Is tea your cup of tea? 🍵
Even if it's coffee, this new episode of the Flora and Friends podcast will blow your mind. Have you ever reflected about the fact that 300 years ago tea, coffee, chocolate and tobacco were only arriving in the Western world?
In my interview with Hanna Hodacs and Annika Windahl Pontén from @uppsalauniversity we've explored the history of tea, its trade between Europe and Asia and Swedish botanist Carl von Linné's connection to the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.
Enjoy this episode with your favourite hot beverage!
Have you ever heard about bioart? Did you know that microbial biofilms and fungal cultures on Petri dishes can become pieces of art?
All this and much more you can discover in my interview with Uppsala based artist Amanda Selinder.
In her work Amanda fuses her background in fine art and her passion for textiles and natural pigments with her curiosity for biological processes. The latest outcome were fascinating pieces of artwork that give a glimpse into the life and biology of endophytic fungi isolated from leaves.
In this podcast interview we talked about
- How her interest for fine art emerged
- How she discovered bioart and what can be done with it
- Why she decided to go back to university to study biology
- How she dyes silk with natural pigments from fungi
- How this arts project has developed into a scientific study
Brew yourself a cup of tea and enjoy this interview!
Saknas det avsnitt?
During the last two episodes we have shared clues with you about the Christmassy mystery plant and here we reveal which plant it was and what the clues were referring to. With me in this podcast today are Melissa and Delphine, my friends and partners at Flora-L Design.
Listen to our December podcast episodes and make your guess which plant we are talking about.
Listen to our December podcast episodes and make your guess which plant we are talking about. We’ll reveal the first hints in this episode and some more on December 15th.
In this second part of my interview with fungal photographer Stephen Axford and documentary filmmaker Catherine Marciniak, Stephen and Catherine share stories from their travels to Asia and other places in the world. We talk about
- whom they have met there
- how they contribute to fungal awareness internationally
- what their recent productions are and where you can find them
- which books about mushrooms they recommend
- what their favourite mushrooms are
Do you think they have a favourite one after documenting all that fungal beauty and diversity? Brew yourself a cup of tea and discover their answer!
In this episode you listen to my interview with Stephen Axford and Catherine Marciniak who are absolutely passionate about fungi, photography and film-making. Stephen and Catherine have been travelling their home country Australia and the world in the past 10 years to document mushrooms in pictures and their growth in time-lapse movies. In this first of 2 parts of the interview you will learn
- How they fell in love with fungi
- How they developed their documentation of fungi in photographs and in motion
- What led them to collaborate with researchers
- Why fungal documentation can be an important resource to people
- How it is as a non-scientist to contribute to science
In this podcast interview, which is in Swedish language, I talk with ecologist Janolof Hermansson, who has for many years inventoried and studied lichens both in Dalarna in Sweden and in Russia about:
- what lichens are
- why it is so difficult to define their composition without modern technology
- what conditions they require to develop
- what their function in our ecosystem is
- how human activity impacts lichens
- what you need to go on your own lichen discovery adventure
- what it needs to increase our knowledge on lichens
Fungi form a large underground network in our forest soils that has important ecological functions for the growth and health of the forest ecosystem. In this solo-episode with Judith Lundberg-Felten, we take a deep dive underground and explore
- How old beneficial fungus-plant interactions, also called mycorrhiza, are.
- How trees and fungi can benefit from entering into a symbiotic (beneficial) relationship.
- Why they matter for the forest even today.
- What the risk of deforestation is for the forest ecosystem.
My guest Julia Carlsson is one of the project leaders for the EU project Life taiga, that reunites 14 county administrative boards in their mission to enhance forest values and biodiversity through controlled forest burning. In this interview Julia shares
- what the benefits of controlled forest burning are
- how it is done
- how controlled burning is used in other areas of the world
- where you can visit sites of controlled burning
In this episode I have met Cornelia Lohf who is a certified coach, preventive health care guide and gives guided tours in forest bathing. Cornelia comes originally from Germany and has lived in different parts of Sweden for the past 30 years. She has always loved the forest and in the past five years she has discovered and become a guide for forest bathing (Japanese: Shinrin Yoku) and it's virtues.
In this episode we discuss
- what forest bathing is and how it is done
- where it comes from
- what kind of positive effects the forest has on human health
- how forest bathing is different in different season
- why forest bathing and mushroom/berry picking in the forest are two different activities
Brew yourself a cup of tea and enjoy this podcast episode!
We are delighted to take you onto a journey into the woods in this upcoming podcast series.
Forest are so much more than trees, they harbour many different organisms. Our series focusses on the diversity of the flora in the forest, plants, fungi and likens and on the meaning of forests as well as the consequences that human activity has on this important and complex ecosystem. Discover in this short introductory trailer what to expect in the upcoming episodes, that will be released every 2nd Wednesday.
