Ep 36. Lumping dinosaurs and paleo name-dropping with Nic Campione

November 13, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: NICOLÁS CAMPIONE (UNE)

Reconstructing the Earth’s history from fragments of information is an epic task requiring a variety of approaches. Paleontologists combine technological approaches, quantitative methods and artistic visualisations to reconstruct what dinosaur bodies would have looked like using fossil remains. 

Nicolás Campione is a quantitative paleontologist at the University of New England in Australia that undergoes this detective work to understand how animals have changed over time. Using this information he studies how animals have responded to environmental change and extinction events. This information can enable us to make predictions about future environmental change will affect life on earth and how we might be able to mitigate these impacts.  

You can follow Nic on Twitter @PaleoNic or visit his website www.nicolascampione.weebly.com

 

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Ep 35. Microbats, bushfires and learning Norwegian with Clare Stawski

October 29, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Dr Clare Stawski (UNE)

In the face of rapid environmental change scientists are racing to study how animals might be affected by change, or how they can adapt to deal with change. Recent discoveries have shown that changes in temperature are only one consideration and other aspects, such as changes in the frequency of bushfires can have a large impact on animal life histories. Small mammals can use fires as a cue to begin torpor or hibernation, how they will respond to increased fires in Australia is of an immense conservation concern.

Dr Clare Stawski is a mammalogist and ecologist who has been working at the University of New England but is now about to begin a new position at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. In an interview with In Situ Science she chats with us about what this big move means for her career and personal life.

 

You can follow Clare on Twitter @ClareStawski

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Ep 34. Natural history, sinister mates and the school of hard knocks with Greg Holwell

October 15, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: GREG HOLWELL (U of Auckland)

In a publish or perish environment scientists are finding it harder to spend time out in the field doing pure exploration. This is a great shame as we can never predict where the next great scientific discovery will come from. The wonders of the natural world around us are the ulitmate source of discovery, but for this to happen we need to find the time to go out in the field and explore.  

Dr Greg Holwell is an invertebrate zoologist and natural historian from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. In this interview with In Situ Science he stresses the importance of spending time making field observations and having them inform your scientific enquiry. He also chats about the importance of being an effective mentor for students, and the responsibilities involved with fostering the next generation of great scientists.  

Find out more about Greg's research at www.gregholwell.com

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Ep 33. Frog calls, monsoons and haunted tennis courts with Jodi Rowley

October 2, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: JODI ROWLEY (AUST MUS)

Spending months on end trudging through monsoonal South East Asian Rainforests is a far cry from the suburban upbringing of Jodi Rowley. However travelling across the globe to remote locations in search of frogs is all part of the job as she now works as a herpetologist at the Australian Museum. She regularly spends time in South East Asia documenting the biodiversity of amphibians. 

 

This research is crucial now as we are currently witnessing rapid declines in frog populations world wide due to climate change and habitat modifications. Only by understanding what species are out there, and where they live can we begin to conserve them before they are lost forever

 

Follow Jodi on twitter @jodirowley

Or visit www.jodirowley.com

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Ep 32. Life Vs Science

September 17, 2017
00:0000:00

LIVE PODCAST RECORDING: SYDNEY SCIENCE FESTIVAL

Being a scientist is not just a profession, it is a way of life. It is the searing agony you feel when you find inaccuracies in science fiction movies. It is checking your pedometer hourly, not because you have to, but because you want to.

The Sydney Science Festival 2017 rocked on from the 10th to the 20th of August. During this time, In Situ Science hosted “Life vs Science” a live podcast recording at The Camelot Lounge in Sydney. A wonderful audience filled the air with laughter as they learnt about science ‘behind-the-scenes’ from Jim Fishwick, Shane Hengst, Leigh Nicholson, James O’Hanlon and Alice Williamson. 

This diverse panel of scientists delved into the types of research they are currently doing, early inspirations and pet peeves as scientists and closed the night with questions from the audience. Questions include science stereotypes, the biology of the leaf and how we should deal with climate change deniers. So, join us for the highlights of the night!

