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BioScience Talks Profile

BioScience Talks

English, Sciences, 1 season, 155 episodes, 3 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes
About
We hope you enjoy these in-depth discussions of recently published BioScience articles and other science stories. Each episode of our interview series delves into the research behind a highlighted story, giving listeners unique insight into scientists' work.
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Soundscape Ecology, with Bryan Pijanowski

Today's episode features Dr. Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Soundscape Ecology in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University, in Indiana. He is the author of "Principles of Soundscape Ecology: Discovering Our Sonic World," which was just released and is a definitive guide to the field of soundscape ecology, the topic of today's episode. Dr. Pijanowski is also the author of an influential BioScience article on the field. Learn more about soundscape ecology at the Center for Global Soundscapes, and be sure to check whether the IMAX film discussed in the interview is playing near you. 
7/1/202444 minutes, 11 seconds
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Live from the Association of Southeastern Biologists Annual Meeting

Today's episode is a mostly onsite podcast from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where BioScience Talks was graciously hosted earlier this spring by the Association of Southeastern Biologists at their annual meeting. Our guests represent a broad range of exciting research and career stages. The meeting was striking in its emphasis on providing a welcoming environment for students. Learn more about ASB here (https://www.sebiologists.org), and be sure to attend a meeting. Our guests included: Amy Allen, Lee High School; Barbara Comer, Georgia Southern University; Skyler Fox, Georgia Southern University; Heather Joesting, Georgia Southern University; Chinyere Knight, Tuskegee University; Howard Neufeld, Appalachian State University; Jeremy Rentsch, Francis Marion University; Jennifer Rhode Ward, University of North Carolina Asheville; and Ashleigh Woods, Wesleyan College.
6/10/20241 hour, 47 seconds
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One Health (and more) with DeeAnn Reeder

For this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by DeeAnn Reeder, Professor of Biology at Bucknell University and a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution. We spoke about a number of topics, including bats, disease ecology, and community outreach. Underlying that conversation was an important message about the One Health concept, which will be the subject of a forthcoming special issue of BioScience.  Potential contributors to the One Health special issue can find more information here. Read Dr. Reeder's latest paper, Ecological countermeasures to prevent pathogen spillover and subsequent pandemics | Nature Communications.
3/27/202451 minutes, 10 seconds
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Spy Satellites for Ecology, with Catalina Munteanu and Volker Radeloff

For today's episode, we're joined by Catalina Munteanu, Researcher at the University of Frieberg in Germany, who has a background in geography and forest sciences. Also joining us is Volker Radeloff, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the SILVIS Lab, where he works on satellite imagery to look at land use. They were here to discuss the potential value of images from Cold War-era spy satellites for current ecological research and practice.  Read their article in BioScience. Captions are available on YouTube.
3/8/202426 minutes, 53 seconds
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Pollinator Roadside Habitat, with Thomas Meinzen, Diane Debinski, and Laura Burkle

For today's episode, we're joined by Thomas Meinzen, recent Master's of Science graduate from Montana State University in Bozeman, Diane Debinski, who is a Professor and Department Head in the Department of Ecology at MSU, and Laura Burkle, a Professor also in the MSU Ecology Department. They were here to talk about the subject of their recent BioScience article, roadside verges, and in particular, the way that these habitats may prove to be a boon—or bane—for pollinating insects.  Captions are available on YouTube.
2/15/202431 minutes, 31 seconds
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Shipwreck Ecology, with Avery Paxton, Chris Taylor, and Melanie Damour

For today's episode, we're joined by Avery Paxton, who is a Research Marine Biologist with NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Chris Taylor, Research Ecologist, also with NOAA's NCCOS, and Melanie Damour, who is a Marine Archeologist and the Environmental Studies Coordinator with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Gulf of Mexico Region Office. They were here to discuss their recent BioScience article on "Shipwreck Ecology," and the ways in which these sites can be hotspots for biodiversity—and also for research.  Read the article here.  Captions can be found on YouTube. 
1/10/202428 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Global Women in Herpetology Project (and Book), with Sinlan Poo

For today's episode, we jump back to last spring's Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Our guest is Sinlan Poo, Curator of Research at the Memphis Zoo and one of the co-organizers of the Global Women in Herpetology Project. You may remember her from a previous interview, but we recorded an extra mini-podcast to talk about the book "Women in Herpetology: 50 Stories from Around the World," which features a diverse group of authors describing their journeys to and through the world of herpetology. Proceeds from the book's sales will fund a conference scholarship for women students.  Captions are available on YouTube. 
1/3/202410 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Re-Envisioning Culture Network, with Simone Soso

For today's episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Simone Soso, Assistant Director of Research and Workforce Development at the MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium. She was here to discuss the NSF-funded Re-Envisioning Culture (or REC) Network and its recent activities. I'll let her tell you more, though, so let's go to the interview. Captions are available on YouTube.
12/15/202320 minutes, 40 seconds
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Rewilding Governance, with Jeremy Bruskotter and John Vucetich

In this episode, we're joined by Jeremy Bruskotter, faculty member and Professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University and John Vucetich, Distinguished Professor at Michigan Technological University, in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. They were here to talk about their recent article in BioScience on the governance issues related to rewilding, or the restoration of native species to their traditional ranges. Read the article here.Captions are available on YouTube.
12/1/202326 minutes, 19 seconds
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READI-Net, with Adam Sepulveda

Our guest for this episode of BioScience Talks is Adam Sepulveda, Research Scientist with the US Geological Survey's Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman, Montana. He joined us to talk about READI-Net, an environmental DNA-based program that was recently funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill as a priority for addressing aquatic invasive species. Learn more about READI-Net here. Captions are available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2G-6AEwJE8Y
10/27/202330 minutes, 50 seconds
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Organization of Biological Field Stations

Today’s episode features three representatives of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS), which is an American Institute of Biological Sciences member organization. We discussed many topics related to field stations, including the research performed there, as well as the ways that field stations collaborate through organizations like OBFS and AIBS to improve their research, education, and outreach efforts. Our guests were: Lara Roketenetz, Director of the University of Akron Field Station, in Ohio. She is also currently serving as President of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.  Rhonda Struminger, Codirector and Cofounder of the Centro de Investigaciones Científicas de las Huastecas "Aguazarca" (CICHAZ), in Calnali, Hidalgo, Mexico. She is also affiliated with the University of Padova, in Italy, and is Cochair of the OBFS's International Committee.  Chris Lorentz, Professor of Biological Sciences at Thomas More University and Director of Ohio River Biology Field Station. He is currently serving as Past President of OBFS.  Learn more about OBFS and their ongoing efforts on their website.Captions can be found on YouTube.
10/19/202332 minutes, 20 seconds
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On Site at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

This episode of BioScience Talks was recorded on location at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Norfolk, Virginia, and features a range of presenters and organizers.Our first guests were Sinlan Poo, who is Curator of Research at the Memphis Zoo and affiliated with Arkansas State University, and Prosanta Chakrabarty, who is Curator of Fishes and a Professor at Louisiana State University's Museum of Natural Science. Dr. Chakrabarty is also the current President of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, one of the organizations that convened the meeting. They joined me to talk about the ZooMu symposium, which was held as part of the meeting. Read more about zoo and museum collaboration in BioScience. Next up, I sat down with Karen Caceres from Old Dominion University. She spoke about Florida cottonmouths and how they manage to live on small islands that typically lack freshwater resources. Maisie MacKnight, PhD candidate at Penn State, gave a talk about fieldwork and the ways in which it can be made safe and inclusive for all participants. We discussed her talk, as well as some of her other work. Oliver Shipley, Research Professor at Stony Brook University in New York, and Maria Manz, a graduate student at Stony Brook University, joined me to talk about sharks, their movement, and the ways that scientists study them.  Erin Anthony, President of the Virginia Herpetological Society, chatted with me about her organization's public outreach efforts, as well as herps native to Virginia.Last, I was joined by Sarah Yerrace, a master's student at the University of Washington in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Her talk was focused on the invasive lionfish, and we chatted about a new approach to surveying their abundance at deep ocean depths.Captions are available on YouTube. 
9/28/202359 minutes, 39 seconds
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Wolf Recovery and Its Challenges, with David Mech and David Ausband

For today's episode, we were joined by L. David Mech, from the US Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center and the University of Minnesota in St. Paul and David E. Ausband, from the Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, at the University of Idaho. They were here to talk about the successful recovery of gray wolves in North America, and in particular, the challenges associated with that success. Below is a brief article describing their BioScience article.____Over the past 30 years, efforts to recover gray wolf populations in the United States have been broadly successful, with many regions now sporting robust populations of the charismatic carnivore. Writing in BioScience, wolf experts David E. Ausband and L. David Mech describe the conservation landscape and also the obstacles that wolves face as their populations expand into their historical ranges."Remarkable wolf conservation success yields remarkable challenges," say the authors, as 6000 wolves now occupy habitat across 11 states. These growing populations now face significant threats as they attempt to colonize human-dominated areas, among them "fragmented habitats and barriers to dispersal, as well as increased encounters with humans, pets, and livestock."In response to those concerned about wolves’ potential impacts to prey populations and domestic livestock production, many jurisdictions have ramped up wolf efforts. For instance, in Wisconsin, "the legislature requires a public hunting or trapping season whenever wolves are delisted from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) list of Endangered species." In contrast, wolves are seen as desirable in other areas, such as Colorado, where voters recently passed a ballot initiative to reintroduce them in the state. The authors caution that such pro-reintroduction initiatives, which may seem initially promising for wolves, could have the unintended consequence of setting precedent for laws barring reintroduction and thus complicate management. An uncertain regulatory regime, say Ausband and Mech, could cause major fluctuations in wolf populations, with dire consequences for conservation efforts.The answer to this quandary, the authors suggest, is thoughtful management that carefully considers the needs of diverse stakeholders: "Future wolf conservation in the United States will be affected by the ability of managers to predict colonization and dispersal dynamics, to reduce hybridization and disease transmission, to mitigate and deter wolf–livestock conflicts, to harvest wolves sustainably while satisfying diverse stakeholders, to avert a reduction in tolerance for wolves due to a disinterest in nature, and to engage diverse stakeholders in wolf conservation to avoid management by ballot initiative or legislative and judicial decrees." Only through such science-informed management, argue Ausband and Mech, can the present success of wolf conservation be built on in the future. Captions for this episode are available on YouTube.
9/6/202327 minutes, 43 seconds
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A Dispatch from the AIBS Congressional Visits Day

Today's episode of BioScience Talks is a second dispatch from AIBS's spring Congressional Visits Day, which is a program that gives researchers a chance to travel to Washington, DC, to meet with their Congressional representatives and advocate for science. I had the chance to talk with a number of participants about their research, their interest in policy, and their plans for the next day's Capitol Hill visits. Participants included:Peri Lee Pipkin, University of California Botanic Garden, Claremont UniversityConner Philson, University of California, Los Angeles; Rocky Mountain Biological LaboratoryValentina Alvarez, University of Hawaii at ManoaKatherine Charton, University of WisconsinLauren Orton, Sauk Valley Community CollegeRebecca Kauten, Iowa Lakeside LaboratoryNews about this year's event.Learn more about our Congressional Visits Day, and stay tuned for the next event. Captions are available on YouTube.
8/11/202322 minutes, 46 seconds
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The Past, Present, and Future of Water, with Peter Gleick

For today's episode, I was joined by Dr. Peter Gleick, Cofounder and Senior Fellow at the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, author of the new book, The Three Ages of Water, and member of the National Academy Sciences. He joined me to talk about a number of water-related topics, starting with a recent piece he wrote in the Kyiv Independent about the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on the Dnieper River and the ensuing human and ecological tragedies. We also discussed his new book, which tells the fascinating story of human history and the way that it has always been deeply intertwined with the history of water on Earth.  Learn more about the book: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/peter-gleick/the-three-ages-of-water/9781541702271/ Dr. Gleick's personal website: www.gleick.com The article in the Kyiv Independent: https://kyivindependent.com/peter-gleick-a-call-to-condemn-attacks-on-water-systems-in-ukraine/ Closed captions can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/etWCiDxnSBw
7/31/202333 minutes, 15 seconds
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50 Years of SACNAS, with Executive Director Juan Amador

For today's episode, I was joined by Juan Amador, who is the Executive Director for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). We discussed SACNAS's 50th anniversary, its upcoming meeting, as well as the organization's crucial work over the years.  Become a SACNAS member.Donate to SACNAS.Learn more about the 2023 National Diversity in STEM (NDiSTEM) Conference in Portland Oregon, 22–26 October. Closed captions are available on YouTube.
7/25/202330 minutes, 24 seconds
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Under the Weather with John Van Stan: Scientists Should Spend More Time in the Rain

