BioScience Talks

A monthly podcast that features in-depth discussions of recently published BioScience articles. Each episode of the interview series will delve into the research underlying a highlighted article, providing the listener with unique insight into the author's work.

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BioScience Talks , published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, is the monthly discussion podcast of the journal BioScience.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-06-13 06:59
last episode published
2019-06-12 15:51
publication frequency
27.33 days
American Institute of Biological Sciences owner   author  
Number of Episodes
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Technology Science & Medicine Natural Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

The Makings of an Invasion: The Slender False Brome

Invasive species are a hot topic, both in scientific circles and among the public at large. Still, the mechanics of invasions are often opaque, and a broader understanding will be required in order to prevent—and respond to—future species introductions...

Building a Better Understanding of "Resilience"

The concept of resilience is an important one in conservation science and resource management. However, the term itself is often poorly understood, or understood differently by different parties, with potentially troublesome effects for land managers, ...

ASGSR Annual Meeting - Maryland

At the beginning of November 2018, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks once again hit the road to attend ASGSR's Annual Meet...

Biodiversity and the Extended Specimen Network

Natural history specimens housed in museums, herbaria, and other research collections are revolutionizing science—largely as a result of growing efforts to digitize samples and share data among many users. To meet the robust promise of digital collect...

Inequality and the Human Right to Food

The importance of human access to adequate food could not be more clear; however, many questions surround the provision of food among and within countries. What obligations do nations have to provide food for their citizens? Is inequality in food avail...

Half-Earth Preservation with Natura 2000

In recent years, calls to preserve greater swaths of the Earth's land- and seascapes have grown. In particular, numerous conservationists have called for the protection of half of the planet's surface, a bold initiative that would preserve much of the...

Chromatin Looping: Seeing DNA in 3D

 New tools are making it easier to understand not only our genetic code but also the ways that the code's three-dimensional structure contributes to gene expression. This understanding will be vital in the search for cures to diseases with multiple an...

Saving Species with Better Monitoring

To conserve species, managers need reliable estimates of their population trends. Samples are gathered over time, but the length of the sampling period is often established using crude rules of thumb rather than good statistical methods. Writing in Bi...

Using the Plant Microbiome to Restore Native Grasslands

An appreciation of the crucial role of microbiomes, from those aboard the International Space Station to those living in the human gut, is quickly gaining traction among both scientists and members of the general public. Now, a similar appreciation of...

Tracking Aedes aegypti across the Ages

Mosquito-borne diseases have plagued humanity for centuries, and a prolific offender has been Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the "yellow fever mosquito." Despite the yellow-fever moniker, it is also a potent carrier of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika ...

Scientists Warn that Proposed US–Mexico Border Wall Threatens Biodiversity, Conservation

Amidst increased tensions over the US–Mexico border, a multinational group of over 2500 scientists have endorsed an article cautioning that a hardened barrier may produce devastating ecological effects while hampering binational conservation. In the ...

Big Data is Synergized by Team and Open Science

For some time, "big data" has loomed large as a source of challenges and opportunities for science, but as yet, guidance on how to manage the data deluge has been wanting. Joining us on this episode of BioScience Talks, Kendra Spence Cheruvelil and P...

Synbio Ethics: What the Researchers Think

As synthetic biology emerges into the public sphere, so too does a discussion about the ethical and regulatory questions posed by the field. Because synthetic biology researchers will themselves have broad influence in both the field and the conversat...

Undergraduate Research Makes for Better Science

Improving training in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields is a major priority, crucial to the nation's economy and international competitiveness. However, to date, research evaluating the effectiveness of STEM training programs a...

Bonus Episode: Disease-Carrying Ticks and How to Avoid Them

Ticks pose numerous threats to human health and well-being, ranging from the familiar Lyme threat to spotted fever rickettsiosis and even mammalian meat allergies. For this special bonus episode of BioScience Talks, we chatted with Brian Allan of the ...

Bridging the Gaps in Global Conservation

To date, the conservation of global biodiversity has relied on a patchwork of international goals and national- and regional-level plans. Hampered by poor planning, competing interests, and an incomplete view of large-scale ecosystem function, these ...

