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Lab Talk with Laura

Lab Talk with Laura

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Lab Talk with Laura

Lab Talk with Laura

Lab Talk with Laura

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About Us

A weekly radio show where Laura Fattaruso and a local comic interview STEM researchers at UMass Amherst. Fun, casual, informative! Online hosting supported by the Emrick Polymer Science Lab at UMass. Laura's research and outreach are funded by the National Science Foundation.

Latest Episodes

Ep. 32 - Marsha, Mimi, and Kim

This episode is all about water! We are joined by Marsha Allen from Geosciences and Mimi Alkattan from Civil and Environmental Engineering. Marsha explains her work studying storage and movement of water in the fractured bedrock of the island of Tobago, in order to plan for sustainable water pumping that considers future impacts from climate change. Mimi describes her work studying drinking water quality. Many places in the world with limited water supplies only deliver water to residents at certain times, but the water systems are designed for continuous flow-- she looks into the impacts of these intermittent water supplies on water quality. Local comedian Kim DeShields (aka Boney) joins as co-host.

70 MIN2019 OCT 24
Comments
Ep. 32 - Marsha, Mimi, and Kim

Ep. 31 - Tricia, Suzanne, and Ang

Dr. Tricia Serio (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UMass Amherst) and Dr. Suzanne Sindi (Applied Mathematics at UC Merced) explain their collaborative research into prion diseases using lab experiments with yeast colonies and mathematical simulations. They explain how prion diseases form and are transmitted, why they are incurable, and how their work aims to tackle that problem. They also talk about their unique collaboration as a biologist and mathematician and how these two fields have come together in recent decades. Comedian and teacher Ang Buxton joins as co-host.

59 MIN2019 OCT 3
Comments
Ep. 31 - Tricia, Suzanne, and Ang

Ep. 30 - Caroline, Lisa, and interviews from AGU

For this extra special episode I'm joined in the studio by Caroline Ladlow of UMass Geoscience and comedian Lisa Wentworth. We talk about Caroline's work using lake cores to understand storms and tsunamis, and we listen to interviews with scientists at the 2018 American Geophysical Meeting: Patrick O'Brien of the Lunar and Planetary Lab at University of Arizona describes his work studying lunar weathering, Sean Bath, a program specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes projects aimed at tackling the consequences of climate change, Ruben Rojas from the Physics Dept. at University of Maryland explains his lab's work trying to create a mini magnetic dynamo with a very large rotating sphere, Dr. Sharon Cooper and Dr. Jon Lewis, co-founders of the STEM SEAS (Student Experiences Aboard Ships) Program explain how their program gives undergrads the chance to do ocean research, and Kimberly Foecke from the Anthropology Dept. at Columbia College explains why she is rotting meat in the name of science.

88 MIN2019 JUN 27
Comments
Ep. 30 - Caroline, Lisa, and interviews from AGU

Ep. 29 - Sanket, Sam, Robin, and Taylor

On this episode I'm joined by leadership from the UMass chapter of oSTEM (Out in Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math). Undergrads Sam Marsden (current oSTEM President) and Robin Zollner (co-founder of UMass oSTEM) and PhD student Sanket Sabnis (Graduate Liaison to oSTEM)explain why it's important to have representation of queer identities in science. They also explain their research in chemical engineering: Janus particles that are engineered to have two distinct properties in one particle, polymer solutions that might be able to prevent vaccines from breaking down without refrigeration, and zeolite nano-sheets that can be used to separate hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Comedian Taylor Ortiz of the sketch comedy group Felt Waffle joins as co-host.

59 MIN2019 MAY 2
Comments
Ep. 29 - Sanket, Sam, Robin, and Taylor

Ep. 28 - Daria, Kendra, and Alina

On this episode I'm joined by UMass Amherst Physics grad students Daria Atkinson and Alina Blinova. Daria explains her research in soft materials geometry, and how knitting can help us understand the behavior of soft materials. Alina explains her work using lasers to supercool rubidium atoms in order to explore the quantum behavior of atoms. Comedian Kendra Dawsey joins as co-host, you can find her on Instagram @unamusedblackgirl

