UC Science Radio

We’re super excited to present our brand new podcast series, UC Science Radio! Join us as we explore topical issues and meet the people behind the science. Enjoy interviews with a range of scientists on the big issues facing our world and what science is doing to help.

Hosted by MSc student Molly Magid, the shows are interesting, challenging, entertaining and accessible. Listen in and learn something new!

Follow UC Science Radio on SpotifyStitcher | Youtube | Apple Podcasts

Designing cities for better health

Our first guest is Dr Simon Kingham, Professor in Geography at the School of Earth and Environment, and Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Transport.  Simon studies people and how we move around our towns and cities.

In this podcast Simon talks about the impact of city spaces on our mental health, why cycleways are thriving in Christchurch, and his role as Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Transport.

Go to Episode 1

Making sense of molecules

Structural chemist Associate Professor Sarah Masters, from the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, talks about her work as a 'molecular detective': she investigates how molecules behave, what they do, and how we can use them to create everything from new technologies and materials to life-saving vaccines.

Go to Episode 2

Episode 3: It's like Tinder...for birds!

Conservation geneticist, aka ‘genetic matchmaker’ Assoc Prof Tammy Steeves talks about finding the ideal mate for some of Aotearoa New Zealand's most endangered native species; and about how kindness is changing the way we do science - for the better.

Go to episode 3

Episode 4: Rocking out with volcanoes

In this episode, award-winning educator, volcanologist and Associate Professor Ben Kennedy discusses his teaching methods and the interactive games he co-developed to engage students in science and technology through educated play. Dr Kennedy also talks about his research into volcanic eruptions and why it’s so hard to predict them.

Go to episode 4

Episode 5: Ending our love affair with plastic

Lightweight, strong, waterproof – plastic is a wonder material, but it’s not so wonderful for nature. In this episode, environmental chemist Dr Sally Gaw explains what plastic is doing to our environment, where it’s ending up, and how we can fix the problem.

Go to episode 5

Episode 6: Shedding light on dark matter

Dark matter makes up the majority of the universe but remains a mystery to science. In this episode, physicist Dr Chris Gordon shares his passion for the shadowy substance, and how studying the universe benefits us here on earth – like giving us WiFi and the World Wide Web.

Go to episode 6

Episode 7: Micronutrients for the mind

When it comes to food – we often think of our bodies first. But what about our brains? The food we eat, our environment and stress levels all impact our brain function and mental health. In this episode, UC Professor of Clinical Psychology, Julia Rucklidge, discusses the fascinating relationship between nutrients and mental health, and explains the research she’s been doing to help reverse the mental health epidemic.

Go to episode 7

Episode 8: Words and worlds collide

What’s the difference between a poet and an astronomer? Nothing, if you’re UC astrophysicist Dr Michele Bannister.

Dr Bannister is an expert in the discovery and characterisation of minor planets in the solar system. She’s been involved in the discovery of more than 800 minor planets and even had an asteroid named after her! She’s also an avid creative writer. The poet, planetary astronomer, hunter of new and strange worlds, and self-described ‘connoisseur of fuzzy dots of light’ is our guest on this episode of UC Science Radio.

Go to Episode 8

Episode 9: Wellbeing at work

If you’ve ever walked in the door and complained about your work, you’re not alone. What if, instead of being a source of stress – our work (and workplaces) were good for us?

In this episode of UC Science Radio, Professor of Psychology Katharina Naswall talks about the world of work in uncertain times, how to reduce stress and increase health and wellbeing in the workplace, and how to make sure it’s good for us.

Go to Episode 9

Episode 10: Science on thin ice

In this episode, award-winning teacher and glaciologist Dr Heather Purdie talks about studying endangered glaciers, research, passion for the environment, and why virtual teaching will never really replace real-life experiences with nature.

Go to Episode 10

A wonder gel for wound healing, birth control for possums, and beating antibiotic resistance in cattle worms – it’s all part of the job for UC chemist and entrepreneur Prof Rudi Marquez, on this episode of UC Science Radio.

Episode 12: Igniting the flame of learning

It’s incredible what one conversation with the right person can do. For UC marine biologist Dr John Pirker, it was a kōrero with his neighbour and some of his Ngāi Tahu kaumātua that set him on the path of becoming a scientist. John’s now on a mission to “ignite the flame of learning” in today’s rangatahi. Learn more in our latest episode of UC Science Radio.

Go to Episode 12

We’ll be regularly updating this page with new podcasts. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to email us: scienceoutreach@canterbury.ac.nz or send us a message on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter. Thanks for listening!