Delve into topical issues in zoology, conservation and the environment, from saving species and protecting the planet, to finding out about the animals living across the globe, including in London’s own river Thames. Learn more about the science behind the conservation work being done by ZSL and others, in this podcast from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology. Hosted previously by Dr Monni Böhm, and now by Ellie Darbey.
ZSL #036 What lies beneath: investigating the amazing world of wildlife pathology
Pathology is the science of diagnosing diseases by observing physical changes in animal cells and tissues, either in living, or more commonly dead animals. In this episode, our host Ellie Darbey will explore the unseen…or rather, unheard world of wildlife pathology with the help of ZSL’s experienced pathologists, veterinarians, and scientists. Through post mortems on black widow spiders, to giant stranded humpback whales, these four pathology professionals will show the value of this diagnostic work to the conservation and welfare of animals in zoos and in the wild. What are the practicalities of examining large animals like elephants and rhinos? How can pathology be used to solve wildlife crimes? And what do pathology and The Supreme Court have in common?
Dr Simon Spiro, Wildlife Health Services, Zoological Society of London Dr Becki Lawson, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London Rob Deaville, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London Dr Tammy Shadbolt, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London Overview
01:22 – Ellie Darbey introduces the first guest, Dr Simon Spiro, to discuss what it’s like to be a veterinarian pathologist, and how pathology can be used for animal welfare and conservation
14:06 – Ellie is joined by Dr Becki Lawson to explore the Garden Wildlife Health Project and the detective work used to discover a snake fungal pathogen in Europe.
27:15 – Rob Deaville joins to explain what happened to “Hessy” the humpback whale, and how the Cetacean Strandings programme works.
40:10 – Ellie welcomes the final guest Dr Tammy Shadbolt to discuss the Disease Risk Analysis and Health Surveillance Project and how pathology can help solve wildlife crimes.
49:44 – The speakers give their advice for pursuing a career involving wildlife pathology from their varied backgrounds and perspectives.
Previous ZSL Event “Revealing the unseen: the amazing world of wildlife pathology”: https://www.zsl.org/science/whats-on/revealing-the-unseen-the-amazing-world-of-wildlife-pathology Blog: Grass in the Snake - Zoo Pathology in Practice: https://www.zsl.org/blogs/science/grass-in-the-snake-zoo-pathology-in-practice Royal College of Pathologists: Careers in Pathology: https://www.rcpath.org/discover-pathology/careers-in-pathology.html Royal College of Pathologists: Become a Veterinary Pathologist: https://www.rcpath.org/discover-pathology/careers-in-pathology/become-a-veterinary-pathologist.html Garden Wildlife Health Project: gardenwildlifehealth.org UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP): https://www.zsl.org/science/research/uk-cetacean-strandings-investigation-programme-csip “Hessy” the humpback whale in the media: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/09/humpback-whale-found-dead-thames-hit-by-ship Collaborative UK Marine Mammals Strandings Project: summary of contaminant data for the period 1993-2001: https://www.cefas.co.uk/publications/techrep/tech131.pdf Disease Risk Analysis and Health Surveillance (DRAHS) Project: https://www.zsl.org/science/wildlife-health/disease-risk-analysis-and-health-surveillance Hazel dormouse 1000th reintroduction: https://www.zsl.org/blogs/science/dormouse-reintroductions--a-landmark-day Study and Research Opportunities at ZSL: https://www.zsl.org/science/postgraduate-study
ZSL #035 Nature-based solutions - putting nature at the heart of global climate change and biodiversity science-policy agendas
The anthropogenically driven climate crisis and unprecedented rates of biodiversity loss are both threatening the foundations of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide. Treating these two crises separately can be ineffectual or even deepen the problem. A recent landmark study calls for a more integrated approach to tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. Ellie Darbey will be joined by lead author of the article, Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, along with three co-authors, to share their expertise on these issues and help untangle the web of science and policy. Why is it important to tackle both these crises together? How can Nature-based Solutions help? And what needs to be done to integrate these solutions into global science-policy agendas?
Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London Professor Heather Koldewey, Zoological Society of London Professor William Sutherland CBE, University of Cambridge Matthew Lowton, Zoological Society of London
01:26 – Ellie Darbey introduces the co-host of this episode, Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, to discuss the climate change and biodiversity crises, and introduce Nature-based solutions (NbS).
