Dr. Abby Smith is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago. In the lab, Abby is dedicated to studying shells and the animals that make shells. She is interested in how shells are made, what they are made out of, and how fast they grow. Abby also examines how shells break down over time and uses old shells to understand what the water was like in the past. Outside of science, Abby is a mother of two, and she keeps busy with family life and taking care of her kids. In her free time, she likes to watch cricket, knit, and cook. In particular, Abby has been experimenting lately with making different fruit jams and preserves. She Received her B.A. Degree in Geology and Biology from Colby College, her M.S. Degree in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her PhD in Earth Science from the University of Waikato. Abby joined us in this interview to share stories from her life and science.

Direct download: 719_Abby_Smith_Final_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Antoine van Oijen is a Distinguished Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Chemistry at the University of Wollongong in Australia. The work Antoine does combines physics, chemistry, and biology. He develops new types of microscopes to visualize complex biochemical reactions at the level of individual molecules. In particular, his group is interested in how DNA is copied before a cell divides. Antoine is also doing research examining how bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance. Antoine and his family enjoy spending much of their free time exploring the beautiful beach and hiking in the wonderful parks nearby. Antoine received his MSc and PhD in Physics from Leiden University in the Netherlands, where his graduate work was recognized with the C.J. Kok prize for best doctoral thesis. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Antoine served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and Groningen University in the Netherlands before his recent move to the University of Wollongong where he is today. Antoine has received a wide array of honors and awards for his research, including the Armenise-Harvard Junior Faculty Award, a Searle Scholarship, a NSF CAREER Award, a Vici Award from the Dutch Science Foundation, the Dutch Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Award for the most promising young scientist, and the prestigious Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship. In this episode, Antoine discusses his research and his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 718_Antoin_Van_Oijen_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Hongkui Zeng is Executive Vice President and Director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. She is dedicated to understanding how the brain is organized and how the different components of the brain work together to generate behaviors and functions. Hongkui and her colleagues examine the cellular basis of brain circuit formation and how those circuits produce function. They generate foundational tools and resources for the neuroscience community to help scientists around the world advance their research on neurological disease, potential treatments, and more. Living in the beautiful city of Seattle, Hongkui enjoys getting outside and exploring nature. This includes kayaking and hiking in the nearby mountains. When she’s at home, Hongkui likes to relax with a good book, listen to music, and indulge in watching shows and movies. She received her B.S. degree in biochemistry from Wuhan University and her PhD in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University. Next, she conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hongkui then worked for several years at Omeros Corporation before joining the Allen Institute in 2006. Hongkui has received numerous awards for her work, including the National Academy of Sciences’ Pradel Research Award, Gill Transformative Investigator Award from Indiana University, the NIH BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network Award, and the Award for Scientific Advancement from the Association for Women in Science. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. In this interview, Hongkui shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 717_Hongkui_Zeng_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Dominic D’Agostino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida. He is also a Research Scientist Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Dom’s lab develops technology that allows them to investigate the molecular, cellular, and physiological changes we experience in extreme environments, including those that would occur undersea, at high altitude, or in space. They are also designing and evaluating metabolic-based therapies as treatments for cancer and other diseases. Dom and his wife enjoy outdoor activities like going to the beach, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. They also do quite a bit of scuba diving together for his wife’s marine biology research on manta rays. Data collection has taken them to Indonesia, Fiji, Palau, Hawaii, and many other phenomenal dive sites. Dom received his B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and Biological Sciences as well as his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Physiology at Rutgers University. Afterwards, Dom conducted postdoctoral research at Wright State University and at the University of South Florida before joining the faculty at the University of South Florida. In this episode, Dom talks more about his research and tell us about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 716_Dominic_DAgostino_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Molly Peeples is an Aura Assistant Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Molly’s research is improving our understanding of galaxies and helping to reveal why galaxies are different from each other and how galaxies have changed over time. To do this, she traces the origins and fates of heavy elements that were all originally produced within stars. Examining where the elements end up gives us information on how gas flows into and out of galaxies. Molly also does modeling and runs simulations to better understand what is going on in the universe. There are a lot of great parks around Baltimore, so Molly likes getting outside to go hiking in her free time. She also enjoys cooking, reading, trying new cocktails, exploring new bars in town, and playing board games with friends. She received her B.S. in Physics from MIT and went on to complete her MS and PhD in Astronomy at Ohio State University. Molly was then awarded a Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution Fellowship during which she worked at UCLA. In 2013, Molly joined the Space Telescope Science Institute as a postdoctoral fellow, and a year later she became a member of the staff and continues to do amazing research there. Molly joined us for an interview to tell us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 715_Molly_Peeples_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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