For today's episode, we're joined by Dr. John Van Stan, Associate Professor at Cleveland State University in the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, where he runs the Wet Plant Lab. A description of the article follows, and captions can be found on YouTube . Scientists need to get out of the lab and into the rain, say an interdisciplinary group of researchers led by John T. Van Stan of Cleveland State University. Writing in the journal BioScience, the authors make the case that human observation of storm events (be it rain, snow, or occult deposition) is key to understanding wet weather and its myriad effects on the natural world.Recently, Van Stan and colleagues noted a trend in the scientific community towards relying on remote sensing to study storms and their consequences: "Natural scientists seem increasingly content to stay dry and rely on remote sensors and samplers, models, and virtual experiments to understand natural systems. Consequently, we can miss important stormy phenomena, imaginative inspirations, and opportunities to build intuition—all of which are critical to scientific progress." This type of "umbrella science," they warn, can miss important localized events. For instance, in describing rainwater's flow from the forest canopy to the soils, the authors note that "if several branches efficiently capture and drain stormwaters to the stem, rainwater inputs to near-stem soils can be more than 100 times greater."The authors also point out that important phenomena like low-lying fog events, vapor trapped beneath forest canopies, and condensate plumes may escape remote detection, yet be sensible to scientists on the ground. At the broader scale, these oversights can affect Earth systems models, which often underestimate canopy water storage. They argue that these errors may represent a "large potential bias in surface temperatures simulated by Earth systems models."Direct observation, however, has merits beyond remedying the shortcomings of “umbrella science.” Van Stan and colleagues see intrinsic value in firsthand storm experiences – not only for natural scientists, but also students studying climate change impacts on ecosystems. They claim that this immersive method enhances understanding, incites curiosity, and strengthens bonds with nature, thereby enriching environmental education, inspiring research, and preparing the future scientific community.An audio version of the article is available here.
6/14/202327 minutes, 36 seconds
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Talking Science, Policy, and Congressional Visits with the Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award Winners

Today's episode comes "live" from AIBS's 2023 Congressional Visits Day in Washington, DC, where our guests gathered for a communications boot camp and meetings with their congressional representatives. Our interviewees were winners of AIBS's Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award: Inam Jameel (2023 awardee, University of Georgia), Elena Suglia (2023 awardee, UC Davis), Michael McCloy (2022 awardee, Texas A&M), and Heidi Waite (2022 awardee, UC Irvine). During the busy preparations for the upcoming congressional visits, we took a few minutes to chat about science and the policies needed to support it.If you're interested in applying for the EPPLA or in joining us in Washington, DC, for our next Congressional Visits Day, please visit the links above.Captions can be found on YouTube.
6/8/202321 minutes, 41 seconds
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Food Security in High Mountains of Central Asia, with Roy Sidle

In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Professor Roy Sidle, Director of the Mountain Societies Research Institute and Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Central Asia. He was here to discuss his new BioScience article, Food Security in High Mountains of Central Asia: A Broader Perspective.Captions can be found on YouTube.
5/12/202338 minutes, 54 seconds
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Nature's Chefs, with Robert Dunn and Pia Sörensen

A recent article in BioScience discusses "Nature's Chefs"—animal, plant, and fungal species create or mimic food for others for a variety of reasons. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by authors Robert Dunn and Pia Sörensen to discuss the article and some of these food-creating species (including humans).Captions can be found on the YouTube version: https://youtu.be/gqzXjUoJYyE
5/1/202337 minutes, 19 seconds
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Evolution in the City Urban Wildlife Coloration with Samantha Kreling

For this episode, we're joined by Samantha Kreling, PhD candidate at the University of Washington, in the Prugh Lab. She's here to discuss her new BioScience article So overt it's covert: Wildlife coloration in the city.Captions can be found in the YouTube version.
4/19/202322 minutes, 37 seconds
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Richard Hill Discusses "Living Naked in the Cold"

Today's interview is with Dr. Richard Hill, Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University and author of the BioScience article "Living Naked in the Cold: New Insights into Metabolic Feasibility in Primeval Cultures."Captions available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/2eT9WXCiY8A
4/12/202336 minutes, 54 seconds
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Urban Green Spaces with Brenda Lin and Erik Andersson

For today's episode, we're joined by Dr. Brenda Lin from CSIRO Land and Water in Australia, and Dr. Erik Andersson, Professor of Sustainability Science with University of Helsinki and Stockholm University. We discussed their BioScience article on green spaces, particularly in urban areas, and the ways that different groups use those spaces. We also chatted about how planning can be used to achieve urban green spaces that are equitably used and a valuable part of the urban landscape. A captioned version can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jUCk6ghBoLU
3/30/202335 minutes, 48 seconds
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Roberto Efraín Díaz

This podcast is part of AIBS's Diversity Heroes series, where we spotlight individuals who are working to increase Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the biological sciences. Our guest today is Roberto Efraín Díaz, PhD student in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, San Francisco. Read our Diversity Heroes contribution from Dr. Steward Pickett.
3/23/202335 minutes, 42 seconds
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Neoclassical Economics from a Biologist's Perspective: Charles A. S. Hall

For today's episode, we're joined by Dr. Charles A. S. Hall, who discusses his recent book review of Peter Victor's "Herman Daly's Economics for a Full World: His Life and Ideas." In addition, we chatted about neoclassical economics from a biologist's perspective, among many other topics. For a further critique of neoclassical economics, read Hall and colleagues 2001 BioScience article, The Need to Reintegrate the Natural Sciences with Economics.  The accompanying transcript was computer generated and has not been edited.
3/17/202337 minutes, 53 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Osvaldo Sala

In Their Own Words chronicles the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields. These short histories provide our readers a way to learn from and share their experiences. We publish the results of these conversations in the pages of BioScience and on our podcast, BioScience Talks. This history is with Dr. Osvaldo Sala, who is the Julie A. Wrigley and Regents’ and Foundation Professor and the founding director of the Global Drylands Center, at Arizona State University.Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length.
3/9/202350 minutes, 54 seconds
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Leopold's Preserve: Protecting Nature in a Fast-Growing Region

In this episode, we're joined by Scott Plein, Principal of Equinox Investments and Founder and Chairman of the White House Farm Foundation, and Alan Rowsome, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, to discuss Leopold's Preserve, a 380-acre natural site nestled within the rapidly growing area of Haymarket, Virginia. We discussed the vision that underlies the preserve, its namesake, Aldo Leopold, the preserve's ecology and role promoting the wellbeing of the community, and the conservation easement that will protect it in perpetuity.Learn more about Leopold's Preserve and plan a visit here.
12/1/202233 minutes, 1 second
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Textiles that Pollute: Microfibers in the Environment

For this episode, we're joined by Dr. Judith Weis of Rutgers University to discuss her new book, Polluting Textiles: The Problem with Microfibres. Listen to Dr. Weis's In Their Own Words oral history interview. A description of the book follows:This book examines the critical issue of environmental pollutants produced by the textiles industry.Comprised of contributions from environmental scientists and materials and textiles scientists, this edited volume addresses the environmental impact of microplastics, with a particular focus on microfibres released by textiles into marine and freshwater environments. The chapters in Part I offer environmental perspectives focusing on the measurement of microplastics in the environment, their ingestion by small plankton and larger filter feeders, the effects of consuming microplastics, and the role of microplastics as a vector for transferring toxic contaminants in food webs. Written by environmental and material scientists, the chapters in Part II present potential solutions to the problem of microplastics released from textiles, discussing parameters of influence, water treatment, degradation in aquatic environments, textile end-of-life management, textile manufacturing and laundry, and possible policy measures. This is a much needed volume which brings together in one place environmental research with technical solutions in order to provide a cohesive and practical approach to mitigating and preventing environmental pollution from the textiles industry going forward.This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental conservation and management, environmental pollution and environmental chemistry and toxicology, sustainability, as well as students and scholars of material and textiles science, textile engineering and sustainable manufacturing.
11/22/202232 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships Directorate at NSF

For this episode, we're joined by Thyaga Nandagopal, Division Director for the Division of Innovation and Technology Ecosystems, in the newly launched TIP Directorate at NSF. He discusses the directorate's programs, priorities, and future plans.
10/26/202222 minutes, 57 seconds
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Communicating Disease Spillover Risk during the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has been the first pandemic that has taken place alongside the interconnectivity of the Internet. Consequently, the spread of ideas and information about the disease has been unprecedented—but not always accurate. One of the widely circulated headlines was that of the relationship between land change and the spillover of diseases from wildlife to humans. Writing in BioScience, Andre D. Mader of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and colleagues survey primary and secondary literature, as well as webpage content on the subject of land change and zoonotic disease risk. Based on the patterns picked up from this literature and media coverage, Mader and colleagues describe what amounts to a case study in improper science communication and its possible consequences. Dr. Mader joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss his article in depth. This episode can also be found on Mader's podcast, The Case for Conservation.Read more about the article: According to the authors, media messaging consistently described direct causality between zoonotic disease spread and land use change, despite the fact that only 53% of the surveyed peer-reviewed literature made this association. The authors delve into theoretical scenarios that would demonstrate the difficulty of tracing the real risk of zoonotic spillover, emphasizing that the “complexity of pathogen responses to land change cannot be reduced to one-size-fits-all proclamations.”The authors found that as the literature moves from primary research to review articles and commentaries, and finally to webpages, the “overstating of the evidence” increases, with 78% of secondary papers implying the land use–zoonotic spillover association and all but one of the sampled webpages making this association. The authors also noted that secondary sources and webpages often failed to mention the uncertainty associated with their conclusions.The potential consequences of simplistic messaging and a lack of proper communication regarding zoonotic spillover can erode credibility, neglect local community’s specific needs when it comes to policy making, and detract attention from other factors that can lead to zoonotic spillover, say Mader and colleagues. The authors recommend more accurate, nuanced, and explanatory dissemination of the studies on zoonotic spillover risk, arguing that such an approach would also benefit science more broadly. As the authors conclude, “if the goal of science communication is to improve understanding, it must strike a balance: sufficient simplicity to be grasped by as broad an audience as possible but sufficient nuance to capture the complexity of an issue and contribute meaningfully to the discussion around it, especially when it goes viral.”
10/17/202225 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Plan to "Rewild" the American West

As the effects of climate change mount, ecosystem restoration in the US West has garnered significant public attention, bolstered by President Joe Biden's America the Beautiful plan to conserve 30% of US land and water by 2030. Writing in BioScience, William J. Ripple and 19 colleagues follow up on the Biden plan with a proposal for a "Western Rewilding Network," comprising 11 large reserve areas already owned by the federal government. The authors advocate for the cessation of livestock grazing on some federal lands, coupled with the restoration of two keystone species: the gray wolf and the North American beaver. For this episode, we're joined by Mike Phillips of the Turner Endangered Species Fund, one of the Viewpoint's coauthors.
9/30/202225 minutes, 26 seconds
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40 years of Ecological Research, the Effects of Climate Change

As global warming accelerates, it is increasingly clear that climate change is affecting our planet on every scale, from global shifts in weather patterns to local ecosystem changes. In a special section in BioScience, a group of authors hailing from the US National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network synthesize insights from 40 years of long-term ecological research on how ecosystems are responding to climate change. For today's episode, we're joined by the authors of that special section's lead article, Julia Jones, Professor of Geography at Oregon state University and an investigator at the Andrews Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site, and Charles Driscoll, Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University and an investigator at the Hubbard Brook Long-Term Ecological Research site.According to the special section authors, although the variety of ecosystems have some responses in common, most ecosystem responses to climate change are unique and are the result of a combination of region-specific drivers, human activities, and interactions between multiple climate drivers. In the lead peer-reviewed article, Julia Jones of Oregon State University and Charles Driscoll of Syracuse University introduce and describe the section, explaining the conceptual framework behind the processes driving these ecosystem changes and the logistics of and varied results from the 28 LTER research sites that were used to collect the data.A contribution from Hugh Ducklow (Columbia University) and colleagues describes the varied ocean ecosystem responses to climate change, as well as broader and more consistent marine physical system changes, such as declining sea ice and changes in the ocean surface layer. Tackling coastal ecosystems, Daniel C. Reed (Marine Science Institute) and colleagues use long-term ecosystem research at seaside sites to demonstrate the importance of site-based, long-term research for understanding the “natural capacity of coastal ecosystems to resist and adapt to climate change and the types of human interventions that effectively mitigate them.”Back on land, Amy R. Hudson (US Department of Agriculture) and colleagues compare diverse drylands’ responses, revealing consistent warming across sites but variability in droughts and their subsequent effect on primary production. Discussing forest and freshwater ecosystems, John L. Campbell of the USDA Forest Service and colleagues delve into how these tightly linked ecosystems are directly and indirectly impacted by climate change, and how primary production is being affected.The special section is rounded out by a Viewpoint article from Michael Paul Nelson of Oregon State University, who reflects on environmental scientists’ duty to not only tell the stories of climate impacts but also advocate for mobilization and change. In Nelson’s words, “our love and knowledge create a new kind of work for us in the face of the climate crisis. Beyond the work of revealing and explaining our ecosystems, we are called also to do the work of caretakers for those ecosystems.”
9/19/202229 minutes, 37 seconds
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Mass Extinction, Mayan Temples, and the Origins of Modern Reef Fish

In this episode, we're joined by Alexandre C. Siqueira, a postdoctoral fellow at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, where he works in the lab of Professor David Bellwood. He joined us to talk about his recent BioScience article on reef fish evolution, and how we're learning more about that topic from some recent findings in Mayan temples. The article's abstract follows.During the excavation of Mayan tombs, little did the archaeologists know that the fossils they discovered in the tomb stones would fundamentally alter our understanding of the earliest origins of coral reef fishes. Located just 500 kilometers from the point where an asteroid impact reconfigured the world's biological systems 66 million years ago, we find the earliest origins of three typical reef fish groups. Their presence in Mexico just 3 million years after this impact finally reconciles the conflict between the fossil and phylogenetic evidence for the earliest origins of reef fishes. The incorporation of these fossils into a global reconstruction of fish evolutionary history reveals a new picture of the early biogeography of reef fishes, with strong Atlantic links. From locations associated with biological destruction and societal collapse, we see evidence of the origins of one of the world's most diverse and spectacular marine ecosystems: coral reefs.
7/27/202226 minutes, 13 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Daniel Simberloff

