The Naturalist Podcast show

The Naturalist Podcast

Summary: The Naturalist Podcast is a rambling discussion of the world outside. Hosted by Sea McKeon (a biodiversity scientist and evolutionary ecologist) and Lev Frid (a ranger, wildlife photographer, and guide) the podcast covers topics of interest to modern naturalists. Discussions center on what is going on in the immediate surroundings in "Outside my door", Recent Natural History in the News, "Tropical flavors" when the opportunity presents, Natural History media reviews and the occasional guest appearance of other naturalists from around the world. We welcome your questions, and encourage everyone to take the time to get outside and observe what is going on outside in your own neighborhood. Come visit at


 The Naturalists Episode 34: Conserving Southeastern Peru with Chris Ketola | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:05:37

Sea and Anthony have a chance to talk with Chris Ketola, who runs biodiversity programs for the not-for-profit “Fauna Forever” ( in Southeastern Peru. Talk of bats, reptiles and amphibians, and jaguars as Chris spins some of his greatest adventures to date. Video vailable on Youtube: And as a podcast on your favorite platform or below!

 The Naturalists Episode 33: Exploring Southeast Australia with Maggie Galbraith | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:26

We have Maggie Galbraith a naturalist from Southeast Australia with Sea and Lev to discuss fall in the Southern Hemisphere, BlackBirdersWeek, and the announcement of our first photography contest! You can find Maggie’s photography under the account “Maggies_Lens” at Flickr. The hashtag for the photocontest is #Naturalistimages1 – shared on The Naturalists Facebook group, or on Instagram. David Shaw’s introduction to the contest starts right around minute 47 on the video or podcast. Some of the many Links and individuals for Black Birders Week can be found here: Resources #BlackBirders (Twitter) #BecauseofBlackBirdersWeek (Twitter) Birding While Black:  A Candid Conversation (YouTube) @BlackAFinSTEM (Twitter) @Hood_Naturalist (Twitter) @Chelseaherps (Twitter) #BirdingWhileBlack (Twitter) @kassthefish (Twitter) @Tykee_James (Twitter) @n8ture_al (Twitter) @1BlackBirder (Twitter) Rules for the Black Birdwatcher (YouTube)

 The Naturalists Episode 32: Spring in the Time of COVID | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:43

Sea and Lev have a chance to catch up on a weird and quiet spring in the time of COVID, and try out video for the first time… available on YouTube:

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 31: Going Offshore with Kate Sutherland | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:39

“White-faced Black-capped Petrel” photo by Kate Sutherland Mesoplodon europaeus or Gervais’ Beaked Whale, photo by Kate Sutherland Sea gets a chance to talk about Black-capped Petrels, Beaked Whales, and getting back into academic science with Kate Sutherland of . Brief highlights from Kate’s review of “Oceanic Birds of the World” by Howell and Zufelt.

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 30: Lev in Ethiopia with Endemics, Many Quelea, and the Pantene Monkeys | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:07

In the heat of the summer, Lev shares his adventures from a trip to Ethiopia, a place of extremes of climate and spectacular biodiversity. From the Gelada and Ethiopian Wolves of the Bale Mountains, to Stresemann’s Bushcrow of the plains, and many many Quelea, sounds like the sort of place naturalists dream of.

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 29: Seaside Sparrows, Climate Change, and Reaching Out with Corina Newsome | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:23

Sea had a chance to talk with ornithologist and science communicator Corinna Newsome about salt marsh nesting birds, finding routes to natural history as adult, and what diversity and representation mean in science.

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 28: The Giant Otters of the Amazon with Jess Groenendijk | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:01:12

Sea and Lev have a great conversation with science communicator and nature writer Jess Groenendijk about her recently published “The Giant Otter: Giants of the Amazon” , conservation in an era of change, and hope. Some of Jess’ work and links to social media can be found on her website: You can find Jess’ book at Amazon at this link: The clip of Giant Otters attacking a Black Caiman can be found here:

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 27: On Carrie Bow Cay with Lauren, Isaac, and Colin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:49

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR0136.JPG DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR2102.JPG In this episode Sea gets to talk with Lauren, Isaac, and Colin students from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, The National Public Honors College ( about their first experiences at the Carrie Bow Cay Field Station ( off the coast of Belize, marine biology, and sleeping in oceanfront hammocks.

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 26: Nature Journaling with Marley Peifer | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:06:33

Lev and Sea had a chance to talk with Marley Peifer, an educator with The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center about nature journaling, cognition, and the roots of our interest in the world around us. Marley’s work can be found at

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 25: Awaiting Spring, and thinking about Warmer Weather | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:04

Lev and Sea have a chance to catch up and compare notes on spring. Lev talks about winter in the neotropics and the start of his guiding season with Humpback Whales, Ocellated Turkey, and upcoming trip to Ethiopia. Book review of Birds of Central America by Vallely and Dyer, and mention of several new ‘rediscoveries’ in the news.

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 24: Caves, Fishprints, and Conservation with Dante Fenolio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:02:03

Sea and Lev have a chance to talk with Dante Fenolio, Vice President of Conservation and Research at the San Antonio Zoo.  Dante’s passionate approach to conservation takes him around the world from Appalachian streams to the huge cave systems of China.  Highlighting some of the many projects going on at the zoo, from Texas Horned Lizards to Amazonian Rainforest, the guys find lots of common ground in appreciation of global biodiversity, and the urgent need to find working conservation strategies. The programs of the San Antonio Zoo can be found at: Dante’s Personal Site: Dante’s Most Recent Book:

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 23: Islands, Continents, and Squirrels with David Hembry | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:07:58

In this episode, Sea and Lev get a chance to talk with David Hembry, an Evolutionary Ecologist who works on island insect-plant mutualisms, and has wandered extensively around the central Pacific islands.  Between David’s islands and Lev about to travel to the Atlantic forests of Brazil, a comparison of island and continental faunas takes hold, as well as discussion of terrestriality in unexpected groups and lots of talk of squirrels. David’s work can be found on his website here: Lev is now working with Rockjumper Birding Tours: And Sea is now the Special Initiatives Coordinator for the Natural History Section of the Ecological Society of America :

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 22: Rita talks flowers, sharks, and scallops | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:13

Lev and Sea have a chance to talk with Rita Steyn, a marine ecologist and science communicator newly in Florida by way of South Africa.  The conversation wanders from the change of seasons in North America and South Africa, the remarkable biodiversity and biogeography of the Cape Region, the recent shark attack off of Cape Cod, red tide along the coast of Florida, and the marvelous eyes of scallops.  Rita’s work can be found at and @ritasteyn, where she shares her science writing and photography.

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 21: Tackling prickly issues with Anthony Porter | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:39

Lev and Sea are joined this week by Anthony Porter who is an environmental educator experiencing the first touches of fall in Minnesota.  Talk of kids, bears, wonder and flying squirrels.  And of course, Anthony’s porcupine friend Thistle. Here is the link to Anthony’s video introduction to Porcupines:  

 The Naturalist Podcast Episode 20: In the Pacific Northwest with Brendan McGarry | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:13

Our guest this episode is Brendan McGarry, a Naturalist living and working in the upper Skagit River Basin and the Cascade mountains.  We had a great conversation about the swifts living in his chimney, variability in wildflower season from year to year, his watershed ‘big year’, challenges and rewards in environmental education, and the remarkable behavior of crows. Brendan’s blog can be found at, and his photo catalog is located at And here is the link to the fox-and-eagle video that Brendan mentions from out on San Juan Island, WA:  


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