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17. Copper deposits in Chile | Ed Bunker

Wires. Bronze Age tools. The Statue of Liberty. What do all of these have in common? Copper! Ed Bunker is a PhD researcher at the University of Bristol where he studies the formation of porphyry copper deposits. In this episode he chats to old university pal Eleni about his fieldwork on an active mine in Chile. Listen along to find out what its like to work in one of the driest places in the world, and why being able to speak football can be as important as speaking the local language.


16. Migratory seabirds in the Aleutian Islands | Carley Schacter

Carley Schacter (one of Stacy’s buddies from their time in Newfoundland together) spent 4 field seasons during her PhD on a number of remote islands in the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific. Her work involved tagging Auklets, a type of migratory seabird, to investigate what they get up to during the winter. She chats about the challenges of planning for and working on tectonically-active uninhabited rocks at the edge of the world, how to sleep whilst surrounded by screaming birds, and...


15. How to do fieldwork on an asteroid | Tim Gregory

What would fieldwork on an asteroid be like? To answer this question Eleni headed to the University of Bristol to chat to cosmochemist and PhD researcher Tim Gregory. He investigates meteorites found on Earth in order to understand the early Solar System. Tim’s dream fieldwork would take him to an asteroid belt. While this is outside of the capabilities of human space travel (for now), unmanned missions to asteroids may be critical for our future survival as a human race! Tim talks to Eleni...


14. Metamorphism and deformation in the Alps | Francesco Giuntoli

Francesco Giuntoli, currently at Sorbonne University, Paris, talks to us about his PhD research at the University of Bern, where he worked in the Italian Alps. We learn about how he uses the classical approach of geological mapping to underpin his lab work, in order to understand the complex jigsaw puzzle that is the formation of the Alps. Listen in to how Francesco literally walked in the footsteps of previous geologists, all the while contending with some interesting mountain wildlife, all...


13. Extremophiles in Ethiopia | Vincent Rennie

Vincent Rennie from the Open University studies some of the world’s most incredible organisms; microbes that can survive the extremes of heat, salinity and pH, organisms fittingly called extremophiles. Studying them means travelling to some of the most extreme and seemingly inhospitable environments on the planet, including Dallol, Ethiopia, which holds the record for the highest average temperature for an inhabited location on earth. We talk to him about the problems of searching for life...


12. Imaging the deep with seismic surveys | Sian Evans

For many of us seismic images might look like a complicated series of wiggly lines, but to researchers like Sian Evans from Imperial College London they are a fascinating window into the deep geological structures that shape our planet. For this episode we find out how seismic data is collected and how it can help us understand the disruptive effect of salt on geology, the plumbing systems of volcanoes and the potential earthquake hazards posed by deep geological faults. Sian recounts her...


11. Mineral Exploration in North America | Hannah Mills

We’ve gone international this week by interviewing Hannah Mills, an Exploration Geologist based in Vancouver, Canada. Fieldwork is a huge part of her job, taking her to all the corners of North America. Listen in to find out what it is like working in the most remote parts of Northern Canada, how universities and industry work together to understand how mineral deposits form, and what food is best when you’ve been hiking all day.


10. Salt and science communication in Canada | Jack Richardson

Jack Richardson is a geologist and PhD researcher based at the University of Birmingham, where he studies the secret world of salt! Using drones and magnetic techniques he is trying to piece together how evaporite rocks (salts that formed when ancient oceans dried up) have flowed and deformed underground. We talk to Jack about his fieldwork in Nova Scotia, Canada, and find out about the importance of science communication, sleep, and friendship whilst on fieldwork.


9. Bees and other bugs with Entocast

In this episode we’ve teamed up with fellow podcasters Liam and Nick from Entocast to talk about some more creepy crawlies (because we didn’t get enough of them in Episode 8!). Liam and Nick are both entomologists and PhD researchers at the University of Birmingham. Listen in to hear about why hornets have a bad rep, what entomologists are really up to when tying their shoelaces, and how to make an Airbnb for bees. After you’ve feasted your ears here, be sure to listen and subscribe to the...


