Your host Paul Boyce, a biology PhD student, talks with guests about conservation, wildlife research, grad school and academia, science and policy and anything else in this conversation style podcast.
Eric Eaton - Field Guide for a Career Entomologist
Eric R. Eaton is a writer and is author of Wasps: The Astonishing Diversity of a Misunderstood Insect (Princeton University Press, 2021), and the forthcoming Insectpedia (Princeton University Press, 2022). He is also lead author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007), and co-author of Insects Did It First (Xlibris, 2018) with Gregory S. Paulson. He has contributed to several other books including Wild in the City: a guide to Portland’s natural areas (Oregon Historical Society Press, 2000); and has written articles about insects and other animals for Natural History, Birds and Blooms, Ranger Rick, Missouri Conservationist, and other magazines. Eric studied entomology at Oregon State University, and has worked as an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Cincinnati Zoo, and Chase Studio, Inc., as well as on private contract for the Smithsonian Institution, and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Eric writes the blogs Bug Eric and Sense of Misplaced and as "Bug Eric" he has built a loyal following on social media (Facebook, Twitter, iNaturalist).
We speak about Eric's career trajectory as an entomologist which doesn't follow the typical academic route, we spoke about some our shared frustrations with academia and how it can impact your love and motivation for science, and of course, we spoke about wasps - about how and why they make us feel they way they do, about how interesting and diverse they are outside of yellow-jackets and hornets, and how we can learn to appreciate what we've been trained not to.
Bram Büscher - Conservation & Capitalism
Dr. Bram Büscher is Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University and holds visiting positions at the University of Johannesburg and Stellenbosch University. His research looks at the political economy of environment and development, including in the politics of conservation, energy and extraction, ecotourism, new media, violence and social theory. He is the author of ‘The Truth About Nature. Environmentalism in the Era of Post-Truth Politics and Platform Capitalism and co-author of ‘The Conservation Revolution: Radical Ideas for Saving Nature Beyond the Anthropocene’ . He is also a senior editor of the journal Conservation & Society.
In this conversation we talk about the interaction between capitalism and conservation, and how the neoliberal fascination with growth influences our relationship with the natural world. We discuss the historical context of this ideology, the supply and demand approach to natural commodities including the green energy transition, and alternative ways we might relate to nature and the economy.
Check out more at www.talkingferal.com where you can support the podcast and listen to more episodes.
Rachel Engler-Stringer - Industrial Food and Our Future
Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and a researcher with the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit. She is currently the chair of the Saskatoon Food Council, has a doctorate in nutrition and her research interests include community food security, food environments and food access, food system sustainability, health promotion, and community-based and participatory research. We talk about many things in this wide ranging conversation including global food systems and the upscaling of industrial, mechanized food production following the second world war. We talk about how the distance between ourselves and our food has increased with the commodification of a few food staples, and the impact this has had on human and environmental health. We talk about food sovereignty and how food was used as a weapon during colonization, and about how our current food systems faces significant challenges and vulnerabilities in the context of climate change. We also discuss Dr. Engler-Stringer's current research into school food programs and how these can helps us re-connect with producing food, and create more sustainable, local food systems.
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Chris Todd Pt2 - The Laurentian Collapse and Money for Grad Students.
This episode is part 2 of a conversation with Dr. Chris Todd. We discuss the collapse of Laurentian University, graduate student funding and the economics of tertiary education, and the breadth of expectations for academic positions. Check out www.talkingferal.com for more information and extra content!
Willow Talk - The Roles We Play
A short episode where I chat with my dog, Willow, about defining our roles in society with qualifications, finding the time to think in a doctorate of philosophy, and mechanistic conservation.
Chris Todd - Graduating to Department Head at the Birth of Covid
Chris Todd is a Professor and Head of the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a plant molecular biologist with a research program focusing on molecular mechanisms driving plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Chris has been with the University of Saskatchewan since 2005 and is a winner of the College of Arts and Science Distinguished Teacher Award and the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Innovation in Learning. We spoke about his role as department head, a position which he took on a few months before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, about the transition to remote learning at a department level, and about his academic journey from freezing his fingers off as a hammer-hand in the Canadian winter, to department head of biology.
Insightful and educational
Paul does a great job of finding interesting guests that have insightful topics to chat about on his show. I enjoy how the format is more of a conversation than an interview, and the diverse and meaningful conversation points that arise due to this format. Paul always has unique questions to ask his guests, and I enjoy his lively and positive spirit that he carry’s throughout! Also, I very much enjoy the guest appearances of Willow his puppy.
I like the idea but prefer shorter & more focus
I like the idea of the podcast and having a variety of guests. So far the episodes are too long and not focused enough for my taste or time. I prefer episodes 25-40 minutes. Or have a mixture of short/edited vs long/rambling interviews.