Ep. 180 - A Mossome Citizen Science Opportunity

My guest today is Dr. Rafa Medina from Augustana College in Rock Island Illinois and he comes to us with a wonderful citizen science opportunity. Dr. Medina is interested in moss evolution and how polyploidy may factor into the equation. To better understand this process, Dr. Medina and his colleagues are hoping that you can provide samples from all over North America and Europe of a common moss affectionately referred to as goblet or bladder moss (Physcomitrium pyriforme). Join in and learn how you can be a part of this incredible research. This episode was produced in part by Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Click here to access the PhyscoHunt training document

Click here to check out PhyscoHunt on iNaturalist

Click here to see the research group website

Click here to learn more about Dr. Medina’s work

Follow Dr. Medina on Twitter - @bryomedina

Ep. 179 - Demystifying Orchids

Orchids are some of the most popular plants in all of the world. This hyper-diverse plant family captures our imagination like no other. So often, the true lives of orchids are so strange, so bizarre, that it can seem that anything is possible with these plants. This is one of the main reasons why orchids are also subject to a lot of speculation. My guest today is here to talk about why orchids are so mysterious and to set the record straight on a handful of orchid stories. Joining us from the Lankester Botanical Garden in Costa Rica is orchid specialist Dr. Adam Karremans. Dr. Karremans studies orchid diversity and ecology and he has set out to write a book all about the mysterious world of orchids. The better we get to know these plants, the better we can work to conserve them and the habitats they need for survival. This episode was produced in part by Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Karremans

Click here to learn more about the Lankester Botanical Garden

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Click here to listen to episode 291 of Science… Sort of

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Ep. 178 - Forest Conservation in Laos

Forest conservation has never been more important, especially in Southeast Asia. Rates of forest loss in this region are unprecedented. Much still remains in places like Laos but without proper regulation, more stands to be lost. Luckily places like the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden are working hard to ensure that the forests of Laos do not meet the same fate as those in places like Indonesia, Combodia, and Vietnam. Joining us to talk about what Pha Tad Ke is doing to empower the people of Laos is botanist Bryony Smart. Join us for an enlightening discussion about what it is going to take in order to ensure Laos has a prosperous and verdant future. This episode was produced in part by Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Click here to learn more about the Pha Tad Key Botanical Garden

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Ep. 175 - Conserving Tree Diversity

Today we are joined by Dr. Sean Hoban, a tree conservation biologist at The Morton Aboretum near Chicago. As you can guess by his title, Dr. Hoban specializes in the science of conserving tree diversity. To do this, Dr. Hoban and his colleagues utilize a wide variety of data from fossils to DNA in order to make sound scientific decisions regarding preserving tree diversity into the future. Listen and enjoy as we discuss his work with some of the world's most regal organisms. This episode was produced in part by Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Lisa, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Follow Dr. Hoban on Twitter - @seanmhoban

Learn more about some of the other work going on in Dr. Hoban's lab - HERE and HERE

Learn more about tree conservation at The Morton Arboretum

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Ep. 167 - Trial Gardens at Mt. Cuba Center

Nativars are frequently seen as unnatural mutant versions of their wild counterparts whose use overlooks the whole point of natives in the first place. Take, for instance, the popularity of double flowered nativars. These plants have been selected for an over-production of sepals and petals that can be so dense that they preclude visitation by pollinators. It would seem that nativars are a slippery slope to yet another sterile landscape incapable of supporting biodiversity. However, anecdotes don’t equal data and that is where places like Mt. Cuba Center come in. Located in northern Delaware, Mt. Cuba is doing something quite amazing for the sake of environmentally friendly landscaping – they are putting plants to the test. Joining us today is Manager of Horticultural Research, George Coomb to talk about what Mt. Cuba Center's trial gardens are all about. This episode was produced in part by Benjammin, Eli, Rachael, Stephanie, Philip, Henriette, Letícia, Ron, Tim, Carl, Lisa, Anthony, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sophia, Lisa, Brent, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Mountain Misery Farms, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Click here to learn more about the Mt. Cuba Center's trial gardens

Follow Mt. Cuba Center on Twitter - @MtCubaCenter

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Ep. 152 - Forests, Ozone, and Earth's Largest Mass Extinction

The End-Permian Extinction occurred some 252 million years ago. It has been referred to as "the day the earth nearly died.  It is estimated that the world lost up to 96% of all marine species, 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species, and 83% of all insect genera alive during that time. Life on this planet took much longer to rebound than at any other time in history. Though we know volcanism played a roll in this extinct, paleontologists have always been looking for a mechanism that could connect the two. Thanks to Jeff Benca and others, we now have an idea. In this episode we talk about how weakening of the ozone layer led to massive forest declines around the globe. This in turn had serious ramifications for the rest of the biosphere. This work not only fills a big gap in our prehistoric history, it tells an alarming tale for our future if we continue to disregard habitat destruction. This is one episode you don't want to miss. This episode was produced in part by Ron, Tim, Carl, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Mountain Misery Farms, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

Click here to follow Jeff's work

Follow Jeff on Twitter - @jeffbenca

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Ep. 151 - On The Ledge With Jane Perrone

I love houseplants which is why I am so excited for my guest this week. Joining us is the one and only Jane Perrone. Jane is the host of the amazing houseplant podcast On The Ledge. Join us for a discussion about our love for plants, podcasting, and why this hobby has become such an obsession. This episode was produced in part by Ron, Tim, Carl, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Mountain Misery Farms, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

Check out and subscribe to On The Ledge

Follow Jane on Twitter - @janeperrone

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Ep. 150 - Growing the Amazon Spheres

