Breaking Bio

A group of biologists talks everything science and biology related in a weekly roundtable format.

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A group of biologists brings you into the world of evolution and biodiversity research by interviewing the people making new and exciting discoveries about our world.
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last modified
2019-05-05 20:46
last episode published
2016-02-29 16:52
publication frequency
12.4 days
Breaking Bio author  
Steven Hamblin owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Science & Medicine Natural Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

BB100 - Read broadly and carry a big horn with Dr. Doug Emlen

In a very special episode #100, we talk to Dr. Doug Emlen, Professor of Biology at the University of Montana and author of the new book Animal Weapons, about animals that don't back down from a fight (unless it makes evolutionary sense to do so), and D...

BB99 - Getting Down to Monkey Business with Dr. Alexander Georgiev

The birds and the bees may do it, but how about different monkeys and apes? Dr. Alexander Georgiev talks about his work on reproductive behaviours and costs in chimpanzees and Rhesus macaques, and how different their sexual practices are.Show notes at ...

BB98 - Here Comes Caribou -bou with Jean Polfus

Jean Polfus is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manitoba, and joins us from the edge of the Arctic to talk about her research on caribou ecology and evolution. We also discuss the role of traditional knowledge and native peoples in studying norther...

BB97 - Changing the World With Your Video Camera with Rob Nelson

Rob Nelson, Director of Untamed Science, explains how he went from marine biology to science & nature filmography, and how he's trying to help more people come to love the natural world through YouTube.Show notes available at

BB96 - Shedding Light on Urban Biodiversity& Anti-science Politics with Dr. Travis Longcore

Dr. Travis Longcore, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Spatial Sciences, and Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, speaks to us about his work with habitat conservation in Los Angeles, how we're lighting up the night in the w...

BB95 - It Takes A Manor to Raise a Meerkat with Dr. Kirsty MacLeod

Dr. Kirsty MacLeod is a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge (and soon to be at Penn State), and shares why her research is largely possible because a colony of meerkats developed an addiction to boiled eggs, and why a threat...

BB94 - Rallying for Rails with Auriel Fournier!

Auriel Fournier is a PhD candidate at the University of Arkansas studying rail ecology & migration. She tells us why she loves rails, how she learned to fix a flooded out ATV, and why unpaid internships in biology are harming our future.Show notes ...

BB 93 - Behind The Scenes at Elsevier with Dr. Sheba Agarwal-Jans #AltActober

Dr. Sheba Agarwal-Jans went from submitting & reviewing papers as a post-doctoral fellow to managing multiple journals as a publisher for Elsevier. She joins us for the last instalment of #AltActober to share her journey and provide some insights i...

BB92 - Reaching out and Teaching with Dr. Stephanie Kadison #AltActober

Dr. Stephanie Kadison went from being a post-doctoral researcher to a specialist high school teacher without any prior teaching experience. Find out how she fell in love with teaching in this week's #AltActober episode! For show notes, visit http://bre...

BB 91 - Putting Brains to Many Good Uses with Dr. Kelley Remole

Dr. Kelley Remole, Director of Neuroscience Outreach at Columbia University, talks about her #AltActober experience working as an educator & administrator after finishing her PhD.Find show notes at

BB 90 - From Doctor to Documentary with Dr. Nate Dappen& Dr. Neil Losin #AltActober

With PhD's in evolutionary biology in their back pockets, Drs. Nate Dappen and Neil Losin set out to become wildlife filmmakers and science communicators. #AltActober continues with Nate and Neil sharing how they teamed up to form their production comp...

BB 89 - Public Radio& Education with Ariel Zych #AltActober

Ariel Zych, Education Manager of the Science Friday Initiative, helps us kick off #AltActober, our special month long look at careers outside academia and the people who made the jump. Ariel explains why she decided to leave a funded PhD position to ex...

BB 88 - Beetles and Battling Sexism with Beulah Garner

Beulah Garner, Senior Curator of Coleoptera at the Natural History Museum joins us to share her love for beetles, experiences from field work, and how women in the natural sciences are still faced with inappropriate behaviours and sexist attitudes dire...

BB87 - Frogs, Fellowships, and Family with Dr. Lauren O'Connell

Dr. Lauren O'Connell, Bauer Fellow at Harvard University, joins us to talk about her work on poison dart frog ecology, being an early career woman scientist with kids, and how she's helping school kids learn about the world around them by raising frogs...

BB 86 - Getting Infested with Brooke Borel!

Brooke Borel, Contributing Editor at Popular Science Magazine and freelance science writer, joins us to discuss her new book Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated our Bedrooms and Took Over the World, the industry behind edible insects, and how to fact...