In Their Own Words chronicles the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields. These short histories provide our readers a way to learn from and share their experiences. We will publish the results of these conversations in the pages of BioScience and on our podcast, BioScience Talks. This history is with Daniel Simberloff, who is the Gore-Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies in Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, in the United States.Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length.
7/13/20221 hour, 36 minutes, 26 seconds
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Public Health and Analogies in the COVID-19 Era

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials and others have used concepts such as "waves" to convey information about the spread of disease. In this episode, we're joined by Dr. Louise Archer, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Quantitative Global Change Ecology at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, who wrote in BioScience about disease analogies. She and her coauthors found that some analogies are more useful than others -- for instance, wave analogies may instill a sense of inevitability and depress disease mitigation, whereas firefighting analogies may encourage action while simultaneously contributing to a more nuanced understanding of disease dynamics. 
7/6/202226 minutes, 35 seconds
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Transformative Change to Protect Biodiversity, Climate

We're joined by Dr. Pam McElwee, Professor of Human Ecology at Rutgers University, and Dr. Sarah Diamond, Associate Professor of Biology at Case Western Reserve University. They were here to discuss their recent BioScience article, Governing for Transformative Change across the Biodiversity–Climate–Society Nexus, which describes principles for addressing global environmental crises.The abstract of their article follows.Transformative governance is key to addressing the global environmental crisis. We explore how transformative governance of complex biodiversity–climate–society interactions can be achieved, drawing on the first joint report between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to reflect on the current opportunities, barriers, and challenges for transformative governance. We identify principles for transformative governance under a biodiversity–climate–society nexus frame using four case studies: forest ecosystems, marine ecosystems, urban environments, and the Arctic. The principles are focused on creating conditions to build multifunctional interventions, integration, and innovation across scales; coalitions of support; equitable approaches; and positive social tipping dynamics. We posit that building on such transformative governance principles is not only possible but essential to effectively keep climate change within the desired 1.5 degrees Celsius global mean temperature increase, halt the ongoing accelerated decline of global biodiversity, and promote human well-being.
6/29/202232 minutes, 45 seconds
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Social Justice and Conservation Education

In this episode, we're joined by Dr. Robert Montgomery, Associate Professor of Biodiversity and Sustainability, Senior Research Fellow in Lady Margaret Hall College, and Senior Researcher in the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, at Oxford University. He's here to talk about his recent BioScience article, Integrating Social Justice into Higher Education Conservation Science. The abstract of the article follows.Because biodiversity loss has largely been attributed to human actions, people, particularly those in the Global South, are regularly depicted as threats to conservation. This context has facilitated rapid growth in green militarization, with fierce crackdowns against real or perceived environmental offenders. We designed an undergraduate course to assess student perspectives on biodiversity conservation and social justice and positioned those students to contribute to a human heritage-centered conservation (HHCC) initiative situated in Uganda. We evaluated changes in perspectives using pre- and postcourse surveys and reflection instruments. Although the students started the course prioritizing biodiversity conservation, even when it was costly to human well-being, by the end of the course, they were recognizing and remarking on the central importance of social justice within conservation. We present a framework for further integration of HHCC approaches into higher education courses so as to conserve the integrity of coupled human and natural systems globally. DEI.
6/17/202238 minutes, 10 seconds
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Learning What Our Ancestors Ate with Stable Isotope Analysis of Amino Acids

Thomas Larsen and Patrick Roberts of the Max Planck Institute of the Science of Human History join us to discuss how we can learn about early hominins diets using stable isotope analysis. The abstract of their BioScience article follows.Stable isotope analysis of teeth and bones is regularly applied by archeologists and paleoanthropologists seeking to reconstruct diets, ecologies, and environments of past hominin populations. Moving beyond the now prevalent study of stable isotope ratios from bulk materials, researchers are increasingly turning to stable isotope ratios of individual amino acids to obtain more detailed and robust insights into trophic level and resource use. In the present article, we provide a guide on how to best use amino acid stable isotope ratios to determine hominin dietary behaviors and ecologies, past and present. We highlight existing uncertainties of interpretation and the methodological developments required to ensure good practice. In doing so, we hope to make this promising approach more broadly accessible to researchers at a variety of career stages and from a variety of methodological and academic backgrounds who seek to delve into new depths in the study of dietary composition.
6/9/202223 minutes, 57 seconds
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Dams and Their Evolutionary Consequences

In this episode, we're joined by Liam Zarri, PhD student at Cornell University, and Dr. Eric Palkovacs, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They discuss their recent BioScience article on evolutionary effects of dams and other anthropogenic water barriers, such as culverts, on riverine fishes. The impacts they highlight include rapid evolution affecting behavior, migration, behavior, temperature tolerance, and body type. Damming waterways can also lead to reductions in genetic diversity, with possibly harmful effects for fish populations.
5/11/202224 minutes, 2 seconds
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Drought Response and the Decline of Eastern Oaks

In this episode, we're joined by Kim Novick, Associate Professor in the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Richard Phillips, Professor in the Department of Biology at Indiana University, and Justin Maxwell, Associate Professor, Department of Geography at Indiana University. They were here to talk about their recent article in BioScience on the topic of drought resilience in eastern oaks, an issue of ever more urgent importance given the changing climate. 
4/19/202233 minutes, 49 seconds
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Public Engagement Benefits Scientists

The positive effects of scientist engagement with the general public are well documented, but most investigations have focused on the benefits to the public rather than on those performing engagement activities. Writing in BioScience, Nalini Nadkarni of the University of Utah and colleagues "reverse the lens" on public engagement with science, discovering numerous benefits for scientists involved in these efforts.The authors distributed pre- and post-event surveys to individuals who are incarcerated in a state prison and a county jail as part of the Initiative to Bring Science Programs to the Incarcerated (INSPIRE) program, through which scientists present informal scientific lectures in carceral settings. This sort of engagement is particularly important, say the authors, given the growing emphasis among funding agencies and in academia on broadening the reach of science to include scientifically underserved groups, through DEI and other initiatives.The results of the surveys were striking, with 100% of the scientist participants reporting that they would recommend the program to their colleagues. Scientists who gave lectures also reported an increased interest in taking action on issues related to social justice, with one respondent stating, “It has motivated me to take more actions. A couple of years from now, I plan to design programs for young adults from minority families.”The experience also produced significant counterstereotypical effects, in which negative preconceived notions were dramatically shifted by their experiences. "My interaction with incarcerated individuals really opened my eyes. Previously, these individuals were a number or statistic that I hear on the news. After meeting individuals, I felt empathy for people in this situation," said one respondent.The authors are hopeful about the prospects for the expansion of such programs, for the benefit of scientists and people who are incarcerated alike. They note that the program is cost-effective and accessible, as they calculated that if only 10% US scientists were to engage in similar work, that would result in a ratio of 95 scientists per correctional facility, and "every incarcerated person in the United States would have access to a scientist’s presentation."Authors Nalini Nadkarni, Jeremy Morris, JJ Horns join us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the article and the promise of greater public engagement with science.Additional ResourcesThe Go To Prison Handbook  More peer-reviewed publications. Learn more about science in prisons.The youth in custody program.
2/23/202241 minutes, 51 seconds
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Minority-Serving Institutions and Grant Review Representation

While numerous studies have described the funding discrepancies faced by scientists at minority-serving institutions (MSIs), there is a relative paucity of information available about MSI-based scientists' participation in grant review, the process used by research funders to allocate their budgets. A new article from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) sheds further light on grant review and the factors that underlie scientists' ability to participate in it. Writing in the journal BioScience, AIBS scientists Stephen A. Gallo, Joanne H. Sullivan, and DaJoie R. Croslan describe the results of a survey disseminated to thousands of MSI-based scientists aimed at elucidating discrepancies in grant review participation between MSI-based scientists and those who work at traditionally White institutions (TWIs). The survey questions addressed a range of topics, including the scientists' recent funding and peer review experiences, as well as their motivations for engaging in the grant review process.  The survey results point to serious issues in grant review: Only 45% of respondents from MSIs reported participating in the grant review process, compared with an earlier survey's finding that 76% of scientists from TWIs were. This mismatch cannot be accounted for by differences in frequency of grant submission (which is roughly the same) or in scientist preferences, say the authors—76% of MSI scientists reported an interest in taking part in grant review. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by the article's authors to discuss these and other findings described in their article—as well as the ways that these issues might be best addressed through DEI initiatives and other approaches.
2/10/202239 minutes, 47 seconds
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Resist–Accept–Direct, a Paradigm for Management

Natural resource managers worldwide face a growing challenge: Global change increasingly propels ecosystems on strong trajectories toward irreversible ecological transformations. As once-familiar historical ecological conditions fade, managers need new approaches to guide decision-making. In a special section in BioScience, three dozen authors, led by National Park Service (NPS) ecologist Gregor Schuurman and US Geological Survey social scientist Amanda Cravens, describe the Resist–Accept–Direct (RAD) framework, designed for and by managers. The collection of articles is focused on understanding and responding to the challenges of stewarding ecological systems in a time of intensifying global change.            According to the section authors, the RAD framework gives managers three general pathways for responding to change: They can take actions to resist the change, they can accept it, or they can try to direct the change to produce desirable outcomes. The NPS has honed the RAD framework with an expanding circle of parks and adaptation partners over the past half-dozen years, with federal natural resource management agencies collaborating to develop guidance for stewarding transforming ecosystems. The special section can be found in the January issue of BioScience. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Schuurman to discuss the RAD framework and the special section that describes it. More about the RAD framework can be found on web pages maintained by the NPS and USGS. 
1/6/202233 minutes, 4 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Thomas Lovejoy III (Republication)

The American institute of Biological Sciences, publisher of the BioScience Talks podcast, mourns the loss of visionary ecologist Thomas E. Lovejoy III. Dr. Lovejoy was the AIBS President in 1994. In 2012, he received the AIBS Outstanding Service Award, an award given annually in recognition of individuals’ and organizations’ noteworthy service to the biological sciences. Earlier this year, he joined us for an episode of our oral history series, In Their Own Words, which we republish here in memoriam. A version of this interview was also published in BioScience. Lovejoy died on December 25, 2021 in McLean, Virginia. He was 80.
12/30/202145 minutes, 21 seconds
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Coral Reefs: Insults and Prospects

In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Michael Lesser, Professor Emeritus at the University of New Hampshire. He's here to talk about his recent BioScience article, which details the ways that coral is affected by nutrients, climate change, and other stressors— and what those interconnected stressors mean for the future of reefs.
12/16/202131 minutes, 44 seconds
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Biodiversity Collections Enable Foundational and Data Skills

The task of training an effective cadre of biodiversity scientists has grown more challenging in recent years, as foundational skills and knowledge in organismal biology have increasingly required complementary data skills and knowledge. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Anna K. Monfils, of Central Michigan University, and colleagues identify one way to address this training conundrum: biodiversity collections. Biodiversity collections operate at the nexus of foundational biological practice and contemporary data science, a product of their role as curator of not only specimens themselves but also the specimens' associated data and network of data resources (referred to as the "extended specimen").            The authors describe a module that leverages this feature of biodiversity collections to produce a holistic student learning experience. The module, “Connecting students to citizen science and curated collections," was designed by the authors with six learning goals in mind, ranging from plant specimen collection in the field to the deposition of data in national or international databases. Students also learned about the value of large data sets and the role of community members' contributions to them.            The authors reported strong learning results, stating that, according to a postmodule assessment, "the students felt well prepared, very well prepared, or totally prepared to use foundational and emerging plant collecting skills including maintaining a field notebook (89%), collecting specimens in the field (94%), and depositing specimens (89%) and digital data (92%) into national and international data repositories."            Joining us on this episode are authors Anna Monfils, Professor at Central Michigan University and Director of the Central Michigan University Herbarium, Erica Krimmel, Information Scientist with the iDigBio Project at Florida State University, and Travis Marsico, Professor of Botany at Arkansas State University and Curator of the Arkansas State University Herbarium. They discussed the learning model they designed from implementation to next steps.
12/8/202141 minutes, 24 seconds
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Disease Transmission: The Case of Sarcoptes Scabiei

In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Liz Browne, who has bachelor of science degree with honors from the University of Tasmania, and Scott Carver, disease ecologist at the University of Tasmania. They discuss the pathogen transmission, and in particular, the way that Sarcoptes scabiei, the mite responsible for mange, passes between members of different species, as well as the implications for epidemiology generally. Learn more in their recent BioScience article.
11/17/202125 minutes, 39 seconds
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Values and Water Security in a Dry Era

In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by previous guest Paolo D'Odorico, professor of hydrology and the Chair of the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. We're also joined by Willis Jenkins, Hollingsworth Professor of Ethics at the University of Virginia, where he is also Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. Our guests discuss their recent article in BioScience water security and the ways that our values play into its management, with implications for Indigenous rights, DEI, ecosystem health, economies, environmental justice, and more. 
10/27/202129 minutes, 51 seconds
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Empowering Communities through Local Monitoring