59 MIN2019 APR 25
Comments
Ep. 28 - Daria, Kendra, and Alina

Ep. 27 - Chris, Laurie, and Jennifer

Today I'm joined by Dr. Laurie Brown and Dr. Chris Condit, retired professors in the Geoscience Dept. at UMass. They tell the story of how they met and fell in love doing field work in the Springerville volcanic field in northern Arizona. Laurie explains her work studying Earth's magnetic field as it's recorded in the rock record (paleomagnetism), and talks about being the first woman professor hired in her department. Chris discusses his work mapping volcanoes and lava flows, and training NASA astronaut candidates how to do geologic mapping and sampling. Local comedian Jennifer Myszkowski joins as co-host. You can also find Jennifer hosting the Lady Haha Comey Open Mic at Holyoke Hummus in Holyoke, MA and hosting Bear Swaps Saturday mornings from 8-10 on Bear Country 95.3 FM.

60 MIN2019 APR 18
Comments
Ep. 27 - Chris, Laurie, and Jennifer

Ep. 26 - Destenie, Hannah, and Kim

On this episode I'm joined by Dr. Destenie Nock who recently completed a PhD in Industrial Engineering, and Hannah Johlas, PhD student in Mechanical Engineering. Destenie describes her research exploring the best ways to develop energy infrastructure in the global south, as well as planning for sustainable energy development in New England. Hannah explains how her computer simulations of fluid dynamics will help build better offshore wind farms. Both Hannah and Destenie are also co-chairs for the Graduate Women in STEM Outreach committee and they talk about the work they have done sharing their passion for science and engineering with young students and young girls in particular. Comedian Kim DeShields (aka Boney) joins as co-host. You can check out Destenie's blog about navigating life as a PhD student on her website: www.destenienock.com

59 MIN2019 MAR 28
Comments
Ep. 26 - Destenie, Hannah, and Kim

Ep. 25 - Heidi, Lian, Louis, and Gabe

On this episode I'm joined by Dr. Heidi Bauer-Clapp, Assistant Director of Grants and Scholarships in the Office of Professional Development at UMass, and organizer of the 3 Minute Thesis competition where graduate students compete to share their research in a compelling 3 minute speech. Grad student finalists Lian Guo (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology) and Louis Colaruotolo (Food Science) join us to share their research. Lian shares her work studying how climate shifts affect populations of river herring, a food source for many species higher on the food chain. Louis shares his research into a new method for testing biodegradable food packages using light and green food dye. You can catch them both at the final 3 Minute Thesis competition at Jones Library in Amherst, MA on Saturday March 23 at 3 pm. Hampshire college student and comedian Gabe Sklan joins us again as co-host.

59 MIN2019 MAR 21
Comments
Ep. 25 - Heidi, Lian, Louis, and Gabe

Ep. 24 - Interviews from HackHer413 (with co-hosts Sophie and Monk)

In this episode we hear interviews from the HackHer413 event, a hackathon for women and non-binary students organized by students at UMass Amherst. I speak to organizers Shreya Sharma and Shreya Sawant, and participants Alina Valdez, Elsie Eigerman, Isabelle Tjokrosetio, Shruti Jain, and Raveena Mewani. We hear about hacks like dialect-detection software, an app to locate gender-neutral bathrooms, and more! The event drew over 300 participants and dozens of sponsors for its launch in February 2019. I'm joined in the studio by comedians Sophie Allen and Monk Danger to chat about the interviews and the event. Enjoy!

58 MIN2019 MAR 7
Comments
Ep. 24 - Interviews from HackHer413 (with co-hosts Sophie and Monk)

Ep. 23 - Alex, John, Kaj, and Julian (plus Raquel, Edwin, and Ben)

On this episode, we hear interviews with earthquake scientists of many varieties at the 2018 Southern California Earthquake Center Meeting in Palm Springs, CA. I talk to Alex Hatem, PhD student at University of Southern California, John Ebel, Seismologist at Boston College, Kaj Johnson, a Geophysicist at Indiana University Bloomington, and Julian Lozos, Dynamic Rupture Modeler at California State University, Northridge. I'm joined in the studio by UMass PhD students Raquel Bryant and Edwin Murenzi, and Edwin's friend Ben Aalvik (founder of Fully Rooted juice company) to chat about the interviews as we listen and discuss any questions that come up. We learn about how soil luminescence can be used to figure out when earthquakes happened in the past, why New Englanders should care about earthquake science, how satellites are used to measure earthquake hazard, and how models of earthquake ruptures can help us understand both past and future earthquakes. Part 2 of a 2 part special episode!

