29 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Sunjeev Kamboj: On the other side…..being a PhD Supervisor
For the first time on Planet PhD, we welcome a real life Professor onto the podcast. Prof Sunjeev Kamboj researches clinical psychopharmacology and experimental psychopathology (count how many times we get that wrong) at UCL, London. He joins to tell us what it’s like on the other siiiide -- as a PhD supervisor. We ask Sunjeev about how supervisors and PhDs can best work together towards a positive PhD experience. Spoiler: communication, baby. He gives us his tips and we discuss things we’ve found difficult from our side, as PhD students. Gigi’s commitment to sound quality brings her from a blanket tent somewhere in Brighton and we analyse Sunjeev’s Zoom bookshelf. In this episode we mention a previous Planet PhD with Vanessa Hennessy, whose PhD is supervised by Sunjeev. One our most popular episodes - in which Vanessa injects her husband with Ketamine *N.B. as part of a research study*. Listen to 'Vanessa Hennessy: Modifying Memories" for more on the awesome research going on in Sunjeev’s lab!
32 minutes | May 18, 2020
Planet Lockdown: How to survive a global pandemic
We're back! Hope you are all excited for a special lockdown themed episode of Planet PhD! Obviously what you need in self isolation is two highly qualified PhD students discussing how to keep yourself sane during these troubled times. We have all the tips on how to keep yourself motivated, how to stop yourself from burning out and of course, most importantly, what TV to watch. We tell you what we've been up to during this time (we know you've been wondering) and give you some funny lockdown stories. Quick disclaimer, as we are being good humans and self isolating this podcast was recorded on Zoom so the sound quality isn't amazing, sorry about that! We hope you enjoy our special themed episode and please get in touch if you have any questions, any music or TV recommendations or just fancy a chat! -------- @PlanetPhD email@example.com
28 minutes | Jan 6, 2020
Anna Korzeniowska: Cross modality in dogs
In this episode, yes you guessed it, we're talking all about doggos! We chat to Anna Korzeniowska from the University of Sussex about her most recent paper (yay!) on cross modality in dogs. Don't worry, she explains what cross modality is (very well). We then talk about her amazing finding that dogs associate high pitch with high elevation, and vice versa, just like with humans. She gives us some reasons why that might be the case, explains her studies' interesting methodology and gives us a cracking answer to her favorite dog name. If you like dogs (and who doesn't) and want to hear some interesting research as well as some adorable stories, then this is the episode for you! ------------------------- You can access her paper here: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/87693/
27 minutes | Dec 19, 2019
Coping at Conferences (special guest: Owen Middleton)
In this episode, recorded while we attend a big scary meeting of lots of academics in Belfast, we chat about how to cope at conferences with a very special guest, Owen Middleton. We discuss our mixed experiences of conferences, and share tips on how to get the most out of them while staying healthy and happy. Owen is our networking expert, and tells us how to make friends – and how to keep them after the conference ends. We also discuss organisation, nerves, preparing for and giving a talk, coffee, being out of your comfort zone, socialising, and, importantly, how to look after yourself and your mental health. As ever, send us any questions and follow us and Owen on Twitter: @PlanetPhD | @OwenMiidleton We mention Gigi's conference talk on ivy bee sting pain, which features in a previous episode: Ouch! All about the ivy bee
26 minutes | Dec 11, 2019
Maruša Levstek: music for youth wellbeing
Today we interview PhD student Maruša Levstek, who researches the psychological outcomes of participation in music and creative arts for young people. She works with the Our Future City programme in Brighton & Hove, which aims to improve youth wellbeing through creativity, while addressing inequality and lack of opportunity. In Maruša’s longitudinal study with young people in inclusive music groups, she measures a series of musical, personal and social outcomes. We chat about the psychological benefits of music participation, barriers to engagement in creative arts and how sometimes, the young people who would most benefit from engagement are those least able to access it. Participation in creative arts is something Maruša is passionate about, and along those lines we briefly mention the upcoming election (very briefly, promise). --------- Maruša works in the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, and is funded by the School of Psychology and Our Future City. Follow her research on Twitter.
29 minutes | Dec 2, 2019
Gigi Hennessy: Ouch! All about the ivy bee...
