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.!

Kimberly Olney bioinformatics scientist

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 137
Guest: Kimberly Olney

What happens when our brain fails us? As Dr. Biology, my work has never been involved with diseases that affect the mind, but I do have a personal experience with the shadowy realm of Alzheimer's and other dementias. My mother battled against this relentless adversary and I am not alone.  Many people are dealing with loved ones facing one of these diseases.  For this episode, I've invited bioinformatics scientist, Kimberly Olney from the Mayo Clinic, to peek into the complexities of the brain and these diseases. This episode is a brief voyage into the brain's amazing and complex pathways and a glimpse of the work being done by dedicated scientists charting a course for a future free from dementia.

Saad Bhamla -  Curious Zoo of Extraordinary Organisms

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 136
Guest: Saad Bhamla

Embark on a journey through the intricate dance of nature and innovation as we welcome Saad Bhamla, a scientist at the forefront of biological engineering. Your curiosity will be rewarded as you and Dr. Biology learn about some of the smallest organisms that have sophisticated mechanisms that might help us solve our own challenges. Imagine the immense power hidden within a cicada's waste jet or the swift knot-escaping antics of a California blackworm—some might think of them as quirks of evolution, but others see them as blueprints for the future of design and technology. Our conversation doesn't stop at scientific marvels; it delves into the heart of what drives this scientist's passion and has led to the creation of The Curious Zoo of Extraordinary Organisms.

Rick Overson with Mira Word Ries and a friendly grasshopper

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 135
Guest: Rick Overson and Mira Word Ries

Embark on a journey through the buzzing world of grasshoppers and locusts with Dr. Biology. In this episode, biologists Rick Overson and Mira Word Ries, from the Global Locust Initiative at Arizona State University dig into the world of these insects. The three delve into the methods of swarm prevention, from the intriguing "doughnut diet" that influences migratory behavior to the critical role of soil and crop management in making fields less welcoming to these insects. Rick and Mira bring to light the importance of global cooperation and the need for a unified attack against locust invasions that spare no border.

Writer James Gorman

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 134
Guest: James Gorman

Have you ever wondered how complex science jargon is translated into a story that captivates and educates? We've got you covered! Dr. Biology chats with James Gorman, a veteran science reporter from the New York Times, we peel back the layers of science communication, revealing how to distill complex concepts into engaging narratives. Get ready to discover the tightrope walk between simplification and scientific accuracy—a balance crucial for sparking curiosity without sacrificing the research's core. The two also talk about the best way to evaluate the trustworthiness of a science story.

Noah Snyder-Mackler

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 133
Guest: Noah Snyder-Mackle

Dive into the behavior and physiology of two different primate species that are helping biologists explore the science of stress, aging, and immunity. Dr. Biology sits down with scientist Noah Snyder-Mackler from Arizona State University to talk about some rhesus macaques living in a seemly tropical paradise and the geladas that live high in the Ethiopian mountains. Discover how these monkeys, their experiences, and their environment might illuminate the path to improving our physiological resilience

Sara Wyckoff - wildlife veterinarian

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 132
Guest: Sara Wyckoff

In a world where animals, humans, and the environment are forever linked, the health of wildlife is a cornerstone for the well-being of all. In this episode, we embark on an extraordinary journey with Sara Wyckoff, a wildlife veterinarian from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and a proud ASU alumna. Listen in and learn about her story and evolution from a hopeful wildlife biologist to a passionate wildlife veterinarian, underscoring the perseverance and dedication required to merge a love for the wild with the rigors of veterinary science.

Entomologist Robert Page

Ask A Biologist Podcast, Vol. 131
Guest: Robert Page

Robert Page's journey is as captivating as the creatures he studies. From his early fascination with entomology to his experiences in the Vietnam War and his parallel passion for photography, his journey is a rich tapestry of experiences. We chat about the contributions he has made to our understanding of honeybees and his books including his newest book The Art of The Bee. Tune in and join us in celebrating the incredible role these insects play in our ecosystem and the biologist who has dedicated his life to studying them.

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.

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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.

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Face of a baby sticking his tongue out
Do different "races" exist?

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