Ologies with Alie Ward

Ologies with Alie Ward

www.alieward.com/ologies
Volcanoes. Trees. Drunk butterflies. Mars missions. Slug sex. Death. Beauty standards. Anxiety busters. Beer science. Bee drama. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists’ obsessions. Humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life.


Oikology (DECLUTTERING) with Jamie & Filip Hord + Joe Ferrari
May 26 • 93 min
Why does clutter happen? How can we get rid of it and how will it affect us psychologically if we do? Buckle up for an episode that will lift your spirits and quite possibly change your life. We all have unfolded piles of laundry, that closet we don’t…
Planariology (VERY COOL WORMS, I PROMISE) with Oné Pagán
May 20 • 60 min
Who cares about flatworms? Guess what: you do. Planarian expert Dr. Oné Pagán shares his infectious enthusiasm for the teeny tiny ribbons of flesh that are helping scientists understand addiction, limb regeneration, stem cells, immortality and maybe…
Coronasode: Virology Update (COVID-19) with Shannon Bennett & Mike Natter
May 12 • 68 min
What kind of masks should you wear? How many people have had COVID-19 and don’t know? Do antibody tests work? When will we have a vaccine? Is it okay to picnic? Will there be a second wave? You need updates and we’ve got ologists. The wonderful Dr.…
Architectural Technology (COMPUTER PROGRAMMING) with Iddris Sandu
May 5 • 71 min
Iddris Sandu is only 22, but his life story is already legendary. This Architectural Technologist learned to program at the age of 11 and has worked with everyone from Kanye West to Nipsey Hussle to Space X. We talk coding, web design, holograms, and how…
Nassology (TAXIDERMY) with Allis Markham
Apr 28 • 91 min
Glass eyes! Pelts! Antlers! Hides! Bones! Tanning! Hilarious, charming and globally celebrated taxidermist Allis Markham chats about her passion for preserving animals for museums and institutions. She’s won multiple awards for her artful poses and…
Penguinology (PENGUINS) with Tom Hart
Apr 21 • 58 min
Do penguins have flippers or wings? Why do they waddle? Do they really mate for life? What’s up with pebble gifts? Are they squishy or dense? And why why why are they so cute? April 25th is World Penguin Day and there’s never been a better time to sit…
Gastroegyptology (BREAD BAKING) with Seamus Blackley
Apr 14 • 87 min
Sourdough starters! Ancient yeasts! Why we need/knead dough! And why you don’t need to buy a starter to start. Polymath, particle physicist, inventor of the Xbox, and truly delightful fermentation nerd Seamus Blackley joins to chat about his kitchen…
Philematology (KISSING) with Robin Dunbar
Apr 7 • 66 min
Why do we kiss? What makes a good kiss or a bad kiss? How many microbes do we exchange? Is it good for us? One of the world’s most accomplished researchers on kissing, social behavior and relationships, Dr . Robin Dunar of Oxford University reluctantly…
Plumology (FEATHERS) with Allison Shultz
Mar 31 • 79 min
Plumage! Sexy dances! Feather heists! Possible holographic disco birds? Natural History Museum of LA ornithology curator Dr. Allison Shultz is a professional plumologist aka feather expert. We visit the museum’s collection of rare specimens and chat about…
Lepidopterology (BUTTERFLIES & MOTHS) — Encore Presentation with Phil Torres
Mar 25 • 80 min
Since we just put out the “All (Washed) Hands on Deck” episode on Sunday, we figured a happy Springtime encore about fluttery, colorful cuties was in order — with a few new updates and asides. Because … Butterflies are gross. Yes they are delightful and…
Coronasode: All (Washed) Hands on Deck — How to Help Yourself & Others Right Now with Dr. Michael F. Wells
Mar 22 • 65 min
CALLING ALL OLOGISTS: If you’re a scientist who wants to help with the COVID-19 pandemic — boy howdy have we got an episode for you. Dr. Mike Wells, a neurobiologist at Harvard University and the Broad Institute, knows we need tests in the U.S. and is…
Veterinary Biology (CRITTER FIXING) with Dr. Vernard Hodges & Dr. Terrence Ferguson
Mar 17 • 64 min
At long last: an episode dedicated to veterinary medicine! Dr. Terrence Ferguson & Dr. Vernard Hodges have been friends for nearly 30 years and have co-owned their rural Georgia veterinary clinic, Critter Fixers, for over 20 years. The two wonderful…
