If it lacks a backbone, we're interested. In this podcast, we are exploring the world of invertebrates, discovering the amazing lives they lead, and thinking carefully about our relationhips with these much-maligned creatures. With the help of experts, we are lifting stones, peering into the water and grubbing in the filth.
Exploring the Beach with Heather Buttivant
How do we explore the beach? How do we make sense of it, and how do we teach children to appreciate and decode this space? In this episode, Tom chats with nature writer and award-winning blogger Heather Buttivant. As well as discussing Heather's new book, 'Beach Explorer', we chat about the beach as an environment, the invertebrates that live there and the challenges they face.
Mesofauna with Frank Ashwood
What strange lives are unfolding within the soil? It is an obscure world, rich with life that exists on a minute scale. Tom speaks with soil ecologist and macro photographer Frank Ashwood to discover the world of mesofauna: springtails, mites, symphylans and more.
You can see the photos discussed in the episode here: https://twitter.com/gitfpodcast/status/1457590040729640960
All taken from: https://www.frankashwood.com/
Oysters and Other Shellfish with Priya Shukla
Oysters, mussels, scallops and more. When we pick up shells on the beach, how often do we consider that they represent a life lived, out in the ocean? The dynamic lives of these creatures are easily forgotten, obfuscated by the shell as a decorative object and the shellfish as a commodity. In this episode, we learn how these animals live, what they are, and what challenges they face. Tom speaks with ocean and climate scientist Priya Shukla, to discover the fascinating lives that hide behind that general label: ´shellfish´.
Ladybirds with Helen Roy
Red with black spots. The ladybird family, with the seven-spotted ladybird as its ambassador, is beloved. The ladybird is so often figured as a sort of simple, child-appropriate insect; what is there to know about these domed beetles, beyond that sense of them we developed in childhood? Tom is joined by Dr. Helen Roy, ladybird expert, ecologist and President of the Royal Entomolgoical Society to delve into the complexities of the coccinellidae, whilst also considering the cultural heft of our dotted mates.
The Antarctic Midge and Cold Tolerance with Nick Teets
What does it take it be the Antarctic's only endemic insect? How do insects survive Antarctic winters, and extreme conditions? In this episode, Tom chats with Nick Teets, Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky, to discuss the antarctic midge (belgica antarctica) and other cold-tolerant, extremophile insects. We discover the survival strategies employed by these bizarre, wingless flies; the creatures which make the antarctic midge look soft; and the implications for research into cold tolerance.
Carrion Beetles with Ash Whiffin
Death and rot! In this episode, we chat with Ash Whiffin, Assistant Curator of Entomology at National Museums Scotland about carrion beetles. Morbid insect or vital and valued decomposer? Both? We talk about the lives of carrion beetles, the animals they associate with, and the crimefighting role they play in forensic entomology. We also discuss Ash's new book 'The Histeridae, Sphaeritidae and Silphidae of Britain and Ireland' and consider how the field of entomology can be made more diverse and more inclusive.
Finally, an Invert Podcast!
I am super stoked for this podcast about the coolest of animals (inverts, ofc) - it’s the perfect blend of informal and funny, versus thoughtful and informative. A great listen, especially while sorting and IDing inverts under a microscope :)