Over recent decades, community-based environmental monitoring (often called "citizen science") has exploded in popularity, aided both by smartphones and rapid gains in computing power that make the analysis of large data sets far easier.             Publishing in BioScience, handling editors Rick Bonney, of Cornell University, Finn Danielsen, of the Nordic Foundation for Development and Ecology (NORDECO), and numerous colleagues share an open-access special section (already downloaded thousands of times) that highlights numerous community-based monitoring programs currently underway.             In an article on locally based monitoring, Danielsen and colleagues describe the potential for monitoring by community members—who may have little scientific training—to deliver "credible data at local scale independent of external experts and can be used to inform local and national decision making within a short timeframe."             Community-based monitoring efforts also have the potential to empower Indigenous rightsholders and stakeholders through their broader inclusion in the scientific process, writes Bonney in a Viewpoint article introducing the section. Moreover, he says, "Indigenous and local peoples’ in situ knowledge practices have the potential to make significant contributions to meeting contemporary sustainability challenges both locally and around the globe."             In this episode of BioScience Talks, Bonney and Danielsen join us to discuss the special section as well as the broader future for community-based monitoring. DEI
10/13/202148 minutes, 35 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Nalini Nadkarni

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences and often as relates to DEI issues. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Nalini Nadkarni is a professor of biology at the University of Utah.  Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length.
8/31/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Climate Emergency in a COVID Year

In a year marked by unprecedented flooding, deadly avalanches, and scorching heat waves and wildfires, the climate emergency's enormous cost—whether measured in lost resources or human lives—is all too apparent. Writing in BioScience, a group led by William J. Ripple and Christopher Wolf, both with Oregon State University, update their striking 2019 "World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency" with new data on the climate's health. The news is not good.            Although fossil fuel use dipped slightly in 2020, a widely predicted result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors report that carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide "have all set new year-to-date records for atmospheric concentrations in both 2020 and 2021." Furthermore, 16 out of 31 tracked planetary vital signs, reflecting metrics such as greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat content, and ice mass, have also set disquieting records. However, there were a few bright spots, including fossil fuel subsidies reaching a record low and fossil fuel divestment reaching a record high.            In this episode of BioScience Talks, coauthor Jillian Gregg, who is with the Sustainability Double Degree program and the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University, joins us to discuss the latest climate update and the urgent actions needed ensure the long-term sustainability of human civilization. Notes: For our discussion on extreme climate event attribution, we would like to clarify that current methods do not assess whether individual events are caused by climate change, but instead assess whether these events (floods, hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, fires) are larger, more intense, or more frequent, as a result of climate change.Links to some of the resources we discuss: Carbon Brief summarizes extreme weather events Al Gore Climate Reality Training Exeter University YouTube on how they are becoming carbon neutral We refer to the "Princeton group," which is the Climate Central Surging Seas site for visualizing sea level rise
8/25/202132 minutes, 14 seconds
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Blackologists and the Promise of Inclusive Sustainability

Historically, shared resources such as forests, fishery stocks, and pasture lands have often been managed with an aim toward averting "tragedies of the commons," which are thought to result from selfish overuse. Writing in BioScience, Drs. Senay Yitbarek (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Karen Bailey (University of Colorado Boulder), Nyeema Harris (Yale University), and colleagues critique this model, arguing that, all too often, such conservation has failed to acknowledge the complex socioecological interactions that undergird the health of resource pools.The authors, who describe themselves as Blackologists (“'not simply scholars that are Black but, rather, are scholars who deliberately leverage and intersect Blackness into advancing knowledge production"), elucidate a model in which researchers' life experiences provide "unique perspectives to critically examine socioecological processes and the challenges and solutions that arise from them." In this episode of BioScience Talks, Yitbarek, Bailey, and Harris join us to discuss this model of inclusive sustainability and the ways in which it can be brought to bear in service of ecosystems and the humans who inhabit them. Please visit Dr. Bailey's podcast, The Creature Connection.DEI
7/12/202148 minutes, 14 seconds
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The COVID-19 Pandemic, Viral Evolution, Vaccines, and Variants

In this episode, we're joined by Dr. Charlie Fenster, Professor at South Dakota State University, Director of Oak Lake Field Station, and President of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), Dr. Pam Soltis of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, Director of University of Florida Biodiversity Institute, AIBS Board Member, and Past President of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, and Paul Turner, Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University and Microbiology Faculty Member at the Yale School of Medicine. They describe their recent article in BioScience, "Pandemic Policy in the Vaccine Era: The Long Haul Approach," in which they discuss vaccines, viral evolution, and the ways that the life sciences community must contribute to a robust international response in order to meet the present and future global challenges to human health and wellbeing. 
6/24/202136 minutes, 13 seconds
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Environmental DNA and RNA May Be Key in Monitoring Pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2

A discussion of environmental DNA and RNA (eDNA and eRNA, respectively) and its potential for pathogen monitoring. eDNA and eRNA approaches work through the collection of a sample (often from an aquatic source), whose genetic contents are then sequenced to reveal the presence and prevalence of pathogens. This conversation focuses on two cases, that of a herpesvirus that causes cancers among as turtles, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Our guests are Jessica Farrell and David Duffy of the University of Florida's Whitney Lab and Sea Turtle Hospital and Liam Whitmore, of the University of Limerick, in Ireland. Read the article in BioScience here. The authors' case study is written up here.
5/27/202137 minutes, 35 seconds
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In Their Own Words: John E. Burris

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. John E. Burris is emeritus president of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. He is also a past president of AIBS. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length.Read this article in BioScience.
4/14/202148 minutes, 41 seconds
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Urban Ecology, Segregation, and the Work of the Baltimore Field Station

Dr. Morgan Grove of the USDA Baltimore Field Station joins us to discuss urban ecology, segregation, environmental justice, DEI, and the efforts of the USDA Forest Service's Baltimore Field Station, including the Stillmeadow Peace Park and the Baltimore Wood Project. Learn more.
4/8/202151 minutes, 41 seconds
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Using Citations to Find Scientific Communities

George Chacko (University of Illinois) and Steve Gallo (American Institute of Biological Sciences) discuss using article citations to generate "clusters" that reflect scientific communities. The clustering methodology may have broad implications for science, ranging from better peer review and DEI to the uncovering fraud, bias—and more. Read the article.
3/17/202134 minutes, 19 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Thomas Lovejoy

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Dr. Lovejoy is a Professor at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, Explorer at Large with the National Geographic Society, and Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation. He is also a past president of AIBS. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
2/15/202145 minutes, 19 seconds
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Indigenous Systems of Management for Healthier Fisheries

Before European colonization, populations of Pacific salmon were successfully managed by the Indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest since time immemorial. Colonization and its associated fisheries management practices have depleted stocks and disrupted the complex social–ecological systems that underlie them. In this episode, we're joined by Will Atlas, a salmon watershed scientist with the Wild Salmon Center; Andrea Reid, citizen and member of the Nisga’a Nation, in British Columbia, and an assistant professor with the University of British Columbia; and William G. Housty of the Heiltsuck First Nation and the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department. Our guests describe how a return to traditional management and other DEI efforts may revitalize these fisheries and bolster the fishing communities that depend on them.  Read this article in BioScience.  Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
2/10/202128 minutes, 14 seconds
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SlothBot: Engaging the Public with Robot Ecology

Despite having a professed trust in the science, many members of the public fall short when it comes to making choices that protect the environment and support informed decision-making. To help excite and inspire broad audiences to have a greater appreciation for and engagement with science, our guests today, Jonathan Pauli, associate professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Magnus Egerstedt, robotics professor at Georgia Tech, have created SlothBot. The forest-canopy-dwelling robot, which mirrors its biological counterparts in many ways, offers an exciting platform for learning—about robotics, ecology, and more. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
1/27/202126 minutes, 16 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Peter Raven

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Peter Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also a past president of AIBS. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
1/8/202154 minutes, 55 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Alan Covich

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Alan Covich, Professor of Ecology at the Odum School of Ecology, at the University of Georgia. He is also a past president of AIBS. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
12/21/202056 minutes, 58 seconds
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Virtual Meetings in the Pandemic Era: American Society for Gravitational and Space Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has produced numerous challenges for scientific societies and organizations, including the necessity to quickly move large in-person meetings to a fully online format. Joining us on this episode of BioScience Talks is Dr. Kevin Sato, past president of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research and chair of the organizing committee for the 2020 ASGSR Virtual Meeting. He describes the planning and execution of this novel event and provides an early look into the society's plans for 2021. The ASGSR 2020 Virtual Meeting Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
12/16/202023 minutes, 5 seconds
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Science Leaders Issue Clarion Call for Evidence-Based Policy

Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, US science leaders and others have expressed frustration with the lack of an informed and coherent federal response, a sentiment that echoes objections to the handling of other pressing issues, such as climate change. Writing in BioScience, an assemblage of the past presidents of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) have issued an appeal for the reinvigoration of sound policy and governance through the careful consideration of sound science. In this episode BioScience Talks, we're joined by AIBS President Charles Fenster, Director of the Oak Lake Field Station, which is affiliated with South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. He discusses the article with us, and the conversation is followed by a presentation of the article by the past presidents, themselves.  (Enter the contest described by emailing your guess to [email protected]) Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
12/8/202013 minutes, 49 seconds
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Trump Administration Delists Gray Wolves: Response from the Experts

On 29 October 2020, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced the "successful recovery" of the US gray wolf population, with US Secretary of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt stating that the species had "exceeded all conservation goals for recovery." These claims have been rebutted by numerous experts, who argue that the delisting decision is premature. Writing in BioScience, independent ecologist Carlos Carroll and colleagues argue that the declarations of recovery should be based on a more ambitious definition of recovery than one requiring the existence of a single secure population. Instead, they propose a framework for the "conservation of adaptive potential," which builds on existing agency practice to enhance the effectiveness of the Act. The authors argue that such an approach is particularly crucial in light of climate change and other ongoing threats to species. On this episode of BioScience Talks, Dr. Carroll is joined by coauthors Adrian Treves, Bridgett vonHoldt, and Dan Rohlf to discuss the recent USFWS action as well as prospects for gray wolf conservation. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
11/11/202044 minutes, 46 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Paul Ehrlich

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Paul Ehrlich, president of the Center for Conservation Biology and Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus at Stanford University. He is also a past president of AIBS. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
10/28/202053 minutes, 59 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Marvalee Wake

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Marvalee Wake, professor of the Graduate School in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a past president of AIBS. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
10/16/202048 minutes, 6 seconds
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Often Understudied, Fences Pose Ecological Threats

Fences are one of humanity's most frequent landscape alterations, with their combined length exceeding even that of roads by an order of magnitude. Despite their ubiquity, they have received far less research scrutiny than many human-built structures. Alex McInturff, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Barbara, joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss fence ecology. Read the article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
10/14/202021 minutes, 50 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Neil deGrasse Tyson

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City, and host of COSMOS: Possible Worlds.Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience.  Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
9/18/202054 minutes, 5 seconds
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Measuring Metabolism: How Much Food Does a Bear Need?

The keys to conserving large mammals, such as bears, often lie in better understanding their ecophysiology. Armed with knowledge about the animals' energy needs, conservationists can encourage actions that better preserve populations and ensure that their habitats will be able to sustain them both now and as the climate continues to rapidly change. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. John Whiteman of Old Dominion University, who describes efforts to characterize metabolisms among large mammals from India to the Arctic—and the ways that this work fuels the broader scientific endeavor. Read Dr. Whiteman's 2019 BioScience article. Read more about polar bear diets (and body temperatures). Wildlife SOS Free the Bears Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Photograph: Mike Lockhart.  
9/9/202032 minutes, 57 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Gene E. Likens

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Dr. Gene E. Likens, emeritus president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a distinguished professor at the University of Connecticut. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
8/17/202054 minutes, 33 seconds
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21st Century Natural History Collections

Natural history collections are a crucial resource to many scientific endeavors, and their value has been bolstered by recently undertaken digitization efforts. However, many opportunities remain to improve collections' usability, ensure that their contributions are properly credited, and protect them from a perilous budget environment that, in many cases, threatens their long-term survival. Writing in BioScience, Sara E. Miller, Lisa N. Barrow, Sean M. Ehlman, Jessica A. Goodheart, Stephen E. Greiman, Holly L. Lutz, Tracy M. Misiewicz, Stephanie M. Smith, Milton Tan, Christopher J. Thawley, Joseph A. Cook, and Jessica E. Light provide an overview of the challenges and pose solutions. Dr. Miller joins us in this episode to discuss the article and the future of the field. Read this article in BioScience. Listen to our episode on collections in the COVID-19 era. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
8/12/202028 minutes, 4 seconds
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Hot Days and Tree Transpiration

Shade from urban trees has long been understood to offer respite from the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon that can result in city centers that are 1–3 degrees Centigrade warmer than surrounding areas. Less frequently discussed, however, are the effects of tree transpiration in combination with the heterogeneous landscapes that constitute the built environment. Writing in BioScience, Joy Winbourne and her colleagues present an overview of the current understanding of tree transpiration and its implications, as well as areas for future research. Their work, derived from tree sap flow data, reveals the complexity and feedbacks inherent in trees' and urban zones' responses to extreme heating events. Dr. Winbourne joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the newly published article, as well as directions for future research and the prospects for using trees to better mitigate urban heat in the face of a changing climate. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
7/28/202026 minutes, 32 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Douglas Futuyma

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Dr. Douglas Futuyma, professor emeritus of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University, in Stony Brook, New York. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
7/8/202039 minutes, 3 seconds
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Leveraging Biodiversity Science Infrastructure in the COVID-19 Era