59 MIN2019 FEB 19
Comments
Ep. 23 - Alex, John, Kaj, and Julian (plus Raquel, Edwin, and Ben)

Latest Episodes

Ep. 32 - Marsha, Mimi, and Kim

This episode is all about water! We are joined by Marsha Allen from Geosciences and Mimi Alkattan from Civil and Environmental Engineering. Marsha explains her work studying storage and movement of water in the fractured bedrock of the island of Tobago, in order to plan for sustainable water pumping that considers future impacts from climate change. Mimi describes her work studying drinking water quality. Many places in the world with limited water supplies only deliver water to residents at certain times, but the water systems are designed for continuous flow-- she looks into the impacts of these intermittent water supplies on water quality. Local comedian Kim DeShields (aka Boney) joins as co-host.

70 MIN2019 OCT 24
Comments
Ep. 32 - Marsha, Mimi, and Kim

Ep. 31 - Tricia, Suzanne, and Ang

Dr. Tricia Serio (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UMass Amherst) and Dr. Suzanne Sindi (Applied Mathematics at UC Merced) explain their collaborative research into prion diseases using lab experiments with yeast colonies and mathematical simulations. They explain how prion diseases form and are transmitted, why they are incurable, and how their work aims to tackle that problem. They also talk about their unique collaboration as a biologist and mathematician and how these two fields have come together in recent decades. Comedian and teacher Ang Buxton joins as co-host.

59 MIN2019 OCT 3
Comments
Ep. 31 - Tricia, Suzanne, and Ang

Ep. 30 - Caroline, Lisa, and interviews from AGU

For this extra special episode I'm joined in the studio by Caroline Ladlow of UMass Geoscience and comedian Lisa Wentworth. We talk about Caroline's work using lake cores to understand storms and tsunamis, and we listen to interviews with scientists at the 2018 American Geophysical Meeting: Patrick O'Brien of the Lunar and Planetary Lab at University of Arizona describes his work studying lunar weathering, Sean Bath, a program specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes projects aimed at tackling the consequences of climate change, Ruben Rojas from the Physics Dept. at University of Maryland explains his lab's work trying to create a mini magnetic dynamo with a very large rotating sphere, Dr. Sharon Cooper and Dr. Jon Lewis, co-founders of the STEM SEAS (Student Experiences Aboard Ships) Program explain how their program gives undergrads the chance to do ocean research, and Kimberly Foecke from the Anthropology Dept. at Columbia College explains why she is rotting meat in the name of science.

88 MIN2019 JUN 27
Comments
Ep. 30 - Caroline, Lisa, and interviews from AGU

Ep. 29 - Sanket, Sam, Robin, and Taylor

On this episode I'm joined by leadership from the UMass chapter of oSTEM (Out in Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math). Undergrads Sam Marsden (current oSTEM President) and Robin Zollner (co-founder of UMass oSTEM) and PhD student Sanket Sabnis (Graduate Liaison to oSTEM)explain why it's important to have representation of queer identities in science. They also explain their research in chemical engineering: Janus particles that are engineered to have two distinct properties in one particle, polymer solutions that might be able to prevent vaccines from breaking down without refrigeration, and zeolite nano-sheets that can be used to separate hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Comedian Taylor Ortiz of the sketch comedy group Felt Waffle joins as co-host.

59 MIN2019 MAY 2
Comments
Ep. 29 - Sanket, Sam, Robin, and Taylor

Ep. 28 - Daria, Kendra, and Alina

On this episode I'm joined by UMass Amherst Physics grad students Daria Atkinson and Alina Blinova. Daria explains her research in soft materials geometry, and how knitting can help us understand the behavior of soft materials. Alina explains her work using lasers to supercool rubidium atoms in order to explore the quantum behavior of atoms. Comedian Kendra Dawsey joins as co-host, you can find her on Instagram @unamusedblackgirl

59 MIN2019 APR 25
Comments
Ep. 28 - Daria, Kendra, and Alina

Ep. 27 - Chris, Laurie, and Jennifer

Today I'm joined by Dr. Laurie Brown and Dr. Chris Condit, retired professors in the Geoscience Dept. at UMass. They tell the story of how they met and fell in love doing field work in the Springerville volcanic field in northern Arizona. Laurie explains her work studying Earth's magnetic field as it's recorded in the rock record (paleomagnetism), and talks about being the first woman professor hired in her department. Chris discusses his work mapping volcanoes and lava flows, and training NASA astronaut candidates how to do geologic mapping and sampling. Local comedian Jennifer Myszkowski joins as co-host. You can also find Jennifer hosting the Lady Haha Comey Open Mic at Holyoke Hummus in Holyoke, MA and hosting Bear Swaps Saturday mornings from 8-10 on Bear Country 95.3 FM.

