Episodes
Feathery gills! Adorable smiles! Cultural icons! Habitat ecology! And superhuman limb regeneration? It’s an entire episode on axolotls. You either love these aquatic salamanders, or you’ve never heard of them. Clap your tiny slimy hands for Ambystomologist Dr. Jessica Whited of Harvard Medical School’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology who raises and studies these beautiful creatures — including the biomedical marvels being discovered. Also discussed: their narrow niche, the ecology movement...
Published 07/24/24
Published 07/24/24
Part 2 is here! It’s wall to wall listener questions about magic mushrooms, LSD, ayahuasca ceremonies, set and setting, how mushrooms go stale, decriminalization, strains and potencies, placebos, the “Stoned Ape Theory,” neurodivergence, tripping in an MRI, recent F.D.A. hearings, astrophysics and psychedelics, and how to be a good trip sitter with a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-editor of the Handbook of Medical Hallucinogens, Dr. Charlie Grob. Also: the...
Published 07/17/24
Magic mushrooms, LSD, ayahuasca ceremonies, DMT, ketamine: take a trip into the science and research of hallucinogens. Renowned psychiatry professor and psychedelics researcher Dr. Charles Grob of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center sits down to talk about ethnobotanical origins of psychedelics, how much LSD is too much LSD, what juices are squirting in the brain when you're tripping out, who should NOT take psychedelics, talking to dead people, antidepressants and mushrooms, the murky history of...
Published 07/11/24
Sexuality and disability! Invisible illnesses! Airline frustrations! How many of us are disabled! July is Disability Pride Month, and professor, researcher, activist, and Disability Sociologist Guinevere Chambers joins to bust myths and provide perspective on everything from the history of ableism to sign language to eyeglasses, the criminal justice system, caregiving, how to ask for what you need, handling curious strangers, disclosing disabilities, where ADHD and autism come into play, and...
Published 07/03/24
What exactly IS a puffin? Who are they related to? Are they disco birds? WHY are they so cute? Should you kiss one? Throw one? Are they in danger? Get up in a blanket burrow and listen to field researcher and legit Puffinologist, Jillian Taylor, give us all the details on who eats them, if they are neat freaks or not, their surprising life expectancy, and how they make their long marriages work. Also: the toilets with the best views, Star Wars trivia, a cereal lore, and who should NOT become...
Published 06/27/24
Boy howdy hot dang, Ologies has hit its 300th new episode! In celebration of this milestone, we’ve turned the tables and lead editor Mercedes Maitland hosts this episode with special guest… Alie Ward! We talk about Alie’s twists and turns finding her way into a career in science communication, selling art to child actors in LA, how she built Ologies from a small indie podcast into a chart-topping favorite, why it’s important to give adults a fun space in SciComm, putting yourself out there,...
Published 06/19/24
Part 2 of mosquitoes is here! Now that you know WHY they would like to eat you mosquito expert and Culicidologist, Dr. Fhallon Ware-Gilmore of the CDC gives us SOLUTIONS. How do we avoid bites? Why do they itch so much? Which repellents are safe for whom? What should you use in your yard? Does climate change mean an ongoing hellscape thick with mosquitos? Could Jurassic Park happen? What if mosquitoes were to, say… go extinct? Also: how do we learn to love these things that vex us?
Published 06/12/24
They’re gorgeous. They’re picky moms, and tremendous flirts. They are sparkly. And they drink blood. We hopped on the line with mosquito researcher, medical entomologist, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officers, and Culicidologist, Dr. Fhallon Ware-Gilmore to chat about mozzies. Why do skeeters bite you, specifically? Which ones should we watch out for? Why do they make high-pitched sounds? WHAT DO THEIR HELL MOUTHS LOOK LIKE? And how can I learn to love them? But also, how can I keep them...
Published 06/05/24
Clay tablets! Printing presses! Old timey audio books! Speed reading strategies! Attention spans! Dyslexia history! Literacy campaigns! Dr. Adrian Johns is an historian, professor, and author of the book “The Science of Reading” and we have a nice mellow chat about when humans started to “read,” what that means, being Hooked on Phonics, Dick, Jane, character languages, audiobooks, e-readers, school segregation, literacy rates, and how long we can focus at a time. He literally wrote the book...
Published 05/29/24
Pointy heads. Spiked arms. Tragic romance. It’s a whole episode about praying mantises with a real life Mantodeologist, Lohit Garikipati. Do they really eat hummingbirds? Are they endangered? Invasive? Smart? Extraterrestrial? Get your fill of mantid mythology, evolutionary gossip, sexual cannibalism, mantis motherhood, their alien egg cases, huge eyes, pet advice, and why they can show you the way to hell with this delightful entomologist, UC Davis entomology graduate and longtime keeper of...
Published 05/22/24
A short little episode to tell you about a change we're making to Ologies that I am genuinely very pumped about, as well as some weird secrets I did not intend to tell. But my point is that you can now have a kid-safe show and feed that is safe for kids and classrooms and a road trip with your shy parents. SUBSCRIBE to Smologies on Apple, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast, Podcast Addict or wherever you get podcasts Become a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a month OlogiesMerch.com...
Published 05/16/24
The world is confusing, but there are experts in everything. In our least funny episode ever, we thankfully convinced a global expert, professor, researcher, author, and Genocidologist (it’s a real word) Dr. Dirk Moses to answer the questions that we may secretly have: What exactly is genocide? How long has it been happening? Is it a war crime? Is it a crime of atrocity? Who makes up humanitarian law? What's self-defense — and what's offense? How is it litigated? Whose business is it? Why do...
