Ep. 159 - An Orchid That Mimics Aphids?

My guest today is Melissa Díaz-Morales from the Jardín Botánico Lankester in Costa Rica and her work focuses on orchid pollination. Orchids are known for their deceitful pollination syndromes and Melissa has spent the last few years working on a lady slipper orchid known as Phragmipedium longifolium. This flowers of this beautiful orchid appear to be mimicking aphid infestations. Why is that? Listen and find out ;) This episode was produced in part by Letícia, Ron, Tim, Carl, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, 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.

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Ep. 58 - Saving the Rainforest

"Save the rainforest." It is probably the most pervasive meme in environmentalism. It means a lot of different things to many different people, but what does it mean in practice? How do we save the rainforest? This week's guest is working on exactly that. Dr. Corine Vriesendorp is the director of the Andes-Amazon Project for The Field Museum. Their multifaceted approach is highlighting the need to conserve these biologically diverse areas while at the same time, empowering and engaging local communities and governments by helping preserve their quality of life. In total they have managed to protect over 9 million acres of pristine rainforest in countries like Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. This is one episode you do not want to miss!

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Ep. 48 - Coffee Ecology

Worldwide, we humans drink roughly 2.25 billion cups of coffee per day. Our consumption of coffee comes at a great cost to the environment. Around 11 million hectares of land have been turned into coffee plantations, much of which consists of large scale, chemically laden, industrial monocultures. Because of its massive ecological impact, people like Dr. Ivette Perfecto from the University of Michigan have dedicated their research careers to helping make coffee farming more ecologically friendly. It all starts with small scale farmers in Latin America. By introducing ecological principals back into the farming practices of this region, Dr. Perfecto and her collaborators are helping to make coffee farming more sustainable, and at the same time, helping to educate local farmers about the importance of nature and all of its players. Join me for a fascinating conversation about coffee ecology. This episode was produced in part by Alan from 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.  

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