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LSU Experimental

Education Podcasts

Experimental is a podcast series that features Louisiana State University faculty and students sharing their passion for research and their personal stories of investigation. Listen and learn about exciting projects and the individuals posing the questions.


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Experimental is a podcast series that features Louisiana State University faculty and students sharing their passion for research and their personal stories of investigation. Listen and learn about exciting projects and the individuals posing the questions.




Episode 43: Tiffany Simms Lindsey - The Science of Beer at Fighting Hand Brewery

LSU alumna, Tiffany Simms Lindsey, puts skills learned in her intro biology course to good use - crafting unique and tasty beers at Fighting Hand Brewery in Pineville, Louisiana. Tiffany and her husband opened the brewery in May 2021 and it is here where her expertise as a lab manager, chemical engineer, and food chemist merge to bring hoppy-beverages to life. In this episode, Tiffany shares how her experience in science led her on this path, how she’s gone “all in”, and upcoming inspirations for creating a welcoming space for her customers. You can learn more about Tiffany and her story on Science Next, the official blog of the LSU College of Science.


Episode 42: Darnisha Harrison - Using Therapeutics to Tackle COVID-19

COVID-19 has upended our lives in how we interact and function. As of September 2021, the Centers for Disease Control estimate over 40 million people have been sick and approximately 652,000 people have died in the United States. We see that vaccines and mask-wearing are effective in controlling the spread, but people are still getting sick. We can’t fully eradicate COVID, but what if we could more effectively treat the symptoms of those infected and shorten the duration of their illness? LSU alumna, Darnisha Harrison, the Founder, President & CEO of Ennaid Therapeutics is working to answer that question. In this episode, Darnisha shares the inception of her company and the driving, divine mission to tackle diseases and identify treatments suitable for all of society. Catch more of Darnisha Harrison's story on a previous post on Science Next, "Will it take more than a vaccine to beat the Coronavirus?" Learn about Ennaid Therapeutics:


Episode 41: Kyle Harms - What's the deal with biodiversity?

What information does the biodiversity of your area hold? Potentially, it tells a story about the mechanisms, processes, and traits of organisms that inhabit the space. In this episode, we are talking to Kyle Harms from LSU College of Science Department of Biological Sciences about biodiversity. From deep in the Panamanian rainforest to right in our Louisiana Pine savannas, Kyle has travelled to many locations in pursuit of understanding the relationships of biodiversity and evolution in how they shape ecosystems.


Episode 40: Craziest, Weirdest, and Most Dangerous - Keeping Your Cool

Has there been a time where you’ve had to push through frustration, panic, or fear? Most likely the answer is yes! And this is also true for our researchers because keeping your cool is crucial for both your research AND your own safe. In this minisode of Craziest, Weirdest, and Most Dangerous (recorded in the summer of 2020), we spotlight Prosanta Chakrabarty’s tight squeezes during his cave explorations and Meagan Moore’s NASA payload recovery adventures as moments when calm, patience and creativity were needed to face fears and collect the data.


Episode 39: Craziest, Weirdest, and Most Dangerous - The Minute Details

Details are key to research, but what happens when those small details are overlooked, or worse, ignored? We are back with another mini episode of Craziest, Weirdest and Most Dangerous and this time we are exploring those particular, small details that are critical to research. That’s right we are talking about the Minute Detail and it’s a Post-it Note Apocalypse involving governmental records! We’re revisiting the experience of our LSU Research Librarians, Hayley Johnson and Sarah Simms, at the National Archives where they were researching Japanese Internment Camps.


Episode 38: Craziest, Weirdest, Most Dangerous - Don't Lose Your Head

Sometimes our head gets the best of us, causing us to panic, hallucinate, or give us pause about what is happening. This mini episode of Craziest Weirdest, and Most Dangerous is all about those moments where our thoughts and even dreams have created a hiccup in our study process. We feature Valerie Stampley and Heidi Novokowski and when their wondering minds resulted in some exciting moments.


Episode 37: Cindy Nguyen - A COVID-19 Experience

By now you’ve heard all about COVID-19—the insidious virus responsible for the global pandemic—from its severe symptoms to the demographics of those at risk. The statistics are frightening, but they’re not as relatable as a personal account. After contracting the virus in early March, Cindy Nguyen, a medical student at LSU Health New Orleans and graduate from the College of Science and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, joined us for an interview—even with lingering COVID-19...


Episode 36: Meagan Moore - Problem-solving with STEAM

What happens when you include art in science, technology, engineering and math? You create STEAM or, in this case, Meagan the Maker. Meagan Moore, a senior in biological engineering at LSU, is a creative force using her wealth of unique artistic and problem-solving talents to find solutions for everything from prototyping PPE for healthcare professionals during the pandemic to fabricating life sizes 3D phantoms used in breast cancer research. She joins me via Zoom where we dive into her...


Episode 35: Craziest, Weirdest, Most Dangerous Miniseries: The People

We’ve heard some amazing stories from our LSU researchers, but we’ve also heard stories that have tested our guests’ resolve and ability to keep their cool in order to collect that data. Over the next few months, we will look back at the different stories in this special series: Craziest, Weirdest, and Most Dangerous Things Done in the Name of Research. Get ready, because in the second episode we explore dangerous encounters with people from Peter Clift’s tea time interruption to the...


