Trees A Crowd
Dr George McGavin (Part Two): Putting the “Ooo!” into Zooology with evil cats and spider penises!
Season 2, Ep. 27
In part two of this conversation with Dr George McGavin, we find out that he has not one, but five bugs named after him - one of which was given to him by the ‘world cockroach expert’! If there’s a better measure for knowing how influential you’ve been in your field, we haven’t heard of it. George and David go on to discuss the human flesh-eating larvae of the botfly, and the memory of cutting open the poisoned insides of a dead harbour porpoise, alongside other poignant thoughts about man’s impact on nature. Indeed, George reflects on the biggest issue facing wildlife - that there are just too many humans, and that, with that, money seems to trump nature every single time. But, make sure you stay tuned in until the end to hear about spider penises, George’s uncanny David Attenborough impression, and the incomprehensible, destructive power of Tibbles the cat - who single-paw-edly wiped out an entire species!For further information on this and other episodes, visit: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/dr-george-mcgavin/
Dr George McGavin (Part One): A World of Colour! The vertebrate in an invertebrate world!
Season 2, Ep. 26
Dr George McGavin is a zoologist, entomologist and broadcaster, and currently serves as President for the Dorset Wildlife Trust. Best known for hosting documentaries including ‘Lost Land of the Volcano’, ‘Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor’ and, most recently, ‘Ocean Autopsy: The Secret Story of Our Seas’, he is also well known to television viewers for his frequent appearances on BBC One’s ‘The One Show’. Sitting down to chat in post-lockdown June, in the heart of Windsor Great Park, David Oakes and George enjoy one of the first in-person meetups they’ve each had in months! George discusses how his stammer impacted his early life, how he was inspired by the likes of Aubrey Manning, and how he quit his much-sought-after tenured Oxford University position to chase a wildlife documentary making dream… (without telling his wife!) Covering insect biodiversity, mankind’s stubbornness to change, exploration of rainforests, and more, the topics covered here are as wide ranging as George’s documentaries, all shared with gleeful anecdotes, including his hope to delve deeper into the world’s faeces - but you’ll have to wait until the end for that particular ‘nugget’!For further information on this and other episodes, visit: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/dr-george-mcgavin/
Doug Allan: A witness beneath the waves on World Manta Day
Season 2, Ep. 25
Happy World Manta Day! To celebrate the wonders of our ocean’s Flappiest Friends, this special episode explores the experiences and encounters of Manta Trust patron and legendary explorer-cameraman, Doug Allan. Described by Sir David Attenborough as one of the world’s greatest natural history cameramen, Doug Allan’s work speaks for itself. In fact, head to our website now to see some footage of both Doug and Manta Rays in action. In this discussion, David Oakes discovers how, although training to become a marine biologist, Doug truly learned to dive by harvesting fresh-water pearls. Doug has spent roughly a decade living in the Antarctic, readjusting his internal thermostat suitably to openly profess that his “ideal temperature” is a barmy -18℃! As well as Manta Rays, Doug has had close encounters with Polar Bears, Orcas, Narwhals, Emperor Penguins and more (indeed he almost had his brains sucked out by a Walrus), but it was life on Everest that truly struck him to the core. Doug’s lengthy experiences in the most extreme of environments, and at our planet’s poles, make him the perfect witness of Earth’s changing climate. All this and an introduction from Dr Guy Stevens, CEO of the Manta Trust, to tell us how Manta Rays are getting on at the moment.For further information on this and other episodes, visit: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/doug-allan-world-manta-day/
(More) Mark Carwardine: On the realities of anti-poaching patrols & his conservation heroes
Season 2, Ep. 24
In the final of three episodes focused on Animal Conservation, David Oakes speaks again (you’ll remember him from his Narwhal-centric episode at the top of this season) to Mark Carwardine - zoologist, conservationist, broadcaster and photographer. Having been out on foot patrols upon most of the planet’s continents, Mark explains the realities of being a wildlife ranger. The risks of poachers, animals and accidents; the reality of spending weeks on end away from civilisation, safe drinking water and emergency medical support, and; the impact this places, not simply upon the individual, but also upon one’s family. Having lost a friend to this most noble and most dangerous of professions, Mark explains why anti-poaching rangers should be considered the real “heroes of conservation”.For further information on this and ot her episodes, visit: http://www.treesacrowd.fm/more-mark-carwardine/
Georgina Lamb: A Lamb leading lions, elephants, pangolins, snow leopards, rhinos and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Season 2, Ep. 23
