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The Women in Ecology and Evolution Podcast

The Women in Ecology and Evolution Podcast

By Kirsty MacLeod

Scientists are more than just their science. Science communication should be too! The W.E.E. Podcast will highlight awesome women in ecology and evolution - their research, their experiences, and their passions. Science is personal - get to know us! Each month I'll have conversations with women I admire, getting deep into the science they love, as well as what makes them tick outside the day job - and everything in between. We'll get into imposter syndrome, work-life balance, politics, and the joy of finding field pants with pockets. What else? Let us know!
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W.E.E. Beyond Academia

The Women in Ecology and Evolution PodcastFeb 25, 2021

00:00
55:38
Special episode! Cass Raby talks Twitter conferences (don't miss #AnimBehav2023!)

Special episode! Cass Raby talks Twitter conferences (don't miss #AnimBehav2023!)

We're back for a short special this January - I talk to Dr Cassandra Raby about a paper she led evaluating the first Animal Behaviour Twitter conference back in 2021. What perfect timing to discuss this, as the Animal Behaviour Society/Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour joint Twitter conference is running again this week! (18th-19th Jan) So, consider this a perfect pairing if you are planning to check out that completely free and totally online conference ! Or, if you're listening in *the future* and already followed the conference, consider having a listen to hear more in depth what the metrics say about the value and impact of this sort of conference.I'll be back to regular programming soon, so stay tuned for more great science in 2023!Cass' paper: An inclusive venue to discuss behavioural biology research: the first global Animal Behaviour Twitter ConferenceCass on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cassie_RabyFollow the ABS/ASAB conference using #AnimBehav2023 on Twitter. Full program available here.As always, your host is Dr Kirsty MacLeod; find me on Twitter/Insta @the_wee_podcast
Jan 15, 202316:29
Plants and Fossils and Primates Oh My!

Plants and Fossils and Primates Oh My!

In this episode I'm talking to Professor Nokwanda (Nox) Makunga about her fascinating research on medicinal plants and indigenous knowledge in the Cape region of South Africa. Today's paper in focus comes from Elisa Fernández Fueyo - an insightful comparative study looking at behaviour after infant loss in primates (content warning: if infant loss is a topic you'd rather skip, after my conversation with Nox, skip to 26:00). Lastly, I'm joined by two of the authors of a new study showing how colonial history and its effect on global economics influences our understanding of biodiversity through the fossil record - fascinating stuff! That's with returning guest Nussaïbah Raja Schoob, and Dr Devapriya Chattopadhyay.Remember that I've dropped the dedicated email address - you can still contact me via the socials @the_wee_podcast.Links and resources:Twitter handles: @noxthelion @elisaffueyo @mauritiantales @Devapriya_ChatPaper: Colonial history and global economics distort our understanding of deep-time biodiversityPaper in Focus: Why do some primate mothers carry their infant's corpse? A cross-species comparative study
Sep 06, 202249:33
Rejection is the Rule

Rejection is the Rule

Happy midsummer! Bringing you a cheerful episode - honest! - even though we broach a tough topic that we're all familiar with: rejection with a capital R. It seems like an unavoidable part of the academic and scientific life (and beyond), so I brought together a great group to talk through how we deal with it when it inevitably comes. My main guest today is Dr Elizabeth Carlen - as well as rejection, we talked about her work on urbanisation ecology! The two amazing guests joining Liz and I in the discussion are Dr Megan Petersdorf and Alexus Roberts. And the paper in focus this episode is such a cool one: everything you ever wanted to know about sperm morphology with Dr Ariel Karl (and possibly a little bit more 😂). Please note I'm dropping the dedicated email address at the end of this month! You can still contact me via the socials @the_wee_podcast.Links and resources:Le Twitter handles: @E_Carlen @meganpetersdorf @Alexuss_Symone @arielkahrlDatabase of Sperm Morphology: https://spermtree.orgPaper in Focus: Fertilization mode drives sperm length evolution across the animal tree of life. 
Jun 22, 202258:53
The Case for Open Science

The Case for Open Science

Welcome back folks! My guest today is Dr Kate Laskowski, a behavioural ecologist and Amazon molly enthusiast - you will be the same once you've listened to our conversation about her research on individual differences in behaviour, and their consequences in ecology and evolution! We're joined by Dr Rebekah Oomen and Dr Hollie Marshall, who you'll recognise from S1 (always a pleasure!), to talk about open science - what it means to us, and how and why we practise it. The Paper in Focus this episode is from Dr Kristin Barker, on lost migrations.Paper in Focus: Toward a new framework for restoring lost wildlife migrationsLinks and Resources:British Ecological Society guide to producing reproducible codePaper feat Rebekah, "Preprinting is positively associated with early career researcher status in ecology and evolution"Twitter handles: @kristinjbarker, @KateLaskowski, @rebekahoomen, @MooHollGet in touch with me! Kirsty MacLeod, hello[at]theweepodcast.org
May 04, 202255:16
March Mammal Madness Special!

