October 26, 2020
I speak with Dr. Tinde van Andel, an ethnobotanist that studies the traditional uses of crops and medicinal plants from Africa to South America. She shares the incredible story of how enslaved African women hid special rice varieties and other crop seeds in their hair braids in their escape from plantations to the forest, where thriving Maroon communities were established and persist today in Suriname. Prof. van Andel explains how her team and collaborators used interdisciplinary tools from the examination of historic records, herbarium samples, ethnobotanical interviews and genomics approaches to unravel this fascinating history of this important African crop.
#Rice #Africa #Suriname
October 19, 2020
I speak with Dr. Robbie Hart, Director of the William L. Brown Center at Missouri Botanical Garden. Robbie is an ethnobotanist and explorer with expertise in agrobiodiversity of the Himalayas, where he studies high-elevation plant ecology, climate change, and ethnobotany. He shares some insights into his work on these topics and also explains how to make a delicious cup of yak butter tea, a local staple in the Himalayas!
#Himalayas #Yak #Ethnobotany
October 12, 2020
I speak with Dr. Bruce German, a leading expert on the science of breastmilk. You may have heard of the saying, “Breast is best” when discussing the topic of infant nutrition. But, you may be wondering, is that really true? And what are the nutritional needs of babies that enables them to grow and develop in that critical early period of life? Incredibly, there are certain components in breast milk that specifically feed the gut microbiome and promote health early in life. Tune in to learn more about the exciting scientific breakthroughs emerging in this field!
#Breastmilk #Nutrition #Microbiome
October 5, 2020
I speak with Amy Stewart, a best-selling author of both fiction and non-fiction works. You may recognize some of her popular nonfiction titles in the realm of botany, such as The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants and Flower Confidential. We dive into some wicked plants that fascinate us both that can be found in the wild, your backyard or sometimes at the bar!
#Botany #Cocktails #Poisons