8. Invasive insects in Antarctica | Jes Bartlett

Jes Bartlett is a polar ecologist based at the University of Birmingham, where she is investigating an invasive species of midge in Antarctica. She’s interested in how these little critters survive in extreme polar conditions and the impact that they make on the ecosystems in the region. Jes describes the unique challenges you face when working on remote islands in Antarctica. Have a listen to find out about the beautiful and not so beautiful creatures she came in contact with and what it is...


7. Mountain building in Bhutan | Eleni Wood & Stacy Phillips

We’ve turned Fieldwork Diaries on its head for Episode 7 - it’s the creators of the podcast being interviewed this week! Matt Kent, star of Episode 1 has been drafted in as our guest host and he is quizzing Eleni Wood and Stacy Phillips, the team behind this very podcast. We both work on the geology of the Himalaya, and were out on fieldwork together this year in Bhutan where we were investigating mountain building processes. We chat to Matt about the amazing people we met, the wildlife we...


6. Chimpanzees in Uganda | David Pettifer

David Pettifer is a primatologist and behavioural ecologist at the University of Birmingham where he studies how chimpanzees age and how ageing affects their musculoskeletal health. As part of his PhD research, he recently headed out to the wilderness in Uganda to observe wild chimps and their behaviour. Whilst faced with the challenge of trying to find an elusive group of the primates, David was treated to a series of close encounters with Ugandan forest fauna both big and small. Make...


5. Glaciers on Mars | Frances Butcher

Frances Butcher is a PhD researcher at the Open University who combines her love of astronomy and glaciology to study glaciers on Mars! But how can you study glaciers on Mars if you can’t go on fieldwork there? Listen to the episode to find out the ingenious ways in which planetary scientists can study these space glaciers by using the resources available to them here on Earth.


4. Reasons to love fieldwork

Putting on your big boots, escaping the office and exploring new environments ; these are just some of the reasons why researchers love fieldwork! At the 2017 CENTA conference, we asked PhD researchers to tell us why they love their fieldwork. Their fieldwork has taken them everywhere from limestone grasslands in beautiful Oxfordshire to the remote Antarctic circle. Listen to find out more!  This episode features the voices of Tessa Driessen & Richard Mason from Loughborough University;...


3. High pressure Himalayan geology in India | Anna Bidgood

Geologist Anna Bidgood, from the University of Oxford, takes us on a journey to the top of the highest mountain range on the planet: the Indian Himalaya. Anna works in Ladakh, a region where the air is thin, the wildlife is rare and interesting commuters pass through her field area. She is investigating how the edge of India was forced deep beneath the Asian continent in a subduction zone, formed when the two continents collided. The clues she needs to understand this geological history are...


2. Volcanoes in Nicaragua | Kerry Reid

Kerry Reid is a volcanologist and PhD student at The Open University. In this podcast, she describes her fieldwork in Central America, where she studies the volcanic degassing of Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua. Her work helps to predict future activity at the volcano, and is crucial to the health and livelihoods of local people in the path of the toxic cocktail of gases. Listen to hear all about her adventures, as she recounts the surprises and challenges of working on an active volcano!


1. Peatlands in Indonesia | Matt Kent

Open University biogeochemist Matt Kent transports us to the peatlands of Indonesia, the land of the orang-utan, and a critical carbon-store. Matt studies tropical peatlands, investigating water-air greenhouse gas emissions and what dominates these processes. Listen to him cover everything from the joys of fieldwork, working with local field guides to deploy his “space hats”, to the fragility of peatland environments, which face the threat of devastating forest fires.


0. An Introduction

Hello there! You’ve found our brand-new podcast series. We’re very excited to share the interviews from Fieldwork Diaries with you. But, just before we get going, here’s a little taster of what’s to come.