The pandemic resulting from SARS-CoV-2 has had profound impacts on the conduct of scientific research and education: A large proportion of field research has ground to a halt, and research and science education were forced to move online. In light of these developments, the nation's biodiversity infrastructure—natural history collections housed in museums, herbaria, universities, and colleges, among other locations, and often available digitally—are ready to play an even larger role in enabling important scientific discoveries. Further, collections may also be instrumental in preventing or mitigating future infectious outbreaks. Two recent BioScience publications, linked below, highlight these issues. In this episode BioScience Talks, we're joined by representatives from the collections and science education communities. Guests included John Bates, Natural Science Collections Alliance, the Field Museum of Natural History; Pam Soltis, Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Florida; Gil Nelson, iDigBio, Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Florida; Barbara Thiers, New York Botanical Garden; Anna Monfils, Central Michigan University, the BLUE Project; Janice Krumm, Widener University, BCEENET (Biological Collections in Ecology and Evolution Network); Liz Shea, Delaware Museum of Natural History, BCEENET; Carly Jordan, George Washington University, BCEENET; and Joseph Cook, Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico. Read the Editorial in BioScience. Read the Viewpoint in BioScience. Listen to our earlier discussion of the Extended Specimen Network. Learn more about the BLUE project. Learn more about BCEENET. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
6/23/202053 minutes, 34 seconds
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Using Metacommunities for Better Biological Assessments

Evaluating shifts in the health of dynamic ecosystems is often difficult—for instance, rivers with intermittent flows and populations with varied dispersal characteristics might look very different from one month to the next. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Núria Cid and Thibault Datry of INRAE, in Lyon, France, who discuss their new framework for a metacommunity approach that aims to help researchers overcome these challenges. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
6/9/202024 minutes, 2 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Judith Weis

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Dr. Judith Weis of Rutgers University. She previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
5/29/202048 minutes, 29 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Gregory Anderson

This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today we are joined by Dr. Gregory Anderson, who is with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
5/18/202053 minutes, 9 seconds
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Lessons from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study

5/13/202033 minutes, 18 seconds
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Addressing COVID-19 Supply Shortages with 3D Printing

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, efforts to provide adequate testing and healthcare have at times been stymied by shortages of medical supplies. To help address one such shortage, a team at the University of Louisville designed a novel 3D-printed swab made of a pliable resin material.  In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Gerald Grant, who describes the process by which such tools are developed and manufactured, as well as their potential to quickly fill this and other gaps in the medical supply chain. Read more. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
5/8/202014 minutes, 54 seconds
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Race and STEM Diversity

Despite ongoing efforts to increase DEI among STEM faculty, participation rates of faculty members of color remain lower in STEM fields than in other academic disciplines.In this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Maria Miriti, whose recent article in BioScience, The Elephant in the Room: Race and STEM Diversity, discusses these shortcomings, their causes, and some of the ways in which they may be best addressed in the future. Read the article.  Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
4/27/202028 minutes, 21 seconds
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Impact Series: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing, Next Steps, and the Role of Small Business

Public health officials have argued that thorough and accurate testing for SARS-CoV-2 is essential for gaining a foothold in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. To date, however, a lack of reliable testing in the United States has hampered efforts to achieve a thorough understanding of the disease's abundance and spread. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Crystal Icenhour, CEO of Aperiomics, and Dr. Robbie Barbero, Chief Business Officer of Ceres Nanosciences. Both companies have recently ramped up efforts to improve the prospects of broad-scale testing for the novel pathogen in human patients. Aperiomics, whose core technology uses deep shotgun metagenomic sequencing to test for tens of thousands of bacteria, virus, fungus, and parasite at once, has launched a SARS-CoV-2-specific test, with the aims of increasing test availability and delivering crucially important public health data. Ceres Nanosciences's flagship Nanotrap particle technology enables the capture, concentration, and preservation of low abundance analytes from complex biological samples. The technology is presently being tested with the SARS-CoV-2 and is expected to help in improving the accuracy of existing testing protocols. Image credit: NIAID-RML, CC BY 2.0. Learn more about Ceres Nanosciences. Learn more about Aperiomics. Listen to Dr. Icenhour's earlier appearance. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
4/13/202035 minutes, 45 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Joel Cracraft

This episode is the fourth in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today we are joined by Dr. Joel Cracraft, curator in the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
4/8/202043 minutes, 8 seconds
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American Society for Gravitational and Space Research 2019 Annual Meeting (Denver)

In November 2019, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks was lucky enough to attend and report on ASGSR's Annual Meeting, in Denver, Colorado. We spoke with numerous presenters, students, and other participants in the meeting, who discussed research topics ranging from growing food crops in space to using novel construction materials to help keep astronauts pathogen free. In addition, we chatted with ASGSR personnel about their newly launched Fellows program and caught up with student presenters, who described taking experiments all the way from classroom brainstorming to actual work aboard the International Space Station.    This year's podcast release is being released during Space Science Week 2020, which is being held virtually in light of COVID-19. Click here to learn more. Interviewees included: Kevin Sato, Immediate Past-President Doug Matson, President Phoebe Wall, Stanford University Rylee Schauer, BioServe, Colorado University Boulder Pamela Flores, BioServe, Colorado University Boulder Robert Ferl, University of Florida Anna-Lisa Paul, University of Florida Learn more: Join ASGSR! Learn more about ASGSR's 2020 meeting in Houston Listen to archived webcasts of the 2019 meeting. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Closing music courtesy of Lakey Inspired.  
3/31/20201 hour, 8 minutes
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The Ecological Context of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

In this episode of BioScience Talks, we welcome previous guest Dan Salkeld of Colorado State University back to the show. He is joined by CSU colleague and 2016 coauthor Mike Antolin to discuss the disease ecology of animal-borne illnesses in general, as well as the present coronavirus pandemic, the outbreak's origins, and the prospects for disease surveillance to improve society's preparedness for future spillover events. Image: Felipe Esquivel Reed, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0. Read the 2016 article in BioScience. Listen to our 2016 interview with Dan Salkeld. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
3/24/202045 minutes, 53 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Susan Stafford

This episode is the third in our new oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today we are joined by Dr. Susan Stafford, professor and dean emerita at the University of Minnesota. She previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
3/11/202050 minutes, 59 seconds
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Fireflies Face Global Threats

Worldwide declines in insect populations have sparked considerable concern. To date, however, significant research gaps exist, and many insect threats remain under-investigated and poorly understood. For instance, despite their charismatic bioluminescent displays and cultural and economic importance, the 2000-plus species of firefly beetles have yet to be the subject of a comprehensive threat analysis. Writing in BioScience, Sara M. Lewis of Tufts University and her colleagues aim to fill the gap with a broad overview of the threats facing these diverse and charismatic species—as well as potential solutions that may lead to their preservation into the future. Lewis and colleagues catalog numerous threats, foremost among them habitat loss, followed closely by artificial light and pesticide use. The future is not bleak, however, and the authors describe considerable opportunities to improve the prospects of bioluminescent insects, including through the preservation of habitat, reduction of light pollution, lowered insecticide use, and more-sustainable tourism. Dr. Lewis and coauthors Candace Fallon and Michael Reed join us on this episode of BioScience Talks to shed light on these challenges and opportunities. Listeners are also invited to read Dr. Lewis's book on fireflies, linked below. Read this article in BioScience. Read Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
2/24/202027 minutes, 45 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Diana Wall

This episode is the third in our new oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today, we are joined by Dr. Diana Wall, university distinguished professor, director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, and professor in the Department of Biology, at Colorado State University. She previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
2/12/202019 minutes, 55 seconds
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Impact Series: Tympanogen, Gels, and Helping Children Heal

Each year, tens of thousands of patients undergo invasive surgery to repair perforated eardrums. The surgery, called tympanoplasty, is time consuming, costly, and difficult for patients—many of whom are children. Seeing an opportunity to fill an important unmet medical need, the founders behind Virginia startup Tympanogen have developed a technology aimed at reducing the need for these challenging operations. The product, called Perf-Fix, is a light-cured hydrogel applied in a doctor's office to give the patient's own tissue a scaffold on which to heal and rebuild, circumventing the need for surgical intervention. Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney joins us on this episode of our Impact Series to discuss Perf-Fix, what it takes to run a start-up, and some of the many other potential applications for Tympanogen's technology. Learn More about Tympanogen. Check out Tympanogen on the NASA Explorers show, Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
1/30/202021 minutes, 20 seconds
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Room for Complexity? The Many Players in the Coffee Agroecosystem

Agricultural areas are often considered distinct from local ecosystems, and in many cases, such an assessment rings true. Single-crop farmlands, reliant on the liberal use of pest- and herbicides, often limit local biodiversity and species interactions. However, in other agricultural settings, robust ecosystems thrive, intermingled with crops and supporting a diversity of species. One such acroecosystem is coffee's. On shade-coffee farms, the coffee plant is consumed by numerous pests, including the green coffee scale, coffee berry borer, and coffee rust disease. In turn, these species are regulated by a variety of natural enemies, through processes of often staggering complexity. In a major BioScience Overview article, John Vandermeer of the University of Michigan and his colleagues aim to untangle such complexities and get at the heart of pest control in the coffee system, emphasizing the intersection of ecology with "the burgeoning field of complex systems, including references to chaos, critical transitions, hysteresis, basin or boundary collision, and spatial self-organization." Dr. Vandermeer joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the coffee agroecosystem—and the many species and dynamics that underlie it.   Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
1/22/202037 minutes, 24 seconds
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Better Science through Peer Review

Peer review lies at the heart of the grant selection process and, by extension, the scientific enterprise itself. To inform their decisions, funders rely on grant reviewers—most of whom volunteer their time—to evaluate numerous proposals. However, despite its massive importance to science and society, peer review itself remains inadequately studied and often poorly understood. To shed light on this critical institution, American Institute of Biological Sciences chief scientist Stephen Gallo and his colleagues recently published the results of a major survey. It is joined by a grant review report from Publons, a company housed within Clarivate Analytics that helps researchers track their research and review outputs and works to encourage greater recognition of scientists' work. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Stephen Gallo and Matthew Hayes, director of Publons, who discuss the survey results and shed light on the future of peer review. Read the Publons report. Read the AIBS survey results. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
1/8/202047 minutes, 53 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Kent Holsinger

This episode is the second in our new oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today, we are joined by Dr. Kent Holsinger, board of trustees distinguished professor of biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. He also previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
12/31/201922 minutes, 32 seconds
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In Their Own Words: Rita Colwell

This episode marks the first in a new oral history series from BioScience, entitled In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. This first oral history is with Dr. Rita Colwell, a distinguished environmental microbiologist and scientific administrator, who previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
12/11/201934 minutes, 30 seconds
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Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting Report

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), an American Institute of Biological Sciences member society, fosters research, education, public awareness, and understanding of living organisms from molecules and cells to ecology and evolution. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we chatted with presenters and personnel from SICB's 2019 annual meeting, which was held earlier this year in Tampa, Florida. At the meeting, researchers shared work that highlights the value of interdisciplinary, cooperative science integrated across scales, geographies, and disciplines. Please register for the 2020 Annual SICB Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. See http://sicb.org/meetings/2020 for details.   Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
12/6/201939 minutes, 36 seconds
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Impact Series: Solving Medical Mysteries with Aperiomics

The BioScience Talks Impact Series focuses on the path from newly gained scientific knowledge to real-world effects, addressing questions such as How does a new vaccine find its way to physicians' offices? How do ecological discoveries result in new natural resource management paradigms? How do gene-editing techniques move from discovery to therapy? By following novel research discoveries from the lab and field to law books and store shelves, we find the answers and highlight the many ways that scientific research improves our lives. In this inaugural episode, we interviewed Dr. Crystal Icenhour, CEO of Aperiomics, a life sciences company located in Loudoun County, Virginia. The company uses a technique called shotgun metagenomic sequencing identify every known bacteria, virus, fungus, and parasite (over 37,000) found in a given patient sample. Through this revolutionary technique, they are able to identify pathogens that would escape detection using traditional means. We chatted about the technology itself, and just as important, the pathway from innovation to helping patients in need. Learn more about Aperiomics. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter..  
11/13/201929 minutes, 43 seconds
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Threshold-Dependent Gene Drives in Wild Populations

By altering the heritability of certain traits, gene drive technologies have the potential to spread desired genes through wild populations. In practice, this could lead to mosquito populations that, for example, bear traits making them resistant to the spread of malaria. Despite the huge potential for improving human well-being, concern exists that gene drives could fail in the wild or spread beyond their intended target populations. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Greg Backus, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis, and Jason Delborne, Associate Professor of Science Policy and Society at North Carolina State University's Genetic Engineering and Society Center, describe a potential solution. Threshold-dependent gene drives could limit the spread of wild-released gene drives to target populations, increasing control and reducing the risk of unchecked spread. The authors joined us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the potential of these gene drives—and also some of the questions of controllability, spread, and ecological uncertainty that relate to them. Read the article. Listen to our previous podcast on gene drives. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter..  
10/8/201925 minutes, 40 seconds
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Bridging the Gap between Behavioral Science and Animal Ethics

In this episode of BioScience Talks, Christine Webb of Harvard University joins us to talk about the potential for widening the involvement of scientists who study animal behavior in ongoing discussions about animal treatment. She argues that because their work is often used to advance ethical arguments about animals, such as those concerning animal personhood, behavioral scientists are uniquely well positioned to engage more widely in these conversations, with potential benefits accruing to both fields.   Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Learn more about comms training at ASGSR. Register for the ASGSR meeting and training.  
9/11/201923 minutes, 55 seconds
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Readying the National Park Service for Change

