Ep. 313 - Of Bluebells & Bracken

Ep. 313 - Of Bluebells & Bracken

Ep. 316 - How an Asteroid Changed Neotropical Rainforests

The asteroid that slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula some 66 million years ago marked the end of the Cretaceous and the reign of the dinosaurs. As famous as this extinction event is, we know considerably less about how such disturbances affected ecosystems like tropical rainfores ...   Show more

Ep. 315 - Deer & Forest Health

In today's human-dominated world, healthy forests require healthy and sustainable management practices. To do this, we must try to understand the myriad processes that affect forest health and that is where our guest comes in. Dr. Matt Russell is an Associate Professor and Extens ...   Show more

Ep. 314 - The Silversword Alliance

In this episode, we take a deep dive into the wild world of the Hawaiian silversword alliance. This group of daisy relatives represents one of the most remarkable adaptive radiations on the planet and is comprised of three genera: Wilkesia, Argyroxiphium, and Dubautia. From tiny ...   Show more

Ep. 312 - The Importance of Seed Banking

Humans have been seed banking in one form or another for millennia. Whereas historically, seed banking has largely focused on agriculturally important plants, the practice has been expanded to protecting a multitude of species from extinction. Joining us in this episode is Atlant ...   Show more

Ep. 311 - How Oaks Get Around

This episode is all about the fascinating world of oak seed dispersal. Many of us have undoubtedly enjoyed watching frenzied squirrels and jays hurriedly collecting and stashing acorns. But such observations are only the tip of the extremely complex iceberg of oak seed dispersal. ...   Show more

Ep. 310 - Plants & Cities

Cities are usually designed with only humans in mind, but that doesn't mean myriad other forms of life aren't adapting to live in these human-dominated landscapes as well. My guest today is Jasmin Green, a PhD candidate at UC Davis who is very curious about the ecological dynamic ...   Show more

Ep 309 - Plants, Pollinators, Nature, and Society

Pollination is arguably among the most important ecological processes on our planet. Entire careers have been devoted to trying to understand the countless nuances to plant pollination and yet we have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. In this episode, we are joined by pollin ...   Show more

Ep. 308 - The Street Life of Trees

What do street trees and oceanic islands have in common? It turns out a lot, at least from an ecological perspective. I sit down with Dr. Robert Warren to explore questions like do street trees constitute a functioning forest or a beautiful garden? What role do humans play in the ...   Show more

Ep. 307 - Sleuthing to Save Plants

A lot of detective work goes into saving plants from extinction and that is what we are discussing in this episode. Dr. Anne Frances joins us to talk about all of the plant sleuthing she does as NatureServe's lead botanist. Her work has her investigating the status of everything ...   Show more

Ep. 306 - The Art & Science of Rock Gardening

Rock gardening is so much more than gardening with rocks. No one knows this better than Panayoti Kelaidis. A self-proclaimed acolyte in the cathedral of chlorophyll, Panayoti has spent a lifetime steeped in plants and gardening. As you will learn, rock gardening is truly a magnif ...   Show more

Ep. 305 - In Defense of Plants

In Defense of Plants is now a book! Hitting shelves on February 23rd, "In Defense of Plants: An Exploration into the Wonder of Plants" explores my introduction to the world of botany and the amazing ways plants make a living. Instead of me just talking at you for an hour, I figur ...   Show more

Ep. 304 - Proteas: Protecting These Botanical Shape-Shifters

For those with even passing familiarity, the proteas represent something akin to botanical royalty. This family of plants exhibits a bewildering array of forms, lifestyles, and habitat preferences, which is why they were named in honor of the shape-shifting Greek god Proteus. Whe ...   Show more

Ep. 303 - Lessons in Biogeography from Conifers

This episode occurs at the intersection of botany and geology, two inseparable components of the natural world. For Dr. David Charlet, what started with curiosity about a seemingly out of place population of conifers has developed into a life-long obsession with species distribut ...   Show more

Ep. 302 - Community-Based Oak Conservation

We expand further on the topic of oak conservation in this episode by looking at two examples of in situ oak conservation projects. Joining us from the Morton Arboretum is Tree Conservation Ecologist, Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare to discuss her amazing community-based projects aimed ...   Show more

Ep. 301 - Oaks in Trouble

Oaks (genus Quercus) are among the most culturally and ecologically important trees wherever they are native, which is what makes the next sentence so alarmingly depressing. The IUCN currently estimates that nearly 41% of all oak species are of conservation concern. From all out ...   Show more