12:12 – Ellie and Nathalie are joined by Professor Heather Koldewey to explore the use of protected areas and restoration projects in the marine world.
28:59 – Professor William Sutherland joins to explain how to measure the risks of NbS, and emphasises the importance of evidence-based science policies.
38:42 – Ellie and Nathalie welcome Matthew Lowton to discuss the global conventions for climate change and biodiversity, and the ways to get NbS into science-policy agendas.
Article: “Time to integrate global climate change and biodiversity science-policy agendas”: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.13985 Upcoming live ZSL Event on 12 October: https://www.zsl.org/science/whats-on/time-to-integrate-global-climate-change-and-biodiversity-science-policy-agendas Putting Nature at the heart of global decision making: https://www.zsl.org/natureatheart “Unite solutions to climate and biodiversity crises to save life on earth”: https://www.zsl.org/news/unite-solutions-to-climate-and-biodiversity-crises-to-save-life-on-earth-says-zsl-led-study Previous ZSL Event “Nature to get out of the climate crisis - how does that work?”: https://www.zsl.org/science/whats-on/nature-to-get-out-of-the-climate-crisis-how-does-that-work Previous Wild Science Podcast Episode “ZSL #028 What's next for rewilding?”: https://www.zsl.org/zsl-wild-science-podcast United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change: https://unfccc.int/ UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties UK 2021 (CoP 26): https://ukcop26.org/ Convention on Biological Diversity: https://www.cbd.int/ ZSL’s Protected Areas and Restoration work: https://www.zsl.org/regions/uk-overseas-territories/chagos-archipelago https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/rehabilitating-mangroves-in-the-philippines https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/uk-europe/thames-conservation/native-oyster-restoration Conservation Evidence Resource: https://www.conservationevidence.com Book by William J. Sutherland et al. “What Works in Conservation 2021”: https://www.openbookpublishers.com/product/1490 Breadth of ZSL’s conservation work: https://www.zsl.org/conservation/how-we-work
ZSL #034 Marine habitat restoration in the UK: tales of oysters, saltmarsh, kelp, and seagrass
Coastal marine habitats are essential to the health of our marine ecosystem, and hold both environmental and social importance. They provide valuable ecosystem services, but for decades they have been impacted by harmful human activities. In her final episode as host, Monni Böhm will be joined by co-host Celine Gamble and an expert panel to explore the need for active restoration to conserve four incredible marine habitats: native oyster beds, saltmarshes, kelp forests and seagrass. How can we scale up these restoration efforts? What makes some species in these habitats ecological superheroes? And what on earth is a scuba-diving spider?
Please note: this episode was recorded in 2020.
Celine Gamble, Zoological Society of London Dr Joanne Preston, University of Portsmouth Angus Garbutt, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Dr Ian Hendy, The Blue Marine Foundation Dr Richard Unsworth, Swansea University and Project Seagrass
01:06 – Dr Monni Böhm introduces the co-host of this episode, Celine Gamble, to discuss why marine habitat restoration is needed, and introduce the Native Oyster Network.
05:29 – Monni and Celine are joined by Dr Joanne Preston who will discuss the forgotten ecosystem of oyster beds, and how to restore native oyster reefs in the UK.
14:51 – Angus Garbutt describes the diversity of saltmarshes of the UK, provides unique insight into their ecological and cultural importance, and the methods used to restore them.
28:12 – Monni and Celine introduce Dr Ian Hendy who explains what can be done to ‘Help our Kelp’ and why conserving it is crucial for marine biodiversity in the UK.
39:16 – Dr Richard Unsworth joins the hosts to talk about the importance of seagrasses, and the lessons learned from the UK’s first major seagrass restoration project .
