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The STEM Queen Of Rat Island | Carolyn Kurle | Wondros Podcast 172

Jesse and Priscilla talk with Dr. Carolyn Kurle, professor of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution about her work studying rats and their impact on islands, as well as the effects of climate change on ecosystems.

What happens to islands that become overrun with rats?

Marine ecologist Carolyn Kurle discusses

Highlights

  • Kurle studies the impact of rats on islands, which can lead to devastating effects on native species.
  • She also looks at the role of plants in ecosystems, including the vulnerable whitebark pine tree, which is dying off due to infestations of a beetle that is thriving due to rising temperatures.
  • Kurle uses scientific methods, such as DNA analysis and stable isotopes, to study animal diets and relationships in ecosystems.
  • She explores the interconnectedness of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, such as studying the role of salmon in fertilizing trees in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Kurle discusses the importance of communicating scientific findings to the public and policymakers.
  • She examines the effects of climate change on small islands, which can have disproportionate impacts due to their limited resources.
  • Kurle emphasizes the importance of educating and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and conservation.

0:02 – Climate Change

2:11 – The First Night on Rat Island

5:28 – How Do Invasive Rats Impact the Rocky Inner Tidal System

6:54 – Cattle and Reindeer as an Invasive Species

12:21 – Island Conservation

22:10 – Earth Connection

31:06 – The Guidance Group