Listen to the Ask A Biologist Podcast

A Biology Podcast for Everyone

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 100 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.!

Jess Kanwal in the lab

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 112
Guest: Jess Kanwal

No, this episode is not about the rock band or the cute German car that people love. This show is about some curious insects that have very different relationships with ants. To be exact, this is about three species of beetles that either battle ants, live close by an ant colony, or in one case inside the ant colony. How and why these species have evolved into these different relationships with ants is part of the research of neurobiologist Jess Kanwal. In this show, Dr. Biology gets the prequel for this story. The two also talk about a familiar insect that communicates by dance. This episode is part of a series of podcasts recorded at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology conference– also called SICB.
Dance performers Shawn Brush and Aidan Feldman

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 111
Guest: Aidan Feldman and Shawn Brush

In 1962 there was a popular Broadway musical called A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. What does this have to do with a science podcast? The thought came up because of what happened at the conference today. And what was it? It was a dance performance. In fact, there were several performances. This episode is about the unexpected, the creative, the fun, and the science that are part of the lives of more than just scientists and artists. Dr. Biology catches up with performers Aidan Feldman and Shawn Brush to talk about art and science and how they are more similar than we might think. This episode is part of a series of podcasts recorded at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology conference– also called SICB.
Roboticist Talia Yuki Moore

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 110
Guest: Talia Yuki Moore

Forget all the robots you might have seen or imagined. This biologist is making colorful coiling snakes and other robots to study animals in the wild. Dr. Biology expands his idea of what robots look like and what they can do when he meets and talks with roboticist and biologist Talia Yuki Moore. This episode is part of a series of podcasts recorded at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology conference– also called SICB.
Biologist Niko Hensley

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 109
Guest: Niko Hensley

The life of a biologist may not be what you expect. It is not all white lab coats and microscopes. There are remote islands, makeshift shacks that serve both for sleeping and a field laboratory. For this guest, it also includes cricket serenades and nighttime scuba dives in the ocean filled with glowing displays for shrimp vomit. Really, vomit! Dr. Biology sits down with biologist Niko Hensley to learn about his research into the world of animal communication. This is the first episode in a series of podcasts recorded at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology conference– also called SICB.
Stephanie Pfirman

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 108
Guest: Stephanie Pfirman

Summer ice. Besides being cold and hard, it turns out to be critical for life on Earth. But what is it about this ice that makes it more important than other ice? Dr. Biology sits down with scientist Stephanie Pfirman to talk about summer ice and how the amount we see is shrinking rapidly. This ice is important to more than the animals and native people who depend on it to survive. It turns out it has an impact far beyond its cold edges.
James Sulikowski

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 107
Guest: James Sulikowski

There is something about sharks that bring out our inner fears that sends chills down our back. But these animals have an important role in the health of our oceans. There are over 500 species of sharks, which means there is a lot to be learned about them. Like, did you know some sharks do not have any teeth. Dr. Biology catches up with James Sulikowski, a biologist and shark expert. The two talk about what we know and don’t know about these amazing animals.
Image of Beth Pringle

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 106
Guest: Beth Pringle

It's tiny versus the mighty and a battle for an acacia tree. Dr. Biology catches up with Beth Pringle a biologist exploring the savanna of Kenya. The two talk about two animals that seem mismatched for battle that has a surprise ending. Beth is also the biologist who took us along on one of her research trips to Kenya. You can go along too in our virtual savanna trip.
Irene Gallego Romero photo.

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 105
Guest: Irene Gallego Romero

It's time to jump into the topic of us, or what makes you, you. Dr. Biology connects with Irene Gallego Romero via Zoom to talk about nature versus nurture and some of the amazing things our genome does for us. If you are wondering what a genome is, no worries, they cover that in this fun discussion that takes place with the two of them over 8,000 miles apart.
Anthropologist Mallika Sarma

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 104
Guest: Mallika Sarma

Going where no one has gone before sounds exciting, but are we ready to go to Mars? Traveling long distances, and living on another planet is going to be a challenge. You could say an extreme challenge because of the conditions in which we will have to live. Dr. Biology learns a bit about the challenges from anthropologist, Mallika Sarma, who is looking into what it will take to travel to and live on distant planets. Do you have the right stuff?
Fiona Naughton with cap on in the snow.

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 103
Guest: Fiona Naughton

Beyond viral cat videos and the millions of cute pictures of our feline friends found on various social media channels, these four-legged animals might help us to better understand science. At least my guest thinks they can give us some insights into the world of bile acids, digestion, cholesterol, and drug therapies. Listen in as Dr. Biology learns how computational biochemist Fiona Naughton's artistic side has introduced some fun and instructive insights using cute cat illustrations.

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Kate Ihle image

Dr. Biology interviews research scientist Kate Ihle at Barro Colorado Island in Panama. BCI is part of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Bees touching antennae
Honey bees use a waggle dance to communicate the location, distance and quality of a flower to other bee workers. But what does this dance actually look like?

When was the last time you folded a piece of paper to make a fun shape? Maybe you made a paper plane or tried origami to make a swan. Believe it or not, the building blocks inside your body also need to fold into the right shapes to work properly. In this activity, you can build your own protein channel from paper.

Leafcutter ants carrying leaves
There is an endless march going on in the rainforest, as tiny farmers collect food to bring back to their fungus. Join us in the rainforests of Panama as we take a closer look at the life of the leafcutter ant.
seeds image

Step-by-step tutorial for building your own Pocket Seed Viewer. You can use it to test the effects of light, dark, temperature and gravity on seed germination and plant growth.

Very strange things have been taking place lately. Dr. Biology and his team need your help to solve the mystery and piece together what's been happening in the lab.

When you visit a pond or the beach, what kinds of living things do you see in the water? Don’t let your eyes fool you… there’s a hidden world in water full of creatures too small to be seen!

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Tortoise-shell colored cat
How are humans different from other animals?

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