#386      36 min 43 sec
Global warming's companion crisis: Reactive nitrogen and its threat to human and planetary health

Prof Mark Sutton

Environmental physicist Prof Mark Sutton explains how our fast growing "nitrogen footprint" from agriculture and industry is reaching crisis levels as reactive nitrogen pollutes our air and soil and is a direct threat to human health. A leading researcher and advisor on nitrogen policy, Prof Sutton argues that smarter nitrogen management is not only a health and environmental priority but will prevent continued enormous economic losses. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#385      30 min 34 sec
Outbreak! Human pandemics and how to manage the inevitable

Prof Eddie Holmes

Virologist Eddie Holmes explains how viral and bacterial pandemics of the type that spawned the Black Death and Ebola remain an unpredictable and inevitable part of our future. Professor Holmes describes how new technologies like genomic sequencing help us explore the origins and evolution of pathogens linked to pandemics as far back as Ancient Rome, and how evolving biosecurity and surveillance systems offer us a chance of containing outbreaks. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#384      22 min 09 sec
Exploring the impact of city lights on birds, and building better detergents

Mitchell Nothling
Anne Aulsebrook

In our annual PhD episode, we chat with two young researchers on their diverse investigations. We hear from bioscientist Anne Aulsebrook, who is looking at how urban lighting and light pollution is impacting the health and behaviour of wild birds that make their home in our cities. We also speak to chemical engineer Mitchell Nothling about his research into how enzymes like those found in our digestive systems could be harnessed to create sustainable and more efficient detergents. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#382      33 min 27 sec
Going viral: Global food security under threat from crop and livestock diseases

Prof John Fazakerley

Virologist and infectious diseases expert Prof John Fazakerley details the myriad threats to the global food supply from pathogen infestations in crops and livestock, and how new genetic and surveillance technologies are lending hope to keeping them in check. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#369      39 min 00 sec
The necessity of kindness: Altruism in animals and beyond

Prof Lee Dugatkin

Evolutionary biologist and historian of science Prof Lee Dugatkin joins Dr Andi Horvath to discuss displays of altruism in insects, animals and humans, and how the often harsh evolutionary imperatives of survival can actually accommodate, promote or depend on acts of kindness and justice.

#355      35 min 43 sec
Hello, Pet!: Our love can hurt our animal friends

Prof Peter Sandøe

Bioethicist Peter Sandøe discusses our complicated relationship with animals and associated moral dilemmas, including how our love for companion animals can actually cause harm and the difference between society’s treatment of pets and production animals. Presented by Peter Clarke.

#349      27 min 01 sec
Wild and domestic: A cultural history of human-animal relations

Prof Harriet Ritvo

Environmental historian Prof Harriet Ritvo recounts the often ambiguous relationships between the human and animal worlds through history, and explores our need to both tame and take inspiration from the wild. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#292      25 min 36 sec
Prey for the oceans: How marine predators influence reef ecology

Prof Robert Warner

Marine biologist, Prof Robert Warner, discusses the relationship between marine predators and their prey. He also explains why marine environments may be more robust than terrestrial ecosystems in the face of human impacts. Presented by Dr Dyani Lewis.

#289      37 min 07 sec
Fur and against: Scrutinizing the efficacy of animal testing and its alternatives

Prof Thomas Hartung

Toxicologist and pharmacologist Prof Thomas Hartung explains why animal testing is often unnecessary or of questionable efficacy. He discusses the emerging protocols and technologies that enable development of safe products without the need to conduct animal testing. Presented by Dr Dyani Lewis.

#272      29 min 12 sec
Pore me another: Understanding how toxins target and overcome membranes

Prof Terry Lybrand
Prof Frances Separovic

Chemistry researchers Prof Frances Separovic and Prof Terry Lybrand discuss the biology of membranes, how toxins interact with membranes, and how these processes can be modelled. Presented by Dr Shane Huntington.