60 MIN2019 APR 18
Comments
Ep. 27 - Chris, Laurie, and Jennifer

Ep. 26 - Destenie, Hannah, and Kim

On this episode I'm joined by Dr. Destenie Nock who recently completed a PhD in Industrial Engineering, and Hannah Johlas, PhD student in Mechanical Engineering. Destenie describes her research exploring the best ways to develop energy infrastructure in the global south, as well as planning for sustainable energy development in New England. Hannah explains how her computer simulations of fluid dynamics will help build better offshore wind farms. Both Hannah and Destenie are also co-chairs for the Graduate Women in STEM Outreach committee and they talk about the work they have done sharing their passion for science and engineering with young students and young girls in particular. Comedian Kim DeShields (aka Boney) joins as co-host. You can check out Destenie's blog about navigating life as a PhD student on her website: www.destenienock.com

59 MIN2019 MAR 28
Comments
Ep. 26 - Destenie, Hannah, and Kim

Ep. 25 - Heidi, Lian, Louis, and Gabe

On this episode I'm joined by Dr. Heidi Bauer-Clapp, Assistant Director of Grants and Scholarships in the Office of Professional Development at UMass, and organizer of the 3 Minute Thesis competition where graduate students compete to share their research in a compelling 3 minute speech. Grad student finalists Lian Guo (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology) and Louis Colaruotolo (Food Science) join us to share their research. Lian shares her work studying how climate shifts affect populations of river herring, a food source for many species higher on the food chain. Louis shares his research into a new method for testing biodegradable food packages using light and green food dye. You can catch them both at the final 3 Minute Thesis competition at Jones Library in Amherst, MA on Saturday March 23 at 3 pm. Hampshire college student and comedian Gabe Sklan joins us again as co-host.

59 MIN2019 MAR 21
Comments
Ep. 25 - Heidi, Lian, Louis, and Gabe

Ep. 24 - Interviews from HackHer413 (with co-hosts Sophie and Monk)

In this episode we hear interviews from the HackHer413 event, a hackathon for women and non-binary students organized by students at UMass Amherst. I speak to organizers Shreya Sharma and Shreya Sawant, and participants Alina Valdez, Elsie Eigerman, Isabelle Tjokrosetio, Shruti Jain, and Raveena Mewani. We hear about hacks like dialect-detection software, an app to locate gender-neutral bathrooms, and more! The event drew over 300 participants and dozens of sponsors for its launch in February 2019. I'm joined in the studio by comedians Sophie Allen and Monk Danger to chat about the interviews and the event. Enjoy!

58 MIN2019 MAR 7
Comments
Ep. 24 - Interviews from HackHer413 (with co-hosts Sophie and Monk)

Ep. 23 - Alex, John, Kaj, and Julian (plus Raquel, Edwin, and Ben)

On this episode, we hear interviews with earthquake scientists of many varieties at the 2018 Southern California Earthquake Center Meeting in Palm Springs, CA. I talk to Alex Hatem, PhD student at University of Southern California, John Ebel, Seismologist at Boston College, Kaj Johnson, a Geophysicist at Indiana University Bloomington, and Julian Lozos, Dynamic Rupture Modeler at California State University, Northridge. I'm joined in the studio by UMass PhD students Raquel Bryant and Edwin Murenzi, and Edwin's friend Ben Aalvik (founder of Fully Rooted juice company) to chat about the interviews as we listen and discuss any questions that come up. We learn about how soil luminescence can be used to figure out when earthquakes happened in the past, why New Englanders should care about earthquake science, how satellites are used to measure earthquake hazard, and how models of earthquake ruptures can help us understand both past and future earthquakes. Part 2 of a 2 part special episode!

59 MIN2019 FEB 19
Comments
Ep. 23 - Alex, John, Kaj, and Julian (plus Raquel, Edwin, and Ben)
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