Ep 69. Horseshoe crabs and hot pink theses with Russell Bicknell

February 16, 2019
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Russell Bicknell (UNE)

Horseshoe crabs, firstly, are not crabs, nor do they make effective horseshoes. They are a unique animal more closely related to spiders and scorpions than crustaceans. They are highly valued due to the coagulant properties of their blood, which is harvested as a pharmaceutical product to identify impurities in medicinal products. This sadly also places them under threat as their populations are routinely harvested and their numbers are declining.

Russell Bicknell is a scientist studying their feeding behaviour and says that they need additional protection for them to survive. Russell also uses fossils to understand ancient predators from the cambrian using 3D scanning techniques to ‘reconstruct’ images of fossilised organisms. He also hopes to one day publish a pink fluffy PhD thesis :-D

Find out more about Russell's work here

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

Ep 68. Steampunk, crazy ants and early childhood with Kirsti Abbott

February 3, 2019
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Kirsti Abbott (UNE)

Have you ever wanted to visit a Steampunk themed scientific learning space aimed at all ages in a regional university. We’ll guess what!? The Boilerhouse Discovery Space is currently under construction at the University of New England and is on track for completion in 2022. In this interview we chat with Kirsti Abbot the manager of UNE Discovery. She talks to us about how making learning experiences accessible to kids in regional communities is essential for bringing about equality in education later on in life.

We also talk about her previous work as an entomologist studying invasive species management. Working in invasive species management enabled her to engage with community members and diverse stakeholders and lead her towards a career in science outreach and community engagement.

Follow Kirsti on Twitter @beyondbuggirl

Or find out more about the Boilerhouse Discovery Space at uneboilerhouse.org.au 

 

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Ep 67. Sharks, magnets and paternity leave with Vincent Raoult

January 21, 2019
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Vincent Raoult (UoN)

Sharks are cool! Thats about all there is to it. Gone are the days of viewing sharks as  bloodthirsty killers, we're now all on board with the fact that they are an incredibly diverse group of animals with amazing biology. Vincent Raoult from the University of Newcastle studies the biology of sharks and is looking at ways we can improve fisheries practices to work more efficiently and protect sharks at the same time.

In this interview with In Situ Science we also discuss juggling a work with family life and hear about science careers from the perspective of someone with a 6-week old daughter. With so much focus on supporting women in STEM, perhaps a little extra support for fathers in STEM might solve a whole lot of problems.

Follow Vince on Twitter @sawsharkman

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

Ep 66. Lizard Brains, Sir David and Winnie the Dog with Martin Whiting

January 5, 2019
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Martin Whiting (MQ)

Martin Whiting is a true natural historian. He has spent his life studying reptiles across the world as far as Australia, Asia and Africa. In an interview with In Situ Science we delve into the secret lives of social skinks and their incredible intelligence and the incredible flat lizards that signal their quality using UV colour patches. 

Martin’s work has been featured in BBC documentaries and he had the opportunity to work alongside Sir David Attenborough for the filming of ‘Life in Cold Blood’. During the interview we also meet Martin’s two dogs Winnie and Douggie and hear all about Martin’s other two prides and joys, his amazing natural history library and his lizard infested rock wall. 

Follow the Lizard Lab on Twitter @lizard_lab
Visit the Lizard Lab website
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Ep 65. Livestock, genetics, and science ninjas with Sonja Dominik

December 23, 2018
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Sonja Dominik (CSIRO)

In this special Christmas episode we chat to Sonja Dominik from the CSIRO who has just been named one of Australia’s ‘Superstars of STEM’; a nationwide initiative focussed on increasing the visibility of women in STEM and addressing the gender gap in scientific careers. Her research focuses on using genetic technologies to improve the health and productivity of livestock animals such as sheep, cows and even fish! 

In an interview with In Situ Science Sonja explains how looking for genetic markers for good health and particular traits can help farmers breed better animals more efficiently and ethically. We also discuss Sonjas exciting hobbies including gymnastics, body building and ninja warrior sports. 

