Ep. 224 - Resurrecting a Ghost: The Mission to Save the Ozark Chinquapin Pt. 1

The Ozark Chinquapin (Castanea ozarkensis) is a tree on the brink of extinction. Like its more popular cousin, the American chestnut, the Ozark Chinquapin is a victim of an introduce blight brought to this continent over a century ago. The loss of this tree was so severe that it has largely been forgotten. The Ozark Chinkquapin Foundation is trying to change that. There is hope for this species and it lies in scattered individuals that are proving to be surprisingly resistant to the deadly fungal infection. Joining us to talk about the mission to save the Ozark Chinquapin is the founding president of the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation, Steve Bost. Steve's passion for this tree is truly an inspiration and thanks to a dedicated group of individuals, this tree has a fighting chance at regaining at least some of its former glory. Join us for part 1 of an in depth look at what is being done to save the Ozark Chinquapin. This episode was produced in part by Bobby, Kate, Steven, Brittney, McMansion Hell, Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, 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, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Learn more about the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Support this Podcast

Pick up some In Defense of Plants merch!

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 221 - Galls Gone Wild!

Galls are everywhere once you start to look for them. These often elaborate plant growths are induced by a variety of organisms from insects to fungi and they are absolutely fascinating to study. Joining us to talk about the wild world of galls is Morton Arboretum's Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator, Tricia Bethke. Tricia spends a lot of time talking about plant health and galls are all part of the greater ecological picture. Join is for a mind blowing dive into the biology and ecology of plant galls. This episode was produced in part by Kate, Steven, Brittney, McMansion Hell, Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, 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, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Learn more about Tricia’s work

Support this podcast

Pick up some In Defense of Plants merch

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 207 - Into the Rooting Zone: Why Soil Carbon Matters

Grab your shovels because today we are heading underground to talk about soils. Joining us on this adventure is my friend and labmate Ron Salemme. Ron studies soil carbon cycling in the context of invasive plants and prescribed fire. In doing so, he works at the interface between plants and the soil environment where we are only just beginning to understand some of the most important processes on our planet. From dying microbes to plant exudates, Ron's work is helping us form a more complete picture of the role soil plays in storing carbon. This episode was produced in part by Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, 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, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Learn more about my speaking events at the Southern California Horticulture Society and the Theodore Payne Foundation

Check out In Defense of Plants merch!

Support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 168 - Orchid Conservation at Mt. Cuba Center

Today we are joined by botanist and orchid fanatic Adrienne Bozic to talk about how she turned a life long obsession with orchids into a career in trying to protect them. Mt Cuba Center is helping her do just that. Together with a team of citizen scientists, Mt. Cuba Center's orchid conservation efforts are serving as a model for other organizations and communities to work together to protect North America's terrestrial orchid species. This episode was produced in part by: Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Tim, Philip, Lisa, Brent, Leticia, 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 Adrienne's work

Click here to learn more about Mt. Cuba Center

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 141 - Beware of Beech Bark Disease

American beech (Fagus grandifolia) is one of the dominant forest trees in eastern North America. It is also under attack by a disease complex known as "beech bark disease." Join plant pathologist  Kristin Wickert and I for a discussion about the causes of this disease and what is being done to try and stop it. This episode was produced in part by 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.

Follow Kristen on Instagram

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 136 - Uncovering Antarctica's Forested Past

It may be hard to believe but Antarctica has a green past. Throughout its history, our southern polar continent has been the home to a variety of now-extinct biomes and my guest today is responsible for uncovering the oldest of these remains. Dr. Erik Gulbranson is part paleoecologist and part paleoclimatologist and what he and his collaborators are learning from these fossilized ecosystems not only helps us understand how life responded to climate change in the past, but also how it may respond in the future. This is one you don't want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitilin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, and Laura.

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

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 107 - Chestnut Blight: Causes and Solutions

This week we take a deep dive into the world of chestnut blight. This fungal pathogen was introduced to North America in the early 1900's and has all but eliminated one of the dominant tree species of eastern US forests. Our guest today is Kristin Wickert, a PhD student at West Virginia University specializing in plant fungal pathogens. Join us as we discuss the in's and out's of this conservation issue. 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.

Shoot Kristen an email at klw5421@gmail.com

Follow Kristen on Instagram

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

 

Ep. 81 - Contemplations on Biocontrol

No matter where you stand on the topic of invasive species, they are a force we must reckon with. My guest on this episode is working intimately with the ecology of an invasive tree known commonly as Tree of Heaven. Kristen Wickert is a PhD student at West Virginia University and she is investigating the use of a native species of fungus that is proving to be quit effective at ridding the landscape of this aggressive tree. Join us for a fascinating dive into the world of a plant pathologist. This episode was produced in part by  Allan, Gregory, Mark, Laura, and Margie.

Shoot Kristen an email at klw5421@gmail.com

Follow Kristen on Instagram

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 80 - Lichens and Their Conservation

Lichens are everywhere and we hardly ever notice them. Aside from their beauty and interesting symbiotic relationships, lichens are also crucial components of their environment. Today we are joined by Jessica Allen, a PhD student who is devoting her career to understanding and preserving these wonderful organisms. Please join us for a fascinating discussion about the world of lichens. This episode was produced in part by Gregory, Mark, Bryan, Laura, Margie, and Allan.

Click here to learn more about Jessica's work

Click here to read more about lichens

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 72 - In Search of a Peculiar Parasitic Orchid

This week we go in search of an interesting little parasite. Known scientifically as Corallorhiza odontorhiza, the autumn coralroot orchid haunts the forest floor throughout much of eastern North America. Despite this wide distribution, it is never very common and finding it can be quite a challenge. Not only is it small, it seamlessly blends into the background of forest debris. Join me as I brave hoards of mosquitoes in search of this little plant. Along the way we will meet lots of great species. This episode was produced in part by Gregory, Mark, and Bryan. 

Click here to learn more about the autumn coralroot orchid

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 63 - In Search of an Appalachian Bog

Bogs are not a common occurrence in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. That's why when we heard rumors of a re spruce bog not far from where we are staying we had to check it out. Join my friends and I on a journey to find this bog. Along the way we met many different species of plants, fungi, and birds. What better way to spend the holiday weekend than geeking out in the woods with friends?

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 12 - Parasitic Plants

Plants interact with fungi in incredible ways. From pathogens to important symbionts, it would seem that plants cannot escape the mycological community. There are plants out there that have reversed their role with fungi. These are the parasitic mycoheterotrophs. Join me for a discussion with Dr. Tom Horton from the SUNY college of Environmental Science and Forestry about these incredible marvels of evolution. This is certainly one you don't want to miss! 

Dr. Horton's Website

Music by Moneycat