Ep. 214 - Unraveling the Mysteries of Baja's Botanical Bounty: A Conservation Story

The Baja Peninsula is home to a bewildering diversity of plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Despite all of its botanical treasures, we are only just beginning to understand the biogeographical nuances of this small spit of land. That is where people like Dr. Sula Vanderplank come in. A freelance botanist by trade, Dr. Vanderplank has recently been lending her talents to finding, describing, and conserving the plants that call Baja home. Of course, such efforts are made possible only by strong cross-border collaborations focused on protecting these amazing plants. This episode was produced in part by 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.

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Ep. 212 - Monkeyflower Extravaganza!

When Dr. Naomi Fraga started volunteering at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden herbarium, little did she know it would evolve into a total love affair with botanical diversity. Since that time, she has carved out an incredible niche with her work on moneyflowers (Phrymaceae). These charismatic plants offer so much for the curious minds. Join us as we discuss their diversity, taxonomy, and conservation. Along the way you will quickly realize just how much these plants have to teach us. This episode was produced in part by Cat, 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.

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Ep. 202 - Getting to the Root of Roots

There is no denying that roots are one of the most important organs on a plant. However, unless its an epiphyte, root activity takes place underground, largely out of site and out of mind. This has not stopped my guest today from trying to understand the origin and evolution of these amazing structures. Joining us from Magdalen College in the UK is plant evolutionary biologist Dr. Sandy Hetherington whose work spans hundreds of millions of years of root history. Join us as we explore the early days of root evolution and learn how things like fungal symbionts and a lack of organic matter set the course for root evolution. As you will hear, this work also relies heavily on museum and herbarium collections, underscoring the importance of preserving these important data goldmines. This episode was produced in part by 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.

Follow Dr. Hetherington on Twitter: @Sandy_Heth

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Ep. 198 - The State of the World's Trees

Assessing the status of all known tree species may seem like a monumental task and in many ways it is. However, that is exactly what a team of conservation scientists from Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and the IUCN are trying to do. Joining us to talk about these efforts is Dr. Malin Rivers who is Head of Conservation Prioritization for BGCI. She and her colleagues are working hard to gather data from a multitude of sources in order to better understand the myriad threats to tree species from all over the globe. From trying to put a number on all known tree species to working with local governments to properly assess and implement sound conservation efforts, the Global Tree Specialist Group is working hard to do its part to understand and protect tree diversity. This episode was produced in part by John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, 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, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Ep. 169 - Herbaria Are Data Gold Mines

Phenology, population size, distribution, genetic diversity - these are just some of the data locked up in herbaria around the globe. My guest today is Katelin Pearson and she has been working hard on making sure herbarium data are as available as they can be to everyone from scientists to artists, and even the general public. As you will hear, we herbaria succeed, so do the plants they help understand. This episode was produced in part by: Mohsin, doeg, 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.

Follow Katelin on Twitter - @themerekat

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Ep. 138 - The Botanical Wonders of Southeast Asia

It is hard to wrap your head around the floristic diversity of places like Southeast Asia. Indeed, it is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. The challenges and excitement of cataloguing the myriad plant species that call this region home are what drive Kew's Head of Identification and Naming and Senior Research Leader (Asia) Dr. Tim Utteridge. His love for finding and describing plants is readily apparent. Join us for a fun discussion about what it is like working with tropical Asia's plant life. This episode was produced in part by Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, and Laura.

Follow Dr. Utteridge on Twitter - @timutteridge

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Ep. 59 - Herbaria Revisited

A visit to The Field Museum in Chicago is always an adventure. You never know who you might run into. On a recent visit I had the honor of sitting down for a chat with one of the herbarium collections managers, Christine Niezgoda. She has dedicated her career to herbarium work and it was a wonderful experience to be able to pick her brain a bit. This episode was produced in part by Gregory.

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Ep. 57 - The Fascinating World of Liverworts

Say liverwort to some random person on the street and you are going to get some funny looks. Say it to the right person, however, and brace yourself because you are about to enter into a world hundreds of millions of years in the making. Liverworts represent something akin to the earliest stages in terrestrial plant evolution. Despite their diminutive stature, the world of liverworts is endlessly fascinating. For this reason I was very excited to sit down for a conversation with this week's guest. Laura Briscoe is a Research & Collections Assistant at The Field Museum who specializes  in liverwort biology and her work focuses on cataloguing and describing liverwort diversity. Her research takes her to a small island off the coast of Chile where liverwort diversity far outnumbers that of vascular plants such as trees. This was one of the most fascinating conversations I have ever had and I really think you are going to enjoy it.

Click here to learn more about Laura's work.

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Ep. 31 - Exploring Plant Diversity

What is a species? Why does it matter and what can we do with that information? What drives the patterns of plant diversity we see around the world? These are just some of the questions Dr. Iván Jiménez likes to investigate. Join me for an interesting conversation exploring plant richness. 

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