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iLEAPS Early Careers Scientist Podcast

iLEAPS Early Careers Scientist Podcast

By iLEAPS Early Career Scientist Network
This podcast explores both the scientific research related to the biosphere and atmosphere and the personal experiences of early career scientists.
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iLEAPS ECSN podcast #1: The African Academic/Researcher blog -Dr. Mulubrhan Balehgn and Dr. Dawit Gebregziabher

iLEAPS Early Careers Scientist Podcast

iLEAPS ECSN podcast #1: The African Academic/Researcher blog -Dr. Mulubrhan Balehgn and Dr. Dawit Gebregziabher

iLEAPS Early Careers Scientist Podcast

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iLEAPS podcast episode #26 Dr. Eleinis Avila-Lovera - Role of stem photosynthesis in drought responses of trees and lianas in the Neotropics
Dr Eleinis Avila-Lovera is a plant ecophysiologist. Eleinis is currently an Earl S. Tupper postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Eleinis talks about her career path and research undertaken during her undergraduate studies, PhD and previous postdoc at Chapman University, California. Eleinis explains more about her fieldwork and analytical equipment she uses to measure photosynthesis in plants. Eleinis also raises important points about work-life balance and mental health in academia. Finally Eleinis talks about a recent network that she has set up with a fellow colleague that is aimed at bringing together other scientists in Latin America who study plant ecophysiology, Red Latinoamericana de Ecofisiólogos Vegetales and passes on advice for other early career scientists who may be working in or visiting Latin America.
19:52
September 13, 2021
iLEAPS podcast #25 Brenda D'Acunha - Water and carbon fluxes across different ecosystems and land-use types in Brazil
During this episode of the iLEAPS podcast we chat with Brenda D'Acunha who is currently a PhD student at the The University of British Columbia, Canada. Brenda is originally from Peru and currently studies the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of water and carbon over different types of ecosystems and land-use regions within Brazil utilizing a network of eddy covariance towers to collect data. Brenda talks about the challenges of carrying out fieldwork and collecting data during the global corona virus pandemic and also those challenges associated with fieldwork. Brenda also talks about her role as co-director of the REPU program, Research Experience for Peruvian Undergraduates, an organisation that arranges internships for Peruvian students to enable the development of technological and scientific capacity in Peru.   
21:45
September 13, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #24 Manuel Flores - Assessing Forest Level Response to the Death of a Dominant Tree within a Premontane Tropical Rainforest
For this episode of the iLEAPS podcast we talk to Manuel Flores who is a Masters research student in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Manuel had the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in the forest of Costa Rica during his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University. Manuel explains more about his experiences as a visiting researcher to Costa Rica and more about the scientific findings behind his recently published article "Assessing Forest Level Response to the Death of a Dominant Tree within a Premontane Tropical Rainforest" published in the journal Forests. During the podcast Manuel also talks about the challenges he has encountered and good experiences that he has had during his academic journey so far. 
17:00
August 30, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #23: Julieta Juncosa Calahorrano - Tracking Ammonia emissions using aircraft measurements- Colorado State University
Julieta Juncosa Calahorrano is currently a PhD student at Colorado State University, researching ammonia emissions. Julieta was awarded a UCAR Next Generation Fellow for 2021-2023 working with both Dr. Alessandro Franchin and Dr. Gabriele Pfister. Julieta's current research aims at understanding and measuring ammonia emissions from animal feeding operations using analytical instruments based onboard the University Wyoming King Air (UWKA) research aircraft under the project Transport and Transformation of Ammonia (TRAN2AM). Julieta is originally from Ecuador and talks about her studies in her home country before making the decision to pursue her PhD in Colorado, North America. Julieta talks about the difficulties and highlights during her career so far and the importance of finding good mentors and applying for internships
28:40
August 13, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #22: Dr. Flávia de Souza Mendes - Remote Sensing science and career path
Dr. Flávia de Souza Mendes is a remote sensing research scientists from Brazil who has made the transition from academia to industry. Flávia works at Remote Sensing Solutions , a company in Munich, Germany.  During this podcast Flávia chats with us about her career path, how she established a career in remote sensing, the challenges she faced along the way and how she overcame them. Flávia also discusses what inspired her to become a scientist and her current research and role at Remote Sensing solutions, including useful groups that she is a part of such as Ladies of Landsat, @LadiesofLandsat and Remote Sensing Applied to Tropical Environments (both on twitter). Flávia raises important points about mental health and having a support network (friend, family and other scientists) to help overcome the challenges that she has faced during her career such as going to university initially, learning a new language, moving to a new country and finally undertaking a PhD. 
