Grubbing In The Filth public
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If it lacks a backbone, we're interested. In this podcast, we're exploring the world of invertebrates, discovering the amazing lives they lead, and thinking carefully about our relationhips with these much-maligned creatures. With the help of experts, we are lifting stones, peering into the water and grubbing in the filth.
 
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If you like pagentry, ferocity and excellent eyesight then I have the spider for you (though personally, my eyesight is very poor). Tom is joined by Dr Sebastian Echeverri, arachnologist, science communicator and host of the BBC Earth podcast, to learn about jumping spiders. We explore all that makes the jumping spider special, including the aspect…
 
How many cockroaches are in YOUR house? Tom is joined by cockroach keeper, zoologist and science communicator Melinda Alexáné Babits to discuss cockroaches, and to discover what its like to immerse yourself in the cockroach world. What leads someone to a life in which the cockroach is a cherished thing, an animal whose company is valued, not just o…
 
Given that throughout history, writers have sought to make bee society into a reflection of our own, lets see how well that reflection holds up. In the episode, Tom is joined by Graham Duke and Ali Hood from Rex Factor, to see how well the queen bee holds up when held to the standards by which we have historically judged monarchs. Finally we can an…
 
Come and literally grub in the filth, as we discover the earthworms. Tom chats with Anna de la Vega, founder of The Urban Worm, about the crucial work that our wriggling pals, the earthworms, perform within the soil. We discover the etymology of worm, examine their behaviour on rainy days, and discover the complexities of earthworms which are not o…
 
Are wasps the anti-bee? Malicious, stripey villains who exist to make our lives worse? Unsurprisingly: no. Tom is joined by Seirian Sumner, Professor of Behavioural Ecology at University College London and author of 'Endless Forms', who has made it her mission to repair the reputation of the wasp, and share what makes the Apocrita both interesting …
 
For too long, we've fawned over spiders and scorpions. Now, it's the harvestman's time to shine. Tom chats with arachnologist and BAS Harvestman Recording Scheme organiser Meg Skinner about harvestmen, one of the arachnids lesser-known orders. We discover what a harvestman is, how they live and the diversity that exists within the opilione order. P…
 
Anal propulsion and rectal throttling. In this episode, we get to both dive into, and soar through, the world of dragonflies. Tom chats with naturalist and dragonfly afficionado Neil Phillips about all things odonata. We discuss the adaptations that make dragonflies the natural world's most succesful predators, explore their lifecycle, and delve in…
 
Lean over the edge of the dock, and peer beneath. What creatures have made their home here, on the artificial structures of the waters edge? Among the limpets and barnacles, a creature is gliding along, and it is this dazzling animal we've come to see. Tom chats with Luan Roberts about nudibranchs, and learns all about their lives, as well as about…
 
How best do we fly the flag for insects? Tom speaks with entomologist and writer Richard Jones about a life rife with insects, and about how best we advocate for them as creatures of value and wonder. We discuss Richard's books, natural history clubs, bug hunts and more, as we explore the ways that we can share and celebrate insects with the wider …
 
How do we explore the beach? How do we make sense of it, and how do we teach children to appreciate and decode this space? In this episode, Tom chats with nature writer and award-winning blogger Heather Buttivant. As well as discussing Heather's new book, 'Beach Explorer', we chat about the beach as an environment, the invertebrates that live there…
 
What strange lives are unfolding within the soil? It is an obscure world, rich with life that exists on a minute scale. Tom speaks with soil ecologist and macro photographer Frank Ashwood to discover the world of mesofauna: springtails, mites, symphylans and more. You can see the photos discussed in the episode here: https://twitter.com/gitfpodcast…
 
Oysters, mussels, scallops and more. When we pick up shells on the beach, how often do we consider that they represent a life lived, out in the ocean? The dynamic lives of these creatures are easily forgotten, obfuscated by the shell as a decorative object and the shellfish as a commodity. In this episode, we learn how these animals live, what they…
 
Red with black spots. The ladybird family, with the seven-spotted ladybird as its ambassador, is beloved. The ladybird is so often figured as a sort of simple, child-appropriate insect; what is there to know about these domed beetles, beyond that sense of them we developed in childhood? Tom is joined by Dr. Helen Roy, ladybird expert, ecologist and…
 