Published 05/08/24
They are numerous. They are patient. They are COMING for the United States in droves this spring: They are cicadas. *The* Cicada guy Dr. Gene Kritsky joins to chat all about the annual cicadas you may see every summer vs. the periodical ones that cycle through the states in broods of giant numbers. Learn how they survive underground for decades, what they are doing down there, all about their lifecycle, why some cozy up underground for 17 years while others get moving 4 years quicker, plus...
Published 05/06/24
Mustard gossip. Knotweed recipes. Cow parsnips. Serviceberry appreciation. Hogweed warnings. Dead man’s fingers. The incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining Alexis Nikole Nelson a.k.a. @BlackForager walks us through Foraging Ecology with a ginormous bushel of tips & tricks for finding edibles at all times of the year, from blossoms to fungus. Belly up for this encore detailing invasive snacks, elusive mushrooms, magnolia cookies, mugwort potatoes, violet cocktails, foraging guides, weed...
Published 05/01/24
The thrilling conclusion of PIGEONS, with Columbidologist and author Rosemary Mosco of Bird and Moon comics. It’s wall-to-wall listener questions and you’ll hear all about bonded pairs, the fate of the extinct passenger pigeon, the best cinematic pigeons, how to help their nubby feet, gender reveals gone very wrong, Las Vegas mysteries to boil your blood, and so much more. Also: did I just see a wedding bird escapee?
Published 04/24/24
You love pigeons. You might not know it yet. Espionage! Fancy breeds! Internal GPS! Weird feet! Should you be afraid of them? Should you adopt one? Pigeon advocate, comic artist and author of “A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching,” Rosemary Mosco finally joins to answer all of our questions in a beautifully mellow and melodious wall-to-wall pigeon exploration. I loved every minute of making this one and if you stick around for the secret, I’ll take you behind-the-scenes. Listen, then sit on a...
Published 04/17/24
Do trees have feelings? How do they talk? Which trees can you use to make syrup? Do bananas really grow on trees? Possibly the world's most enthusiastic tree expert, J. Casey Clapp, explains what makes coastal redwoods the coolest trees, how roots communicate with each other, and why a tree is like a cup of tea. Plus: bonus guest appearance by our friends (and the trees’), fungi.
Published 04/13/24
Come along like a frog in my pocket for an adventure to see an eclipse. After last week’s Heliology episode on the Sun, I rushed out of state to see what the fuss was about and to witness my first ever total eclipse of the Sun. Did it go as planned? Of course not? Did it work out? You’ll have to listen. We’ve got: a rollercoaster of emotions, last-minute pivots, chats with strangers, highway scenery, hope, anxiety, awe, and tears as we see if my seven-year wait for totality pans out.
Published 04/10/24
Sunset flimflam! Auroras! Eclipse tips! Let’s get to know the center of our solar system, the Sun, as the April 8th eclipse approaches. What is it made of? How big is it? Will it explode soon? Why can’t I stare at it? And why is it wearing sunglasses? Dr. Michael Kirk and almost-Dr. India Jackson are brilliant and charming Heliologists who have both worked with NASA’s heliophysics departments. Get to know them and also the giant hot plasma ball we revolve around. You’ll never (not look at...
Published 04/03/24
Spine mysteries, face purses, limericks, flim flam, flags, dive bombs, sibling rivalries, and more! The warm and wonderful pelicanologist Juita Martinez studies these glorious dinosaurs and shares what it’s like to hold a floofy baby sea bird, how these birds’ ecosystems are being restored, and what she loves about being in nature. Also: How much fish can they fit in there, anyway?
Published 03/30/24
Taboos. Intolerable foods. Sad songs. Sexy kinks. Candy that looks like poo. Let’s get a little gross, shall we? The foremost expert in disgust, Dr. Paul Rozin, chats about the emotions related to revulsion – and BOY HOWDY do we cover some ground. Why do some things gross us out and others don’t? Can we change that? Learn how research psychologists study disgust, from butterflies to bigotry, and from pranks to power dynamics. Maybe don’t eat lunch while you listen, but definitely tune in to...
Published 03/27/24
Where have I been? What surgery did I have? Am I going to die? I took you along for the whole wacky, sometimes scary process in hopes it might help someone and urge you all to draft up your wills and call your doctors if anything seems weird. If you think this thing has *nothing* to do with your own life, you’ll learn why it very much indeed does. Cryptic! What am I, a princess? Tune in for the journey of the last few months behind the scenes at Dadward HQ. And thank you for all of the...
Published 03/21/24
Peach fuzz. Chin hairs. Mammalian ponytails. WHY DO THEY HAPPEN. Yale researcher and associate professor Dr. Valerie Horsley stops by California to chat with Alie about the nature of hair and what it has to do with skin and nails, stem cells, how it grows, why some of us have curly hair or straight hair or thin hair or thick hair, and why we love and hate and need our hair as animals.
Published 03/18/24
Why does clutter happen? How can we get rid of it and how will it affect us psychologically if we do? Buckle up for an encore that will lift your spirits and quite possibly change your life. We all have unfolded piles of laundry, that closet we don’t want to open, a tornado of papers on our desk that seems impossible to sort through. Enter: Oikology, the science of keeping things contained. Alie hunted down world-famous professional organizers, Jamie & Filip Hord of Horderly to chat about...
Published 03/12/24