In this episode of BioScience Talks, Mark Schwartz, of the University of California, Davis, joins us to talk about the National Park Service, and in particular, the challenges facing its oversight of over 400 individual units and 85 million acres of land. Park Service lands are faced with the same ecological difficulties that other wildlands are, and cultural and procedural shifts will be needed to face them, particularly in light of the rising specter of climate change. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
8/14/201937 minutes, 46 seconds
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Better Governance for Better Resource Management

In this episode of BioScience Talks, Derek R. Armitage of the University of Waterloo, Jennifer J. Silver of the University of Guelph, and Daniel K. Okamoto of Florida State University come on the show to talk about natural resource management. In their recent BioScience article, our guests and their coauthors described the integration of governance with quantitative measures--with an eye toward better managing natural resources to meet desirable social and ecological outcomes. Today, they join us to describe the article and provide some practical examples from fisheries management. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
8/6/201938 minutes, 55 seconds
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Advancing Opportunities for Convergence at NSF BIO

Joanne S. Tornow was selected as assistant director for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) in February 2019, following almost two decades with the foundation. Her duties ranged from program management to high-level leadership and strategic development, and she previously served as the head of BIO in an interim capacity. Prior to her time at the NSF, Tornow served on the faculty at Portland State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. She joins us on BioScience Talks to discuss the directorate's current operations and future plans. A written version of this conversation is available online and will be published in an upcoming issue of BioScience. Both versions have been edited for clarity.   Read the written version. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
7/10/201940 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Makings of an Invasion: The Slender False Brome

Invasive species are a hot topic, both in scientific circles and among the public at large. Still, the mechanics of invasions are often opaque, and a broader understanding will be required in order to prevent—and respond to—future species introductions. In a world with ever-increasing trade and changing climate that often renders native species vulnerable, the need for this expanded understanding is acute. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Mitch Cruzan, of Portland State University, in Oregon, describes the history of a particular invasive species, the slender false brome. Originally introduced in Oregon as part of a US Department of Agriculture program, the grass has undergone a hybridization process that enabled it to take hold in much of the state. By understanding the rapid adaptation of the false brome to Oregon's landscapes, it may be possible to unravel the mechanics of future invasions, before they endanger native species. Read the article. Learn about Evolutionary Biology: A Plant Perspective. Writing for Impact and Influence. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
6/12/201938 minutes, 43 seconds
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Building a Better Understanding of "Resilience"

The concept of resilience is an important one in conservation science and resource management. However, the term itself is often poorly understood, or understood differently by different parties, with potentially troublesome effects for land managers, researchers, and others. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Phillip Higuera (University of Montana), Dr. Alex Metcalf (University of Montana), and their colleagues suggest that a more holistic framework would consider the crucial human element of social-ecological systems. By doing so, managers could work toward outcomes that best fit the ecological needs and human priorities inherent in the system. The work they describe here is focused on fire-prone landscapes, but the approach is broadly applicable across a range of systems. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
5/28/201931 minutes, 1 second
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ASGSR Annual Meeting - Maryland

At the beginning of November 2018, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks once again hit the road to attend ASGSR's Annual Meeting. This year's event was held in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. Once again, we had the opportunity to speak with numerous eminent presenters and participants at the meeting, who discussed numerous topics on the cutting edge of space-related research. The topics ranged from the epigenetics of plants in space to zero-gravity plumbing—and just about everything in between.  Interviewees included: Robert Ferl, University of Florida Samantha McBride, ASGSR Student President Michael Roberts, International Space Station National Laboratory Mark Weislogel, Portland State University Kasthuri Venkateswaran, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Learn more: Join ASGSR! Attend the 2019 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. Listen to archived webcasts of the 2018 meeting. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Closing music courtesy of Lakey Inspired.  
5/8/201946 minutes, 5 seconds
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Biodiversity and the Extended Specimen Network

Natural history specimens housed in museums, herbaria, and other research collections are revolutionizing science—largely as a result of growing efforts to digitize samples and share data among many users. To meet the robust promise of digital collections, the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) has developed a national agenda that leverages new techniques and capabilities to create what they call the Extended Specimen Network. Members of BCoN join us on this episode of BioScience Talks to describe the newly conceived network and to talk about its potential to change the way science is performed—both now and in the future. Pictured above are our guests at a National Press Club briefing where they formally released their report (from left to right: David Jennings, Andrew Bentley, Linda Ford, Anna Monfils, Jennifer Zaspel, John Bates, Barbara Thiers, and Robert Gropp). Photograph: Samuel Hurd. Download the report. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
4/10/201928 minutes, 46 seconds
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Inequality and the Human Right to Food

The importance of human access to adequate food could not be more clear; however, many questions surround the provision of food among and within countries. What obligations do nations have to provide food for their citizens? Is inequality in food availability a problem that requires political action, or is it simply an unfortunate side effect of food distribution systems and landscapes' ability to produce calories for those who live on them?Writing in BioScience, Dr. Paolo D'Odorico of the University of California, Berkley, and his colleagues present these questions through the framework of human rights, delving into the various ways in which food availability and inequality are affected by trade. Drawing from a wealth of data, the authors find that, broadly speaking, trade tends to reduce food inequality. But joining us in this episode of BioScience Talks, Dr. D'Odorico cautions that more complex phenomena may lie beneath the surface, confounding simplistic explanations.  Read the article.  Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. 
3/13/201921 minutes, 22 seconds
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Half-Earth Preservation with Natura 2000

In recent years, calls to preserve greater swaths of the Earth's land- and seascapes have grown. In particular, numerous conservationists have called for the protection of half of the planet's surface, a bold initiative that would preserve much of the world's existing biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, the path to such a "half-Earth" preservation model lies largely in uncharted territory, with many potential pitfalls along the way. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Thomas Campagnaro of the University of Padova, in Italy, and his colleagues elucidate one possible route to better landscape preservation. In their article, the authors describe Natura 2000, the world's largest conservation network. Based in the European Union, the network relies on strong governance, flexible designations, and scientific expertise to produce reliable conservation outcomes. In this episode of BioScience Talks, Dr. Campagnaro is joined by coauthors Tommaso Sitzia, also of the University of Padova, and Erle Ellis, of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, to discuss the network and the prospects for scaling it up to a planetary scale. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. 
2/13/201937 minutes, 13 seconds
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Chromatin Looping: Seeing DNA in 3D

 New tools are making it easier to understand not only our genetic code but also the ways that the code's three-dimensional structure contributes to gene expression. This understanding will be vital in the search for cures to diseases with multiple and complex causes, such as lupus. On this episode of BioScience Talks, we discuss one such tool. It's the product of a collaboration among data scientists, medical scientists, and software engineers, and the new "xapp" allows researchers to view the 3D, looped structure of chromatin and examine the ways in which those loops affect our genes' expression. Richard Pelikan, a bioinformatician at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and Austin Schwinn, a data scientist at Exaptive, joined us on this episode to discuss the collaboration, epigenetics, chromatin looping, and the future of understanding human disease. Images discussed in the podcast can be found below the links. Learn more about Exaptive. Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
1/9/201919 minutes, 35 seconds
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Saving Species with Better Monitoring

To conserve species, managers need reliable estimates of their population trends. Samples are gathered over time, but the length of the sampling period is often established using crude rules of thumb rather than good statistical methods. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Easton R. White of the Center for Population Biology at the University of California, Davis, presents an analysis of 820 vertebrate species populations and demonstrates substantial problems with current sampling approaches. He argues that properly statistically powered methods will offer a truer representation of population health—leading to saved money and effort, better knowledge of species health, and ultimately, improved conservation outcomes.             Dr. White joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss statistical power, his own analyses, and his recommendations for future conservation efforts. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
12/12/201820 minutes, 52 seconds
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Using the Plant Microbiome to Restore Native Grasslands

An appreciation of the crucial role of microbiomes, from those aboard the International Space Station to those living in the human gut, is quickly gaining traction among both scientists and members of the general public. Now, a similar appreciation of microbial communities' importance is growing among those who study and restore grasslands and other ecosystems. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Liz Koziol, of Kansas University, and her colleagues describe the current state of knowledge about plant microbiomes, and specifically, the mutualistic relationship between plant species and the fungi that live in and among their roots—mycorrhizal fungi. The authors argue that "reintroduction of the native microbiome and native mycorrhizal fungi improves plant diversity, accelerates succession, and increases the establishment of plants that are often missing from restored communities." In this episode of BioScience Talks, Koziol joins us to discuss her article and to describe the potential ecological benefits of grassland restoration efforts that include the reintroduction of native plant microbiome species. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
11/14/201821 minutes, 54 seconds
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Tracking Aedes aegypti across the Ages

Mosquito-borne diseases have plagued humanity for centuries, and a prolific offender has been Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the "yellow fever mosquito." Despite the yellow-fever moniker, it is also a potent carrier of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Jeffrey Powell and his colleagues describe recent work in tracking the spread of this important vector. Using newly available genomic techniques, they cross-referenced the historical divergence of A. aegypti populations with known records of ship movements and disease spread. The results paint a picture of a species that traversed slave and other trade routes to the New World and beyond. In this episode of BioScience Talks, Powell joins us to discuss his work and to elaborate on the evolution and movements of this deadly "domesticated" mosquito species. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.   
10/31/201834 minutes, 48 seconds
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Scientists Warn that Proposed US–Mexico Border Wall Threatens Biodiversity, Conservation

Amidst increased tensions over the US–Mexico border, a multinational group of over 2500 scientists have endorsed an article cautioning that a hardened barrier may produce devastating ecological effects while hampering binational conservation. In the BioScience Viewpoint, a group organized by Defenders of Wildlife and others called attention to ecological disturbances that could affect hundreds of terrestrial and aquatic species, notably including the Mexican gray wolf and Sonoran pronghorn. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we were joined by Rob Peters, Senior Representative with the Southwest Regional Office of Defenders of Wildlife; Rurik List, Head of the Laboratory of Conservation Biology at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Lerma Campus; and Sergio Avila, Wildlife Biologist and a Program Manager with Sierra Club, based in Tucson, Arizona. They discussed the article, the potential effects of a border wall, and some of the other challenges of conducting science in the borderlands.  Read the article.  Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. 
10/10/201834 minutes, 51 seconds
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Big Data is Synergized by Team and Open Science

For some time, "big data" has loomed large as a source of challenges and opportunities for science, but as yet, guidance on how to manage the data deluge has been wanting. Joining us on this episode of BioScience Talks, Kendra Spence Cheruvelil and Patricia A. Soranno, both with Michigan State University, describe a synergistic approach to data-intensive science that hinges on open and collaborative research efforts. By harnessing the strengths of interdisciplinary collaboration and open science, they say, researchers will be better able to use big data to solve global environmental problems. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  AIBS's Team Science Event
9/12/201824 minutes, 50 seconds
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Synbio Ethics: What the Researchers Think

As synthetic biology emerges into the public sphere, so too does a discussion about the ethical and regulatory questions posed by the field. Because synthetic biology researchers will themselves have broad influence in both the field and the conversations surrounding it, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Wisconsin–Madison sought to shed light on their views. The group first identified a unique sample of synthetic biologists and researchers who focus on ethical, legal, and social issues, then polled them regarding their attitudes and values related to synbio. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Dietram Scheufele, who discusses the poll's results and also the ways in which synthetic biologists might best engage the public—as experts and as listeners—during and after the field's entrance onto the public and regulatory stage. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy, Annenberg School for Communication.
8/3/201835 minutes, 59 seconds
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Undergraduate Research Makes for Better Science

Improving training in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields is a major priority, crucial to the nation's economy and international competitiveness. However, to date, research evaluating the effectiveness of STEM training programs and initiatives has often been lacking. Writing in BioScience, Alan Wilson of Auburn University, Eric Nagy of the Mountain Lake Biological Station at the University of Virginia, and their colleagues present an assessment of the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site programs. They compared the scientific outcomes of demographically matched participants and non-participants and found substantial differences between the two groups. For instance, participants in the REU Site programs were more likely to obtain a STEM PhD and to receive awards, make scientific presentations, and publish the results of their research. In this episode of BioScience Talks, Wilson and Nagy join us to explain their assessment approach and describe the research opportunities at the REU Site programs at their institutions. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. 
7/11/201830 minutes, 59 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Disease-Carrying Ticks and How to Avoid Them

Ticks pose numerous threats to human health and well-being, ranging from the familiar Lyme threat to spotted fever rickettsiosis and even mammalian meat allergies. For this special bonus episode of BioScience Talks, we chatted with Brian Allan of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who works with ticks hands on and leads important research on the ecology of infectious disease. He discussed tick species, their life stages and threats to human health, and the ways that people can avoid exposure to ticks during their most active periods. He also delved into recent research into the techniques and tactics that land managers are using to abate tick overabundance in the face of expanding ranges and growing numbers of many arthropod disease vectors. Learn more: Visit the Allan Lab Online. Read more about the mammalian meat allergy. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. 
6/13/201830 minutes, 57 seconds
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Bridging the Gaps in Global Conservation

To date, the conservation of global biodiversity has relied on a patchwork of international goals and national- and regional-level plans. Hampered by poor planning, competing interests, and an incomplete view of large-scale ecosystem function, these efforts are failing. Effective biodiversity conservation will instead require a broad-based approach that relies on the empirical evaluation of ecosystem dynamics and conservation actions.             Writing in BioScience, William Arlidge, E. J. Milner-Gulland, and colleagues present a unified framework to address these challenges: global mitigation hierarchies. These mitigation hierarchies encompass a four-step process of harm avoidance, minimization, remediation, and offsetting. The authors argue that by implementing such processes, global conservation priorities can be established in a way that bridges gaps in current regulatory regimes and enables more effective conservation. In this episode of BioScience Talks, Arlidge and Milner-Gulland join us to explain the approach in more detail and describe the possible paths to implementation. Learn more: Read the article (free download). Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. 
5/9/201827 minutes, 14 seconds
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One Thing Leads to Another: Causal Chains Link Health, Development, and Conservation

