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

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Ep. 161 - Bucket Orchids, Ant Nests, and Fragrance-Collecting Bees

Our guest today is Dr. Günter Gerlach from the Botanical Garden Munich to discuss a group of orchids in the genus Coryanthes. These bizarre orchids grow only in arboreal ant nests from Mexico into South America. If that wasn't cool enough, Coryanthes flowers produce a large, water-filled bucket that traps fragrance-collecting bees, forcing them into pollinating the orchid. We also hear from my good friend and graphic designer, Thom Pirson, about the new In Defense of Plants stickers that he designed! This is one episode you don't want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Philip, 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.

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

Follow Thom on Twitter - @Samohtep

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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.

Click here to learn more about Melissa's work

Click here to learn more about Jardín Botánico Lankester

Haga clic aquí para conocer más sobre el jardín botánico Lankester

Click here to check out the Epidendra Orchid Database

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Ep. 121 - Mosquitoes: The Unlikely Pollinators

Mosquitoes are maligned the world over and often for very good reason. However, there are a plethora of different species of mosquito on this planet and many of them do not bite humans or spread disease. In fact, some of them are important pollinators. In this episode we take a closer look at an orchid that relies on mosquitoes for pollination. The one leaved rein orchid (Platanthera obtusata) grows in close association with mosquitoes and our guests, postdoc Chloé Lahondère and grad student Ryo Okubo are working hard to understand how this system works. Their research not only helps us understand these overlooked pollinators but also provides deeper insights into how mosquitoes find their food sources. This is a great example of the kind of collaborative science I love!

Click here to learn more about the orchid

Click here to learn more about their work

Click here to learn more about the neural behavior of mosquitoes

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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

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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

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