Ep. 186 - Being Totally Obsessed With Botany

When Joey Santore went searching for a biological "origin story" of sorts, he stumbled into the world of botany. He hasn't looked back ever since. As a fellow phyto-obsessive personality, Joey is dedicating most of his spare time to not only understanding plant diversity but also sharing his passion for botany with the world. Joey runs probably my favorite Instagram page https://bit.ly/2z6n3By and his stories are as educational as they are insightful and entertaining. Join us for a botanically enthused conversation about our mutual love for plants. Be warned, strong language contained within this recording! This episode was produced in part by 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.

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Ep. 185 - The Importance of Conservation Horticulture

Imagine you are at work and someone comes into your office and throws down a handful of plant cuttings on your desk. They look at you with hopeful concern in their eyes and say "these are cuttings from an endangered plant. There are only 3 left in the wild and this one fell off of a cliff." This is all in a days work for my guest today. Joining us is Ashly Trask, conservation horticulturist and nursery manager for the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kauai, Hawai'i. For Ashly, what started as a hobby has evolved into a career dedicated to propagating and cultivating rare and endangered plants. Join us for a fascinating and passionate discussion about growing plants for conservation. This episode was produced in part by 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.

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Ep. 180 - A Mossome Citizen Science Opportunity

My guest today is Dr. Rafa Medina from Augustana College in Rock Island Illinois and he comes to us with a wonderful citizen science opportunity. Dr. Medina is interested in moss evolution and how polyploidy may factor into the equation. To better understand this process, Dr. Medina and his colleagues are hoping that you can provide samples from all over North America and Europe of a common moss affectionately referred to as goblet or bladder moss (Physcomitrium pyriforme). Join in and learn how you can be a part of this incredible research. This episode was produced in part by 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 access the PhyscoHunt training document

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Follow Dr. Medina on Twitter - @bryomedina

Ep. 162 - Of Dinosaurs and Plants

Who hasn't marveled at the fossilized remains of a dinosaur? Though their lineage lives on today in the form of birds, historically, dinosaurs were once far more diverse. Needless to say, they shaped the world around them just as much as the world shaped them, and this certainly included interactions with plants. Plant eating dinosaurs were some of the largest organisms to ever walk this earth and my guest today studies exactly that. Join the Natural History Museum in London's Dr Paul Barrett and I as we discuss herbivory in ancient dinosaur lineages. This episode was produced in part by Philip, Letícia, Ron, Tim, Carl, Lisa, 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.

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Ep. 149 - Are These Herbs Working feat. Erin & Erin from This Podcast Will Kill You

Today we are joined by Erin and Erin from This Podcast Will Kill You to take a closer look at a few herbs that are commonly used by us humans. In this episode we cover the ecological and medical significance of Echinacea and St. John's Wort. We are not experts so this was more about 3 science-minded individuals trying to learn more about a topic far too many people take for granted. We learned a ton and we think you will too! This episode was produced in part by 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, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

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Ep. 148 - Cecropia Trees, Ant Bodyguards, and Collective Personality

Plants, being sessile organisms, must go to great lengths to protect themselves from herbivores. Sometimes this takes the form of spines or thorns, sometimes its nasty chemicals, and sometimes it means recruiting ants as bodyguards. Peter Marting is my guest today and he studies how one group of tropical trees in the genus Cecropia recruits and houses ants and how the interaction between these two different organisms influences the collective personality of the ant colonies. This episode was produced in part by Tim, 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, Sienna & Garth, Troy, 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. 145 - Obscure Apocynaceae Appreciation

There are far too many plants in this world that get little to no attention. Such is the case for a group of milkweed relatives in the genus Chthamalia. Luckily for these plants, a chance encounter by Dr. Angela McDonnell led to a wonderful world of discovery. From describing new species to understanding the evolution of this amazing group, Dr. McDonnell has opened our eyes to the wonders of the genus Chthamalia. Join us for a fun discussion about her love for plants and their evolution. The episode was produced in part by 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. 140 - Discussing Impatiens With Mr. Impatiens

Impatiens is the largest of two genera in the family Balsaminaceae. Its myriad species hail from a variety of habitats and exhibit a multitude of interesting growth habits. Join me and my guest Mr. Impatiens as we discuss the wonders of this beautiful genus of plants. From growing them to conserving them, this is your introduction to Impatiens. This episode was produced in part by 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.

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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. 129 - Garden Inspiration With Peter Donegan of The SodShow

I can't think of a gardener with a better sense of humor than Peter Donegan. Peter not only owns and operates an award-winning landscape design company, he is also the host of the wonderful horticulture podcast The SodShow. Join us as we wax poetic about our mutual love for growing plants and our journey through the world of podcasting. This episode was produced in part by Allan, Clifton, Sebastian, Holly, Katherina, Shane, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Jennifer, Sarah, Christopher, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, Laura, and Mark.

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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.

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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. 

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Ep. 103 - The Trout Lily Project

Calling all citizen scientists! The Trout Lilt Project needs your help! Joining us today is Dr. Emily Austen, a post doc at the University of Ottawa. You may remember Dr. Austen from episode 52 where we discussed her work on the evolution of flowering plants. Shes back today to give us updates on the results of 2016's citizen science reporting as well as to call for more citizen scientists to help with the project. 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. 102 - Building a Flora of Syria

Did you know that there are many regions around the world that incomplete floras? Syria is one such place and my guest today is working very hard on adding to our understanding of this biodiverse region. With her focus on geophytes, Angham Daiyoub is scouring the mountainous regions of western Syria to characterize the seasonal plant diversity. There are many challenges associated with this task so join us for a fascinating discussion of what its like to be a botanist in Syria. 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. 91 - Botanizing a Long Leaf Pine Savanna

This week we take an enlightening hike through a long leaf pine savanna. Our guide is botanist extraordinaire, Dr. Mark Whitten of the Florida Museum of Natural History. I learned a lot on this hike through one of North America's most biodiverse habitat types. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Maz, Beccah, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

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Ep. 75 - The Question Show!

It's here! The long awaited question show has arrived. Over the last few weeks listeners have been submitting their botanical questions for me to answer. I got some great questions and it was really fun doing the research in hope of providing satisfactory answers. I cover a lot of cool topics from leaf color to carnivorous plants and even some phylogenetics. This was a really fun episode to record. I learned a lot in the process and I hope you will too! This episode was produced in part by Gregory, Mark, Bryan, and Laura.

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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. 

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Ep. 48 - Coffee Ecology

Worldwide, we humans drink roughly 2.25 billion cups of coffee per day. Our consumption of coffee comes at a great cost to the environment. Around 11 million hectares of land have been turned into coffee plantations, much of which consists of large scale, chemically laden, industrial monocultures. Because of its massive ecological impact, people like Dr. Ivette Perfecto from the University of Michigan have dedicated their research careers to helping make coffee farming more ecologically friendly. It all starts with small scale farmers in Latin America. By introducing ecological principals back into the farming practices of this region, Dr. Perfecto and her collaborators are helping to make coffee farming more sustainable, and at the same time, helping to educate local farmers about the importance of nature and all of its players. Join me for a fascinating conversation about coffee ecology. This episode was produced in part by Alan from Wisconsin.

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