25 Year environment plan: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/25-year-environment-plan UN decade on Ecosystem Restoration: https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/ Native Oyster Network: https://nativeoysternetwork.org/ Native Oyster Network Habitat Restoration Handbook (November 2020): https://nativeoysternetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/11/ZSL00150%20Oyster%20Handbook_WEB.pdf ZSL Native oyster restoration: https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/uk-europe/thames-conservation/native-oyster-restoration Twitter: @NativeOysterNet; #OysterLove UKCEH Restoration of coastal habitats: https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/projects/restoration The Saltmarsh App: https://www.saltmarshapp.com/ Blue Marine Foundation Sussex Kelp Project: https://www.bluemarinefoundation.com/projects/sussex-kelp/ Lyme Bay Reserve: https://www.lymebayreserve.co.uk/science/ Research on Kelp and Oyster restoration in Australia: kelp and oyster restoration in Australia? https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.13719 Project Seagrass (Seagrass Ocean Rescue): https://www.projectseagrass.org/ Chesapeake Bay Seagrass Restoration: https://www.vims.edu/research/units/programs/sav1/restoration/index.php 750,000 seeds planted in Wales in UK’s Biggest Seagrass Restoration Scheme: https://www.swansea.ac.uk/press-office/news-events/news/2020/03/750000-seeds-planted-in-wales-inuks-biggest-seagrassrestoration-scheme-.php
ZSL #033 Putting reptiles on the map: ZSL Science for reptilian conservation
Reptiles - lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodilians – make up almost one third of all land vertebrate species on Earth, and also occur in many marine and freshwater systems. Yet despite their amazing diversity, reptiles remain hugely underrepresented in conservation research and action, when compared to mammals, birds, and even amphibians. In this episode, our host Ellie Darbey finds out from four fantastic reptile experts how this is changing through increased global efforts to put reptiles on the conservation map. What key advances in species assessments have already made an impact for reptile conservation? How does ZSL’s science and conservation work directly contribute to protecting reptiles in the wild? And wait…where is Monni?
Dr Monika Böhm, Freshwater Coordinator, Indianapolis Zoo Global Center for Species Survival. Dr Rikki Gumbs, EDGE Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Zoological Society of London. Emmanuel Amoah, Executive Director, Threatened Species Conservation Alliance (THRESCOAL). Benjamin Tapley, Head of the Reptile Team, Zoological Society of London. Overview
01:38 – Ellie welcomes the first guest, Dr Monni Böhm, to discuss how assessments like the IUCN Sampled Red List Index and Global Assessment of Reptile Distributions are essential for advancing the agenda for reptilian conservation.
14:30 – Dr Rikki Gumbs joins the podcast to talk about the reptilian Tree of Life, and the purpose and impact of ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme.
24:08 – Emmanuel Amoah discusses the aims of Ghanaian NGO, THRESCOAL, set up following his EDGE Fellowship, and how community-led conservation can be used to help protect the West African slender-snouted crocodile.
33:32 – Ellie is joined by the final guest, Benjamin Tapley, who provides an overview of the contribution of zoos to conservation in the wild, using the example of the Big-Headed Turtle project in Vietnam.
46:25 – All four guests provide their recommendations for the next step in reptile conservation.
The IUCN Sampled Red List Index: zsl.org/global-biodiversity-monitoring/indicators-and-assessments-unit/the-sampled-red-list-index Global Reptile Assessment: natureserve.org/conservation-tools/projects/global-reptile-assessment The Global Assessment of Reptile Distributions: gardinitiative.org/ Indianapolis Zoo: indianapoliszoo.com/conservation/ ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Programme: edgeofexistence.org/ Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute: https://granthaminstitute.com/ THRESCOAL: threscoal.org/ Emmanuel’s ZSL EDGE project page: edgeofexistence.org/fellow/emmanuel-amoah/ ZSL London Zoo Reptile House: zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/exhibits/reptile-house ZSL online Science and Conservation Event: zsl.org/science/whats-on/putting-reptiles-on-the-map-zsl-science-for-reptilian-conservation Related ZSL Wild Science podcast episodes: zsl.org/zsl-wild-science-podcast #007: Ten years on the EDGE of Existence #010: Species in the red: behind the scenes of the IUCN Red List #015: Biodiversity indicators: getting the measure of biodiversity and what it all means
ZSL #032 Coral reefs: running the gauntlet of climate change
Coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world, and more than 500 million people worldwide rely on coral reefs for their livelihoods, food security, and coastal protection. However, coral reefs are impacted by several threats, including rises in sea-surface temperature due to climate change. Join Monni as she navigates these unique underwater ecosystems with the help of five fantastic coral connoisseurs. How can new technologies be used to protect and preserve coral reefs for the future? Why is connectivity important? And which fascinating fact will make your brain (coral) explode?
