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. 156 - Botanizing a Lowland Tropical Rainforest in Costa Rica

Join Dr. Mark Whitten and me as we explore a lowland tropical forest in Costa Rica. I have never experienced such a warm, humid forest environment before and I met so many new and familiar plant species along the way. This is a great one for the senses as we immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of the understory. 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. 155 - Understanding Floral Chemistry

For Dr. Rob Raguso, the phrase "stop and smell the roses" takes on a whole new meaning. Dr. Raguso studies the intricate world of floral chemistry. You are undoubtedly familiar with some of the wonderful odors flowers produce but such tantalizing smells are only the beginning. The world of floral chemistry is quite remarkable and the function of the myriad substances they produce go much deeper than simply pollination. This conversation will put a whole new spin on your appreciation of flowering plants. 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. 154 - The Columnar Cacti Trifecta: My First Sonoran Experience

The Columnar Trifecta: the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea), the organ pipe (Stenocereus thurberi) and the senita (Pachycereus schottii) - Organ Pipe National Monument is the only place in the US where you can see these three cacti growing in sympatry in the wild. The organ pipe and the senita are largely Mexican cacti that barely make their way into southern Arizona. Join the wonderful Sara Johnson and me as we explore the Sonoran Desert for the first time in search of these wonderful succulents. 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. 153 - Botany & Culture at Longwood Gardens

My guest today is plant breeder, horticulturist, and botanical explorer Dr. Peter Zale. As part of the research staff at Longwood Gardens, Dr. Zale is utilizing his expertise to put plants in the spotlight. From exploring tropical jungles to propagating endangered orchids, Longwood Gardens is at the forefront of botanical education. Join us for a glimpse at what is going on at Longwood Gardens. This episode was produced in part by 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, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

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Ep. 152 - Forests, Ozone, and Earth's Largest Mass Extinction

The End-Permian Extinction occurred some 252 million years ago. It has been referred to as "the day the earth nearly died.  It is estimated that the world lost up to 96% of all marine species, 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species, and 83% of all insect genera alive during that time. Life on this planet took much longer to rebound than at any other time in history. Though we know volcanism played a roll in this extinct, paleontologists have always been looking for a mechanism that could connect the two. Thanks to Jeff Benca and others, we now have an idea. In this episode we talk about how weakening of the ozone layer led to massive forest declines around the globe. This in turn had serious ramifications for the rest of the biosphere. This work not only fills a big gap in our prehistoric history, it tells an alarming tale for our future if we continue to disregard habitat destruction. This is one episode you don't want to miss. This episode was produced in part by 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, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

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Ep. 151 - On The Ledge With Jane Perrone

I love houseplants which is why I am so excited for my guest this week. Joining us is the one and only Jane Perrone. Jane is the host of the amazing houseplant podcast On The Ledge. Join us for a discussion about our love for plants, podcasting, and why this hobby has become such an obsession. This episode was produced in part by 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, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

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Ep. 150 - Growing the Amazon Spheres

The Amazon Spheres are all about changing the "character of a workplace and an extended conversation about what is typically missing from urban offices– a direct link to nature." My guest today is Senior Manager of Horticulture Ron Gagliardo. What started as an obsession with the Venus fly trap grew into a lifelong career of growing plants. Ron is working hard to connect people with plants via the Amazon Spheres so join us for a wonderful discussion about creating a state of the art conservatory from the ground up. This episode was produced in part by 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, Sienna & Garth, Troy, 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. 147 - Inspiring the World Through Plants

My guest today is entrepreneur, author, and gardening enthusiast Summer Rayne Oakes. Summer fell in love with plants at an early age and has always felt that they helped her gain a deeper appreciation for nature as a whole. As such, she has steered her career in a multitude of directions in hopes of inspiring people to do better by the planet. Her most recent endeavors center on connecting people to the wonderful world of houseplants. 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, 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. 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. 143 - Botanizing in Bolivia

Today we are joined by two of my favorite people - expert horticulturist Dave Janas (ep's. 15, 33, and 34) and restoration ecologist Estefania Fernandez (ep. 95) - to talk about their botany-fueled trip to Bolivia. One can only imagine what a country like Bolivia holds for botanically minded folks like these. From the high elevation Andes to the humid portions of lowland Amazonia, we discuss some of their experiences exploring this beautiful country. 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.

If you would like to know more about the proposed Bala and Chepete reservoirs, click HERE and HERE

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Ep. 142 - The Hemlock Restoration Initiative

Eastern North America has two species of hemlock - the eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and the Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana) - both of which have been hit by an invasive insect pest - the hemlock wooly adelgid. This pest has devastated hemlock populations in the southern portions of their range and climate change may spell disaster for trees growing farther north. However, there is hope in organizations like the Hemlock Restoration Initiative. I am joined today by Sara deFosset to talk about what communities and organizations are doing to save these wonderful and important trees. 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. 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.

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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. 139 - Tropical Dry Forests

Despite representing nearly half of the tropical forests around the globe, tropical dry forest ecosystems have largely been overshadowed by rainforests. Sadly, most attention that has been paid to these diverse ecosystems has come in the form of agriculture. As such, the world has lost much of its old growth tropical dry forests. How these forests recover from such disturbance and how they are going to persist in the face of climate change are just some of the questions Dr. Jennifer Powers is trying to answer. Join us for a wonderful conversation about some of the most poorly understood ecosystems on our planet. This episode was produced in part by Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plants 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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