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.

Learn more about Dr. Fraga’s work

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Ep. 210 - Pitcher Plants: A World Unto Themselves

In this episode we are taking a deep dive into the world of pitcher plant ecology, evolution, and conservation. Joining us from the Atlanta Botanical Garden is conservation scientist Dr. Jess Stephens to talk to us about her work on Sarracenia. The North American pitcher plants are worlds unto themselves and support an incredible ecosystem that we are only just beginning to understand. 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.

Learn more about Dr. Stephens’ work

Learn more about plant conservation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Follow their work on Instagram - @atlantabgconservation

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Ep. 200 - Books, Books, and More Books!

This week In Defense of Plants is celebrating its 200th episode with a bunch of book recommendations. I get a lot of emails from listeners each week and unfortunately I simply do not have the time to respond to all of them. One of the most popular questions I get revolves around which books I recommend. And because In Defense of Plants wouldn't be where it is today without the wonderful support of listeners like you, I thought it would be great to dedicate the 200th episode to a list of books worthy of your time. Joining us to discuss our reading adventures is the wonderful Sara Johnson, who has brought some great recommendations to the table. So join us as we talk about some of our favorite botanical/natural history themed reads.

Books in this episode:

1. Alice in the Land of Plants: Biology of Plants and Their Importance for Planet Earth - Yiannis Manetas

2. Readers Digest North American Wildlife

3. Nature's Palette: The Science of Plant Color - David Lee

4. A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold

5. A Natural History of Conifers - Aljos Farjon

6. The Orchid Thief - Susan Orlean

7. The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World by Fred Dortort

8. Earthly Pleasures - Roger B. Swain

9. The Flowering of Gondwana - Mary E. White, Jim Frazier

10. Gods of the Morning - John Lister-Kaye

11. Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants by Helen Fewster, Megan Douglass, Karyn Gerhard, Jamie Ambrose, Ross Bayton, Matt Candeias, Sarah Jose, Andrew Mikolajski, Esther Ripley, David Summers

This episode was produced in part by Oliver, 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.

Follow Sara on Twitter: @sjohnson4888

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Ep. 191 - The Changing Forests of the Andes

When it comes to our understanding of plants and climate change, the tropics are still a great unknown. However, the data we do have is telling us that our actions are already changing forests. Today we are joined by Dr. Ken Feeley to talk about some of his work looking at the forests of the Andes Mountains. You will soon learn just how difficult it can be to study such a biodiverse region. Nonetheless, Dr. Feeley and his colleagues are putting in great efforts to collect vital data on these species to help us better understand and act on conservation efforts. This episode was produced in part by 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, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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

Follow Dr. Feeley on Twitter - @kjfeeley

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Ep. 157 - Plants In Space

If humanity has a future in space travel, plants are going to play a significant role. That is why people like Dr. Rob Ferl have dedicated their career to understanding how plants respond to growing up there. Few things are more terrestrial than a plant, which makes growing these organisms in zero gravity so incredibly fascinating. Join us for a wonderful discussion about growing plants in space. This episode was produced in part by Letícia, 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, and Margie.

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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.

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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. 137 - Question Show #2!

You asked and In Defense of Plants answers! The long awaited second question show has arrived. You all sent in some excellent questions and we cover topics like the eclipse, epiphylly, sumac fruits, and aquatic angiosperms. Join us for an episode of learning and discovery. This episode was produced in part by 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 :)

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Ep. 118 - Reflections On Summer Botanizing

I am back in Illinois and I met up with my good friend Steve (co-host of The Field Guides Podcast) to wax poetic about summer botanizing. Steve has spent most of his summer exploring Illinois while I have been busying myself in the southern Appalachian Mountains. We bring a lot of interesting species to the table in this episode, each with its own memorable experience. 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 check out The Field Guides Podcast

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Ep. 110 - Resolving Ice Age Ecosysems: Using the Past to Understand the Future

Trying to piece together an accurate picture of past ecosystems requires a lot of patience and attention to detail. That is why I am so amazed by the work of today's guest. Joining us is paleoecologist Dr. Jacquelyn Gill to talk about her work on ice age ecology. The clues she uses to tell the story of these systems are surprisingly small but incredibly useful. What's more, her work can help us better understand how ecosystems are going to change as man-made climate change rages on. This is one episode you don't want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane. 

Click here to learn more about Dr. Gill's Work

Check out The Contemplative Mammoth

Listen to Warm Regards

Follow Dr. Gill on Twitter - @JacquelynGill

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Ep. 109 - Phylogenetics and the Largest Flower in the World

Joining us today from Harvard University is Dr. Charles Davis. His lab focuses on elucidating the phylogenetic relationships among the plants of the world. One of his most exciting projects revolves around a genus of plants known as Rafflesia, which is famous the world over for producing the largest single flower on this planet. Join us for a wonderfully enlightening conversation about taxonomy. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane. 

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

Check out the digital herbaria

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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. 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.

Click here to see a video journal of Laura in the field. 

Click here to contact Laura.

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Ep. 56 - Tales from the Field

Field season has arrived for many of us. Others have been in the field for weeks by now. Whether you study plants, fish, or geology, field work brings with it a sense of fun and adventure. It also comes with its own set of challenges. In celebration of the life of a field technician, I invited some of my friends and colleagues to tell us stories from the field. Some are funny and others end in a trip to the hospital. Regardless of the challenges, we wouldn't trade this lifestyle for anything. Join us this episode for some tales from the field!

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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

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