Ep. 234 - Mycorrhizal Fungi & Some Plants That Trick Them

The relationship between plants and mycorrhizal fungi is often painted as a beautiful, altruistic relationship, the reality is far more complex than that. Though this is one of the most important relationships on the planet, we still have a lot to learn about how plants and mycorrhizal fungi interact. Some of the most mysterious relationships between plants and fungi come from specialized parasitic plants called mycoheterotrophs or "fungus-eaters." My guest today is someone who has devoted her career to better understanding the spectrum of relationships that can form between plants, their roots, and different mycorrhizal fungi. Join University of Hawai'i at Manoa Assistant Professor Dr. Nicole Hynson and me as we dive into the incredible world of plant/fungal interactions. This episode was produced in part by Joanna, Griff, Philip, Paul, Matthew, Clark, 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, 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. 144 - Speciation in Parasites & Pitcher Plants

The study of evolution among parasitic and carnivorous plants is a fascinating world ripe for discovery. My guest today is botanist Dr. Chris Thorogood who, when not directing science communication at Oxford, is studying the various drivers or diversification among Orobanche and Nepenthes. He is also a talented botanical illustrator who credits his artistic side with helping him gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the plants he studies. This episode was produced in part by 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.

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Ep. 106 - Are Vines Parasites?

Vines are iconic the world around. Some are maligned whereas others are celebrated. Regardless of these viewpoints, their ecological importance cannot be understated. Joining us today to talk about the relationships between vines and trees is Tara Stewart, a PhD student at the University of Illinois. Tara and her colleague have taken a step back to ask some bigger theoretical questions about the relationships that vines have with trees. Join us for a fascinating discussion about this botanical lifestyle. 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.

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Ep. 76 - Broomrapes: A Celebration of an Interesting Family of Parasitic Plants

Parasites have earned themselves a bad reputation in our society. We often see them as nauseating freeloaders. This could not be farther from the truth. More and more we are starting to realize just how important parasites are in any given ecosystem. Not only do they promote and maintain biodiversity, they also serve as vital indicators of ecosystem health. My guest today is Brandi Cannon, a masters student at Columbia University. Brandi is busy focusing her education on understanding and conserving an endangered parasitic plant known scientifically as Schwalbea americana. Along the way we get a nice introduction to the broomrape family as well as gain a greater appreciation for the importance of parasitic plants. This episode is produced in part by Gregory, Mark, Bryan, Wonja, Margie, and Laura. 

You can reach out to Brandi via email: bcc2145@columbia.edu

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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. 

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