One Thing Leads to Another: Causal Chains Link Health, Development, and Conservation

The linkages between environmental health and human well-being are complex and dynamic, and researchers have developed numerous models for describing them. The models include attempts to bridge traditional academic boundaries, uniting fields of study ...

ASGSR Annual Meeting

In October 2017, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks hit the road. We attended ASGSR's annual meeting in Seattle, Washington...

Urban Mind: Measuring the Benefits of Nature in Real Time

The positive mental health effects of nature exposure in urban environments are well known, and the literature on the subject is growing fast. However, many previous studies have relied only on cross-sectional data that offer coarse measurements of th...

Specimen Collection, Populations, and Biodiversity Science

The benefits of specimen collection are well known. Natural-history archives are increasingly used by researchers to investigate evolutionary processes, examine the effects of climate and environmental change, explore the ecology of emerging diseases,...

A Waterway Bounces Back following the Passage of the Clean Water Act

Although the aims of environmental legislation are well known, measuring the effects of regulation is often a difficult task. Inadequate data for baseline conditions and the recovery period can hamper efforts to quantify the effects of a regulation. I...

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Wildlife Trade Management

The illicit wildlife trade is a multi-billion-dollar business that spans the globe. Unfortunately, efforts to control it have often fallen short, and massive numbers of organisms are regularly removed from ecosystems and sold as pets, food, and tradi...

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Urban Green Spaces

With the rapid expansion of the urban landscape, successfully managing ecosystems in built areas has never been more important. However, our understanding of urban ecology is far from complete, and the data at hand are often patchy, leaving stakeholde...

Damming and Its Effects on Fish

Fish that migrate between freshwater and sea ecosystems play a multitude of ecological roles. In the centuries since Europeans first colonized the Americas, damming and other disruptions to river connectivity have greatly decreased the migration oppor...

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2017 Annual Meeting

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), an American Institute of Biological Sciences member society, fosters research, education, public awareness, and understanding of living organisms from molecules and cells to ecology and evolu...

Low Oxygen in Chesapeake Bay

Each year, low oxygen levels, known as hypoxia, strike the deep waters of Chesapeake Bay. Arising from a combination of human-induced and natural factors, low oxygen levels have profound effects on fish and other important ecosystem players. Writing i...

Understanding River Thermal Landscapes

River temperatures have long been an area of study, but until recently, the field has been hampered by technological constraints. However, a suite of new technologies and methods, driven by inexpensive sensor technology, are enabling new insights, wit...

Conservation Endocrinology in a Changing World

As species rapidly adapt to altered landscapes and a warming climate, scientists and stakeholders need new techniques to monitor ecological responses and plan future conservation efforts. Writing in BioScience, Drs. Stephen McCormick of the US Geologic...

Episode #23: The Redomestication of Wolves

On landscapes around the world, environmental change is bringing people and large carnivores together—but the union is not without its problems. Human–wildlife conflict is on the rise as development continues unabated and apex predators begin to reocc...

Episode 22: Nature's Mental Health Benefits

Nature's positive impact on mood is easily understood on an intuitive level, but a more fine-grain analysis reveals quantifiable effects with potentially serious implications for human well-being. For this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by...

Episode 21: Bright Spots of Resilience to Climate Disturbance

Climate-driven disturbances are having profound impacts on coastal ecosystems, with many crucial habitat-forming species in sharp decline. However, among these degraded biomes, examples of resilience are emerging. For this episode of BioScience Talks...

Episode #20: Eucalypts Spotlight Biosecurity Failures

For more than 100 years, eucalypts—woody plants that range in size from shrubs to trees—have been transported from their natural ecosystems in Australia to plantations across the globe. This unique history provides a novel lens for viewing the spread ...

Episode #19: Microbial Biodiversity in the Environment Can Alter Human Health

The science of human microbiomes is advancing at an incredible pace. With each passing day, more is known about the vast suite of microorganisms that inhabit human bodies—and about the important role that they play in maintaining our health. In this e...

Episode #18: Reservoirs Are a Major Source of Greenhouse Gases

Over 1 million dams exist worldwide. These structures have numerous environmental effects, and there is no shortage of research on the various ecological consequences of dams. But there is another major threat arising from dammed waters: the release o...

