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26 May 2020

Birds’ Evolution Across Mass Extinctions – Daniel Field

In episode 75, Daniel Field from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge discusses his research into a 66.7-million-year-old bird fossil which mashes up features from chickens, turkeys, and ducks, providing the best evidence so far for understanding when groups of modern birds first evolved and began to diverge.

Continue reading..Birds’ Evolution Across Mass Extinctions – Daniel Field
12 May 2020

Parroting Probabilities – Amalia Bastos

Very few animals can combine information to adjust their predictions in a flexible way by using domain-general intelligence as humans do. In episode 74, Amalia Bastos from the University of Auckland discusses her research demonstrating that kea parrots can make predictions based in probabilities, and adjust those predictions based on physical and social information.

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29 Apr 2020

Anything but Pedestrian – Courtney Coughenour & Jennifer Pharr

Are drivers of more expensive cars really the jerks we make them out to be? In Episode 73, Courtney Coughenour and Jennifer Pharr from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas discuss their research into what differentiates drivers who are likely to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks from those who don’t.

Continue reading..Anything but Pedestrian – Courtney Coughenour & Jennifer Pharr
14 Apr 2020

The Plight of the Tiger – Akchousanh Rasphone

Are wild tigers now extinct in Laos? In episode 72, Akchousanh “Akchou” Rasphone from Oxford’s  Wildlife Conservation Research Unit discusses her research which concludes that improvised snares appear to have decimated the country’s wild tiger population, a species whose worldwide population is now estimated to be around 200.

Continue reading..The Plight of the Tiger – Akchousanh Rasphone
31 Mar 2020

Why We Love & Exploit Animals – Verónica Sevillano

Why is it that we treat various species of animals so differently? In episode 71, Verónica Sevillano with the Autonomous University of Madrid’s Department of Social Psychology and Methodology discusses her research applying social psychology and conservation biology to understand the relationships people have with animals.

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3 Mar 2020

Cuttlefish in 3D Glasses – Trevor Wardill

Why Velcro 3D glasses onto cuttlefish? In Episode 69, Trevor Wardill from the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota discusses his research into the previously unknown ability of the cephalopod to see in stereo vision.

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10 Dec 2019

Global Decline of Homicide – Mateus Rennó Santos

The global decline of births from 1990 and 2015 has to a reduction in the proportion of people aged 15-29. So might this explain why the world’s homicide rate has dropped by nearly 20%? In episode 64, we’re joined by Mateus Rennó Santos from the University of South Florida. He talks with us about his research into how an aging population is a driving force behind the decline in homicide that most countries across the globe have enjoyed for the past three decades.

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12 Nov 2019

Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas

Sure, you might have a tongue piercing. But would you consider something far more extreme for a bump on the social ladder? In episode 62, we’re joined by Dimitris Xygalatas from the University of Connecticut, who talks with us about how extravagant and painful rituals can foster greater subjective health and social standing.

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29 Oct 2019

Hearing Better than a Barn Owl – Saptarshi Das

How can what engineers learn from how barn owls pinpoint the location of the faintest sounds apply to their development of nanotechnologies capable of doing even better? In episode 61, we’re joined by Saptarshi Das, a nano-engineer from Penn State University, who talks with us about his article “A biomimetic 2D transistor for audiomorphic computing.”

Continue reading..Hearing Better than a Barn Owl – Saptarshi Das