The linkages between environmental health and human well-being are complex and dynamic, and researchers have developed numerous models for describing them. The models include attempts to bridge traditional academic boundaries, uniting fields of study under rubrics such as social–ecological frameworks, coupled human and natural systems, ecosystem services, and resilience theory. However, these efforts have been constrained by varying practices and a failure among practitioners to agree on consistent practices. Writing in BioScience, Jiangxiao Qiu of the University of Florida and his colleagues describe this state of affairs and propose an alternative approach to understanding the interplay of social and ecological spheres: causal chains. The authors describe these chains as an "approach to identifying logical and ordered sequences of effects on how a system responds to interventions, actions, or perturbations." The idea was originally formed as result of a workshop funded by the Packard Foundation, and Dr. Qiu joins us in this episode to discuss causal chains and their implications for the future of policy and management. Learn more: Read the article (free download). Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. 
4/11/201827 minutes, 11 seconds
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ASGSR Annual Meeting

In October 2017, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks hit the road. We attended ASGSR's annual meeting in Seattle, Washington, where we had the chance to speak with numerous presenters and participants about a diversity of space-related topics, ranging from the International Space Station (ISS) and zero-gravity plant growth to human health at high altitudes and space-based pharmaceutical development. This special episode brings together the foremost thought leaders in space-related biology and physical science, highlighting the broad spectrum of research being conducted at unique venues such as and the ISS. Interviewees included: Cindy Martin-Brennan, Executive Director of ASGSR Anna-Lisa Paul and Robert Ferl, University of Florida Michael Roberts, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Ken Savin, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Jonathan Clark, Baylor College of Medicine and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition Learn more: Join ASGSR! Attend the 2018 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Listen to archived webcasts of the 2017 meeting. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Closing music courtesy of Lakey Inspired.  
3/14/201849 minutes, 33 seconds
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Urban Mind: Measuring the Benefits of Nature in Real Time

The positive mental health effects of nature exposure in urban environments are well known, and the literature on the subject is growing fast. However, many previous studies have relied only on cross-sectional data that offer coarse measurements of the phenomenon. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Andrea Mechelli of King's College London and his colleagues describe a new approach: the Urban Mind smartphone app. By collecting data several times daily, the app provides real-time information on both the environment and the subjective well-being of its users. Through this approach, Mechelli and his colleagues were able to quantify nature's effects on human well-being with previously unseen accuracy and timeliness. Dr. Mechelli joins us in this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss these findings and to explain the next steps for Urban Mind. Read the article. Check out an earlier episode on nature's mental health benefits. Does contact with nature prevent crime? Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
2/14/201819 minutes, 38 seconds
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Specimen Collection, Populations, and Biodiversity Science

The benefits of specimen collection are well known. Natural-history archives are increasingly used by researchers to investigate evolutionary processes, examine the effects of climate and environmental change, explore the ecology of emerging diseases, and so on. However, the effects of specimen removal on the wild populations and communities is a question that has rarely been addressed. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Andrew Hope and his colleagues draw on historical data from a Long-Term Ecological Research site to examine the effects of one such specimen collection program. In this episode of the podcast, we discuss those results in particular, as well as broader the research opportunities afforded by natural-history collections. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  
1/10/201820 minutes, 26 seconds
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A Waterway Bounces Back following the Passage of the Clean Water Act

Although the aims of environmental legislation are well known, measuring the effects of regulation is often a difficult task. Inadequate data for baseline conditions and the recovery period can hamper efforts to quantify the effects of a regulation. In a rare exceptional case, Dr. Daniel Gibson-Reinemer and his colleagues describe in BioScience the successful recovery of the Illinois Waterway following the implementation of the 1972 Clean Water Act. Using a robust, multi-decadal data set, the authors demonstrate a tight linkage between water quality and the rebound of numerous fish populations. Dr. Gibson-Reinemer joins us in this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the article's findings and to explain their possible application in future recovery efforts. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
11/8/201721 minutes, 21 seconds
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Interdisciplinary Approaches to Wildlife Trade Management

The illicit wildlife trade is a multi-billion-dollar business that spans the globe. Unfortunately, efforts to control it have often fallen short, and massive numbers of organisms are regularly removed from ecosystems and sold as pets, food, and traditional medicines. Writing in BioScience, Dr. Mary Blair, Dr. Minh Le, and their colleagues describe an integrative framework to help characterize and mitigate the wildlife trade. Based on Elinor Ostrom's social–ecological systems thinking, the framework incorporates biological, anthropological, socioeconomic, and other types of data to paint a holistic picture of the problem. Drs. Blair and Le join us on this episode of BioScience Talks to describe the ways in which this holistic view will help practitioners and stakeholders untangle the complex dynamics underlying the wildlife trade. Learn more about the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research Annual Meeting. Read the article. Learn more about wildlife trade in Vietnam. The search for slow lorises (video). Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
10/11/201729 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Benefits and Pitfalls of Urban Green Spaces

With the rapid expansion of the urban landscape, successfully managing ecosystems in built areas has never been more important. However, our understanding of urban ecology is far from complete, and the data at hand are often patchy, leaving stakeholders without the tools they need to successfully manage human-affected ecosystems. Recent BioScience author Chris Lepczyk, a biologist working at Auburn University, joins us for this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the future of urban biodiversity, highlighting trends and raising questions whose answers will be crucial for successful "green" management and healthy urban ecosystems. Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
9/13/201726 minutes, 19 seconds
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Damming and Its Effects on Fish

Fish that migrate between freshwater and sea ecosystems play a multitude of ecological roles. In the centuries since Europeans first colonized the Americas, damming and other disruptions to river connectivity have greatly decreased the migration opportunities of these species. Recent BioScience author Steven Mattocks of the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the effects of lost habitat and river connectivity for these crucial fish. In particular, he explains that because of a dearth of information on pre-1950 conditions, past estimates of lost biomass may drastically underestimate the ecological harm of damming.   Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
8/9/201735 minutes, 30 seconds
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The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2017 Annual Meeting

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), an American Institute of Biological Sciences member society, fosters research, education, public awareness, and understanding of living organisms from molecules and cells to ecology and evolution. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we chatted with presenters and personnel from SICB's 2017 annual meeting, which was held earlier this year in New Orleans. At the meeting, researchers shared hundreds of findings that highlight the value of interdisciplinary, cooperative science integrated across scales, as well as new models and methodologies to enhance research and education. Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2018 Annual SICB Meeting in San Francisco. See http://sicb.org/meetings/2018 for details.   Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
7/26/201731 minutes, 24 seconds
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Low Oxygen in Chesapeake Bay

Each year, low oxygen levels, known as hypoxia, strike the deep waters of Chesapeake Bay. Arising from a combination of human-induced and natural factors, low oxygen levels have profound effects on fish and other important ecosystem players. Writing in BioScience, Jeremy Testa of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) and his colleagues describe the phenomenon in detail—and the ongoing efforts to better predict the yearly occurrence.             For this episode of BioScience Talks, Dr. Testa shares more details about hypoxia, its causes, and perhaps most important, the ways in which forecasting it can help us understand and plan for the future of the bay.   Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
7/12/201728 minutes, 11 seconds
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Understanding River Thermal Landscapes

River temperatures have long been an area of study, but until recently, the field has been hampered by technological constraints. However, a suite of new technologies and methods, driven by inexpensive sensor technology, are enabling new insights, with significant implications for the future of river management. Writing in BioScience, E. Ashley Steel of the USDA Forest Service and her colleagues detail the effects of these newly available data and describe the ways in which the knowledge they enable will assist future management efforts. Key among data-enabled innovations is the incorporation of measurements over time and space to create a holistic view of river thermal regimes that the authors dub the "thermal landscape," which has broad implications for the future of river science. She joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to describe the article and the future of the field. Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.
6/14/201722 minutes, 28 seconds
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Conservation Endocrinology in a Changing World

As species rapidly adapt to altered landscapes and a warming climate, scientists and stakeholders need new techniques to monitor ecological responses and plan future conservation efforts. Writing in BioScience, Drs. Stephen McCormick of the US Geological Survey and Michael Romero of Tufts University describe the emerging field of conservation endocrinology and its growing role in addressing the effects of environmental change. The authors argue that, bolstered by the development of new field-sampling techniques, researchers working in this area are poised to make substantial contributions to the wider field of conservation biology. For this episode of BioScience Talks, Dr. McCormick describes the range of applications spawned by new research involving the endocrine system, which refers to the set of glands that deliver hormones directly to the circulatory system. These new applications span the measurement of birds' altered stress hormones in response to ecotourism to drone-collected blowhole spray from whales, which may contain hormonal clues about the species' broader health. Other applications include the monitoring of human-introduced endocrine disruptors in aquatic systems and various hormonal changes induced by urbanization, hunting, invasive species, habitat disruption, marine noise, and many other potential stressors. Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Writing for Impact and Influence.  
5/10/201725 minutes, 31 seconds
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Episode #23: The Redomestication of Wolves

On landscapes around the world, environmental change is bringing people and large carnivores together—but the union is not without its problems. Human–wildlife conflict is on the rise as development continues unabated and apex predators begin to reoccupy their former ranges. Further complicating matters, many of these species are now reliant on human-provided foods, such as livestock and trash. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Thomas Newsome of Deakin University and the University of Sydney. Writing in BioScience, Newsome and his colleagues use gray wolves and other large predators as case studies to explore the effects of human-provided foods. They find numerous instances of species' changing their social structures, movements, and behavior when these resources are available. Perhaps most concerning, they've found that human-fed populations often form distinct genetic subgroups, which could lead to future speciation events. Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Writing for Impact and Influence.
4/11/201724 minutes, 32 seconds
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Episode 22: Nature's Mental Health Benefits

Nature's positive impact on mood is easily understood on an intuitive level, but a more fine-grain analysis reveals quantifiable effects with potentially serious implications for human well-being. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Daniel Cox of the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter, in Penryn, United Kingdom. Writing for BioScience, Cox and his colleagues described recent work that found strong correlations between nature exposure and positive markers of mental health. In addition, the authors used dose–response modeling to uncover threshold effects that may help guide urban planning, with the ultimate goal of reducing the societal burdens of mental illness. Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
3/8/201718 minutes, 24 seconds
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Episode 21: Bright Spots of Resilience to Climate Disturbance

Climate-driven disturbances are having profound impacts on coastal ecosystems, with many crucial habitat-forming species in sharp decline. However, among these degraded biomes, examples of resilience are emerging. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Jennifer O'Leary, a California Sea Grant Marine Biologist based at California Polytechnic State University, and Dr. Fiorenza Micheli, from Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University. Their recent article in BioScience discusses a large-scale study that uncovered numerous ecosystem "bright spots," in which habitat-forming species proved either resistant to or able to recover from sometimes severe perturbations. Of particular importance, say the authors, are the possible implications for ecosystem-sparing management. Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
2/8/201728 minutes, 26 seconds
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Episode #20: Eucalypts Spotlight Biosecurity Failures

For more than 100 years, eucalypts—woody plants that range in size from shrubs to trees—have been transported from their natural ecosystems in Australia to plantations across the globe. This unique history provides a novel lens for viewing the spread of pathogens and may shed light on future outbreaks as ecosystems face growing pressure from climate change. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we spoke with Dr. Treena Burgess of Murdoch University in Western Australia, who also holds an adjunct appointment with the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She describes her recent article in BioScience, written with Michael Wingfield. In it, the authors articulate seven scenarios of pathogen movement and disease epidemics, as well as the biosecurity risks that arise from poorly controlled germplasm movement. The dangers are significant, with economically important eucalypt plantations and native ecosystems both facing significant threats. Read the article discussed on the show. Read Michael Wingfield's previous BioScience article on the topic. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
1/11/201728 minutes, 36 seconds
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Episode #19: Microbial Biodiversity in the Environment Can Alter Human Health

The science of human microbiomes is advancing at an incredible pace. With each passing day, more is known about the vast suite of microorganisms that inhabit human bodies—and about the important role that they play in maintaining our health. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we look at the human microbiome from an environmentalist's perspective. What are the health benefits of microbiota from environmental sources? What are the threats of altered microbiota? How should we manage the landscapes that play host to this crucial microbial diversity? To help answer these questions, we spoke with Craig Liddicoat of the University of Adelaide and the South Australian government's Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Liddicoat and his colleagues recently published an article in BioScience that shines a light on the myriad benefits of preserving environmental microbiomes and proposes a unifying conceptual framework for the multidisciplinary approach needed to tackle this emerging research area. Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
12/14/201630 minutes, 5 seconds
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Episode #18: Reservoirs Are a Major Source of Greenhouse Gases

Over 1 million dams exist worldwide. These structures have numerous environmental effects, and there is no shortage of research on the various ecological consequences of dams. But there is another major threat arising from dammed waters: the release of greenhouse gases. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we spoke with Dr. Bridget Deemer of the US Geological Survey. Deemer and her colleagues recently embarked on a systematic effort to synthesize reservoir greenhouse-gas data. The results, described in BioScience, point to reservoirs as a substantial yet often unrecognized source of greenhouse gases. Read the article discussed on the show. Keep up with Dr. Deemer's research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.    
11/9/201626 minutes, 7 seconds
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Episode #17: Big Data and Good Science

