Sciographies

Hosted By: Shauna and David

Sciographies introduces listeners to scientists at Dalhousie University. Each episode explores events in our guest’s life that left an impression powerful enough to lead them to their career in science. Guests will also talk about their research and provide thought-provoking commentary on topics like climate change, cannabis research, endangered species and more.

  • Sciographies – Episode 16 – Hal Whitehead, Marine Biologist Thu, Sep 24, 2020

    In this episode we interview Dr. Hal Whitehead in his backyard, which overlooks the ocean in
    Herring Cove, Nova Scotia. Dr. Whitehead is a marine biologist, a professor in the Department
    of Biology, and author of several books. His interest in animal behaviour led to a scientific
    career studying the cultural lives of whales (even though his academic life began with an
    undergraduate degree in pure mathematics).

    He tells us about travelling between Maine, USA and England, UK while growing up, and how
    that experience on the eastern seaboard of the United States nurtured an early love of sailing
    that persists today.

    Now Dr. Whitehead uses his own sailboat to track sperm whales and northern bottlenose
    whales at sea for weeks at a time. A handful of graduate students join him to collect visual,
    acoustic, and biological data on how the whales behave and communicate with each other.

    Sciographies is brought to you by Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Science and campus-
    community radio station CKDU 88.1 FM in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • Sciographies – Episode 15 – Natalie Rosen, Psychologist & Sexual Health Researcher Thu, Sep 17, 2020

    In this episode we interview Dr. Natalie Rosen, a sex therapist, sexual health researcher, and
    associate professor of psychology. She tells us about growing up in Ottawa, being inspired by
    Dr. Sue Johanson’s sex education broadcast programs, her path through university and grad
    school, and insights from her couples-based research on sexual relationships. Dr. Rosen also
    tells us about her knowledge mobilization initiative PostBabyHankyPanky.com, which boils
    down her research findings into short, informative videos that aim to help new parents talk
    about the very common sexual concerns that arise for both partners after having a baby.

    Sciographies is brought to you by Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Science and campus-
    community radio station CKDU 88.1 FM in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • Sciographies – Season Three Trailer Thu, Sep 10, 2020
  • Sciographies – Episode 14 – Christine Chambers, Clinical Psychologist Thu, Oct 31, 2019

    In this episode, Dr. Christine Chambers tells us about her laser-focus career path and different types of pain. She also shares the motivation behind her deep commitment to science communication and knowledge mobilization.

    Dr. Chambers grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and knew at 12 years old that she wanted to become a child psychologist. That path began at Dalhousie, a few blocks away from her childhood home, when she took the undergraduate psychology program. Then she finished up her PhD in clinical psychology at UBC and started working as a psychologist, scientist, and professor.

    Now Dr. Chambers is a Killam Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience (Faculty of Science) and the Department of Pediatrics (Faculty of Medicine). She’s a leading figure in pediatric pain management and a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College for New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

    Her lab is based in the IWK Health Centre and that’s where she churns out evidence-based strategies for helping kids manage pain, while also making sure those strategies are reaching parents, family doctors, and other front-line healthcare providers.

    …And here are just a few more titles Dr. Chambers is known by:

    • Canada Research Chair in Children’s Pain
    • Scientific Director of SKIP: Solutions for Kids in Pain
    • Incoming Scientific Director of the C I H R Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health
  • Sciographies – Episode 13 – Lars Osberg, Economist Thu, Oct 24, 2019

    In this episode, we speak with Dr. Lars Osberg, the McCulloch Professor of Economics at Dalhousie University. He discusses economic inequality, insecurity and well-being — topics that have dominated his research career. He also tells us about his experiences studying and working abroad in the early 70s, and how the field of economics has captivated him for so many years.

    Dr. Osberg grew up in Ottawa and pursued his undergrad in economics at Queen’s University with a stint at the London School of Economics. After that, he spent two years volunteering with CUSO – Canadian University Service Overseas. That took Dr. Osberg all the way to East Africa where he worked with the Tanzania Sisal Corporation. When he returned to North America, he pursued a PhD in development economics at Yale, which he finished in 1975.

    He’s written over 10 books, many of which cover the topic of economic inequality. His most recent is called The Age of Increasing Inequality: The Astonishing Rise of Canada’s 1%. That book landed Dr. Osberg the Doug Purvis Memorial Prize for its contribution to Canadian economic policy… And the prize was awarded by the Canadian Economics Association, an organization Dr. Osberg once led as its president in 1999.

