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.

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Bert Castro with a sloth at the Phonenix Zoo

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 127
Guest:

Welcome to an exciting journey that takes you through the wild and fascinating world of zoos. Our guest for this episode is none other than Bert Castro, the President and Chief Exectutive Officer of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. Bert's storied career, beginning as a volunteer zookeeper at the Tulsa Zoo in 1985 to CEO of the Phoenix Zoo, has given him a wealth of knowledge and experiences which he shares with Dr. Biology. We explore the importance of zoos, and the vital role they play in research and conservation, and discuss the intricacies of running a modern zoo. Can you guess how much AZA zoos and aquariums contribute every year toward conservation efforts?  Tune in to find out.

Mina Johnson with one of her game characters

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 126
Guest: Mina Johnson-Glenberg

Two AI bots meet in a coffee shop. This might sound like the start of a joke, but is it a joke? Today artificial intelligence (AI) is a popular topic. With new tools popping up daily it appears we are at the beginning of a brave new world. Some say the world will be amazing and others have dark predictions of human doom. Dr. Biology sits down with cognitive psychologist Mina Johnson-Glenberg to talk about A.I. and if we can really call it intelligent. But first, we need to listen in on that coffee shop conversation.

Heather Bean

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 125
Guest: Heather Bean

Take a breath and breathe out. What you just exhaled is the subject of this podcast. It is a story of over 140 thousand molecules and what we are learning about them and what a single breath might tell us about our health. Dr. Biology catches up with bioanalytical chemist Heather Bean. The two explore the world of metabolomes and metabolites, what they are, how we use them today and the future for these molecules when it comes to diagnosing and treating diseases.

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 124
Guest: Brandon Ogbunu

We hear a lot about DNA, but not as much about RNA. It is true that DNA is the encyclopedia of life or the ultimate instruction manual for living things. But what good is a book if it is not read or an instruction manual that is not used? This is where RNA comes into the story of life. It is the unsung hero, or maybe the superhero of cells. Dr. Biology has the opportunity to sit down and talk to a big fan of RNA. Computational biologist, Brandon Ogbunu talks about his early work, which he titled The Liberation of RNA, and much more in this very fun and thought-provoking episode.

Katie Hinde

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 123
Guest: Katie Hinde

March Madness in the past has been reserved for college basketball. But in 2013, biologist Katie Hinde and a group of scientists, writers, and other creative souls started the ultimate animal competition that expanded beyond humans – March Mammal Madness. Don’t worry, the competition is virtual. No animals are harmed. Though there might be some embarrassing defeats and even some upset fans, March Mammal Madness is all about science and learning. It is also a fun way to learn about the living world. Dr. Biology grabs a few minutes with Katie Hinde before this year’s tournament gets underway.

Heather Throop

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 122
Guest: Heather Throop

It is surprising how much of the land on Earth is what scientists call drylands. You might think that these areas are not crucial to life on the planet, but in fact, they are. They are also some of the most challenging places to do research. Part of the challenge is what we see above ground is only a fraction of what is underground. And investigating what is going beneath the surface comes with its own set of challenges. Dr. Biology gets the inside story, what you might also say is the upside-down story of drylands from ecosystems scientist Heather Throop.

Microbiologist John McCutcheon

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 121
Guest: John McCutcheon

There are many types of relationships that exist in the living world. This episode dives into one special relationship that an insect has with some tiny microbes. It is a life and death story that microbiologist John McCutcheon has been exploring. Dr. Biology gets the inside story about this relationship that has been evolving for millions of years and continues to evolve today.

Doug Kenrick and David Lundberg-Kenrick

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 120
Guest: Doug Kenrick and David Lundberg-Kenrick

Even though we live in a modern world how we act and what we do many times is controlled by our Stone Age brain. This impacts our diet, friendships, love and more. Dr. Biology sits down with authors Doug Kenrick and David Lundberg-Kenrick to get the inside story on their book - Solving Modern Problems with a Stone Age, Brain, Human Evolution and the Seven Fundamental Motives. This lively conversation can help you wrap your Stone Age brain around the challenges we face today and give you some solutions as you navigate our modern world.

Evolutionary biologist Silvie Huijben

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 119
Guest: Silvie Huijben

This animal lives in almost every part of the world and kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. What might surprise you is that you certainly have had a close encounter with the world’s most dangerous creature. Dr. Biology catches up with evolutionary biologist Silvie Huijben to talk about this killer animal that is the focus of her research as well as many other scientists around the world. Be sure to make your guess about the identity of the world’s most dangerous animal before you listen to this episode.

Whitney Hansen

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 118
Guest: Whitney Hansen

There is more to our memory than you might think. In fact, we have three types of memory. Just how these memory systems work, and work together is the subject of this episode. We also learn that there are sometimes errors in our memory. Take a few minutes to learn how we remember things and even how to improve your memory. Dr. Biology and cognitive psychologist Whitney Hansen explore our amazing but flawed memory.

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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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Sliced citrus fruits
What is Organic Food?

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