher.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Judd

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Ep. 91 - Botanizing a Long Leaf Pine Savanna

This week we take an enlightening hike through a long leaf pine savanna. Our guide is botanist extraordinaire, Dr. Mark Whitten of the Florida Museum of Natural History. I learned a lot on this hike through one of North America's most biodiverse habitat types. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

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Ep. 90 - Reflections on Science

This week we are joined by Steven Fleck of The Field Guides Podcast for a fun delve into the life and thoughts of a couple of grad students. We touch on life as a grad student, how reading scientific research can help maintain a critical lens on the world, and what inspired Steve and Bill to create their podcast. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

www.thefieldguidespodcast.com

www.facebook.com/FieldGuidesPod

www.twitter.com/FieldGuidesPod

 

Ep. 89 - Conversations on Forest Health

Forest health is a complicated topic. It means something different to nearly everyone you ask. However, the ecological component of this concept is vital to the success of any patch of forest. That is where people like Dr. David Coyle come in. David left a career in academia to focus on helping land owners make sound ecological decisions. Join us for a discussion on forest health. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

Click here to learn more about Southern Forest Health

Click here to learn more about David's work 

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Ep. 88 - Plant Diversity and Systematics

Lately I have been thinking a lot about plant diversity. Sure, the early days of plant exploration are long behind us, however, there are still plenty of botanical mysteries yet to be discovered. This goes so much deeper than simple fame and glory too. How can we protect species that we don't even know exist? That is where people like Dr. John Clark come in. Dr. Clark has made a career out of discovering and describing plant species new to science. As you will here, this doesn't always mean finding small plants tucked away in the hard to reach corners of the world. Even large and dominant trees have avoided our attention. Join us for an inspiring conversation about plant systematics. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Clark's work

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Ep. 87 - Fire in the Forest

I have been thinking about fire a lot these days. In the wake of recent forest fires in the southeast, I wanted to take a closer look at what fires mean for ecosystems other than prairies. To do this, I sat down with my good friend and lab mate, Tyler Refsland, to discuss the implications of fire in forest ecosystems. Tyler's work is based in the oak-hickory forests of southern Illinois and takes a unique perspective that spans many scales, from mycorrhizal fungi, to individual trees, and up to forest composition as a whole. Although this isn't an all encompassing look at the role of fire in ecosystems, it nonetheless offers a lot of food for thought. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

You can reach Tyler via email: refslan2@illinois.edu

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Ep. 86 - Plant Propagation at Kew

Personally, I think plant propagation is one of the most important skills anyone can have. That is why I was so excited to talk with my guest this week. Rebecca Hilgenhof is a Botanical Horticulturist at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. She has the charmed position of propagation a bewildering variety of plants both for conservation and education. This is a fascinating discussion that I know you are going to enjoy. This episode was produced in part by  Gregory, Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

Click here to learn more about Kew

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