Episode 34: Craziest, Weirdest, Most Dangerous Miniseries: The Runners

We’ve heard some amazing stories from our LSU researchers, but we’ve also heard stories that have tested our guests’ resolve and ability to keep their cool in order to collect that data. Over the next few months, we will look back at the different stories in this special series: Craziest, Weirdest, and Most Dangerous Things Done in the Name of Research. When asked about their craziest, weirdest, and most dangerous moments, Zack Rodriguez, Allison Barbato, and Whitney Kroschel all had one...


Episode 33: Heidi Nowakowski - The First Semester of Medical School

Are you wondering how to get into medical school and what it will be like once you make it? What better than to hear from someone who just completed their first semester in med program! We are featuring LSU students at different stages in their medical career, from getting accepted to entering rotations. We begin with Heidi Nowakowski, LSU Spring 2019 College of Science graduate. Heidi is currently in her 2nd year in med school at LSU New Orleans, but we caught her in the middle of her first...


Episode 32: Anna Hiller - Hybridization in Andean Nectar Bandits

In nature, hybrid zones are where two species or varieties meet and cross-fertilize, such as the classic donkey + horse = mule. A single hybrid zone is scientifically important for understanding how species diverge. So imagine the excitement of finding not just one, but two hybrid zones in the Andes of South America. And even cooler, the hybrid zone is the home of a special type of bird, flowerpiercers, who steal nectar from plants using their pirate-hooked bills. Anna Hiller, LSU Museum of...


Episode 31: Phillip Bart - The Past, Present & Future of Antarctica's Ice Sheets

At this very moment, the ice sheets covering and surrounding Antarctica are dynamic, moving and receding in response to temperature and other factors. Some of the changes are abrupt and quite apparent, like calving events where large chunks of ice break off of glaciers and plunge into the ocean. Others are more subtle because the movement of the ice is occurring slowly, like it has done for over thousands of years. Dr. Phil Bart, LSU College of Science Geology & Geophysics professor, invites...


Episode 30: Keith Comeaux -Engineering the Mars 2020 Rover Mission

What’s it like to launch an SUV-sized rover to another planet and ensure that, on arrival, the rover will be able to complete scientific missions AND be controlled from Earth? This is exactly what Dr. Keith Comeaux, Deputy Chief Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and his team are tackling for the Mars 2020 Mission. In this episode, Dr. Comeaux leads us through the complexities involved in designing Mars rovers his career path from LSU to NASA, and the potential prospects of...


Episode 29: Valerie Derouen - Packaging Science into Outreach Activities

Who is responsible for creating a bridge between the scientists asking questions and the curious public? The answer, Outreach Specialists. In this episode we speak with Valerie Derouen, the LSU Museum of Natural Science’s very own outreach coordinator. Valerie is tasked with packaging the hardcore science and conservation efforts done by museum researchers into activities that engange audiences of all ages. We learn what a typical day looks like for an Outreach Specialist, how to develop...


Episode 28: Rebecca Christofferson - Pesky Blood Sucker & the Arboviruses They Carry

Mosquitos can cause more than an itchy welt. They are vectors of arboviruses. But what is an arbovirus? Dr. Rebecca Christofferson, Assistant Professor of Pathobiological Sciences from the School of Veterinary Medicine, presented her research on the transmission of these harmful viruses and how we can protect ourselves from them during LSU’s Science Cafe Talk in July 2017. Following her presentation, we continued all things mosquitoes and dove into a range of topics including vector borne...


Episode 27: Zack Rodriguez - Straight out of nature! It’s Green-blooded lizards

Get ready for the weird! We’re learning all about Green-blooded lizards - not from a sci-fi movie, but straight out of nature! Papua New Guinea to be exact. We’re joined by Zack Rodriguez, PhD Candidate in the College of Science’s Museum of Natural Sciences, to learn all about green-blooded lizards, the importance of studying green blood, and how Zack is preparing for an upcoming expedition to Papua New Guinea to discover more.


Episode 26: #ScientistsWhoSelfie with Dr. Paige Brown Jarreau

How can the problematic science stereotypes be dismantled? With selfies! It’s National Selfie Day and we’re marking the occasion with my co-author, Dr. Paige Brown Jarreau. Paige and I along with Lance Porter from the LSU Manship School, Imogene Cancellare from the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Samantha Yammine from the University of Toronto, and Daniel Toker from the University of California Berkeley, explored the role of science self portraits play in addressing problematic stereotypes....


Episode 25: Michael Pasquier - The Cultural Connections of People, Land, & Water in Louisiana

What composes a community and the cultures within? In Southern Louisiana, communities are constructed by the people and the ecosystems that surround. Michael Pasquier, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History and the Jaak Seynaeve Professor of Christian Studies, begins our conversation with Our Lady of Prompt Succor and the prayers offered to protect the people of Southern Louisiana from approaching storms. The connections of the people to the land and water shape the culture of...


Episode 24: Hayley Johnson & Sarah Simms - Japanese Internment Camps in Louisiana

Did you know that over 1000 Japanese men were interned in Louisiana during WWII? Hayley Johnson and Sarah Simms, passionate librarians from LSU Libraries, explore this buried history in our own backyard. We discuss who these Japanese men and their families were, the conditions at the Louisiana internment camps, and the crucial lessons we need to remember in order to fight against the discrimination of those who are different.