22:15
August 12, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #21 Dr. André Luís Diniz dos Santos - Environmental modelling career
Dr. André Luís Diniz dos Santos has recently completed a PhD in modelling of biosphere-atmosphere processes at the Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, in Brazil. André is also an early career representative for the FLUXNET community. During this podcast André talks about his PhD research and work he is undertaking currently, including the use of Ameriflux data to test the developed model further. André also talks about what inspired him to become a scientist from his early days as well as explaining how he developed his fluency in speaking and writing English and the role of publications in an academic career.  Finally André talks about the importance of coding as a modelling scientists and gives advice for early career scientists.   
15:26
August 5, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #20: Dr. Eliane Gomes-Alves - BVOCs from Amazon forests
Dr. Eliane Gomes-Alves is a Post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biogeochemical Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany. Eliane studies Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound (BVOCs) at the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) field station in Brazil. Eliane is an early career member of LAECESS - Latin America Early Career Earth System Scientist network. During this podcast Eliane talks about her current research, career highlights and discusses the challenges faced by both women and Latin American early career scientists and how she tackled navigating her way through these challenges.
17:33
August 3, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #19 Chat with Professor Allison Steiner
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. Our guest for this podcast is Professor Allison Steiner who is a Professor of atmospheric sciences in the Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan. Allison is also a member of the iLEAPS Scientific steering committee. Her research uses and develops models to explore the interactions of the biosphere and atmosphere, with the goal of understanding the natural versus human influence on climate and atmospheric chemistry. In this podcast Allison talks about her scientific interests and how these have shaped her career path. Allison also talks about her role within iLEAPS, what the future might hold for this area of research and gives great advice for early career scientists.
23:45
March 29, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #18 Chat with iLEAPS International Project Office member Dr Garry Hayman
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. Our guest for this podcast is Dr Garry Hayman, a land surface modeller based at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH). Garry discusses his career path and some of the exciting science projects he has been involved with in the past and also talks about his current research at UKCEH. Garry gives us an insight into his role in the iLEAPS International Project Office (IPO) and the history behind iLEAPS, how it started and how it has evolved. He talks about the iLEAPS science plan developed by the Scientific Steering Committee that underpins the decisions and future direction of one of nineteen Global Research Projects (GRP) under Future Earth.  
26:31
March 22, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #17 Chat with iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee member Dr. Xianhong Meng
Dr. Xianhong Meng is a scientist in Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Science, Lanzhou, China. She is interested in how land surface conditions respond to climate change, and affect weather and climate substantially, based on observations, satellite data and modelling, particularly over the arid and semi-arid regions, including the high-altitude and cold Tibetan Plateau regions. Now she leads a field observational station called “Zoige Plateau Wetlands Ecosystem Research Station” in Northeast Tibetan Plateau in China. In this podcast Dr. Meng discusses her career path and talks about her research and gives information on the iLEAPS conference March 2021 session that she is co-convening related to research in the arid and semi-arid environments. 
16:21
March 19, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #16 Chat with ECSN North America committee member Dr. Patrick Keys
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. During this podcast we talk to Dr Patrick Keys from Colorado State University, Colorado, USA. Pat talks about his career path and his current role as a researcher in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES). Pat discusses how he go involved with iLEAPS ECSN and the benefits to being part of the iLEAPS ECSN community can bring. 
20:05
March 17, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast#15 Chat with iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee member Prof Sebastian Leuzinger
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. During this podcast, we talk to Prof. Sebastian Leuzinger, who is a plant ecologist in the School of Science at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and an active member of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee. Sebastian talks about his career and his motivation to become a researcher/scientist rather than working in the industrial sector much more well paid. He also talks about his role as a member of iLEAPS SSC, the collaboration with other members of the committee both SSC and ECSN, the support iLEAPS to carry out research and to organise science outreach activities such as conferences and podcasts. Sebastian also mentions the importance of social like Twitter for collaboration. He concludes on his current research activities on water flows and carbon distribution in trees, mainly the role that roots play in the communication between plants.
14:13
March 15, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #14 Chat with iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee co-chair Dr. Benjamin Poulter
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. In this podcast we talk to Dr Benjamin Poulter who is a research scientists at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, USA, where he studies the terrestrial carbon cycle. Ben uses a variety of techniques such as remote sensing data, ground-based observations and experiments to build ecosystem models to understand global processes. Ben discusses his career path, passing on useful advice to early career scientists, and also explains the future direction of iLEAPS and the scientific areas that we need to understand and research more, as a community, in the future.