Dr Catherine Head, Institute of Zoology, ZSL and University of Oxford Dr Jamie Craggs FLS, Horniman Museum & Gardens and Natural History Museum, London Dr James Guest, Newcastle University Dr Rosa van der Ven, Wageningen University Dr Chris Yesson, Institute of Zoology, ZSL
01:05 – Monni is joined by the co-host of this episode, Dr Catherine Head, an expert in applied ecology and evolution in marine ecosystems, particularly coral reefs, and how tools like population genetics can help conserve them.
05:29 – First up, Monni and Catherine welcome Dr Jamie Craggs, to discuss how captive breeding techniques in aquaria can be used for coral conservation.
14:40 – Dr James Guest joins the podcast to talk about his work with ‘Coral Assist’, a project which examines the feasibility of using “assisted gene flow” and selective breeding to assist corals in the face of climate change.
24:14 – Dr Rosa van der Ven discusses genetic connectivity of corals between reefs, and explains why connectivity is important for their conservation.
30:52 – Monni and Catherine are joined by their final guest, Dr Chris Yesson, cold water coral expert, to discuss how genetic techniques like coral barcoding are used to identify corals in aquaria, and how this can be useful coral conservation.
Project Coral: https://www.horniman.ac.uk/project/project-coral/ Coral Assist: https://www.coralassistlab.org/ ZSL Wild Science Podcast #011 Can we still save coral reefs and what if we don’t?: https://www.zsl.org/zsl-wild-science-podcast ZSL’s work with coral reefs in the Chagos Archipelago: https://www.zsl.org/regions/uk-overseas-territories/chagos-archipelago Bertarelli Foundation: https://www.fondation-bertarelli.org/ Hosted and edited by Dr Monni Böhm, ZSL Research Fellow, and produced by Eleanor Darbey, ZSL Scientific Events Coordinator.
ZSL #031 Habitat loss and human health – understanding the links between ecosystem degradation and infectious disease outbreaks
After more than a year of Covid-19 impacting global populations, health systems and economies, one of the major questions being asked was how did this start, and how can we prevent it from happening again? As we humans increasingly disturb our planet’s natural habitats and convert them to agricultural and urban areas, the way we interact with wildlife around us also changes. In this episode, Monni turns to a team of experts in wildlife diseases, to discuss this link between ecosystem degradation and infectious disease outbreaks. What makes an animal a good host for carrying zoonotic diseases? Can we predict and prevent infectious disease outbreaks in the future? And exactly what does a job as ‘human bait’ entail?
Dr Rory Gibb, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Dr Christina Faust, Pennsylvania State University Dr Kimberly Fornace, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Overview
01:40 Monni welcomes Dr Rory Gibb, to discuss zoonotic hosts and their response to land-use change, and how we should move forward to help human health in the future.
18:28 Dr Christina Faust joins Monni to explore disease transmission, explaining where transmission is more likely to happen in different types of landscapes, and how this could be tracked to avoid future outbreaks in humans.
28:43 Monni is joined by the final guest, Dr Kimberly Fornace, to discuss the Monkey Bar project, and how different technologies such as drones and radio collars were used to monitor monkey malaria.
Hosted by Dr Monni Böhm, ZSL Research Fellow and produced by Eleanor Darbey, ZSL Scientific Events Coordinator.
This is a great little podcast. One of the best on current conservation issues. Interesting subjects and presentation and gives you really good information in decent sized episodes. Love it, please keep it up.
Varied, interesting, eye opening
A great, bite sized (20 min) way to learn more about a variety of topics relating to nature/wildlife/ecology. I like that you hear different relevant experts for each episode, and they seem to have been chosen not just for their knowledge but for their ability to speak engagingly!
Fascinating and enlightening
This series of podcasts is full of revelations about the science behind the conservation work being carried out by ZSL and others. Short interviews with a variety of experts and succinct questions asked by Dr Monni Böhm make this an eminently listenable series. For anyone interested in conservation and the future of our natural world these podcasts are essential listening.