Coronasode: Virology (COVID-19) with Dr. Shannon Bennett + various ologists
Mar 10 • 83 min
Folks, it’s a megasode. Not one, but 4 ologists. “Coronavirus” is on everyone’s lips — and some people’s hands — but what is it? Where did it come from? How does it spread? How dangerous is it? What should we do? Who’s most at risk? Was it biowarfare? Do…
Scatology (POOP) with Rachel Santymire
Mar 3 • 66 min
Yep. Here it is. Let’s dive right in … to poop. Hippo poop. Ferret poop. Octopoop. Dogs. Cats. Yours. The charming and informative Dr. Rachel Santymire — aka Dr. Poop — has a background in animal physiology and endocrinology and is elbow deep in dung as a…
Volitional Psychology (PROCRASTINATION) with Dr. Joseph R. Ferrari
Feb 25 • 65 min
“Everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator,” quoth Dr. Joe Ferrari, a charming, hilarious expert on the subject. The research psychologist, author and DePaul University professor sits down for a truly delightful exploration of why we…
Cryoseismology (ICEQUAKES) with Celeste Labedz
Feb 18 • 57 min
Glaciers: Where are they? What are they made of? What happens when chunks splinter off into the sea? There are ICEQUAKES? CalTech Cryoseismologist Celeste Labedz sometimes wears a cape with her snowpants and spends part of her career shooting explosions…
Genealogy (FAMILY TREES) with Stephen Hanks
Feb 11 • 68 min
Histories, mysteries, memories and families: it’s time to clamber up our ancestral trees. Author and genealogist Stephen Hanks — who teaches genealogy classes in Portland, Oregeon and has contributed to PBS genealogy documentaries — sits down to chat…
Nephology (CLOUDS) with Rachel Storer
Feb 4 • 56 min
Cumulus! Lenticular! Venti sugar-free stratocumulus stratiformis translucidus undulatus! Those light and fluffy things that hang overhead weigh thousands of pounds and form under all kinds of conditions. Cloud doctor and nephologist Dr. Rachel Storer…
Diabetology (BLOOD SUGAR) Part 2 with Dr. Mike Natter, MD
Jan 28 • 80 min
Diabetic diabetologist and wonderful person Dr. Mike Natter, MD is back to answer all of your questions about blood sugar, the cost of insulin, pancreas transplants, keto, glucagon, how exercise can save your life, his most meaningful interactions with…
Diabetology (BLOOD SUGAR) Part 1 with Dr. Mike Natter, MD
Jan 21 • 59 min
Your blood sugar can make you happy, moody, sweaty, unconscious and possibly even homicidal. In this episode, Dr. Mike Natter dishes about how blood sugar works, what insulin does, and how prevalent diabetes is in all of its various forms. Also: keto vs.…
Bisonology (BUFFALO) with various bisonologists
Jan 14 • 92 min
Bison bison! Not just something to holler into the sky, but also the scientific name for North America’s majestic wild bovines that once roamed the plains in the tens of millions. What’s up with their humps? On what occasion do they wear capes? What…
Futurology (THE FUTURE) with Rose Eveleth
Jan 7 • 88 min
“The future’s not ours to see…” OR IS IT? Professional futurologist Rose Eveleth — host of the podcast Flash Forward — endures all kinds of breathless questions from Alie about shiny metal and implanted microchips and biohacking and population density…
Fearology Pt. 2 (FEAR) with Mary Poffenroth — Encore Presentation
Dec 31, 2019 • 58 min
FEAR. Anxiety. Stress. Dread. It’s all the same dang thing, as it turns out. Biologist and fear expert Mary Poffenroth is back to answer your questions in Part 2 of the encore presentation that’s been one of the most helpful interviews of ol’ Alie Ward’s…
Fearology Pt. 1 (FEAR) with Mary Poffenroth — Encore Presentation
Dec 24, 2019 • 73 min
Every day, your brain tries to save your life by being terrified. Thanks, brain! Also, calm the f*ck down, brain. In 2018, Alie hunted down Mary Poffenroth, an expert in the biological and sociological causes/effects of fear — and it is riveting. This…
Audiobook Mixtape: Gift Ideas from the Ologists’ Brains
Dec 17, 2019 • 56 min
Need holiday gift ideas? GET BOOKS. This episode is like an audiobook… but also a mixtape? It’s got a little bit of everything, from cozy cabin tales to dark caves to our own reflections, how your atoms will be recycled, New Year’s resolutions, cat…