Georgina Lamb is the Chief Executive of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. The charity was founded by her grandfather, the late great artist Sir David Shepherd, and funds key conservation projects across the world. This conversation touches on the history of Shepherd, a man who dedicated his life to force change, and whose paintings are the stuff of legends - one even featured on the wall of the living room in “Only Fools and Horses”! As the second in our series on Wildlife Conservation, this episode moves on to discuss the impact of the foundation, and the work it’s doing with chimpanzees, snow leopards, rhinos, painted dogs and how the DSWF sits in the greater picture of conservation, working within the framework of CITES. Georgina explains how they’re working with rangers to fight the illegal wildlife trade, where products like ivory are often worth more than gold and cocaine on the black market. She explores how the foundation sticks to its roots by harnessing the power of art to communicate their message, and explains how the memory of her grandfather is always with her, reminding her that “giving up is not an option”.For further information on this and other episodes, visit:http://www.treesacrowd.fm/georgina-lamb/
Will Travers OBE: Born free and committed to compassionate conservation
Season 2, Ep. 22
Will Travers OBE is one of the UK’s most influential animal rights activists, founding the Born Free Foundation in 1984 with his parents, originally under the name Zoo Check. As most of the world has been placed under strict lockdown and quarantine rules, we’re beginning to get a glimpse into what life must be like for animals trapped in zoos, forced to live in confined spaces under lock and key “for not much more than our own amusement”. Born Free’s latest campaign, “Creature Discomforts”, tackles this issue with the help of the animators at Aardman. Will talks about the distress and anxiety caused to animals when they’re not allowed to roam their natural habitats, and how we’ve “distorted and warped” our relationship with wild animals. Later in the conversation Will discusses the reprehensible poaching and canned hunting industries, and the threat they pose to animals like Lions. The discussion moves onto the life of George Adamson, the realities of filming “Born Free” in the sixties, and the financing of wildlife protection, before ending on a note about Will’s late father - his ever-present guide to knowing what’s right and wrong in the world.For further information on this and other episodes, visit: http://www.treesacrowd.fm/born-free
World Oyster Day: Prof. Rowan Lockwood & Dr Bryce Stewart “shell-ebrate” the mighty mollusc!
Season 2, Ep. 21
As kismet would have it, it’s WORLD OYSTER DAY! Before we found out oysters even had their own day, we wanted to celebrate these slippery salt-water molluscs because it turns out, when gathered together, they’re quite amazing and could provide natural solutions to many of mankind’s biggest environmental problems. Familiar voice, friend of the show, marine ecologist and fisheries biologist, Bryce Stewart, kicks us off with an answer to the most important question asked this week, “Why don't you chew an oyster?”. From there we go into the cleaning power of oyster reefs - learning that a one-acre reef can daily filter 36 olympic swimming pools worth of water! Then Professor Rowan Lockwood, chair of geology at William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia, explains how she uses the fossil records of oysters, and a technique called sclerochronology, to figure out how to restore the populations in the modern Chesapeake Bay. Rowan explains how oysters aren’t just filtration machines, they are ecosystem engineers, building three-dimensional habitats for other species to live in. And, as seems to be the case for all experts in their field, we drool over the deliciousness of oysters - because you simply have to eat your study!An extra massive thank you to John Hartoch for lending his versatility of voice to Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" at the very tip-top of this episode. Thank you John.For further information on this and other episodes, visit: http://www.treesacrowd.fm/world-oyster-day/
Prof. Kate Jones (Part Two): Bats - mixing your margaritas since 55,000,000 BC
Season 2, Ep. 20
“Bats are awesome and endlessly fascinating” - and it’s a good job too, because this is the second part of a two-part conversation all about the flying mammals! After rain stopped play last week, this in-depth conversation with Prof. Kate Jones (UCL’s resident bat expert and Harrison Ford worrier) picks back up by pitting megabats against microbats. From there we discuss how the US army attempted to militarise bats, how bats are helping to save humans billions of pounds, how to make your garden more bat friendly, and we dig deep into the sonic war that has been taking place for millions of years, pitting bat-kind against their age-old nemeses, the moths!For further information on this and other episodes, visit: http://www.treesacrowd.fm/prof-kate-jones
Prof. Kate Jones (Part One): What do you get if you cross David Attenborough with Harrison Ford?
Season 2, Ep. 19
Part Indiana Jones, part David Attenborough - and a real live descendant of Charles “Origin of the Species” Darwin - Professor Kate Jones is a professor of ecology and biodiversity at UCL. A previous recipient of the Leverhulme award, she spends a LOT of time researching the relationships between animals and humans, in particular keeping an eye on mammals and the infectious diseases they may happen to pass onto us (think SARS, think Ebola, oh, and think COVID-19.) On top of that, she is one of the world’s experts on Chiroptera, aka BATS, and has led massive bat monitoring studies with citizen scientists all over the world with the Bat Conservation Trust. This is a two-part interview, but even by the end of part one, you’ll agree that perhaps the most infectious thing about bats is how simply incredible they are. For instance: without bats there would be no tequila, and while some bats drink blood, others catch fish from the surface of the water, or pluck songbirds from the air, mid-flight, at night! And, did you know, that 1 in 5 mammal species on this planet is, you’ve guessed it, a bat!For further information on this and other episodes, visit: http://www.treesacrowd.fm/prof-kate-jones