What does it take it be the Antarctic's only endemic insect? How do insects survive Antarctic winters, and extreme conditions? In this episode, Tom chats with Nick Teets, Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky, to discuss the antarctic midge (belgica antarctica) and other cold-tolerant, extremophile insects. We discover the survival stra…
 
Death and rot! In this episode, we chat with Ash Whiffin, Assistant Curator of Entomology at National Museums Scotland about carrion beetles. Morbid insect or vital and valued decomposer? Both? We talk about the lives of carrion beetles, the animals they associate with, and the crimefighting role they play in forensic entomology. We also discuss As…
 
Tom is joined by wildlife gardener Joel Ashton to think about invertebrates in relation to garden spaces. We talk about invertebrate habitats, the role of invertebrates within ecosystems, and consider what we can do to make our gardens more condusive to invertebrate life and therefore life more broadly. If you have no garden, fear not! There's some…
 
What's it like to live with between 300 and 400 spiders? In this episode, we think about the relationships that exist between people and spiders, discovering what it's like to care for and value these creatures which are so contentious to the general public. Tom chats with Tea Francis, spider-person, spider-advocate, spider-keeper, to learn how to …
 
In this episode, we take a critical look at the relationships which we have built with invertebrates. What is it that makes invertebrates frightening and disgusting to so many, yet completely fascinating to others? Tom is joined by Jeffrey Lockwood, author of 'The Infested Mind', to question whether fear of invertebrates is a cultural phenomenon, o…
 
The woodlouse is an familiar, unobstrusive little creature - dull, grey and unassuming. What if we defy that expectation? In this episode we lift up a log, and enter the incredible world of the woodlouse. Tom chats with scientist Eleanor Drinkwater about her research in the field of woodlouse personality, as well as woodlouse diversity, the challen…
 
Note the inverted commas, pincer-like, around the title. In this episode, we discuss 'crabs' - the various animals that end up under the 'crab' umbrella. Tom chats 'crabs' with Mark Losavio, diver, eduactor and marine biologist. We talk all things crab, and also discuss working in aquariums, teaching children about the ocean, and Mark shares his pe…
 
Octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus. In this episode, we immerse ourselves in the bizarre and wonderful world of the cephalopods. Tom is joined by Nemo, scientist, science communicator and krakenologist, to discuss these remarkable molluscs. We chat about cephalopod diversity, cephalopod intelligence, cephalopod senses and so much more. We also…
 
Spiders are animals of great cultural heft - divisive and evocative. In this episode, we largely eschew this - and instead, give the spiders a chance to just be spiders. Lets worry later about how we feel about spiders, and instead think about what a spider is, and how spiders live. Tom is joined by Professor Mariella Herberstien, behavioural ecolo…
 
Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' begins, 'I intend to speak of forms changed into new entities'. In this podcast, we do just that. In this episode, we learn about insect metamorphosis, how it occurs, and how we as humans relate to this strange process. Tom speaks with Connor Butler, scientist and ecologist, about insect transformation and lifecycles, with pa…
 
Another buzzing episode. In this episode, Tom speaks with entomologist Charlotte Alberts about Assassin flies, and about flies more broadly. We learn all about the intruiging, deadly world of the Assassin Flies, what defines them and how they live, whilst also touching on the fly order (diptera) more broadly. As well as learning about flies as anim…
 
Cockroaches are not well liked. They have become symbols of dillapidation and decay. In this episode, we will see what we can learn about cockroaches, when we give ourselves permission to be fascinated by them. Tom speaks with Professor Dominic Evangelista, a cockroach expert, to learn more about these harshly-judged animals. We also speak about En…
 
Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside. In this episode, Tom speaks with Elizabeth Mills of Marine Mumbles about her passion for rockpooling, and the animals that can be found at the shore. We discuss an incredible range of creatures, from seaside favourites like crabs and barnacles, to the less familiar...…
 
What is flying ant day? What are they up to? In this episode, Tom is joined by Miles Maxcer, myrmecologist and director of The Ant Network to discuss the phenomenon of Flying Ant Day, and the fascinating science behind it. We discuss the life cycle of an ant colony, and look at some of the ways different species of ant found and develop their colon…
 
If it lacks a backbone, we're interested. In this podcast, we are exploring the world of invertebrates, discovering the amazing lives they lead, and thinking carefully about our relationhips with these much-maligned creatures. With the help of experts, we are lifting stones, peering into the water and grubbing in the filth. Written and produced by …
 
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