Scientists have long debated the best methods to achieve sound findings. In recent decades, hypothesis-driven frameworks have been enshrined in textbooks and school courses, with iterative and inductive approaches often taking a back seat. However, the advent of big data poses a challenge to the established dogma, as large data sets often require broad collaborations and make traditional hypothesis-driven approaches less tractable. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we spoke with Michigan State University professors Kendra Cheruvelil, Georgina Montgomery, Kevin Elliott, and Patricia Soranno. Their interdisciplinary work highlights the changing scientific landscape, in which large data sets and new computational methods encourage a more iterative approach to science.  Read the article discussed on the show. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.  
10/13/201634 minutes, 30 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Bear Behavior and the Recent Montana Grizzly Mauling

Most interactions between humans and bears result in no harm to either party. However, aggressive bears can occasionally pose a serious threat to human well-being, such as occurred in a recent attack in the Montana backcountry. In this bonus episode, bear behavior expert Dr. Tom Smith of Brigham Young University sheds light on what may have spurred the attack and shares recommendations for avoiding negative interactions with bears when traveling in their habitats. Read Dr. Smith's earlier work in BioScience on polar bears. Read Dr. Smith's work on bear spray efficacy. Read Dr. Smith's work on firearm efficacy against aggressive bears. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.  
10/5/201626 minutes, 48 seconds
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Episode #16: Hardened Shorelines Are a Threat to Ecosystems

The installation of structures to protect against coastal threats, called shoreline hardening, is a common practice worldwide, with many coastal cities having 50% or more of their shores protected against floods and erosion. Despite increasing evidence of negative ecosystem effects, shoreline hardening is expected to continue as growing coastal populations scramble to address rising seas and severe storms. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we spoke with Dr. Rachel Gittman of Northeastern University. Gittman and her colleagues recently conducted a meta-analysis of 54 existing studies on shoreline hardening. The results, described in the journal BioScience, highlight a stark impact to biodiversity but also point to approaches that may mitigate the harm. Read the article describing the research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.  
9/14/201634 minutes, 48 seconds
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Episode #15 - Marine Citizen Science: Room for Growth

The burgeoning field of citizen science offers the public an opportunity to participate directly in research and data analysis—and it offers scientists access to robust data sets that previously would have been impossible to collect. Unfortunately, research on citizen science itself has often been lacking, with most studies focused on existing participants, with little attention paid to the wider public's interest in these important projects. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Vicki Martin of Southern Cross University, in Lismore, Australia, who describes the results of a groundbreaking 1145-person survey of marine users and their attitudes toward citizen science projects. We talked about the study's implications both for the general public and for researchers eager to catch a ride on the citizen science wave. Read the article describing the research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Australian Citizen Science Association US Citizen Science Association European Citizen Science Association
8/10/201630 minutes, 36 seconds
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Episode 14: Hydroelectric Dams Kill Insects, Wreak Havoc with Food Webs

Hydropower dams generate more energy than all other renewable sources combined. However, they can also produce dire environmental consequences, including the devastation of aquatic insect populations and the food webs that those insects underpin. A practice called "hydropeaking" is evidently to blame. By altering river flows to meet power-generation needs, hydropeaking generates artificial tides that extirpate insect species. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Ted Kennedy, a research ecologist with the US Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. In this month's BioScience, he and his colleagues describe the underlying phenomenon and the citizen science project that brought it to light. In our discussion, Dr. Kennedy explains his findings and offers possible solutions to the hydropeaking conundrum. Read the article describing the research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.  
7/13/201630 minutes, 2 seconds
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Gene Drive Technology: Where is the Future? (Bonus Episode)

Gene drives have the potential to revolutionize approaches to major public health, conservation, and agricultural problems. For instance, gene drives might one day prevent mosquitoes from spreading a variety of deadly diseases, including Zika virus, malaria, and others. A form of genetic modification, the technology works by causing a particular genetic element to spread through populations, thereby making it possible to change species in the wild. Despite the significant promise, caution is warranted, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Committee on Gene Drive Research. According to the committee, gene drives raise a variety of ecological and regulatory questions that have yet to be answered. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by committee co-chair Dr. James P. Collins of Arizona State University and committee member Dr. Joseph Travis of Florida State University. They fill us in on the specifics of the report and on the future of gene drives. Read the report and access related materials. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.  
6/29/201632 minutes, 29 seconds
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Episode #13: Landscape Ecology and its Role in Policymaking

The world faces unprecedented environmental transformation. Successfully managing and adapting to a rapidly changing Earth requires the swift action of well-informed policymakers. In a State of the Science report for BioScience, Audrey Mayer of Michigan Technological University and her colleagues describe a major role for the field of landscape ecology in informing policy and management. She joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to chat about the article and discuss some practical applications--both those in use now and those on the horizon. Because landscape ecology operates at multiple scales and across human and natural systems, it is a uniquely powerful tool for those who will make tomorrow's environmental and land-use policies.  Read the article describing the research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.  
6/8/201628 minutes, 16 seconds
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Episode #12: Current Methods Cannot Predict Damage to Coral Reefs

The potentially devastating effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs are well known, but the methods used to evaluate the threats are often focused on individual species, viewed in isolation, and often in a laboratory. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Peter Edmunds of California State University, Northridge, who describes that issue and talks about the broad-scale inter-species and inter-population dynamics that may have unforeseen consequences for ocean ecosystems. In particular, differences across scales--from organisms to populations, to communities and ecosystems--will have major impacts on reefs. For instance, differently responding symbiotic species could alter a reef's community structure--and, ultimately, the health of the reef as a whole Read the article describing the research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
5/11/201626 minutes, 9 seconds
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Episode #11: How to Save Aggregate-Spawning Fish

 Globally declining fish populations are a frequently cited ecological and commercial calamity, but relatively little attention has been paid to the specific threats faced by fish that gather and spawn in large groups. Because they gather in such large groups, these fish are at particular risk of overfishing and population collapse. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Yvonne Sadovy, of the University of Hong Kong and Science and Conservation of Fish Aggregations (SCRFA), who studies these aggregate spawners. In our discussion, she outlines the unique threats faced by these species, which also include ineffective management techniques better suited toward fish with different life histories. She also outlines the mechanisms that might help preserve these aggregations in the years to come. Read the article describing the research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
4/13/201623 minutes, 9 seconds
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Episode #10: Nitrogen's Threat to Biodiversity

Habitat destruction and the direct exploitation of species often occupy center stage in discussions of biodiversity perils. However, indirect harms, such as that posed by nitrogen pollution, remain underappreciated and poorly understood despite playing a key role in species declines. The mechanisms of nitrogen's impacts are diverse and often involve hard-to-pinpoint chains of causality. For this episode, we're joined by Dr. Dan Hernandez of Carleton College and Dr. Erika Zavaleta of the University of California, Santa Cruz. They and their colleagues recently conducted a survey of 1400 species listed under the US Endangered Species Act, finding a total of 78 that face known hazards from excess nitrogen. They describe their findings here. Read the article describing the research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
3/9/201619 minutes, 12 seconds
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Episode #9: Plague-Afflicted Prairie Dogs and Modeling Animal-Borne Disease

Animal-borne diseases have ruled the news cycle recently—from Zika and Ebola to SARS and MERS. However, little is known about the spread of these diseases in their animal hosts. More perplexing, the mechanisms that lead to human outbreaks remain elusive. Dr. Dan Salkeld of Colorado State University hopes to change that through the study of plague—the disease responsible for the Black Death in the Middle Ages. Plague is now a worse problem for the prairie dogs that Salkeld studies than it is for humans, but understanding its unique ecology may shed light elsewhere. By using plague and its complex, multispecies dynamics as a model, Salkeld hopes that we can achieve key insights into why, how, and when diseases like Ebola and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome spill over into human populations. Read the article describing research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
2/10/201619 minutes, 41 seconds
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Episode #8: Preventing Midwest Grain Failures

Across the United States, record quantities of corn and soybeans have been harvested in recent years. However, according Dr. David Gustafson of the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation, this trend may soon change. The combined and uncertain effects of climate change could have a devastating impact on grain yields in the US Midwest, with major global implications for food security. To address these rising threats, Dr. Gustafson and his colleagues propose a new, coordinated network of field research sites at which precise data on the performance of current and future crops, cropping systems, and farm-level management practices in the US Midwest could be gathered. Dr. Gustafson joins us to describe the plan.   Read the article describing research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
1/13/201622 minutes, 31 seconds
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Episode #7: Contact with Nature May Mean More Social Cohesion, Less Crime

Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of contact with nature for human well-being. However, despite strong trends toward greater urbanization and declining green space, little is known about the social consequences of such contact. Netta Weinstein, senior lecturer at Cardiff University, and her team used a nationally representative UK study to examine the relationships between social cohesion and exposure to nature. The interrelationships were complex, but the results indicate that, even when controlling for numerous possible confounds, nature exposure may account for meaningful amounts of variance in crime and perceived community well-being.   Read the article describing research. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
1/12/201620 minutes, 9 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Complex Data Integration

The integration of data from two or more domains is required for addressing many fundamental scientific questions and understanding how to mitigate challenges affecting humanity and our planet. In March 2015, AIBS convened a workshop that brought together more than two dozen experts in genetics, genomics and metagenomics, biology, systematics, taxonomy, ecology, bio- and ecoinformatics, and cyberinfrastructure development. The workshop was co-chaired by Dr. Corinna Gries, Lead Information Manager at the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin, who joins us to discuss the challenge of complex data integration and AIBS's upcoming Council Meeting on Addressing Biological Informatics Workforce Needs.   Read the workshop report on complex data integration. Learn more about the upcoming AIBS Council Meeting. Read the AIBS workshop report on Changing Practices in Data Publication.
11/25/201513 minutes, 27 seconds
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Episode #6: A Successful Intervention Boosts the Gender Diversity of STEM Faculty

Eighty-one percent of US science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) university faculty members are men. The relative dearth of women in the field is a long-recognized problem—but it's one that may be on its way to a solution. Using a three-step intervention derived from self-determination theory, an interdisciplinary team from Montana State University demonstrated a low-cost way to improve gender diversity in STEM-faculty hiring. The results were impressive, with search committees in the intervention group 6.3 times more likely to make an offer to a woman candidate. Dr. Alexander Zale was part of the team, and he joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks.   Read the article describing the intervention. Read Amy Pohler's Smart Girls blog about the results. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
11/11/201517 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode #5: When Tree Planting Hurts Ecosystems

"Forest restoration" is a common conservation theme, often promoted as a means of repairing degraded landscapes and boosting carbon storage. But when the planting areas are poorly chosen, these initiatives have the potential to eradicate ancient grasslands, with devastating effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services. In Episode #5 of BioScience Talks, Joseph Veldman of Iowa State University describes the millions of acres of grassy biomes currently under threat from forestation and the efforts under way to protect them. Read the article by Joseph Veldman and colleagues. See figure 2 discussed in the podcast. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher.
10/14/201518 minutes, 46 seconds
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Episode #4: Fire in the Amazon

Human-caused fires have the potential to hugely alter tropical forests—and the world at large. In this episode, we talk to Dr. Jennifer Balch, of the University of Colorado–Boulder. She discusses a long-term experiment in which she and her team deliberately lit fires in the Brazilian Amazon, with the aim of simulating the fires that are often released when people use burning to clear land. The forests were resilient to initial burning, but when a major drought hit in 2007, things changed quickly. The combined effects of drought and fire have huge implications, from grassland incursion and climate change to rainforest loss at previously unmeasured levels. The article is part of a BioScience Special Section on Tropical Forest Responses to Large-Scale Experiments.
9/9/201520 minutes, 54 seconds
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Episode #3: Extracellular Vesicles Everywhere

Extracellular vesicles (EVs; article here) are one of the biggest stories in biology. These tiny "packets" are released by cells and constitute a previously misunderstood means of intracellular communication -- and their implications are huge. In humans, EVs can reveal disease, including some cancers and viral infections, and EV technology may soon replace many tissue biopsies. In addition, vesicles can be loaded with targeted treatments for a variety of diseases. The role that EVs will play in medicine is only beginning to be understood. In this episode, I'm joined by Drs. Xandra Breakefield and Mikolaj Zaborowski, two Harvard Medical School researchers working at the forefront of the field.
8/12/201521 minutes, 55 seconds
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Episode #2: Transgenic Fish on the Loose?

Fast-growing transgenic salmonids are currently being developed for eventual human consumption. Dr. Robert Devlin and his team seek to evaluate the ecological threats posed by these GMO fish. In this discussion, he outlines the uncertainty inherent in these risk assessments and explains areas of potential future study. Read the full article: http://io.aibs.org/devful
7/8/201521 minutes, 42 seconds
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BioScience Talks Episode #1: Coupled Human and Natural Systems

In our first episode, we discuss the concept of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) with Dr. Jiquan Chen, of Michigan State University, who studies CHANS on the Mongolian Plateau. The CHANS concept enables the quantification of interacting human and biophysical factors, which can help shed light on how these systems work.
6/10/201522 minutes, 12 seconds
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Preview of BioScience Talks Episode 1

This episode previews BioScience Talks' upcoming first episode on coupled human and natural systems, to be released on 10 June. Stay tuned!
5/28/201539 seconds