  • Sciographies – Episode 12 – Eric Oliver, Oceanographer Thu, Oct 17, 2019

    In this episode, we interview Dr. Eric Oliver, an assistant professor and oceanographer here at Dalhousie. Dr. Oliver outlines how climate change is increasing the occurrence of marine heatwaves in the ocean. He also shares his hope for a future where traditional Indigenous knowledge is combined with scientific data to conduct research that has meaningful impact for Northern communities, as he himself is a scientist of Inuit-descent with roots in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut.

    Dr. Oliver grew up in Labrador and spent plenty of time enjoying the great outdoors with family. Then he majored in physics and math before building a career in oceanography after doing his PhD here at Dalhousie. Today, Dr. Oliver studies climate modelling, ocean modelling, and marine heatwaves. They’re just like those we experience on land, but instead they impact marine ecosystems. Dr. Oliver is also working on new ocean research projects within, for, and by Inuit communities on the north coast of Labrador.

  • Sciographies – Episode 11 – John Gosse, Geologist Thu, Oct 10, 2019

    In this episode, we interview Dr. John Gosse, a geologist with Dalhousie University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

    We discuss growing up in Newfoundland, his adventurous undergrad years studying earth sciences, and how some of his latest research will help us better understand the risk of natural disasters in the Canadian Arctic as global temperatures continue to rise.

    Dr. Gosse uses specializes in using cosmic ray Isotope techniques to study how vast landscapes form and change over time. His research has brought him to The Andes, The Rockies, and The Himalayas. He has also explored the lesser known Torngat Mountains in Northern Labrador.

    Dr. Gosse spends a lot of time looking far, far into the pasts of massive mountains and glaciers, but his research also contributes to the fundamental science around prediction of natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.

  • Sciographies – Episode 10 – Megan Bailey, Fisheries Economist Thu, Oct 03, 2019

    In this episode, we interview Dr. Megan Bailey, a fisheries economist with Dalhousie University’s Marine Affairs Program. We discuss her artistic hobbies, changing her focus and finding her passion, and what it’s like to work at the intersection of ecological science and social science.

    Dr. Bailey grew up in London, Ontario with a love of animals that led her to a zoology degree. She then spent a year studying the behaviour of monkeys in the Suriname jungle, hoping to one day become a primatologist. While there, though, she found her mind was more occupied with questions about the jungle’s natural resources and how the local communities were using them. When Dr. Bailey returned to Canada, she course-corrected her career path and pursued a Master’s and PhD in fisheries economics instead.

    Now Dr. Bailey is a Canada Research Chair in Integrated Ocean and Coastal Governance. Her research informs public and private policies around seafood production and consumption all over the world. Her motivations are guided by the belief that ocean resources can be governed in ways that consider both ecological resilience and the social-wellbeing of communities that rely heavily on local fisheries.

  • Sciographies – Episode 9 – Alastair Simpson, Evolutionary Biologist Thu, Sep 26, 2019

    In this episode, we interview Dalhousie University’s Dr. Alastair Simpson, an evolutionary biologist. We talk to him about a widely-publicized paper his team landed in the journal Nature last fall, and how studying the genetic information of microbes helps us better understand the evolution of complex lifeforms on Earth. We also take a break from the science to discuss the sport that helps Dr. Simpson get through Canadian winters.

    Dr. Simpson grew up in Sydney, Australia. He first came to North America for some of his graduate work at the storied Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

    Then he landed a post-doc position here at Dalhousie in the Med School’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – and he’s been with the university ever since.

    Dr. Simpson was drawn to evolutionary biology in his undergrad because of how much we still don’t know about complex lifeforms on Earth. Today, he contributes to his field with research on eukaryotic microbes, also known as “Protists”. They’re organisms with complex cells – just like us – but they don’t belong to the animal kingdom, and they aren’t plants or fungi either. These microbes form many different branches on the Tree of Life, and Dr. Simpson’s team is particularly interested in the species that are predators; the ones that eat other microbes to survive and reproduce themselves.

  • Sciographies – Episode 8 – Jason Brown, Mathematician Thu, Sep 19, 2019

    In this episode, we interview Dalhousie University mathematician Dr. Jason Brown. We talk to him about his early days playing guitar in a band with his siblings, the real-world applications of graph theory, and the mathematics behind Beatles music.

    In his free time, Dr. Brown enjoys playing music and writing songs. He’s been performing in front of audiences for decades and has even recorded his own album (Songs in the Key of Pi).

    Back in 2004, some of Dr. Brown’s research made international headlines when he first used the power of math to figure out what was really going on with the mysterious opening chord of A Hard Day’s Night by the Beatles. Since then, he’s continued to explore music mathematically and publish the results.