22:04
March 11, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #12 Chat with iLEAPS ECSN Committee Chair and representative for Latin America Dr Stefan Wolff
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. During this podcast we talk to Dr Stefan Wolff who is a research scientists at the Max Planck institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany and the Atmospheric Tall Tower Observatory  (ATTO) in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. Stefan discusses his career path so far as an early career scientists and explains more about his work at ATTO on work relating to quantifying atmospheric compounds over the rainforest and looking at biosphere-atmosphere processes. Stefan passes on useful advice to early career scientists. He also talks about LAECESS an early careers scientist network in South America.
16:33
March 10, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #11 Chat with iLEAPS ECSN committee member Dr. Pallavi Saxena
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. During this podcast we talk to Dr Pallavi Saxena who is an Assistant Professor in the Depart of Environment Hindu College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India. Pallavi talks about her career path, experience and the research she has been conducting on air pollution and its interaction with plants. Pallavi also gives details about the two science webinar sessions she is co-convening alongside members of the scientific steering committee during the iLEAPS Conference sessions in March 2021.
18:13
March 9, 2021
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #10 Chat with iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee member Dr. Silvano Fares
This podcast forms part of a series in which we introduce members of the iLEAPS Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and also the Early Career Scientist Network (ECSN) Committee and forms part of the iLEAPS Online conference during March 2021. During this podcast we talk to Dr Silvano Fares who is a researcher at the National Research Council of Italy – Institute of BioEconomy, where he is the Head of the laboratory of biometeorology, Rome, Italy. Silvano talks about his career path and his research studying forests and plants in particular trace gases such as volatile organic compounds and pollutants such as ozone and their impacts on biosphere-atmosphere processes. Silvano discusses the motivation behind the iLEAPS Conference 2021 session - Urban forests in the times of Covid-19 and explains more about the wider aims of iLEAPS.
13:23
March 6, 2021
ILEAPS ECNS podcast #9: Tamryn Hamilton - Assessment of air quality in south Africa
Tamryn is a PhD student who project aim to analyse the active NO2 and SO2 flux measurements from 2015 to present, creating a uniquely South African understanding for fossil fuel emissions, deposition and, potentially, the environmental impacts thereof. NO2 and SO2 are generated from fossil fuel and biomass burning. In South Africa, coal power stations dominate electricity production and industries do not remove sulfur or nitrogen from off-gases. These gaseous pollutants are often recirculated across the region by the dominant circulation patterns resulting in environmental acidification through accumulation in rainwater and soils. Previously gaseous deposition studies were modelled based on passive sampling techniques, limited to monthly resolution.
11:08
November 23, 2020
iLEAPS ECNS podcast # 8: Amukelani Maluleke - carbon dioxide, water and turbulent exchange between Namakaroo and savanna
Amukelani Maluleke, is a PhD student working on carbon dioxide, water and turbulent energy exchanges between Nama-Karoo and Savanna type vegetation and the atmosphere. His project aims to improve the quantitative understanding of these key ecosystem processes to characterise their temporal responses to variations in biophysical inputs (rainfall, temperature, radiation) with the application of the Eddy Covariance flux measurements and remotely-sensed vegetation indices. Linking these two measurement approaches allows the study to improve the spatial coverage of vegetation response assessments of semi-arid ecosystems and ultimately inform decision making about prioritising resource allocation towards climate change resilience in South Africa
18:30
November 19, 2020
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #7: Orchids in Central Africa - Laura Azandi
Laura Azandi is a PhD researcher at the university of University of Yaoundé, Cameroon and Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.  Laura's research is on understanding the taxonomy, ecology and reproductive biology of orchids (Genus: Cyrtorchis) from the tropical region of Central Africa to enable the development of a future conservation strategy.  During this podcast we hear where Laura's passion for botany originated and we talk about some of the highs and lows of academia.  This podcast is for all the aspiring future botanists out there.
22:20
November 18, 2020
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #6: Miombo woodland of South-East Africa - Thom Brade
Thom Brade is currently a E3 DTP (NERC funded) PhD student at the University of Edinburgh working in the LANDteam research group in the School of Geosciences. In this podcast Thom gives an account of the fieldwork he has been conducting in Africa as part of his PhD project. His advice to early career researcher comes from the perspective of a visiting student to a new country, giving sensible suggestions on how to tackle big data projects with long term data sets. Thom also makes great suggestions for students who might need to plan and carry out fieldwork in regions where the language and culture may be different from their own.
