School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Dr. Biology talks with leading scientists.

Biology Podcast and Videos

You have been reading about the biologists behind the Ask A Biologist website. Now you can listen to them in our popular biology podcast show. Dr. Biology has been speaking with many of the biologists that are discovering new worlds and exploring new frontiers in biology. There are over 80 episodes and we continue to add more interviews. Each show includes a full written transcript and content log.

Want to watch some of our biologists in action? We are also building a collection of biologists in the lab and the field. Pick the "Watch" tab and pick one of the shows featuring our biologists.

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Gail Morris

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Insect Infatuation

These fluttering icons of North America are a favorite of many people across the world, but they may be having some population problems. Don’t worry though, there are ways you can help. Conservation specialist Gail Morris talks with our student guest host Kayna Lantz about these colorful insects, their identification, migration, and the many groups that are working to better understand them.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 29:40 | Vol 85
iTunes | MP3 download | 18MB

Biologist Andrea Graham

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One Wormy World

Around 4,000 years ago, on the wind-swept island of St. Kilda, Scotland, people started creating a food storage of sorts. They moved a population of sheep to the island, likely as a back-up food resource for when times were tough. Little did they know that their actions would affect 21st century science. Today, rather than ending up as a meal, sheep from this isolated population are the subjects of research on immune function. Ecologist Andrea Graham takes Dr. Biology on a trip of exploration through the dangerous cliffs, windy conditions, and wormy world that the Soay sheep deal with on St. Kilda.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 29:02 | Vol 84
iTunes | MP3 download | 18MB

Entomologist Kelly Miller

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Cybertaxonomy

The race is on. It is one where biologists and citizen scientists are working as quickly as possible to find and identify all the species on Earth before some go extinct. It might not seem like an important race, but we learn from entomologist Kelly Miller that not knowing what species we are losing might be more important than we think. To speed up the search scientists are using traditional and newer tools that are part of the world of cybertaxonomy.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:03 | Vol 83
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Paleoentomologist Bruce Archibald

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Time Traveling Paleoentomologist

If you could travel back in time what would you find 50 million years ago? What was the climate like? Would you find the same plants? What animals were crawling, walking, and flying around? Paleoentomologist Bruce Archibald takes Dr. Biology back in time to explore the planet during the Eocene Epoch where things were a bit different than today – there was even a giant flying ant that would make anyone look twice.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:43 | Vol 82
iTunes | MP3 download | 16MB

Angela Goodacre with Painting by Doug Chandler

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Inner Space the Final Frontier

You hear that space is the final frontier, but could we have another frontier right here on Earth? The microscopic world offers a limitless opportunity to explore amazing places and life forms. You just need the right tool for the trip – a microscope. Guests Angela Goodacre and Doug Chandler have a conversation with Dr. Biology about the instruments that let us journey into inner space.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:32 | Vol 81
iTunes | MP3 download | 16MB

Pediatrician Paul Turke

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Rebooting the Immune System

Remember your last paper cut, or the bad cold that had you coughing and blowing your nose? It was your immune system that was busy trying to make you better by battling the bacteria or virus that was attacking your body. How your immune system works is the discussion Dr. Biology has with pediatrician Paul Turke. They also talk about how our immune systems have to reboot to keep up with evolving bacteria and viruses.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:21 | Vol 80
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Biologist Arianne Cease

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Swarm Science

During a plague year, locusts can swarm over 20 percent of the world’s landmass, affecting one out of every 10 people on the planet. Sounds bad – right? Enter biologist Arianne Cease who has been studying why these insects swarm and how to control them. Dr. Biology learns about her work and an interesting research area called telecoupling.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 30:29 | Vol 79
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Biologist Raghavendra Gadagkar

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Queen Switcharoo

According to an old German proverb the animal that is the subject of this show was made by the devil. Dr. Biology gets a lesson about this devilish study subject from biologist Raghavendra Gadagkar. They talk about what he has learned from years of observing these misunderstood animals. There is even a surprise ending that we call the 'Queen Switcharoo'.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:17 | Vol 78
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

David McConville

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Science-Powered Games

What is a media artist doing developing games based on large science data sets? It turns out he is looking into how the planet ticks and also what David McConville calls global weirding. Listen as Dr. Biology learns how a media artist makes his home in the world of science, biology, and and mountains of scientific data, which we call big data.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:25 | Vol 77
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Charlie Arntzen with tobacco plant

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Tobacco Plant to the Rescue

If you are a tobacco plant, you have a bad reputation. The link to cancer and other health related diseases is cause for any person to avoid you. But there is another side to this plant. Dr. Biology sits down with biologist Charlie Arntzen to talk about how tobacco plants are helping scientists produce treatments for viruses like Ebola.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 29:24 | Vol 76
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Podcast contest winner in action

Podcast contest

Calling all students in the Phoenix area, the Ask A Biologist co-host contest is here...

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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Podcast contest winner in action

Podcast contest

Calling all students in the Phoenix area, the Ask A Biologist co-host contest is here...

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.