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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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.!

William Ratcliff with yeast cell background

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 130
Guest: William Ratcliff

Have you ever wondered how evolution operates at a cellular level? Dr. Biology has a conversation with evolutionary biologist William Ratcliff in an episode that investigates the process of how single cell mutations can make the leap to coordinated groups of cells and ultimately to complex multicellular organisms. And we are learning all of this from a simple selection experiment involving yeast. Listen in and learn more about this long-running experiment that is giving us an idea of how single cells made the leap to multicell organisms.

Danielle Wong at the Phonenix Zoo

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 129
Guest: Danielle Wong

Imagine a world where animals have the capacity to show their natural behaviors and even engineer their own environments. For this episode, we're thrilled to have Danielle Wong, the Behavioral Enrichment and Animal Welfare Coordinator at the Phoenix Zoo, who enlightens us about the importance of animal enrichment. From Chutti, the playful one-horn rhino, to Cape porcupines and birds, we're taking a deep look into how play promotes skill development, physical fitness, and stress relief among animals. Danielle also shares how zoos work together to create enriching activities and environments for animals, making this a must-listen for all zoo animal enthusiasts.

Dr. Gary West with Ali the Aldabra tortoise.

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 128
Guest: Dr. Gary West

Imagine a day at work where your clients range from tiny reptiles to massive elephants, each with their own unique health needs. That's a regular day for our guest in today's episode, Dr. Gary West, the Senior Vice President of Animal Health and Living Collections at the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. He talks with Dr. Biology about their team of dedicated professionals that not only ensures the well-being of over 3,000 animals at the Phoenix Zoo but also plays a key role in global conservation efforts. The tales of their daily challenges and the innovative solutions they implement provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of zoo veterinary medicine.

Bert Castro with a sloth at the Phonenix Zoo

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 127

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.


Are plants made from thin air?
Have you ever wondered where plants get their mass? All those leaves and branches have to come from somewhere, but where?

Building Your Own Ant Farm is a 2-part Ask A Biologist video with Dr. Biology and Rebecca Clark on how to build an ant farm with two recycled CD cases. Watch part two.

ant farm image

Building Your Own Ant Farm (Part 2 of 2). Ask A Biologist video with Dr. Biology and Rebecca Clark on how to build an ant farm with recycled CD cases. Watch part one.

Ice drilling image

Imagine you want to pull a long cylinder-shaped piece of soil (called a core) out of the ground in your backyard. What kind of tools would you need? Find out how researchers collect cores in the Frozen Arctic.

Dr. Biology drops in on biologist Michael Angelletta and the researchers in his labortory. Besides getting a fun tour of the place, he learns how they study animals and their methods of heating and cooling their bodies.

Jon Harrison image

Giant beetles, flying treadmills, oxygen and prehistoric insects are just a few of the things that Dr. Biology learns about when visiting with biologist Jon Harrison.


Pando, the largest stand of aspen trees
What is the oldest living thing on Earth?

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