March Mammal Madness Special!

This month we are celebrating the 10th annual March Mammal Madness tournament! This fantastic and super fun initiative is a model for great science communication - and it was great to talk with founder Dr Katie Hinde and longtime participant Dr Alyson Brokaw about the history of the tournament and what makes it so special. Katie and I also talked about her other research projects - and we also have a great Paper in Focus this episode! Soil microbes and heavy metal accumulation in plants - fascinating stuff from Dr Priyanka Kushwaha. Link below!Paper in Focus: Soil microbial community and abiotic soil properties influence Zn and Cd hyperaccumulation differently in Arabidopsis halleriLinks and resources:Everything you'll need to play March Mammal Madness! Follow hashtag #2022MMM and @2022MMMletsgo on TwitterE Life article by Katie, Alyson et al about narrative in scicommAlyson's websiteKatie's website and blogGet in touch with me! Kirsty MacLeod, hello[at]theweepodcast.org
Mar 08, 202246:55
W.E.E. are BACK!

W.E.E. are BACK!

The Women in Ecology and Evolution Podcast is back for season 2! Kicking off 2022 (belatedly) with a super fun episode, so strap in for more great guests and conversations about science and academia, and beyond. My guest today is Sneha Dharwadkar, a wildlife biologist and herpetologist from India, and currently a PhD candidate - we talk about her journey into research, parachute science, and starting a PhD in your thirties, and during a pandemic. We're joined by Lucy Harding and Dagmar der Weduwen to recap the highs and lows of 2021 with the Rant and Rave Wheel! The first Paper in Focus of the year is from Kelly Wuthrich, on facultative crypsis in a lizard.Paper in Focus: Rapid body color change provides lizards with facultative crypsis in the eyes of their avian predatorsLinks and Resources:Sneha's article on Women in Herpetology (with S1E2 guest Dr Ashwini Mohan)Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises of India organisationScience and Sorcery on TwitchTwitter handles: @herpomania, @luce_harding, @DJWeduwen, @KellyLWuthrichGet in touch with me! Kirsty MacLeod, hello[at]theweepodcast.org
Feb 03, 202252:29
Season One Finale!

Season One Finale!

A whole year and 15 episodes later... what a ride for the first season of the Women in Ecology and Evolution Podcast. Thanks for listening! More great stuff for you today. Dr Kristal Cain from the University of Auckland talks to me about her research and why it's important to test things we assume to be true! We're joined by Dr Dareen Almojil, a molecular ecology postdoc based at NYU Abu Dhabi, and Tara-Lyn Camilleri Carter, an evolutionary ecology PhD student at Monash University, to talk about how we've coped with the last year in academia. IT'S BEEN WEIRD. Another great Paper in Focus this episode - Dr Emily Roycroft tells me about using museum specimens to learn more about extinctions in Australia. And a sneaky special feature this episode! Ally McGee, an undergrad at the University of Scranton, tells me about her app designed to track balloon pollution. Download it and contribute to her project! Link below - as well as everything else we've discussed this episode.I'll be taking a brief hiatus to enjoy a belated late summer break, and a honeymoon! I'll be back later in the year with more great guests and features.  As always, this episode has been hosted by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks and info:Kristal's lab webpageDareen's webpageTara's webpageMuthalath - platform connecting scientists in the Arabian peninsulaGraduate Women Victoria - Serving and Empowering Women through Education and AdvocacyPaper in Focus: Museum genomics reveals the rapid decline and extinction of Australian rodents since European settlementall the links you'll need to download and use the F.L.O.A.T. app, or send in balloon sightings via social media/email! App; Facebook;  Twitter; email balloonpollution21@gmail.comYou can find out more about F.L.O.A.T. founder Ally McGee on Twitter!
Sep 16, 202158:47
Sharks, Seabirds, and Stylish Scientists! (What 2 Wear, W.E.E. Pod edition)

Sharks, Seabirds, and Stylish Scientists! (What 2 Wear, W.E.E. Pod edition)