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Music: “Strange Stuff” by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com

Mixed and Edited by Jim Fishwick

Ep 31. Giant spiders, motherhood and lazy journalism with Lizzy Lowe

September 5, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: LIZZY LOWE (MQ)

For some they are feared creatures, for others they are friendly backyard acquaintances. Spiders, for some reason, are divisive creatures that have been unfairly burdened with a terrible reputation for being deadly assassins. Arachnologist Dr Lizzy Lowe spends most of her time researching the ecology and behaviour of spiders, and when she isn’t doing that she is working hard to dispel myths about spiders in the eyes of the general public.

In this interview with In Situ Science we also discuss the reality of balancing a career in science with raising a family. As an early career scientist Lizzy has moved her family between three different cities in the last 18 months. Whilst the instability of this career path can be a a struggle, science is also a career that allows for great flexibility when caring for young children.

Visit Lizzy’s website here, or follow her on Twitter @LizyLowe

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Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper - www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com

 

Ep 30. Monster girls, parasites and social media with Tommy Leung

August 20, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: DR TOMMY LEUNG (UNE)

James chats with king of outreach and parasite ‘otaku’ Dr Tommy Leung. Tommy is a prolific researcher, communicator, artist and philosopher. When he is not researching the ecology and evolution of parasites he is exploring creative dimensions with Illustration and engaging with scientists and artists through his online persona.

We discuss how scientists are much more creative than they are given credit for and how Tommy explores his favourite parasites with wonderful sci-fi-esque works of art. We also discuss the role social media plays in the communication of scientific research and the pro’s and con’s of how scientists can portray themselves online. 

 

See his art here 

Read the Parasite of the Day Blog here

Follow Tommy on Twitter @The_Episiarch

Visit his research website 

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Ep 29. Electrons, eigenstates and oil paintings with Stephen Bosi

August 7, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: STEPHEN BOSI (UNE)

Listen along as Dr Stephen Bosi from the University of New England schools James O’Hanlon on the fundamental particles that make up our universe. After starting off with a discussion about the interface between science and art, we take a detour through radiotherapy and finish up discussing quantum physics, famous bongo players and why Einstein was wrong.

Stephen Bosi researches the physics behind medical imaging tools to improve cancer treatments. By understanding the atomic structures that make up the human body he hopes to improve our ability to precisely deliver radiation to cancerous tissues. When he is not doing this he enjoys teaching, science communication and oil painting. 

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Ep 28. Hadrosaurs, dino-riders and underdogs with Phil Bell

July 22, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: PHIL BELL (UNE)

The science of palaeontology conjures up images of hours spent delicately brushing away sand from immaculately preserved dinosaur skulls. However palaeontologist Phill Bell argues that it is rarely that easy. Luckily, by adopting and developing new technologies, palaeontology is progressing in leaps and bounds and has moved beyond the study of bone fragments, to a dynamic field uncovering the lives and behaviours of prehistoric wonders. 

In an interview with In Situ Science Phil Bell tells us about why he is drawn to Hadrosaurs, the gentle giants of the dinosaur world. And of course there is ample discussion about the pros and cons of dinosaur fiction including Jurassic Park, Dino-riders and the Land Before Time!

For more information check out www.paleoresearch.com

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Ep 27. Thorny devils, pangolins and other outliers with Phil Withers

July 7, 2017
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: PHIL WITHERS (UWA)

Great research can be meticulously planned, other times research can be opportunistic, when the right combination of conditions and collaborators fall into place. Dr Philip Withers from the University of Western Australia has an impressive track record studying everything from shark buoyancy, to thorny devil ecology. He says that many of these research opportunities arose from simply spending lots of time in the field and keeping an eye out for cool things to study.

In an interview with In Situ Science we talk about the incredible water absorbing skin of the Australian thorny devil, the complex nostrils of the kangaroo rat and all sorts of wonderful animal adaptations. Phil believes that studying the ‘outliers’, the unique and interesting animals around us, we can learns so much more about the diverse ways animals evolve to survive in different conditions. 

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