Ep 16. Exploration, Entrepreneurs and Abyss Solutions with Dr Nasir Ahsan

February 7, 2017


Scientists can find their skills having enormous impacts beyond the walls of academia. In many cases people with scientific training make wonderful entrepreneurs. Their skills in developing ideas and managing projects, combined with their self motivation and dedication to long term goals has already prepared them for the dynamic challenges of business development and management. 

Dr Nasir Ahsan began his scientific career researching and developing autonomous robots. The tantalising lure of the unknown led him to develop a passion for deep sea exploration and discovery. In this interview with In Situ Science he tells the story of how navigating a remote operated submarine to the unexplored depths of the ocean floor inspired him to start his own company, Abyss Solutions. Nasir and his team are developing underwater ‘drones’ that can navigate autonomously underwater and collect information about the environment around them. Using this technology they can monitor underwater infrastructure such as dam walls, reservoirs and pipelines. Using robots lets them use specialised sensors to explore areas too difficult or dangerous for divers.

For more information visit www.abysssolutions.co, follow them @AbyssSolutions, or visit their YouTube Channel.


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

Ep 15. Knödel, computing and tin foil hat stuff with Tim Kahlke

January 28, 2017


In this age of big data even scientists can struggle to keep up with the massive amounts of information available to them. With exponential advances in data storage and computation new fields of science are opening up and new types of scientific professionals are emerging. Bioinformatics is a rapidly growing field using computer programming to organise, analyse and interpret large scale datasets in new an exciting ways. 


In an interview with In Situ Science, bioinformatician and marine ecologist Dr Tim Kahlke introduces us to the power of programming in science, but also talks openly about the responsible use of this power. Tim uses large datasets of bacterial genomes to understand the responses of microbial communities to climate change. He also makes a mean Knödel and is maybe a little bit freaked out about Skynet taking over the planet.


FFollow Tim on twitter @TimKahlke and visit the Climate Change Cluster website.


ind out more at www.insituscience.com

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


Ep 14. Rage lizards, snake probes and turtle tunnels with James Baxter Gilbert

January 11, 2017


If you catch a scientist in action, chances are they will be doing something strange. After all the entire profession involves pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and conducting experiments that have never been done before. In this pursuit scientists find themselves coming up with creative solutions to new problems. 


In this interview James Baxter Gilbert tells tales of his adventures trouble shooting snake probes, protecting threatened species and avoiding bear attacks. His journey as a scientist and herpetologist has taken him from his homeland of Canada to the holy land of reptiles that is Australia. He now spends his days chasing rage lizards in canoes and stealing their babies, best listen to the interview…


Follow James on Twitter @JamesBG_27 or check out www.whitinglab.com

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

Ep 13. Red light spider fights and scientific storytelling with Leilani Walker

December 11, 2016


Scientist, communicator, singer, story teller and card shark Leilani Walker is an upcoming force in New Zealand science and exploration. Along with scientific illustrator Emma Scheltema, Leilani is launching a new initiative to raise awareness of New Zealand’s unique insect fauna by designing an insect themed set of playing cards. Pre-orders for the ‘Insects of New Zealand’ playing cards are online now!

Order your own set of Insects of New Zealand playing cards here

On the podcast Leilani philosophises on the use of language in scientist and how scientists are able to tell stories through their writing. Leilani put this in to practice herself as she shares her passion for science and exploration and how it has lead her to conduct a PhD studying the combative mating systems of sheet-web spiders. 

Check out Leilani’s blog here or follow her on twitter @Lanipai

Find out more www.insituscience.com

Music www.bensound.com


Ep 12. Ants, ants and more ants with Ravindra Palavalli Nettimi

November 30, 2016


Doing a PhD can be a life changing experience. For Ravindra Palavalli Nettimi pursuing a PhD has meant travelling across the globe and challenging himself to expand and grow as a person. 

In an interview with in situ Science Ravindra takes us through how the evolution of ant colonies have uncovered some remarkable solutions to some problems humans now face in our large interconnected societies. 

Ravindra also hosts his own podcast 'Just Questions' where he discusses the importance of asking the right questions in science.

Visit Ravindra's website here - http://rvndrpn.wixsite.com/ravindra

Follow Ravindra on twitter here - https://twitter.com/ravindra_pn

Listen to Just Questions here - https://soundcloud.com/user-951555253

Music - www.bensound.com

Ep 11. Faecal transplants, biological warfare and phage hunting with Heather Hendrickson

November 14, 2016


Antibiotic resistance is on the rise. The overuse of antibiotics has lead to the evolution of highly dangerous antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Dr Heather Hendrickson is a research scientist and science communicator from Massey University in New Zealand. Her research group is at the front line of understanding how other forms of treatment can be used as alternatives to broad spectrum antibiotics. In an interview with in situ science she takes us through her research into bacteriophage therapy: finding viruses that will target and kill pathogenic bacteria.  

The fun doesn’t stop there though as we continue on to discuss faecal transplants, science communication and how a child growing up in a conservative religious family becomes an influential evolutionary biologist. 

Find out more about Heather’s research here and read her thoughts on the This Microbial Life blog. 

Follow Heather on Twitter @DrHHNZ

Visit in situ science here

Ep 10. Plants, Panama disease and fishing for mould with Ed Liew

October 27, 2016


Dr Edward Liew from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney talks with James O'Hanlon about the science of plant pathology. An expert in fungal diversity Edward manages the spread of harmful plant pathogens in Australian crops and natural landscapes.

Find out more on the Royal Botanic Gardens Website

Follow in situ Science on Twitter - https://twitter.com/insituscience

Visit in situ Science online at www.insituscience.com

Music: www.bensound.com

Ep 9. Oztronauts, outreach and evidence based policy with Tom Gordon

October 12, 2016


Its time for Australia to join the space race! Tom Gordon from the University of Sydney argues that Australia has a bright future in space exploration and engineering, if only we would start investing in more home grown space infrastructure. Tom Gordon is a scientific polymath taking his passion for exploration into the varied fields of physics, political policy, science education and public outreach. 

In our discussion we cover the importance of having a scientifically literate population, what role science fiction can play in education and whether the Big Bang Theory TV show is helping or hindering the public's perception of science. 

Follow Tom on twitter @Gordeauz or listen to him spruik science on his very own STEMpunk podcast. 

Music: www.bensound.com

Ep 8. Airborne contraceptives, police ants and mediocre pool shots with Luke Holman

October 5, 2016

Being a zoologist isn't all about spending time in the wilderness catching animals, most days are spent working behind a computer analysing data and interpreting your findings. In this episode we talk to Luke Holmann from the University of Melbourne who crunches the numbers to understand why some animals have evolved to be social.

Also we discuss spots versus stripes as we play one of the worst pool games in history.

Check out Luke's research website here and follow him on twitter @LukeHolman_Evo

Visit us at www.insituscience.com for more science stories

Music: www.bensound.com

Ep 7. Weevils, weaponry and terrible puns with Chrissie Painting

September 14, 2016
Chrissie Painting from the University of Auckland shows admirable levels of patience when facing an onslaught of terrible weevil puns. She takes us through the science of studying animal weaponry and her journey from being a budding horticulturalist to becoming a hard hitting postdoctoral researcher. 

Check out Chrissie's blog at www.chrissiepainting.com or follow her @cpaintingnz

Visit us at www.insituscience.com or follow us @insituscience

Music: www.bensound.com