Despite what you may hear on the podcast Sonja’s twitter handle is @SonjaDominik or you can follow her Ninja Warrior adventures on Instagram @ScienceNinja4

 

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Ep 64. Powerlifting, resistance training and microbiomes with Mandy Hagstrom

December 8, 2018
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Mandy Hagstrom (UNE)

Lift heavy, but not too heavy. Don't eat too much, unless you need to eat a lot. Cardio is great, until it isn't. Sports science is a relatively new field of science and there is lots of conflicting information out there that can leave people very confused about how best to approach healthy decisions. Sports scientist Mandy Hagstrom from the University of New England tends to agree and says that we are really only scratching the surface in terms of our knowledge about how the body responds to exercise. 

Mandy's research investigates how resistance training can have health benefits well beyond pure strength. Mounting evidence suggests that recovering from serious illness isn't just about rest and recuperation, but also about hitting the gym. She doesn't just spruik the benefits of strength training, she lives and breathes it. Mandy has has a background in competitive weightlifting and powerlifting and continues to practice what she preaches. 

Follow Mandy on Twitter @ADHagstrom

 

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Ep 63. Marine biology, coral reefs and tiny fishes with Chris Goatley

November 26, 2018
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Chris Goatley (UNE)

What do animals do? It may sound like a very simple question but for many biologists it can be very hard to answer. For marine biologist Chris Goatley studying small, elusive cryptobenthic fish, understanding what they get up to is both an incredible challenge and adventure. Teeny tiny fish make up a huge amount of biomass in coral reefs across the globe and we actually know very little about how they survive and what role they play in coral reef ecology.

In an interview with In Situ Science Chris chats with us about how a childhood fascination for the ocean lead to him setting off on a globe-trotting, ocean spanning career. We also chat about how he ended up doing marine biology in Australia’s most inland, high-altutude university.

You can follow Chris on Twitter @buzzgoatley

 

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Ep 62. Machine learning and digital bricklayers with Will Billingsley

November 11, 2018
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Will Billingsley (UNE)

With computer technology processing rapidly, and the proliferation of the internet into all aspects of our lives and businesses, you can't blame people for feeling a little bit out of control. With technologies such as 'machine learning' and 'artificial intelligence' becoming more common place we are beginning to ask questions about how much we actually understand what their effects are. In this episode we sit down for a chat with technologist and computer science lecturer Will Billingsley from the University of New England and chat about what the future holds for computer science. We talk about the importance of understanding how to control the programmes we create, and, more importantly, how good Black Mirror is!

Follow Will on twitter @wbillingsley and check out his website wbillingsley.com

 

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Ep 61. Wetlands, waterbirds and food webs with Lindsey Frost

October 30, 2018
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Lindsey Frost (UNE)

Wetlands aren't always wet. Sounds strange but in an arid country like Australia, wetlands may be dry for decades at a time  until water arrives via rain and flooding events. These unique habitats provide crucial resources for diverse ecosystems that thrive under dynamic boom-and-bust situations. 

Lindsey Frost is a wetland ecologist from the University of New England who is setting out to answer the question, 'how much water does it take to grow a duck?' By investigating the dynamics of entire wetland ecosystem food-webs Lindsey will uncover how much water is actually necessary to sustain a thriving and healthy wetland ecosystem.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter @FrostyCamps

 

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Ep 60. Green cities, mole crickets, and impostor syndrome with Dieter Hochuli

October 14, 2018
00:0000:00

SPECIAL GUEST: Dieter Hochuli (USyd)

“A society grows great when men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” 

- Greek proverb

 

Dieter Hochuli is an invertebrate biologist and urban ecologist from the University of Sydney that studies how nature survives in towns and cities. His research investigates the ecological, economical and psychological benefits of nature in cities, and how our modern way of life affects the plants and animals around us. 

In an interview with In Situ Science Dieter chats with us about how connecting with nature is being shown to have significant impacts on people’s health and well being, and that this connection can still happen even when you live in a big city. We also chat about the creative side of science and science communication, and how taking ourselves a little less seriously can be a great technique for approaching science and scientific careers. 

Follow Dieter on Twitter @dieterhochuli and check out his lab website here.

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