Today Veronica interviews the one and only Gigi Hennessy, Planet PhD co-host, about her newly published research! Gigi’s new paper investigates the stinging risk and sting pain of the ivy bee, Colletes hederae, a relatively new member of the UK solitary bee fauna (also known in our lab as the ‘Marilyn Monroe bee’). Ivy bees first came to the south of the UK in 2001, and have been spreading. Since they arrived, pest control officials have had repeated calls from people with ivy bees in their gardens. This little solitary bee can nest in large aggregations, with several bees flying close to the ground when they start to emerge in September… “the lawn looked like it was moving” was one comment. But does the ivy bee sting, is the sting painful, and is the bee a risk to the public – should we be calling the exterminator? Tune in to hear about a slightly ‘out there’ methodology, the surprisingly fertile world of insect bite and sting pain research, and some important take home messages for bee conservation. We also discuss Gigi’s recent experience of the dark side of Twitter, and she gives us her tips for any researchers in similar situations. The paper is available here, or get in touch with Gigi with any questions and for a pdf version. Disclaimer: do not tell your children to run around in barefoot in ivy bee aggregations. Which, by the way, the authors of the paper didn’t ever say.
27 minutes | Nov 18, 2019
Planet Bee-hD: Parasite bees
In today's episode of Planet Bee-hD we delve into the weird and wonderful world of parasite bees! Parasite bees account for 15% of the global bee species, yet most people don't even know they exist. Don't worry if you don't know what we mean by parasite, by the end of the episode you'll be an expert, just like us. Let us talk you through some of the crazy lifestyles these species live using four (plus one sneaky bonus edition from Veronica) examples. Learn about how bees smell, the epic battles fought by some species and of course some bee sex facts. Twitter: @PlanetPhD
23 minutes | Nov 11, 2019
Giada Brianza: how smells affect your body image
This week we chat to Giada Brianza from Sussex Uni's Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Giada tells us about her research into olfactory cues and body image, specifically how different scents like lemon and vanilla can influence how we perceive our bodies. This could have a therapeutic role in the future, which is increasingly important since problems arising from body misconception, including eating disorders, are on the rise. We speak about other fascinating sensory ‘cross-modalities’. What does a lavender scent ‘feel’ like? What scents are linked with piano music, compared to brass instruments? What colour is the taste of peppermint? Giada gives us her tips for PhD life - especially a moratorium on any decision-making on Sundays… ---- Find out more about the SCHI lab here: https://multi-sensory.info and on Twitter: @schi_lab
28 minutes | Nov 4, 2019
Noora Nevala: Colour vision in Zebra fish
In this week episode we talk to Noora Nevala from the University of Sussex on her work on colour vision in Zebra fish. We chat all about how the light environment an organism lives in may influence its colour vision, how colour vision actually works in fish and the most important question of all, why is a Zebra fish called a Zebra fish? We have a very fishy fun fact discussing the deep sea fish Macropinna microstoma (we highly recommend you look it up) and Gigi finally learns how fish mate. --------------------------------------- Follow Noora on twitter @noornev
25 minutes | Oct 28, 2019
Patricio Saavedra: beyond peaceful protest
This week Patricio Saavedra from Sussex University tells us about his research into political protests around the world. Specifically, Patricio has studied the controversial issue of protester violence, and how public support for any non-peaceful action by protesters is affected by the ‘political openness’ in their country, i.e. the level of state repression. *** NB: this episode was recorded just before the recent protests in Chile *** We speak about protests in the UK, Chile, Europe and Hong Kong, and police repression methods including water cannons, tear gas and infiltration. We also discuss the fascinating role of both media and social media in defining public attitudes towards protesters. How important is public approval for protesters’ actions? Has technology changed modern protests compared to past actions? How can social media help to mobilise protesters, bear witness to actual events, and document the brilliant creativity displayed in protest actions? Patricio also tells us about his research into student wellbeing, and gives us both his evidence-based and personal advice for PhD students - including the importance of building a community both at work and outside of work. For more on this topic, see Patricio’s latest Open Access paper: https://psyarxiv.com/rm7jg/ Find Patricio on Twitter
27 minutes | Oct 21, 2019
Alex Kolliari-Turner: steroid use, muscle memory & performance bans in competitive sport
In this episode we speak to Alex Kolliari-Turner about his research at the University of Brighton. Alex studies how using anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) can cause a 'muscle memory' effect where muscle fibres retain a greater number of myonuclei - potentially leading to enhanced athletic performance far into the future. We discuss what this could mean for the length of performance bans in competitive sports. We also speak about the widespread issue of doping in sports, a famous case of using guinea-pig testicular extract to enhance vigour, and even the use of performance-enhancing substances by the ancient Romans. Alex is addressing a scarcity of human participant research that is crucial for this field - see below for how to get in touch if you're interested in contributing to this exciting research. ***RECRUITMENT CALL!*** Alex' next sampling weekend is coming up on 26, 27 and 28 October! Find out more on his Facebook page and please get in touch with Alex (A.Kolliari-Turner@brighton.ac.uk) if you're interested in participating. As we discuss in the podcast, it's fun and you get body mapping info and images of your muscle fibres as a reward! NB: There are also sampling dates for 2020, so if you can't make it this weekend ask Alex about the 2020 dates.