Episode #17: Big Data and Good Science

Scientists have long debated the best methods to achieve sound findings. In recent decades, hypothesis-driven frameworks have been enshrined in textbooks and school courses, with iterative and inductive approaches often taking a back seat. However, th...

Bonus Episode: Bear Behavior and the Recent Montana Grizzly Mauling

Most interactions between humans and bears result in no harm to either party. However, aggressive bears can occasionally pose a serious threat to human well-being, such as occurred in a recent attack in the Montana backcountry. In this bonus episode,...

Episode #16: Hardened Shorelines Are a Threat to Ecosystems

The installation of structures to protect against coastal threats, called shoreline hardening, is a common practice worldwide, with many coastal cities having 50% or more of their shores protected against floods and erosion. Despite increasing evidenc...

Episode #15 - Marine Citizen Science: Room for Growth

The burgeoning field of citizen science offers the public an opportunity to participate directly in research and data analysis—and it offers scientists access to robust data sets that previously would have been impossible to collect. Unfortunately, re...

Episode 14: Hydroelectric Dams Kill Insects, Wreak Havoc with Food Webs

Hydropower dams generate more energy than all other renewable sources combined. However, they can also produce dire environmental consequences, including the devastation of aquatic insect populations and the food webs that those insects underpin. A pr...

Gene Drive Technology: Where is the Future? (Bonus Episode)

Gene drives have the potential to revolutionize approaches to major public health, conservation, and agricultural problems. For instance, gene drives might one day prevent mosquitoes from spreading a variety of deadly diseases, including Zika virus, ...

Episode #13: Landscape Ecology and its Role in Policymaking

The world faces unprecedented environmental transformation. Successfully managing and adapting to a rapidly changing Earth requires the swift action of well-informed policymakers. In a State of the Science report for BioScience, Audrey Mayer of Michig...

Episode #12: Current Methods Cannot Predict Damage to Coral Reefs

The potentially devastating effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs are well known, but the methods used to evaluate the threats are often focused on individual species, viewed in isolation, and often in a laboratory. For this episode of BioScie...

Episode #11: How to Save Aggregate-Spawning Fish

 Globally declining fish populations are a frequently cited ecological and commercial calamity, but relatively little attention has been paid to the specific threats faced by fish that gather and spawn in large groups. Because they gather in such large...

Episode #10: Nitrogen's Threat to Biodiversity

Habitat destruction and the direct exploitation of species often occupy center stage in discussions of biodiversity perils. However, indirect harms, such as that posed by nitrogen pollution, remain underappreciated and poorly understood despite playing...

Episode #9: Plague-Afflicted Prairie Dogs and Modeling Animal-Borne Disease

Animal-borne diseases have ruled the news cycle recently—from Zika and Ebola to SARS and MERS. However, little is known about the spread of these diseases in their animal hosts. More perplexing, the mechanisms that lead to human outbreaks remain elusiv...

Episode #8: Preventing Midwest Grain Failures

Across the United States, record quantities of corn and soybeans have been harvested in recent years. However, according Dr. David Gustafson of the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation, this trend may soon change. The combined and ...

Episode #7: Contact with Nature May Mean More Social Cohesion, Less Crime

Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of contact with nature for human well-being. However, despite strong trends toward greater urbanization and declining green space, little is known about the social consequences of such contact. Netta Wein...

Bonus Episode: Complex Data Integration

The integration of data from two or more domains is required for addressing many fundamental scientific questions and understanding how to mitigate challenges affecting humanity and our planet. In March 2015, AIBS convened a workshop that brought toget...

Episode #6: A Successful Intervention Boosts the Gender Diversity of STEM Faculty

Eighty-one percent of US science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) university faculty members are men. The relative dearth of women in the field is a long-recognized problem—but it's one that may be on its way to a solution. Using a three-step ...

Episode #5: When Tree Planting Hurts Ecosystems

"Forest restoration" is a common conservation theme, often promoted as a means of repairing degraded landscapes and boosting carbon storage. But when the planting areas are poorly chosen, these initiatives have the potential to eradicate ancient grassl...