21:37
November 17, 2020
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #5: Vegetation survey at Benfontein nature reserve, in South Africa - Buster Mogonong
Buster Mogonong is an Ecologist based in South Africa; working under the internship programme offered by the Expanded Freshwater and Terrestrial Environmental Observation Network (EFTEON) which is hosted by SAEON South African  Environmental Observation Network. Buster's work is to conduct field surveys of the vegetation at the Benfontein nature reserve (in the Northern Cape, roughly 430km from Johannesburg) that lay within the footprint of the EFTEON Flux towers. This area is where two different biomes meet, the Nama-Karoo, and a grassy and Kalahari thornveld savannah.  Buster describes the background to the EFTEON project and his field site, the place where he will be conducting repeat vegetation surveys on 1 hectare measurement plots following the Socio-Ecological Observatory for Southern African Woodlands (SEOSAW) protocol. Buster's work on this site is just beginning and he is open to future discussions with researchers as his work progresses. In addition, Buster gives good advice about the importance of being part of a network as an early career scientist.
26:26
November 16, 2020
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #4: Carbonaceous aerosols - Emeka Ugboma
Emeka is a self-funded PhD student and research focuses on the novel generation of carbonaceous aerosols using laser ablation techniques. Previously he has studied the spatial distribution of NO2 concentrations in the south eastern region of Nigeria too. During this podcast Emeka discusses the work he is doing and what aspect he enjoys most about his work. He also highlights some of the very real and difficult challenges that can be faced by PhD students. However, the determination, strength and passion of Emeka for his research field is clear during this podcast and he gives good advice for any future early career scientists. 
19:33
November 11, 2020
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #3: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Prunus africana - Yves Hermandez Tchiechoua
Yves is a final year PhD student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Pan African University. His research has focused on finding natural alternatives to the use of fertilizers for the vegetative propagation of tree species, Prunus africana. Yves looked at the effect of Indigenous and Introduced Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Growth and Phytochemical of the tree.  During this podcast Yves tells us about his research and gives good advice for early career researchers about how to build your research skills and to keep positive. There is also a great reminder during this podcast that we should focus on our lives outside of our studies just as much too! This podcast is inspiring for future plant ecologists and shows how some of the problems in biosphere-atmosphere research can sometimes be solved by looking underground.
19:41
November 10, 2020
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #2: Air quality in South Africa - Bianca Wernecke
Bianca Wernecke is a researcher based in the Environment and Health Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). Bianca's work focuses on air quality and during this podcast she very clearly defines this problem from the perspective of human health and talks about some of the main challenges that lay ahead in finding a solution. Bianca talks about the important role of further research and communication within the communities where poor air quality has the greatest impact. Finally, Bianca sends a message of positivity, optimism and encouragement for any future career researchers who are entering this field of study. For more background on the work at SAMRC take a look at the website here. To find out more about Bianca's research please take a look at her researchgate profile
18:55
November 8, 2020
iLEAPS ECSN podcast #1: The African Academic/Researcher blog -Dr. Mulubrhan Balehgn and Dr. Dawit Gebregziabher
Dr. Mulubrhan Balehgn, a researcher now at the University of Florida, USA, founded a blog website back in 2010 calling it "The African Academic/Researcher" as a way of making use of the network he had build up himself during his research studies. He also had a strong desire  to give something back and to help his fellow researchers. Mulubrhan was contacted frequently for advice about how to create opportunities and progress in academia and soon realised he could do something bigger and better than replying to individual requests for advice and so the blog site was born.  Inspired by Mulubrhan's mission, Dr. Dawit Gebregziabher, a researcher based at Mekelle University, Ethiopia, a co-founder of the blog, has been assisting and leading the growth of the blog too. Please listen to this podcast if you are currently an early career researcher based in Africa, it is some of the most heart felt, positive and inspiring advice you will get! In fact, some of this content doesn't only apply to early career researchers but is important for all the scientific community and university leaders to hear the reasons how and why we should help each other and give something back into the academic system.   To access the blog page and search for opportunities then look here:  The African Academic/Researcher  With special thanks to Dr David Odee, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology who through his contacts and efforts to build an iLEAPS group for Africa this podcast was made possible. 
26:23
November 5, 2020