27 minutes | Oct 14, 2019
Georgia Orton: Hydrogen producing enzymes
In this weeks episode we travel to London where we interview Georgia Orton from the University of Kings. Georgia tells us about her work on catalysts for proton reduction and hydrogen oxidation. You can hear her explain what this means and hear us struggling to understand her talk about anything that's smaller than a bee! We learn how chemists work with highly reactive chemicals and how it's so important to keep a cool head. Stay tuned for some talk about hydrogen fuel cells, chemistry's place in creating clean energy and Gigi not understanding how electricity works. --------------- Follow Georgia on Twitter @GeorgiaRFO
31 minutes | Oct 7, 2019
Domhnall Finch: bats bats bats
This week we talk to Domhnall Finch from the University of Sussex about bats, and how landscape features such as hedgerows, roads and lighting affect the rare greater horseshoe bat. We ask how our changing landscapes are affecting our only flying mammal, and Domhnall tells us about his data collection both monitoring greater horseshoe populations in underground caves, and investigating how bat activity is affected by road traffic noise. For a Planet PhD first, we bring a debate point to the podcast: do we actually need bats? (no spoilers.... but tequila) We discover that not all bats hang upside down, we confirm that everything comes back to insects, and (in the outtakes) we learn how to pronounce ‘Domhnall’. Find out more about Domhnall’s research on his Twitter and Instagram: @Domhnallfinch
37 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
Jason Preston: fatherhood in the modern world
Jason Preston from the University of Brighton is studying men’s experiences of fatherhood in multiple settings. In this episode we discuss current expectations of fatherhood and how these have changed, traditional father stereotypes, and Jason’s ongoing research into men’s experiences of being a father in the modern world. We also talk about media influences on concepts of fatherhood, including harmful advertising, including a recently banned Philadelphia ad; the time Piers Morgan was pied by Harry Hill after his comments on a photo of Daniel Craig with a papoose; and how Jamie Oliver has helped to change men’s perceptions of cooking. We discuss paternity leave and the role of the state, and Jason's findings as he speaks to fathers in Brighton as part of his research. He gives us his tips on PhD life - beating writers' block, keeping a healthy PhD life, and the importance of a cup of tea and biscuits. Jason also mentions The gender wars of household chores: a feminist comic and a controversial ad for Alexa - listen in for more on these.
15 minutes | Sep 23, 2019
Planet PhD Series 2: Summer Bee-cap
In this episode we recap on what we’ve been up to over the summer (hint – not on holiday), and introduce the second series of Planet PhD, starting next week. Included in our summer beecap are bee stings and cow-related misadventures, fieldwork highs and lows, and some of what we’ve learned along the way (including that bumblebees aren’t as smart as we thought). We discuss the risk of burn-out during data collection and how to avoid it. .....coming up in this series! We talk anabolic steroids, horseshoe bats, fatherhood in the modern world, colour vision in fish, how lemons affect how you see your body, and much more. Tune in next week, and find us on our Twitter/Instagram: @PlanetPhD
27 minutes | Jun 24, 2019
Bruna Abreu: Green chemistry and drug synthesis
In this weeks episode we chat to Bruna Abreu from the University of Nottingham about her research in the synthesis of analogues of the antimalarial drug Artemisinin using flow chemistry techniques. Bruna obtained her bachelor degree in Chemistry at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, where she did research in the synthesis of natural products. She then did a placement at Cambridge University where she learned about flow chemistry. Listen to hear Veronica and Gigi struggle to grasp even the simplest chemical jargon, all about green chemistry and why it's so important and some pretty crazy stories which are bound to arise when you work with highly flammable chemicals...