The Amazon Spheres are all about changing the "character of a workplace and an extended conversation about what is typically missing from urban offices– a direct link to nature." My guest today is Senior Manager of Horticulture Ron Gagliardo. What started as an obsession with the Venus fly trap grew into a lifelong career of growing plants. Ron is working hard to connect people with plants via the Amazon Spheres so join us for a wonderful discussion about creating a state of the art conservatory from the ground up. This episode was produced in part by Ron, Tim, Carl, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Mountain Misery Farms, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

Click here to learn more about the Amazon Spheres

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Ep. 149 - Are These Herbs Working feat. Erin & Erin from This Podcast Will Kill You

Today we are joined by Erin and Erin from This Podcast Will Kill You to take a closer look at a few herbs that are commonly used by us humans. In this episode we cover the ecological and medical significance of Echinacea and St. John's Wort. We are not experts so this was more about 3 science-minded individuals trying to learn more about a topic far too many people take for granted. We learned a ton and we think you will too! This episode was produced in part by Tim, Carl, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Mountain Misery Farms, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

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Ep. 147 - Inspiring the World Through Plants

My guest today is entrepreneur, author, and gardening enthusiast Summer Rayne Oakes. Summer fell in love with plants at an early age and has always felt that they helped her gain a deeper appreciation for nature as a whole. As such, she has steered her career in a multitude of directions in hopes of inspiring people to do better by the planet. Her most recent endeavors center on connecting people to the wonderful world of houseplants. Tim, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

Click here to check out the Kickstarter 

Click here to learn more about Homestead Brooklyn

Click here to check out Plant One On Me

Follow Summer on Instagram

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Ep. 146 - Vascular Plants of the World feat. Maarten Christenhusz, Mark Chase, and Michael Fay

How does one create an encyclopedia of the vascular plants of the world? My guests today are here to discuss exactly that. Joining us are Dr.'s Maarten Christenhusz, Mark Chase, and Michael Fay who recently published the monumental book "Plants of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants." This was a monumental undertaking that not only showcases the amazing diversity of vascular plants but also sets the stage for inspiring a new generation of scientists to take a closer look at the wonderful world of botany. This is one episode you do not want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Tim, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, and Laura.

Click here to pick up your own copy of the book

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Ep. 124 - Darwin's Backyard

Few may realize just how important plants were to the great Charles Darwin. Luckily, Dr. James Costa is bringing Darwin's botanical interests to the forefront with his latest book, "Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory." As if this book wasn't exciting enough, each chapter concludes with DIY instructions on how you and your friends and family can replicate some of Darwin's experiments in your own backyard. This is one conversation you don't want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Allan, Clifton, Katherina, Shane, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Jennifer, Sarah, Christopher, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, Laura, and Mark. 

Click here to order your own copy of Darwin's Backyard

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

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Ep. 117 - Alfred Russel Wallace and Evolution

Today we are continuing our conversation with Dr. James Costa. This week, we take a deeper look at the life of Alfred Russel Wallace, a man who independently began developing a theory of evolution. You will find out why we hardly remember Wallace for his contributions to this fascinating world of science and inquiry. This is a different kind of discussion than we normally have here at In Defense of Plants but I think it is important to humanize the sciences every now and then. This episode was produced in part by Allan, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Daniel, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Christopher, Sienna and Garth, Margie, Laura, and Mark.

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

Click here to pick up a copy of Dr. Costa's books

Click here to learn more about Highlands Biological Station

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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. 82 - Environmental Action: Putting Your Energy to Good Use

There are a lot of angry people out there. However, sitting on your couch and being apathetic is no good. Join me for a conversation with my good friend Bill Michalek about channeling your energy into environmental action. When Bill isn't teaching he is also co-hosting The Field Guides Podcast, a monthly show that takes you out into the field to learn about the environment. This episode was produced in part by  Allan, Gregory, Mark, Laura, and Margie.

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Ep. 49 - MuddyBoots Peru

I am one of those people that has always thought of Peru as a giant stretch of Amazonian rainforest. As it turns out, this couldn't be farther from the truth. From dry deserts to high elevation forests, Peru is a wonderfully dynamic place. It is also rich in biodiversity. These are just some of the aspects that inspired Josh Richards to start his own ecotourism company. Josh is using what he has learned over the years to turn this company into something that gives back to the environment. Muddyboots Peru stands out in its mission to go beyond tourism in order to foster a better relationship with Peru's natural heritage. This episode was produced in part by Alan of Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

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Ep. 39 - Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop

Science denial is a real and present danger in our society. From climate change to evolution, it would seem that an embarrassingly large sector of the human population likes what science gives them but hates the questions it asks. Science needs a narrative and it also needs people to tell its stories. Today I sit down for a conversation with one of my favorite science communicators, Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop. I wanted to get to know the person behind this awesome science channel. What follows is a fun conversation about pursuing your curiosities and celebrating the wonders of the natural world.  

The Brain Scoop on Tumblr

The Brain Scoop on Facebook

Visit The Field Museum

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Ep. 38 - A Tour of The Field Museum With Robbie Q. Telfer

You may remember Robbie from Episode 11 of the In Defense of Plants Podcast. He is the poet who is pushing to change the Illinois state flower from a nondescript violet to the Illinois endemic Kankakee mallow. I caught up with Robbie at his day job at The Field Museum in Chicago. He gives us a tour and updates us on his work with the Kankakee mallow as well as another endangered species. It is wonderful to see a museum taking such an active role in research and conservation. 

Visit The Field Museum

Click here to learn more about Habitat 2030

Click here to visit The Jackass Gardener blog

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Ep. 27 - Central America Part 1

In late August 2015 I took my first ever trip to Central America. I encountered so many new things and I want to tell you all about them. Join the lovely Sara Johnson and I as we chat about our experience backpacking through this wonderful region.