24 min

Methods - How to Explore the Microscopic World of Soil Life in the Soil

    • Science

If you dig out a handful of soil, or a whole bucket full, what do you see? Really, not that much? Well, yes, that’s one reason the study of soil is such a challenge. It’s a lot of stuff mushed together, crumbs, roots, dead stuff, critters. Soil is a very complex, intensely 3D-structured environment. How do you map that landscape? In order to look at the fine structures of a root, scientists have to painstakingly lay them bare. If they want to catch a critter, they have to lure it into a trap. And with very tiny organisms, it’s sometimes just impossible to get that sample. In this episode, scientists share their challenges and methods, and dream of new technologies to improve our understanding of soil in major ways - if it just existed! This episode features Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Kate Scow, Maddy Thakur, Marcel van der Heijden, and podcast producers Matthias Rillig and Anja Krieger.

Subscribe and learn more on rilliglab.org/podcast/
Episode transcript: https://rilliglab.org/2021/02/19/life-in-the-soil-podcast-4-methods/

CREDITS + LINKS
Produced by: Anja Krieger and the Rillig Lab rilliglab.org/
Funded by: Digging Deeper / BiodivERsA www.biodiversa.org/
Guest experts in this episode: Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Kate Scow, Maddy Thakur, Marcel van der Heijden
Additional Voices in intro: Yong-Guan Zhu, Bala Chaudhary, Katie Field, Toby Kiers
Story consultants: Tessa Camenzind, Milos Bielcik, Moisés Sosa Hernández, Stefanie Maaß.
Thanks for feedback: Madara Pētersone

Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen marenvonstockhausen.de/
Theme song: Sunfish Moon Light / Future Ecologies www.futureecologies.net
Music: Blue Dot Sessions www.sessions.blue/

Listeners in Switzerland can join the citizen science project by registering before April 15, 2021: https://www.beweisstueck-unterhose.ch/

The Digging Deeper project was funded through the 2015-2016 BiodivERsA COFUND call for research proposals, with the national funders Swiss National Science Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Swedish Research Council Formas, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

If you dig out a handful of soil, or a whole bucket full, what do you see? Really, not that much? Well, yes, that’s one reason the study of soil is such a challenge. It’s a lot of stuff mushed together, crumbs, roots, dead stuff, critters. Soil is a very complex, intensely 3D-structured environment. How do you map that landscape? In order to look at the fine structures of a root, scientists have to painstakingly lay them bare. If they want to catch a critter, they have to lure it into a trap. And with very tiny organisms, it’s sometimes just impossible to get that sample. In this episode, scientists share their challenges and methods, and dream of new technologies to improve our understanding of soil in major ways - if it just existed! This episode features Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Kate Scow, Maddy Thakur, Marcel van der Heijden, and podcast producers Matthias Rillig and Anja Krieger.

Subscribe and learn more on rilliglab.org/podcast/
Episode transcript: https://rilliglab.org/2021/02/19/life-in-the-soil-podcast-4-methods/

CREDITS + LINKS
Produced by: Anja Krieger and the Rillig Lab rilliglab.org/
Funded by: Digging Deeper / BiodivERsA www.biodiversa.org/
Guest experts in this episode: Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Kate Scow, Maddy Thakur, Marcel van der Heijden
Additional Voices in intro: Yong-Guan Zhu, Bala Chaudhary, Katie Field, Toby Kiers
Story consultants: Tessa Camenzind, Milos Bielcik, Moisés Sosa Hernández, Stefanie Maaß.
Thanks for feedback: Madara Pētersone

Cover art: Maren von Stockhausen marenvonstockhausen.de/
Theme song: Sunfish Moon Light / Future Ecologies www.futureecologies.net
Music: Blue Dot Sessions www.sessions.blue/

Listeners in Switzerland can join the citizen science project by registering before April 15, 2021: https://www.beweisstueck-unterhose.ch/

The Digging Deeper project was funded through the 2015-2016 BiodivERsA COFUND call for research proposals, with the national funders Swiss National Science Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Swedish Research Council Formas, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

24 min

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