Ep. 300 - Reconstructing a Cretaceous Flora

Imagine being able to travel back 120 million years to the Early Cretaceous and scoop up handfuls of the forest floor. The amount you would discover in that material would be mind blowing and, amazingly, this is essentially what my guest gets to do. Dr. Fabiany Herrera is a paleo ...   Show more

Ep. 299 - Aquatic Plants & Phytoremediation

Grab your snorkel and goggles because this episode takes us underwater. I sit down for a conversation with Assistant Professor Dr. La Toya Kissoon-Charles about the ways in which aquatic plants both impact and are impacted by their watery environment. From insights into water che ...   Show more

Ep. 298 - Living the Gypsum Life: How Geology Can Drive Speciation

You may have heard of the mineral gypsum through its use in making plasters, chalks, and drywall, but are you aware of its influence on plant speciation? Indeed, soils heavy in gypsum present unique challenges to plant growth but that doesn't mean plants haven't been able to conq ...   Show more

Ep. 297 - A Deep Dive on the Cashew Family

What do cashews (Anacardium spp.), mangoes (Mangifera spp.), pistachios (Pistacia spp.), and poison ivy (Toxicodendron spp.) have in common? They are all members of the family Anacardiaceae! In this episode, I sit down with Deputy Executive Director at the United States Botanic G ...   Show more

Ep. 296 - Expanding Your Barberry Horizon

In this episode, we do a deep dive into the barberry family, Berberidaceae, with environmentalist, author, and garden designer Lyndon Penner. Many of us will be familiar with the Mahonias or the prickly barberry shrubs, but they overshadow some of the more interesting members of ...   Show more

Ep. 295 - Sniffing Out Solutions: How Dogs Can Help Us Save Plants

Dogs are among our oldest companions. Our propensity for cohabitation and collaboration leads to unique bonds that are rare in the animal kingdom. In this episode we sit down with members of Rogue Detection Teams to talk about how some dogs are even helping save plants. From find ...   Show more

Ep. 294 - Herbaria: Past, Present, and Future

This episode takes a deep dive into the past, present, and future of herbaria. I sit down with Director of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, Dr. Barbara M. Thiers about her new book "Herbarium: The Quest to Preserve and Classify the World's Plants." Dr. Thiers has spent a l ...   Show more

Ep. 293 - How Plants Fight Disease

From plant conservation to food security, we desperately need to understand how plants fight disease. As you can probably imagine, the world of plant-microbe interactions is vast and complicated but that's where people like Dr. Kevin Cox Jr come in. Currently a post-doc at the Da ...   Show more

Ep. 292 - Investigating the Black Market Trade in Dudleya farinosa

Plant poaching is abhorrent and we can’t work towards a solution without a proper understanding of the motivations behind it. That's where people like Dr. Jared Margulies come in. In this episode we sit down to talk about what he learned through investigating the illicit trade is ...   Show more

Ep. 291 - Tales from the Cliff: Preventing Brighamia Extinction

From feral goats, pigs, and deer, to the extinction of it's suspected pollinator, the ʻŌlulu (Brighamia insignis) has a lot stacked against it. Yet, despite being extinct in the wild, the ʻŌlulu is surprisingly common in cultivation all thanks for a handful of seed collections ma ...   Show more

Ep. 290 - The Chemical Symphony of Plant Perception

Plant perception: few topics are the subject of more pseudoscience and misinformation than this one. Luckily there are people like Dr. Lauren Erland who exist to shine a scientific light on the topic. Dr. Erland studies, among other things, the role of plant growth regulators in ...   Show more

Ep. 289 - The Personal Journey of Gardening

Writer, naturalist, and gardener Dan Hinkley returns to the podcast to talk about his new book "Windcliff: A Story of People, Plants, and Gardens," which is a touchingly honest tale of his own journey in creating his own personal garden. Dan is unique in blending his own naturali ...   Show more

Ep. 288 - Doin' Good by Grasses

Whether we realize it or not, this planet and all life on it are influenced by grasses. Among the most important are grasses belonging to the tribe Andropogoneae. Members of this group include crops such as corn, sugarcane, and sorghum, as well as ecologically important species l ...   Show more

Ep. 287 - Invasion Meltdowns

Invasive species are second only to habitat destruction in causing loss of biodiversity on this planet. Moving one species to a habitat where it didn't evolve or even giving native species a new advantage can cause ripples that spread throughout the entire ecosystem. Returning to ...   Show more

Ep. 286 - Grappling With Plant Extinctions

This episode is all about one of the most difficult topics in natural history - extinction. Plants set the foundation for nearly all life on Earth and yet they receive a mere fraction of the attention and effort needed to conserve them. Recent estimates indicate that 40% of the w ...   Show more

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