It's a treat to be joined today by Sarah Fowler OBE to talk about her work with Sharks Trust UK and the Save our Seas Foundation, as well as her new book, a beautiful illustrated guide to Sharks of the World, out now from Princeton University Press! Link below. Next, Dr Annette Fayet talks me through the Paper in Focus - what's driving foraging and breeding success of Atlantic Puffins? Listen and find out! Lastly, it's great to welcome Dr Carly Anne York back to the pod - we chat with Myrna Barjau Perez Milicua and Nussaïbah Raja Schoob about the pressure and judgement women in research face when they dress up... OR down!Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgPaper in Focus: Local prey shortages drive foraging costs and breeding success in a declining seabird, the Atlantic puffinLinks & ResourcesSharks of the World - new illustrated guide (it's brilliant!)Save our Seas Foundation (check out their grants page - lots of opportunities for funding research projects)Sharks Trust UKEuropean Elasmobranch AssociationNussaïbah's preprint: "Publication pressure threatens the integrity of paleontological research"Great article in THE: Clothes do not make the woman: what female academics wear is subject to constant scrutiny
Jul 29, 202156:46
Academic Dating and the Deep Sea

Academic Dating and the Deep Sea

We're taking your questions this month! Dr Hannah Rowland, Sam Helle, Anjana Parandhaman and I tackle all your  burning issues, from finding funding, to advocating for credit on publications, to dating in science. There's plenty of research here too - Hannah and I talk about her past and current research, and this episode's Paper in Focus takes us to the deep sea to explore the effects of sediment disturbance, by Danielle de Jonge and Tanja Stratmann.Paper in focus: Abyssal food-web model indicates faunal carbon flow recovery and impaired microbial loop 26 years after a sediment disturbance experimentLinks and resources:Beepcast - the Behavioural Ecology and Evolution PodcastiAtlantic Project: Health of Deep Sea and Open Ocean Ecosystems
Jul 01, 202158:27
Science is an Art

Science is an Art

In today's episode my guests and I explore the close links between art and science in our professional and personal lives! Amy Cheu is my main guest today - she is a scientific illustrator and PhD student researching reptile biomechanics. We are joined by Dr Beth Reinke and Dr Emily Doolittle to discuss our interdisciplinary work, and the creative process in art and science. Enjoy!Paper in Focus: Regional Comparison of Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) Diet using DNA Metabarcoding by Charlotte HackerLinks and resources:Artificial Outlook - art installation and website in Chicago by Beth Reinke and Katelyn PattonArt-making in the Anthropocene: concert link, talks available on requestEmily's suggested listening! Hollis Taylor - Carola Bauckholt - François-Bernard MâcheEmily's music on Spotify
May 24, 202158:57
W.E.E. Conquer Imposter Phenomenon

W.E.E. Conquer Imposter Phenomenon

Today's guest is Dr Jessica Cusick, who talks to me about her fascinating research studying individual variation in social behaviour. Then, we're joined by Dr Emma Bush and Laura Kojima to discuss imposter phenomenon - our experiences, and how we deal with it in our lives and careers! This episode's Paper in Focus is from Savannah Rogers, on the spatial distribution of grizzly bears.Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesPaper in Focus: Thermal constraints on energy balance, behaviour and spatial distribution of grizzly bears"Imposter syndrome lets toxic work culture off the hook" - Christine LiuLaura's gator-filled Insta!African Phenology Network
Apr 19, 202159:57
W.E.E. Superstars from Southern Africa

W.E.E. Superstars from Southern Africa

It's our TENTH episode! To celebrate double digits, strap yourself in for a special episode shining a spotlight on some of the incredible women in STEM research in and from the Southern African region. Today's guest is Dr Zoe Nhleko, a South African researcher currently a postdoc at Mississippi State University - she tells me about her Masters and PhD work on black and white rhino ecology. Then, I talk to Drs Evodia Setati and Thato Mothlalamme about their book, "Holding The Knife's Edge: Journeys of Black Female Scientists" (purchase links below!). Lastly, Anne Chisa from The Root of the Science Podcast joins to cohost a discussion about representation, career paths, and being role models with Zoe, as well as Hiral Naik and Kolisa Sinyanya. Talking to these inspiring women was so much fun! Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesBuy "Holding the Knife's Edge" (available also as an e-book!) - international link (Amazon) - South African linkSave The Snakes programThe Root of the Science PodcastVisibility STEM Africa - platform promoting visibility of Africans in STEM
Mar 25, 202157:58
W.E.E. Beyond Academia

