Nerdin’ About
Running up that Climate Hill with Economics

Running up that Climate Hill with Economics

June 7, 2022

How is everyone doing with their existential crises these days? If you’ve listened to past episodes you know we’ve got climate change on our collective minds, and in this episode of Nerdin’ About we talk to someone who is tackling this wicked problem with tangible solutions  in economics and politics!

Dr. Devyani Singh (she/her) is a Post-Doctoral Economist Fellow working on Energy and Climate policy at the Environmental Defence Fund. Devyani nerds out with us on how she’s integrated economics into climate change solutions and advocacy. We also explore how Devyani is closing the gap between science and policy as she pursues a position in politics.  A transcript of the episode can be found here:

Follow Devyani on Twitter and Instagram @Kumari_Devyani and follow her pup Zephyrus @WestCoastPandaBoi 

Kaylee’s new podcast Nice Genes! with Genome British Columbia can be found here:

Coming Soon: Nice Genes!

Coming Soon: Nice Genes!

May 18, 2022

From healthcare and biotechnology to forests and fisheries, the evolving study of genomics is leading to some of the most exciting and world-changing discoveries in science and medicine. But while the study of genomics holds great promise for the health of people, animals, and the environment, it also confronts us with big questions. Join Dr. Kaylee Byers – a self-described “rat detective” and science communicator as she guides you through fascinating conversations about the what, the why, and the how of genomics. 

To follow the show, visit:

Follow Genome British Columbia @GenomeBC on Twitter and Instagram


Bonus: Let’s Innovate with Rebecca Baron

Bonus: Let’s Innovate with Rebecca Baron

April 26, 2022

This week we're sharing a bonus episode in your feed from Let's Innovate, another podcast hosted by your favourite space nerd Michael Unger. In this episode, Michael speaks with Rebecca Baron, a student at the University of British Columbia and co-host of the Women's Health Interrupted podcast.

Rebecca shares her Science Fair Foundation experience, her TEDx talk in 2016 and how learning about the health benefits from plants ultimately led her to a gold medal and platinum award! A transcript of the episode can be found here:

Check out the Women's Health Interrupted podcast here:

Wetlands: The Original Wet’N Wild

Wetlands: The Original Wet’N Wild

April 12, 2022

Grab your hip waders and waterproof phone case, because this week we’re getting ‘bog’ged down in wetland ecology! Dr. Alex Moore (they/them), who is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton University High Meadows Environmental Institute, takes us on a journey to coastlines and salt marshes to explore what wetlands are and how species shape these spaces. We also meander to mangroves to marvel at the benefits they provide for people and animals, as well as the threats they face in a warming world.  A transcript of the episode can be found here:

You can follow Dr. Moore on Twitter @Dr_AlexM and on their websites:

You can check out the bat mortality study mentioned in this episode here:

And the study mentioned about cats depredating on rats and other wildlife here:


Who Run the World? Ants!

Who Run the World? Ants!

March 30, 2022

The ants go marching one by one… but how and also why? In this episode we’re joined by Aaron Fairweather (they/them) a PhD student at the University of Guelph who has been an entomologist for as long as they could hold a crayon. Join us as we learn about how ants are more than just picnic disruptors – they’re farmers, architects, pollinators and so much more! Don’t let their size fool you – they leave a very large footprint on our ecosystems (6 footprints to be exact). A transcript of the episode can be found here:

Follow Aaron @InsectAaron, and their “fursona” Nasidoe on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube @Entobird

Also check out Phlya and Fandom, a nerdy podcast merging the worlds of science and furry!

Interested in learning more about ant sounds? The sound clips in this episode were shared by Dr. Ronara de Souza Ferreira-Châline whose exciting research on this topic can be found here

BEARing Down on Conservation

BEARing Down on Conservation

March 15, 2022

Our communities are wild spaces. Even in cities, humans are navigating relationships with wildlife - relationships that are critical to supporting conservation efforts. This week we’re joined by Lauren Eckert (she/her), a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria who studies the intersection between social and ecological systems. From bears to orcas, we explore how conflicts shape our interactions with wildlife and each other. And, we gather some helpful tips to reduce conflict with our fellow curious and adventuring bears.

Lauren is also involved with Hidden Compass, which is seeking to tell science stories in new ways, as well as the magical human behind The Witch Podcast, which looks at the legacies and power of women and femmes throughout history and today. So much to cover in such little time, thanks for listening, and bearing with us! A transcript of the episode can be found here:

Twitter-Instagram: @LaurenEEckert

Hidden Compass:

The Witch Podcast:

And the paper about bear genetics and Indigenous languages mentioned in this episode can be found here:

Watery Dewing About Water?

Watery Dewing About Water?

March 1, 2022

From rushing rivers to vast oceans, the planet is covered in dancing droplets of water. But even in places where water is abundant, access to clean drinking water isn’t a guarantee, and many of our water-based challenges are likely to increase with climate change. In this episode, water and sustainability consultant Alan Shapiro joins us to talk about what makes water so special, how we manage water in Canada, and why we all need to talk more about water. A transcript of the episode can be found here:

Follow Alan Shapiro @watercomm on Twitter!

Solstice Special

Solstice Special

December 23, 2021

To get you through some long nights ahead, here’s a bonus episode of nerd outs with special guest drag performer Shanda Leer! We all nerd out along with some of your nerd outs you wrote in with. Shanda nerds out on, The Beatles “Get Back” documentary, our audio engineer Elise Lane on her new single Antoneon, and Michael and Kaylee have podcast recommendations for your holidays in The Longtime Academy, and Stuff the British Stole. Find a transcript of the episode here:

Follow Shanda Leer on Twitter and Instagram 

and their podcast Where the Big Boys Game


New episodes out early 2022!

The Science of Swearing

The Science of Swearing

November 30, 2021

When was the last time you swore? Maybe you were sitting in traffic, or you stubbed your toe on a stray shoe stranded in the hallway of your home (was that too specific?). While you may be well versed in the classic four-letter words that make up the English swearing vocabulary, in this episode Dr. Anne-Michelle Tessier (she/her) takes us on a phonologic foray of swear words, from sh*t-whistles to a**-badgers. We explore what makes some cursing compounds more compelling and how we’re constantly doing linguistic math, even without thinking about it. A transcript of this episode can be found here:

You can read Dr. Tessier’s scientific paper on this topic here

Visit Dr. Tessier’s personal and phonology lab websites


Science Policy of Truth

Science Policy of Truth

November 16, 2021

Have you ever wondered how politicians make decisions using science? Or about how politics shape what’s dissected under the microscope? This is why we need people like Farah Qaiser (she/her) to better understand the role of policy for science, and science for policy! Farah is the new Director of Research and Policy at Evidence for Democracy, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting the use of evidence in Canada’s decision-making. We explore the changing landscape of science policy and how investing in Canada’s scientists impacts our national capacity to ask and answer innovative and creative science questions. We’ll also explore Farah’s dedication to advocating for under-represented scientists in her role as a member of 500 Women Scientists' leadership team. A transcript of the episode can be found here:

Learn more about Farah Qaiser on her website, and follow her on social media @this_is_farah

Also mentioned in this episode: Science Diction podcast

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