25 minutes | Jun 18, 2019
The Importance of a PhD Community
Today we're talking about the importance of being part of a PhD community during a doctorate, in our second themed episode. Our guests are experts on this theme - Karolina and Abi are both Research Hive Scholars at the University of Sussex, where they work to build the PhD community. We discuss what makes a community, why being part of one is so important during your doctorate, and how this can help to counteract isolation and other issues that can often cause mental ill-health in PhD students. The Hive Scholars tell us how they work to build a community at Sussex through (e.g.) various events, a series of peer-led talks on common issues, and maintaining a social media presence. They tell us what they've found to be most successful and why; and we also get a bit Grand Designs-happy and plan the dream PhD community space... --- Follow the Hive Scholars on Twitter @sussexreshive and read their brilliant blog
21 minutes | Jun 10, 2019
Veronica Wignall: Garden centres & pollinator-friendly planting - a missed opportunity?
This week we mix things up a bit and Gigi interviews Veronica about pollinator-friendly planting, following the publication of some exciting new research1 last week. The research is mainly exciting because it's V's first ever published paper... but the findings are pretty interesting too. In the new study, Veronica and co-authors (omg) aimed to find out how people currently feel about bees and other pollinators, and whether they're interested in pollinator-friendly planting. They simultaneously wanted to discover if garden centres, huge hubs of plant retail, are playing an active role in facilitating planting for pollinators. No spoilers.... but you might have already guessed that most people LOVE bees. Find out why gardens are massively & increasingly important for pollinating insects, how you can help pollinators, and join in on our call to action for garden centres to help everyone's outdoor space become more pollinator-friendly. We also speak about the fun fun publishing game, and V uses her (obviously vast) experience to pass on some advice on how to make the whole process marginally less painful. 1. Wignall et al. (2019) Garden centre customer attitudes towards pollinators and pollinator-friendly planting. Peer J 7:e7088. 10.7717/peerj.7088
30 minutes | Jun 3, 2019
Vanessa Hennessy: Modifying memories & preventing PTSD
Our special guest this week is a PhD student with University College London’s Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, and also Gigi’s mum! Vanessa researches how biological, physiological and behavioural factors can affect susceptibility to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); as well as how modifying memory formation can prevent or reduce the distress that comes with PTSD. We talk about the prevalence of PTSD in war-torn areas and the need for new therapies, the surprising ways in which susceptibility to developing PTSD is affected by the female menstrual cycle, the trials Vanessa conducts to investigate vulnerability in healthy participants including her husband, and what and who inspired her to complete her under- and postgraduate studies following her first career. Stay tuned for the outtakes in which Veronica accidentally offends Vanessa - and Gigi and Veronica both experience (positive) intrusive memories. Vanessa is funded by the charity Find a Better Way, founded by Sir Bobby Charlton, who work to assist people affected by conflict, in particular the damage caused by landmines. Follow FABW on Twitter: @FindABetterWay
24 minutes | May 26, 2019
Joe Millard: Pollinator biodiversity in a changing world
In this episode we chat to Joe Millard all about his work on pollinator biodiversity. Don't worry, it's not just about bees! Joe is a computational ecologist based at University College London and the Institute of Zoology, studying the causes and consequences of global pollinator biodiversity change. We discuss what biodiversity actually means, all the crazy different pollinator species (spoiler, Justin Bieber is apparently not a pollinator), and you can hear a room full of pollinator PhD students struggle with some key important facts. We don't just cover Joe's PhD topic but he gives us some tip tips about working before starting a PhD and how to save the big bucks on tinned tomatoes. Joe's PhD is funded by the London NERC DTP, with a contribution from the RSPB under a CASE studenstship. ------------ Follow Joe on twitter @millard_joe