W.E.E. Beyond Academia

This episode is all about work outside the traditional academic box, in one way or another! First up, I talk to Priya Nanjappa about the fantastic work she's done in applied ecology throughout her career (and yes, we talked about her love of toads 🐸❤️). Next, Holly English joins to tell me about her paper using info from public databases to assess the distribution of wallabies (!) in Britain. Lastly, Priya and I are joined by Gail McCormick and Sarah McKain for a great discussion about non-academic career paths.Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesPaper in Focus: Where’s wallaby? Using public records and media reports to describe the status of red‐necked wallabies in BritainTOADS! Priya's episode on OlogiesPriya discusses how policy can impact salamander populations (Mongabay podcast)The BES Scottish Policy GroupEberly College of Science's Hey! I Got A Question About That podcastResources for non-academic careers (from the American Psychological Association)Tips for creating a good LinkedIn profile
Feb 25, 202155:38
W.E.E.! Are! Family!

W.E.E.! Are! Family!

We made it through January! Yes there's still a pandemic (scream) but Spring and vaccines are coming, and there's lots to look forward to. Like this fantastic episode! I had a great time catching up with my friend Dr Sara Hermann: we chatted about her path into academia, and the research on trophic interactions and predator prey dynamics going on in her lab. This episode's Paper in Focus is from Dr Bako Rasolofoniaina, who joined to tell me about neophobia and social learning in a Madagascan mongoose species (as well as some fun field experiences: paper link below). Sara and I were joined by Dr Murielle Ålund and Dr Luci Kirkpatrick to talk about the joys and challenges of starting a family as an early career researcher - lots of great advice here for people who are considering doing just that, and for people who want to better support their colleagues.Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesPaper in Focus: Neophobia and social facilitation in narrow-striped mongoosesSara's lab at Penn State (her Twitter and Instagram are both: @predpreysara)Murielle's webpage and #AcademicMum resources, and if you want to know more about her postdoc project on flycatchers, check out @QvarnströmLab on Twitter!Luci's webpage
Feb 03, 202156:07
New Year New W.E.E.

New Year New W.E.E.

To kick off the New Year, Dr Carly Anne York tells me about her "wiggly path" into ecology! And her current work on cephalopods and other critters. This episode's Paper in Focus is from Hollie Marshall, on genomic imprinting in bumblebees (paper link below). Carly and I are joined by Kari Soennichsen and Tatyana Soto to discuss our experiences of mentorship.Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesPaper in Focus: Parent of origin gene expression in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, supports Haig's kinship theory for the evolution of genomic imprinting British Ecological Society mentorship schemeKari's fieldwork funding pageHollie's open access resources
Jan 13, 202155:36
(Not) Sticking to the Science

(Not) Sticking to the Science

Today, Martha Muñoz is here! One of my #HERper heroes, Martha talks to me about her fantastic work on thermal ecology, biomechanics and diversity in reptiles and amphibians. This episode's Paper in Focus is from Yusan Yang, on the territorial behaviour of poison frogs in Panamá (paper link below). Ever been told to stay out of politics and to "stick to science?" Martha and I are joined by Kirsty Graham and Sharmi Sen to talk about how politics and science intersect professionally and personally - as well as how we can better our institutions by getting involved in politics at the local level.Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesPaper in Focus: Prior residence effect determines success of male–male territorial competition in a color polymorphic poison frog.  Also seeYusan's tweet thread about the paper (great videos!). Simien Mountains Gelada Research Project - and the NGO Save the Simiens Sharmi mentioned to create jobs and keep the national park trash-free!Support the Animal Behaviour Collective! They are accepting one-off and regular donations, as well as mentors.Want to join a Union? Here's the one Kirsty mentioned, the University and College Union.
Dec 21, 202057:31
W.E.E. Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends

W.E.E. Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends

In this episode, Hannah Mumby joins me to talk about her research on elephants and wild boar, as well as her experiences of being #DisabledInSTEM, and her new book: "The Secret Lives of Elephants"! This episode's Paper in Focus is from Andrea Quattrini: dive into the wonderful world of anthozoa, and learn what the paleoclimate can tell us about changes in coral diversity through deep time (paper link below). Lastly, Hannah and I are joined by Eleanor (Ellie) Bladon and Jade Bleau to talk about friendship - how friendships have been important in our lives and careers, how we deal with boundaries in professional settings, and how we make and maintain friendships as early career academics.Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesHannah's book available via Harper Collins.Paper in Focus: Palaeoclimate ocean conditions shaped the evolution of corals and their skeletons through deep time. Plus - Andrea's "behind the scenes" blogpost!Ellie's podcast, Lockdown Science, and her YouTube channelBlack Botanists' Week webpage
Dec 02, 202056:51
W.E.E. ❤️ Scicomm

