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. 218 - The Cactoblastis Conundrum

Today we are talking about an invasive species issue that may spell disaster for some cacti in North America. The cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) originated in South America but has been moved all around the world as a form of biocontrol for invasive prickly pear cacti (Opuntia spp.). Thanks to some introductions into the Caribbean, it has since found its way to southern North America where it was the potential to seriously upset the balance for native prickly pear. This could be bad news because prickly pear are super important components of the flora wherever they occur. Joining us to provide some insights into the invasive cactus moth issue is Dr. Chris Brooks, an associate professor at Mississippi State University. His work focuses on the various nuances to invasive cactus moth ecology. What Dr. Brooks and his colleagues are finding is a more intricate picture of invasion biology than I ever realized. Join us for a fascinating and in depth look at this invasive species conundrum. This episode was produced in part by 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 Dr. Brooks’ work

Learn more about the cactus moth

Check out all of the In Defense of Plants merch!

Support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 209 - Invasion of the Cattails

What wetland scene would be complete without a few cattails? The genus Typha is synonymous with wetlands yet as you will hear in this episode, we know so little about them. Joining us is Dr. Pam Geddes from Northeastern Illinois University to talk to us about her work on cattail invasion ecology. What started as a question about ecosystem function and monocultures has morphed into an exploration that involves asking questions like "how do we define a species?" Settle in and learn about the wild world of cattails. 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.

Send Dr. Geddes an email: p-geddes@neiu.edu

Learn more about her work

Support this podcast

Check out our merch!

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. 166 - Ants As Seed Dispersers a.k.a. The Myrmecochory Episode!

Ants are everywhere yet unless they find their way into our homes, we don't give them much thought. This episode is all about a group of ants that are crucial to the health of myriad plants around the globe. I am, of course, talking about the seed-dispersing ants. Joining us for this discussion is Dr. Robert Warren, a professor at SUNY Buffalo State, who studies the ecology of a handful of these wonderful ants and the plants they interact with. 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 Dr. Warren's work

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. 127 - What Is Going On With Seed Dispersal In Hawai'i?

The title says it all. My guest today is Amy Hruska, a PhD student at the University of Hawai'i. Her research bridges the gaps between invasive species, extinction, and seed dispersal in Hawaiian forests. Join us for an enlightening discussion about where a botanist fits in to this system. This episode was produced in part by Allan, Clifton, Holly, Katherina, Shane, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Jennifer, Sarah, Christopher, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, Laura, and Mark. 

Click here to learn more about Amy's work

Follow Amy on Twitter - @AmyHruska

Check out Amy's blog

Learn more about the Hawai'i VINE Project

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

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

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. 50 - Restoration Ecology with Author Paddy Woodworth

Restoration ecology represents a juxtaposition between science, the public, and human values. It is often a hot button topic full of strong and sometimes contentious opinions. The practice itself offers humanity a chance to regain what has been lost, to right at least some of our environmental wrongs. Whereas the science of restoration is in its infancy, the effort has been ongoing, sometimes for decades. Author Paddy Woodworth has written a wonderful book on the subject called "Our Once and Future Planet." He joins us for a thoughtful discussion regarding what he has learned about the subject after a decade of investigating it. As you will hear, he demonstrates just how complex the very idea of restoration can be, especially in a century of rapidly changing climate. This episode was produced in part by Allan of Kenosha, WI. 

Click here to pick up your own copy of "Our Once and Future Planet."

Click here to learn more about Paddy Woodworth

Click here to support this podcast

Music by Moneycat

Ep. 9 - Plants In a Drying Climate

Ecosystems around the world have been getting progressively drier. With changes in annual precipitation and desertification on the rise, understanding how plants and ecosystems in general respond to drought is of growing importance in ecology. Join me for a conversation with Dr. Dan Potts of SUNY Buffalo State about his research into plant responses to changing precipitation. 

 

Dr. Potts' Website

Music by Moneycat 

Ep. 4 - Invasive Species: A Refreshing Take

Community ecologist Dr. Robert Warren joins us from SUNY Buffalo State for an interesting discussion on invasive plant species. Learn about the challenges of this type of research, rapid evolution, and Eltonian noise. This is a refreshing departure from the normal when it comes to invasive species discussions. 

 

Dr. Warren's Website

Music by Moneycat