BB 85 - Brain Food with Dr. Joe Schumacher

Dr. Joe Schumacher, Post-doc at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience joins us to talk about treeshrews and how complicated the brain truly is! For show notes, check out

BB 84 - Playing with snakes with Dr. David Steen

Dr. David Steen of Auburn University joins us to talk about the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi), what he's doing to help conserve this endangered species, and how Twitter is helping him improve public knowledge surrounding venomous snakes in ...

Episode 83 - Catching up with the Crew

Things have been happening in the lives & work of our faithful crew, but this episode will catch you up on what everyone's been up to. How do 4 early career biologists feel about academia at this point? Find out! Find show notes and past episodes a...

BB 82 - Mysterious Thrips in the Outback with Dr. James Gilbert

We're back from our Spring Hiatus with a new show! This week, Dr. James Gilbert of the University of Hull stops by to tell us how to make new discoveries by accident, and the kinky world of bushcricket sex.  For more information, links, and show notes,...

Ep 81 - Ends of the Earth for Bird Conservation with Dr. Alex Bond

Dr. Alex Bond, Senior Conservation Scientist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, joins us again to talk about his work at opposite ends of the earth helping protect and raise awareness for at-risk bird populations. From giant mice eating ...

BB 80 - Seeing spots& sniffing poop with Anne Hilborn

Anne Hilborn, PhD student at Virginia Tech, talks about her work studying the cheetahs of the Serengeti, including the not-so-glamourous aspects of the job, and then explains why she doesn't shy away from sharing her observations in graphic detail on T...

BB79 - Ant invaders and unlocking insects with Dr. Alex Wild

Dr. Alex Wild, curator of entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, talks with Morgan & Tom about tracking ant invasions with natural history collections, the rights & wrongs of copyright, and his new crowd-funding campaign, Insects Unlo...

Ep 78 - Fighting for Evolution Online with Trevor Valle& @TakeThatDarwin

Palaeontologist Trevor Valle and evolution vigilante @TakeThatDarwin talk to us about how they face off with evolution denialists, and why pop stars don't get carte blanche at Natural History Museums. Find show notes and links at

Episode 77 - From Ants To Academics with Adrian Smith

Dr. Adrian Smith, a post-doc at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, chats with us about his work on ant behaviour and chemical ecology, why he thinks scientists should be at least partly responsible for communicating their work, and about his...

New Anoles on the Block& Reinventing the Stickleback with Dr. Yoel Stuart

Dr. Yoel Stuart, a Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, joins us to discuss the evolutionary ramifications of invasive anoles on the islands of Florida. Turns out it's like the Olympic motto, Higher, Faster, Stronger, but with...

Parents of the Year with Dr. Dieter Lukas

Dr. Dieter Lukas, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, joins Heidi, Tom & Morgan to explain why a lot of mammals may not qualify for Parent of the Year.  Find out more about Dieter's research, and find links to the pape...

Flamingo Fun with Chris Torres - Breaking Bio Ep. 74

This week, we learn all about flamingos from molecular biologist/palaeontologist Chris Torres of the University of Texas at Austin. Chris also explains how he solved a 150 year old mystery in a natural history museum, and why his house is covered in pi...

Ep. 73 - Seeing red (and yellow, and blue) with Dr. Nate Morehouse!

This week we're joined by Dr. Nate Morehouse, an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh who studies colour and how its used among insects and spiders. Nate explained some of his lab's work trying to understand how butterflies tell who are ...

What Makes Science Bloggers Tick with Paige Brown Jarreau!

This week we're talking to Louisiana State University PhD student Paige Brown Jarreau about her work trying to understand what makes science bloggers tick, or at least why they do what they do. We also discuss the role and future of crowd-funding scien...

Breaking Bio Episode 71 - Columbia University Mammal Mashup!

This week we've put together 4 shorter interviews with Columbia University Conservation Biology Master's Students who are all starting their academic careers studying some aspect of Mammal Conservation. From African traffic noise, to mouse gut microbes...

BB Episode 70 - Mistaken sex and rapacious spiders with Dr Emily Burdfield-Steel!

This week, we talk to Dr. Emily Burfield-Steel of the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland about her work with species who get confused in the bedroom, how scientists introduce drama into spider sex, and moth farts. Kinda. Check out

BB 69 - Getting semi-social with Dr. Sandra Rehan!

