Ep 51. Leaky pipelines and chytrid fungus with Deborah Bower

Amphibian populations across the globe have been declining rapidly, and the most dangerous contributor to this is the chytrid fungus; a skin disease that affects frogs and salamanders. Dr Deborah Bower from the University of New England says that if we want to have any chance of saving these species then we need to conserve as much of their native habitat as possible. In an … Continue reading Ep 51. Leaky pipelines and chytrid fungus with Deborah Bower

Older male spiders shudder longer in face of cannibal females

New research has revealed that the mating behaviour of the St Andrew’s cross spider changes with age, with older males investing more time in courtship, possibly to avoid cannibalisation by more aggressive females. The St Andrew’s cross spider is a colourful orb weaving spider that is best recognised by its banded abdomen and the characteristic X-shaped cross on its web. These spiders typically live for … Continue reading Older male spiders shudder longer in face of cannibal females

Ep 49. Peacock spiders and citizen science with Stuart Harris

In the summer of 2008 Stuart Harris was out bushwalking when he spotted a small colourful spider. He decided to take a photo and put it up online on his flickr account. Little did he know that this was a peacock spider that was previously unknown to science. This marked the beginning of a long adventure for Stuart, along with a number of passionate arachnologists … Continue reading Ep 49. Peacock spiders and citizen science with Stuart Harris

Ep 48. Soil microbes and healthy farming with Maarten Stapper

How do you know if you have healthy soil? Look for worms! Dr Maarten Stapper joins us on In Situ Science to chat about how caring for soils and healthy ecosystems can improve our farming practices. Unfortunately modern farming practices, including livestock grazing, pesticide use and synthetic fertilizer use, can actually harm our crops more than they help them. Dr Maarten Stapper now runs his … Continue reading Ep 48. Soil microbes and healthy farming with Maarten Stapper

NanoZymes: Making light work of bacteria

Scientists have developed a new type of enzyme, called a NanoZyme, which is triggered by light to produce free radicals that kill bacteria. The technology could be used one day to fight infections by sterilising high-risk surfaces in areas such as hospitals and public bathrooms. Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne created these NanoZymes from tiny nanorods of cupric oxide. The rods themselves are 1,000 … Continue reading NanoZymes: Making light work of bacteria

Ep 47. Sexy siestas and shooting for the stars with Dr Karl

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is perhaps Australia’s most prolific and well known science communicator. He has written over 43 books, and has appeared regularly on national radio for over 30 years. In an interview with In Situ Science we chat about the immense amount of research and hard work that goes in to building up Dr Karl’s broad  range of expertise. We then delve into his … Continue reading Ep 47. Sexy siestas and shooting for the stars with Dr Karl

Ep 44. Assassin bugs, cloud forests and spread-eagle hunters with Matthew Bulbert

“Born too late to explore the earth. Born too early to explore the stars” – Anonymous Modern scientists often have the strange feeling that they have been born in the wrong era; that they are the ‘middle children’ of history. They read enviously about the exploits of explorers past, sailing boldly into uncharted waters, and worry that they may never be able to undertake those … Continue reading Ep 44. Assassin bugs, cloud forests and spread-eagle hunters with Matthew Bulbert

Ep 41. Pollinators, Bond films and ecosystem services with Manu Saunders

Twice a year Australians get together to scour their backyards for native pollinators. The Wild Pollinator count is a nation-wide citizen science project aimed at increasing awareness of Australia’s native pollinator diversity. It was started a few years back by a team including ecologist Manu Saunders. In an interview with In Situ Science Manu describes how it is important that people understand that bees are … Continue reading Ep 41. Pollinators, Bond films and ecosystem services with Manu Saunders

Ep 40. Twitchers, miners and presidential decorum with Paul McDonald

Australia’s iconic birdlife can be a divisive issue. Whilst some species are welcomed into backyards and gardens, others are derided as pests and invaders. Paul McDonald studies the behaviour of one particularly divisive species, the Noisy Miner. Whilst many people may regard them as urban pests, Paul says that beneath their screeching facade they exhibit complex social behaviour, comparable even to primates. Paul McDonald is … Continue reading Ep 40. Twitchers, miners and presidential decorum with Paul McDonald

Ep 39. Dingo fences, desert spice and writings in the sand with Charlotte Mills

SPECIAL GUEST: CHARLOTTE MILLS (UNSW) The loss of mammals in Australia is having huge impacts on natural ecosystems. So big in fact that they are visible from space. Charlotte Mills is a PhD candidate from the University of New South Wales studying the role mammals play in the functioning of desert ecosystems. In an interview with In Situ Science she describes how disrupting the important … Continue reading Ep 39. Dingo fences, desert spice and writings in the sand with Charlotte Mills