W.E.E. ❤️ Scicomm

Today, Jordan Rutter is here to talk with me about how her lifelong love of birds led her to research, professional science communication in a PR role, and activism within the bird community (check out Bird Names For Birds)! This episode's Paper in Focus is from Monique Pipkin and Amelia Juliette Demery. We talk about their paper on safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals - trust me, you and everyone working in research should read and share this paper. Lastly, Jordan and I are joined by Paige Byerly and Samantha Hauser to talk about their brilliant scicomm initiative 46 Questions, as well as the broader importance of science communication. If you like this podcast, you'll love 46 Questions!Hosted, as always, by me, Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgLinks & ResourcesJordan (and her partner Gabriel) wrote about Bird Names for Birds for the Washington Post Webinar on BN4B: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=zs6jDv-T5yM&feature=emb_logoSam's #BirdQuiz (Twitter link)Resources for creating field safety plans: 1, 2
Nov 11, 202056:38
W.E.E. Talk Work Life Balance

W.E.E. Talk Work Life Balance

Sara Lil Middleton joins me to discuss her research in plant ecology, as well as a few of her outreach projects, including the Black British Biology Project. This episode's Paper in Focus is from Rebekah Oomen! We talk about her theory-driven study on genomic architecture and evolution... as well as an intriguing art project! Then, Sara and I are joined by Ellen Brandell and Amani Webber-Schultz to discuss work-life balance - what it means to us, what we do to try and achieve it, and whether it's possible during a pandemic. Hosted, as always, by Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgPaper in Focus Consequences of single-locus and tightly linked genomic architectures for evolutionary responses to environmental changeLinksSara's "Bananageddon" film project - check out the trailer and consider donating here! Also - her Human Nature Stories photography project. Black British Biology Project website to come - in the meantime follow the project on Twitter. Ellen's website. Amani's Minorities In Shark Science organisation (@MISS_Elasmo on Twitter!) - smash that donate button! 
Oct 23, 202001:00:59
Start your PhD with W.E.E.

Start your PhD with W.E.E.

Dani Rabaiotti joins me from London to discuss her research on climate change impacts in African wild dogs, as well as her interests in science policy, and writing popular science books. This episode's Paper in Focus is from Erin Kane, getting into her research on oral processing in Diana monkeys. Then, Dani and I are joined by Sam Helle and Ashwini Mohan to share our experiences of starting a PhD - in Sam's case, during a pandemic! Plus - some more of your "Elevator Pitches"!Hosted, as always, by Kirsty MacLeod. Drop me a line anytime: hello[at]theweepodcast.orgPaper in Focus Oral Processing Behavior of Diana Monkeys (Cercopithecus diana) in Taï National Park, Côte d’IvoireElevator pitches: Jen Moss, Aparna Lajmi, Ellen Brandell, Catherine Young, Leila FoudaLinksNew kids version of "True or Poo" co-authored by Dani is out now! Get it here.Conservation NGO co-founded by Sam Helle, Project Conservation.Ashwini's website.The American Society of Primatologists' fund to help field sites and habitat-country researchers to maintain safe operating conditions during the COVID crisis - donate here: https://asp.org/conservation/donations/index.cfmCarrie Cizauskas's excellent project management spreadsheet - note that in the episode we refer to this as Kevin Burgio's creation - this is an error, as he publicised it on Twitter but did not create it. Thanks to Carrie for making it, and Kevin for drawing our attention to it!
Sep 23, 202054:47
The W.E.E. Pandemic Support Group

The W.E.E. Pandemic Support Group

Welcome to the first episode of the Women in Ecology and Evolution Podcast! Rahia Mashoodh joins me from Cambridge to discuss her research on epigenetics in mice and beetles. Rahia and I are joined by Beth Reinke and Monique Pipkin to talk about how we've coped doing research (or trying to) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah Westrick stops by to chat about her latest paper on coping styles in red squirrels. Plus - your "Elevator Pitches"!Hosted by Kirsty MacLeod.LinksRahia Mashoodh's website Monique Pipkin's preprint on field safetyBeth Reinke's adopt-a-turtle program and lab InstaPaper in Focus: Stress activity is not predictive of coping style in North American red squirrelsElevator pitches from: Rachel Findlay Robinson, Deirdre Merry, Murielle Ålund, Amanda Pettersen, Suvi Ruuskanen, Anne Chisa (Root of the Science Podcast), Elyse McMahon, Vix Franks, Julia Riley
Sep 01, 202048:19