Flora-L Design creates print patterns from images of plants under the microscope. The three scientists behind the startup, Delphine, Melissa and podcast hostess Judith got to know each other as postdocs in Umeå, Sweden more than 10 years ago. They bonded over their love to plants, microscopy and textiles and founded Flora-L Design in 2019.
In this podcast episode the three plant-biologists share
- what their first contacts with plants were like as kids
- from where their desire to study plants grew
- what brought them to appreciate microscopy
- how they see the process of making patterns from microscopy images
- how they connect with plants in their everyday life
- what they recommend as summer activities around plants
In this second part of my interview with botanical photographer Laurence Hill on fritillaria, we discuss
- Which hurdles and opportunities non-formal scientists can face when wanting to publish scientific contributions
- Why it is important to read more scientific literature than what one thinks may be important.
- What we can learn about human history by looking at plants and their cultivation
- How botanical art can be used to convey societal and philosophical thoughts
- How to find inspiration and tell your story using plants.
This interview is the 2nd part of my interview with Laurence Hill. In the first part he shared his journey into botanical photography with fritillaria and the reason for establishing his website Fritillaria icones that is a fountain of knowledge on this plant genus.
Laurence Hill has dedicated the past nineteen years of his freetime to document fritillaria plants in detail using his photographic skills. He has made this extensive and marvellous collection of botanical photographs on fritillaria available on his webpage "Fritillaria Icones" where scientists and people with botanical interest can freely use his resources. Laurence has also used his photographs for creating pieces of composite art for various exhibits in the UK and Poland. In this first (of two) part of my interview with Laurence he shared
- how his botanical photography journey started with a garlic plant by the road in Greece
- what it needs to take high resolution, detailed botanical photographs
- how the life history of bulbous plants can be very special
- how fritillaria plants from different provenances differ
- what made him establish the Fritillaria Icones website
- how he sees himself contributing to science with his botanical photography
In the second part of this interview, to be released on 2021-06-09, Laurence will share insights and learnings from transforming botanical photography into pieces of art for exhibits.
Bob Wallis is the chairman of The Fritillaria Group in the UK. He has, together with his wife, grown and travelled the world to see fritillaria for over 50 years. In my interview with him he shared
- how he first discovered his passion for fritillaries
- how he learned about growing them and about their native habitats
- how his holiday planing develops into research projects
- stories from places around the Northern hemisphere he has travelled to
- tips for those who want to travel to remote locations to find their favourite plants
- how books written 100 years ago can still help today localizing plants in the wild
- which fritillaries are easy to grow if you want to start your own fritillaria garden
Accompanying to this episode you will find two short videos with Bob on the Fritillaria genus and a travel to an alpine area in Anatolia with lots of pictures of native fritillaries.
Katarzyna Roguz, researcher at the University of Warsaw Botanic Garden has studied Fritillaria meleagris since she started doing research during her Bachelor thesis and through her Masters and PhD theses at the University of Warsaw and her recent postdoc at Tel Aviv University, Israel. She has dedicated her research to the pollination biology of Fritillaria meleagris, F. persica and recently F. imperialis. I had the pleasure to have Katarzyna as my podcast guest and we talked about
- Why F. meleagris is so important for bumblebees
- How pollination biology studies are carried out
- Why plants may adjust self-(in)compatibility depending on where they grow
- That even birds can be important for Fritillaria imperialis pollination
- Why planted Fritillaria imperialis in the city centre of Warsaw is an interesting study object for pollination biology
Fritillaria meleagris (Kungsängslilja) is blooming in thousands on the King's meadow in Uppsala, Sweden, every year in May and has been studied in this location for over 80 years. In my interview with Håkan Rydin, emeritus professor at Uppsala University, we explore how this popular plant that is native to the Mediteranian and Caucasian region has ended up in Uppsala, why it has become so popular and why the king's meadow and fritillaria have been of interest for research.
Welcome to our introductory episode on our upcoming series on the plant genus Fritillaria. A very common species in this genus is Fritillaria meleagris, also known as snake’s head’s fritillary or chess flower in English, Kungsängslilja in Swedish, Schachblume in German or Fritillaire pintade in French. Do you recognize any of them?
In the upcoming episodes we will meet scientists and fritillaria enthusiasts from Sweden, UK and Poland. We will travel through interviews with these guests to different locations to understand why this genus is so interesting, what it takes to grow it and how research is done on its flowering and pollination.
My interview guest for this episode is Karen Swanepoel, executive director of the South African Essential Oil Producers Association, botanist, lecturer, researcher and expert on essential oils and vegetable oils in South Africa.
In this interview we discuss:
- How the three Pelargonium species P. graveolens, P. capitatum and P. radens give traits to the P. var rosé hybrid for essential oil production
- Why none of the species alone would be able to provide the essential oil
- Which factors influence the chemical composition of the oil in the plant
- For what purpose the plant produces the oil
- How the oil is extracted and the process is further optimized for energy and resource efficiency
- What the rose geranium essential oil production means for South Africa's socio-economy