I love a good podcast, but it took me months to find great science and nature podcasts. Now that I have, I thought I’d share them with you!
Here’s 6 of my favourite science and nature podcasts. I’ve included links to some episodes to get you started. Think I’ve missed a good one? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments section.
Ologies with Alie Ward
Ologies is my all time favourite science podcast. Each week, Alie Ward interviews a different “ologist” on their research. If you’re looking for a science show with humour, a bit of swearing, and humility, check this one out. Alie helps break down science in a way that is accessible to those without a scientific background. Her approach can be summed up by her motto, “ask smart people stupid questions.”
Episode 25: Melittology (BEES) with Amanda Shaw
Did you know bees can burn their enemies? Neither did I! In this episode, Alie interviews the President of an Urban Bee Keepers Association about the the plight of wild bees, bee sex and death, and bee bread.
Episode 111: Chiropterology (BATS) with Merlin Tuttle
A two part episode (3 full hours!) of EVERYTHING bats. Bat expert, Merlin Tuttle, discusses why our fear of bats is exaggerated, how to get bats to visit your backyard, and how they communicate. Bonus, he also offers a little life advice about following your passions.
Episode 87: Mycology (MUSHROOMS) with Tom Volk
Ever wonder what type of mushroom this ? is? Or, what would happen if you ate the real version? Both are questions answered in this episode. Plus, learn about truffle finding pigs, soil systems, reindeer getting high, and the latest on psilocybin research.
Botanical Mystery Tour
The concept of Botanical Mystery Tour is simple: take a plant or animal from pop culture and see how the real life version matches up to its fictional counterpart. The show is hosted by Jasmine Leonsa and Erica Masini and produced by the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Episode 6: The Silence of the Lambs and Death’s Head Hawkmoths
How did death’s head hawkmoths get their frightening reputation? Is it their red eyes? The skull pattern on their bodies? Their squeaking sounds? Or, maybe it’s their ability to paralyze bees. You decide as you learn more about these ominous moths.
Episode 7: Harry Potter and Magical Plants
Do plants have magical properties? That’s the question Jasmine and Erica try to answer in this episode. Learn about devil’s snare, parasitic plants, sneeze weeds, and the weird effects plants can have on the human body. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.
Off Track is a podcast that combines relaxing nature sounds with interviews with experts on flora, fauna, and environmental issues. The show is hosted by the very clever Ann Jones.
Episode 31/03/2018: Flora Fatale, the Plants With a Thirst For Blood
Plants have had to evolve in some fascinating ways to cope with different environments. Perhaps, the most interesting adaptation has been the ability to kill insects and compost their bodies. Ann interviews Greg Bourke about Australia’s many carnivorous plants and the slow and painful deaths they deliver to their prey.
Episode 09/07/2019: The Curse of the Plastic Nurdle
What is a nurdle!? Nurdles are small plastic particles that are used in the production and manufacturing of larger plastics. Unfortunately, millions of them have made their way into our oceans. Whose responsible for this pollution? What role do manufacturers and producers play? These are the questions explored in this episode.
BEEP Cast: Behavioural Ecology and Evolution
Are you a science nerd? Are you excited by the nitty-gritty details of scientific research? Then this is the podcast for you! Hannah Rowland partners with the Zoological Society of London and Cambridge University to bring you the latest on animal studies.
Episode 22: Marie Herbenstein, Deception and Disguise of Orchid Mantis and Owl Butterflies
This episode is all about deception and disguise in animals. It starts with a discussion of the beautiful orchid mantis and how it catches its prey. It then turns to “eye spots” and why are they so controversial in the scientific community.
Episode 16: The Wiltschkos and Magnetic Navigation in Birds
Did you know? Bats can jam their competitors’ echolocation ability to get more food, fish have a highly developed sense of smell, and birds use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate. Cool, right!?
A podcast hosted by two friends, Bill and Bob, who met at the Cincinnati Nature Centre. Bill was the Chief Naturalist for the centre and Bob volunteered leading hikes for school groups. In each episode, they cover a different plant or animal.
Episode 30/10/18: Zombie Wasps
All about parasitoid wasps. These wasps are creepy! Learn how they take over the minds of caterpillars and the horrors they unleash on them. Also, is it possible to train wasps to find narcotics and weapons? You’ll have to listen to find out.
Episode 18/9/18: The Sound of Insects on a Late Summer’s Night
Have you ever been outside on a summer’s night and wondered “what is making all that noise?” Bob and Bill discuss singing insects, how they make those sounds, where to find them, and the clever ways they use foliage as sound chambers.
ZSL Wild Science
ZSL Wild Science is hosted by Monni Böhm in partnership with the with the ZSL’s Institute of Zoology. Monni interviews scientists about the latest in environmental science. The podcast is similar to its predecessor, BEEP Cast.
Episode 11: Can We Save Coral Reefs and What If We Don’t?
Coral reefs cover less than 1 percent of the ocean but host more than 9 million species! Is it too late to save them? Monni and Rachel Jones discuss coral bleaching and the fate of coral reefs.
Episode 22: Can We Find Better Ways to Live With Wildlife?
Guest host Charlotte Coales speaks with experts about conservation and coexisting with wildlife. Can human beings coexist with large carnivores? How can citizen science help promote conservation? Hear the experts weigh in on these discussions.