We talk to Dr. Sandra Rehan of the University of New Hampshire about her work on the evolution of sociality, the natural history of bees, and what it's like to be a new prof! More info about Dr. Rehan's work:Lab webpage:

BB 68 - #SAFE13 with Drs. Clancy, Nelson, Rutherford& Hinde

This week, we sit down and discuss the #SAFE13 project, which is bringing incidences of sexual harassment and assault in scientific field research to light, with the study's authors: Dr. Kate Clancy, Dr. Robin Nelson, Dr. Julienne Rutherford, and Dr. K...

BB 67 - Autotrophs, roll out! with Dr. Hope Jahren

Tom talks to Dr. Hope Jahren from the University of Hawaii Manoa about her work on plants and how they deal with changing climates, both in recent years and long in the past.

BB 66 - Fighting Bad Medicine with Dr. David Gorski!

We sit down to talk with Dr. David Gorski, oncologist and science blogger, about his long blogging career and his continuing crusade against crack-pot medical advice.

Breaking Bio 65 - Sex Chromosomes& Math for Biologists with Dr. Melissa Wilson Sayres

We sit down to talk about the evolution of sex chromosomes and the diversity of ways organisms determine sex with Dr. Melissa Wilson Sayres of Arizona State University. Dr. Wilson Sayres also explains why math is important for biologists, and how publi...

BB Special - Miss Possible!

We're on hiatus for the summer, but filmed a special episode to highlight a crowd-funding project that we think deserves a voice and hopefully some funding.We talk to Janna Eaves, CTO and Co-Founder of Miss Possible, a start-up company looking to empow...

BB Blitz! Natalie Bray

Natalie Bray of Columbia University discusses her work studying soil biodiversity.

BB64: Singing mice with Steve Phelps!

 In episode 64 we talk with Steve Phelps of the University of Texas at Austin about the evolution of social behaviour, prairies voles, singing mice, Twitter for academics, the academic work life and more!

BB Blitz! Erin Eastwood

Erin Eastwood, an MSc student at Columbia University, talks to us about her research on Marine Protected Areas and small scale fisheries in Fiji.

BB 63: Movies, TV and Science Communication with Dr. Crystal Dilworth!

We talk to Dr. Crystal Dilworth, science correspondent with Al Jazeera America, about the many ways she's helped promote science on screen.

BB Blitz: Oil Palms and Elephants with Cynthia Malone

In the very first Breaking Bio Blitz we talk to Cynthia Malone of Columbia University about her upcoming research on conflicts between wildlife and oil palm plantations in Cameroon.

BB62: Aging Sexy Dance Party with Stuart Wigby!

Don't worry, we're not the ones dancing. Stuart Wigby from the University of Oxford sits down to talk to us about his work on fruit fly sex, how aging impacts reproduction, and why his PhD students feel as comfortable on the dance floor as they do in t...

BB61: Bird nerding with Alex Bond!

This week's guest is ecologist and all-around bird nerd Dr. Alex Bond. Alex was an adjunct at the University of Saskatchewan when we talked to him, but he'll soon beginning his new position as a Conservation Scientist for the Royal Society for the Prot...

BB60: Climate and coral with Emily Darling!

It’s coral reefs, it’s climate change, it’s us making connections for our next African vacation.  It’s episode 60 with Emily Darling (@emilysdarling), marine ecologist extraordinaire! And good news:  we’re not all screwed.  Well, mostly.  Probably.  Ok...

BB59: Dolphin time with Justin Gregg!

 It’s dolphin time!  Join us as we talk with Justin Gregg, research associate at the Dolphin Communication Project, author of the new book Are Dolphins Really Smart, and voiceover artist.  Bonus: a brief discussion on dolphin assisted birth and why tha...

BB58: From farm to fork with Dan Gillis!

In episode 58 we’re joined by Dan Gillis, Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Guelph.  We had a great talk about his work as an ecological modeller for the Saugeen Ojibway First Nations and about an innovative pro...

BB57: Into the water with David Shiffman!

In episode 57 we’re joined by David Shiffman (@WhySharksMatter), marine biologist, shark conservationist, and scicommer extraordinaire.  It’s a great interview, ranging everywhere from shark culls in Australia to mermaids to how one can buy the shirt o...

BB56: Growing up with Katie Hinde!

I bet you didn‚Äôt know that ‚Äėcomparative lactation‚Äô was a thing, did you? ¬†Well, it is. ¬†And it‚Äôs awesome. ¬†Katie Hinde (@mammals_suck), assistant professor at Harvard, joins us to talk about milk, milk, milk! ¬†Oh, and some biology stuff. Ever thought a...

BB55: Come share a paleofantasy with Marlene Zuk!

In episode 55 we’re joined by a luminary of evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology, Professor Marlene Zuk of the University of Minnesota!  Marlene joins us to talk about her latest book Paleofantasy, crickets, the odd things that people will tell...