PEAT Media Center

Peatland Podcasts

1. Peatlands 101 with Kristen Maynor
An interview with Wetland Stewardship Specialist Kristyn Mayner from Ducks Unlimited Canada to give an overview of boreal wetlands in Canada (and the world!). We talk about how to identify peatlands, interesting plants and animals, and different ways that peatlands are threatened. As a bonus, you also get to hear me insult all amphibian researchers in the intro as I blunder on about why peatlands are important and why you should care about my PhD dammit! Talking is hard and all amphibian researchers can @ me on twitter. Also, maybe we should have a conversation so I value amphibians more?
2. TWIL – Wetlands and contagious disease
This week I learned (TWIL) about a physician in the 1500s (Girolamo Fracastro) who got carried away and wrote a 1,346 poem about syphilis and its potential causes–including those dirty, dirty wetlands. Girolamo eventually went on to pioneer important pre-germ theory ideas that have kept him in the spotlight all these years later. Enjoy!
3. Peatlands and climate change with Dr. Julie Loisel
Dr. Julie Loisel joins the pod to chat about peatlands and climate change. Dr. Loisel is a professor at Texas A&M and studies ancient records in peatlands to understand where peatlands have been and where they are going. She has done research from the Arctic to Antarctica and lots of places in between. In our conversation, we talk about how climate and peatlands are connected, how peatlands have changed in the past, and what we know about their future as important nature-based climate solutions.
4. TWIL – Congo peatlands
This week I learned (TWIL) about the recent (2017) western discovery of the Cuvette Centrale peatland in the Congo. The Nature article by Greta Dargie and colleagues that officially published their findings can be found here. A lot of my info for this episode came from the excellent Mongabay News articles by John C. Cannon. You can check out the 4-part series by starting with Part 1. I also talk a little bit about Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode about the Congo which is Season 1 Episode 8. I also briefly mentioned a book called Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez (10/10 recommend) and another podcast called Outrage and Optimism by some of the folks at the UN who helped bring about the Paris Agreement (this is my fav climate podcast and they have a great global perspective).
5. An activists’ perspective on peat extraction with Miriam Korner and Elizabeth Bekolay
Miriam and Elizabeth join the pod to talk about preserving peatlands from peat extraction near La Ronge, SK. Though peat extraction only affects ~0.02% of peatlands in Canada, peatlands or muskegs are important stores of carbon, water sponges and filters, refugia to birds and animals, and are invaluable cultural and spiritual resources. No matter where you stand on the issue of peat extraction, I hope you’ll consider the perspectives of these two activists.
6. Exploring plants with Dr. Björn Robroek
Dr. Bjorn Robroek (Assistant Professor at Radboud University) joins the pod to talk about plants! I am a fan of plants, but was very out of my comfort zone. Luckily, Bjorn was a good sport and we had a fun conversation about some of his favorite plants. Towards the end, we deviated a bit to talk about peatland disturbance and reclamation in the Netherlands.
7. Permafrost peatlands and mental health with Dr. Merritt Turestky
Dr. Merritt Turetsky (CU Boulder, INSTAAR) joins the pod to talk about permafrost peatlands! We talk about the unique qualities of permafrost peatlands and the sad reality that many of them are disappearing due to anthropogenic (aka human-caused) climate change. Merritt explains the state of the science and why it’s unlikely that permafrost peatlands will be a “Carbon Bomb” in the future. We also chat about mental health and the importance of self-care and setting boundaries.
8. Peaty adventures with author Edward Struzik
Ed Struzik (twitter: @Kujjua) joins the pod to chat about his latest work: Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat. We talk about some of his adventures and he gives some advice on how to help conserve these lovely places. I’ve added some links below for some of the things we talk about in the episode. You can also contact me by email at or on twitter or instagram @forpeatssakepod.
9. Peatland wildfire with Dr. Sophie Wilkinson
Dr. Sophie Wilkinson (University of Toronto) joins the pod to talk about peatland wildfire. We talk about natural fire cycles in peatlands, how climate change may increase fire frequency, and discuss some of the tools of the trade.

99% invisible – For the Love of Peat

In an era of constant bad news about the climate crisis, it can be tough to find something to be optimistic about. So in 2019 when articles started circulating declaring that tree planting had “mind-blowing potential” to combat climate change, a lot of people got excited. To be clear, the best thing we can do to tackle the climate crisis is to stop burning fossil fuels, but there are also ways that we can soak up some of the C02 that we’ve put into the atmosphere. Trees and other plants actually do this naturally. They take in carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their leaves and branches and trunks.

99% invisible – Re:Peat

A few years back, 99pi producer Emmett FitzGerald brought us a beautiful story about peat bogs. Peat is essential for biodiversity and for the climate – it is really, really good at storing carbon. But like a lot of things we cover on the show, peat often goes unnoticed, in part because it is literally out of sight underground. We’ve  noticed peat and carbon sequestration more and more in the news lately. Journalists have been brilliantly covering stories about the tree planting movement, private ownership of Scotland’s bogs, and the threat to peat in the Congo Basin. Couple that with more extreme weather happening in more places, we thought it would be a good idea to repeat this story.

BBC – Costing the Earth: The Power of Peat

In the fight against climate change the peatlands of the British Isles are one of our greatest assets. A healthy peat bog can absorb more carbon dioxide and store it for longer than forests of a similar size. But we’re still destroying our peat at a frightening rate. It’s mined for use by gardeners, it’s burned in power stations, taken by traditional peat-cutters and ravaged by moorland fires. In ‘Costing the Earth’ Tom Heap meets the people leading the fightback. He takes to the skies above the Peak District where helicopters are dropping rocks and heather brash onto remote hillsides to heal the wounds caused by two centuries of acid rain. He joins the teams blocking drains and planting pods of sphagnum moss in an effort to bring carbon-sucking life back to the blasted heaths of the peaks.

The Sustainable Flowers Podcast – A little about the peat in your potting mix

Well, in this episode we chat about this miraculous organic material, and why we should be thinking about it every time we pot something up, and perhaps why we need to look at alternatives. 

We cover: what is peat, why peatlands are important, how it is extracted, why we use it and current trends with respect to its use

Diaries of a Lady Gardener – Peat free soil trials and allotment life with @rachels.allotment

From flowers and fruits to succulents and sowing micro greens, we cover a whole host of topics with some of your favourite people across the gardening world. This ones for those who prefer plants to people and think of their seedlings as their children.

This episode is sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers, who are celebrating the great outdoors this spring! Visit them in stores across the UK or at between the 1st of March and 31st of May to make the most of their fabulous offers. You’ll find discounts on items like sheds, garden furniture and all those gardening essentials, so head over to check out their full product range and get your garden summer ready!

Yorkshire Peat Partnership – Bogcast

A series of podcasts on all things peat…

Evolution Podcast – For Peat’s Sake

Today’s episode is all about our peatlands. The flora and fauna that call them home but also the farmers and communities that live on and around bogs. Dr Shane brings us to Clara Bog in Co. Offaly to hear about how FarmPeat are working with these communities to change the conversation around turf and the landscape.

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