Chronobiology (CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS) with Katherine Hatcher
Dec 10, 2019 • 72 min
What time should you go to bed? Are you sleeping enough? Is Daylight Savings good for us? Is shift work really that bad? How dark is dark enough? Katherine Hatcher, who studies hormones, sleep cycles and circadian rhythms, helps Alie dissect her terrible…
Phonology (LINGUISTICS) with Nicole Holliday — Encore Presentation
Dec 3, 2019 • 64 min
Alie is delirious with the flu, so it’s an encore presentation of a favorite episode. If you slept on this when it first aired, get into Phonology now. Vocal fry. Code switching. Black Twitter. Valley girls. Culture vultures. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TALKING.…
Quantum Ontology (WHAT IS REAL?) with Adam Becker
Nov 26, 2019 • 79 min
Is anything real? How many universes are there? Do we know what dark matter is all about? Is everything a simulation being run by a quantum computer through a wormhole from a future era? Is the answer to everything really … 42? The affable and charming…
Lupinology (WOLVES) with Bridgett vonHoldt
Nov 19, 2019 • 76 min
Wolf howls, wolf packs, wolf pups and more! As the holiday Wolfenoot approaches, lupinologist and Princeton professor Dr. Brigette vonHoldt sits down to talk about her research looking at everything from wolf populations to modern dog behavior, canine…
Molecular Neurobiology (BRAIN CHEMICALS) with Crystal Dilworth
Nov 12, 2019 • 87 min
Serotonin! Dopamine! Norepinephrine! Neurotransmitters: what’s their deal? Dr. Crystal Dilworth, aka Dr. Brain, stops by to have a spirited discussion about how chemical messengers change our moods and behaviors. We chat about depression, anxiety, what…
Chiropterology Part 2 (BATS) with Merlin Tuttle
Nov 5, 2019 • 61 min
PART 2: The stunning conclusion of a 3-hour gab session about frickin’ bats with America’s favorite chiropterologist, Dr. Merlin Tuttle. Learn about bat conversations, their close friendships, surprising dongs, where they keep their nipples, how to go bat…
Chiropterology (BATS) Part 1 with Merlin Tuttle
Oct 29, 2019 • 100 min
“People fear most what they understand least.” Words of wisdom from explorer/American treasure/bat expert, Dr. Merlin Tuttle. Alie headed to the bat capital of Austin and sat down with the legendary chiropterologist to discuss wild field stories and close…
Demonology (EVIL SPIRITS) with Alyssa Beall
Oct 23, 2019 • 73 min
Demons, spooky spirits, devils, fallen angles, hungry ghosts: every culture has them. And West Virginia University Religious Studies professor, demonologist and history buff Dr. Alyssa Beall runs down how humans have used myths and stories to explain the…
Spidroinology (SPIDERWEBS) with Randy Lewis
Oct 15, 2019 • 72 min
Invisible but stronger than steel. Complex architectural marvels. Things that stick to your face. Spiderwebs are much more than just Halloween decor or something to feather dust from your corners. Spider silk expert Dr. Randy Lewis of Utah State…
Cucurbitology (PUMPKINS) with Anne Copeland
Oct 8, 2019 • 60 min
PUMPKIN PUMPKIN! Not only a thing to scream while passing a patch, but also the name of author and human delight Anne Copeland’s gourd opus. Yes, she’s so charmed by pumpkins that she dedicated a whole book to exploring their folklore, history, planting…
Osteology (SKELETONS/BODY FARMS) with Daniel Wescott
Oct 1, 2019 • 78 min
Let’s dig right into Spooktober with … BONES. You’re a steak-covered skeleton and it’s nothing to fear. The amazingly kind and committed osteologist Dr. Daniel J. Wescott of Texas State University’s famed Forensic Anthropology Research Center sits down —…
Phenology (FALL/SEASONS) with Libby Ellwood
Sep 24, 2019 • 85 min
The seasons are a-changin’! It’s sweater weather in both hemispheres and seasonal researcher and expert Phenologist Dr. Libby Ellwood weighs in with amazing information about why fall smells so good, why leaves change color, why we like to cronch them,…
Potterology Part 2 (WIZARD SCIENCE) with Rebecca Lai
Sep 17, 2019 • 48 min
PART 2: Your questions answered by Dr. Rebecca Lai, as a continuation of last week’s foundational episode. Accio: ALL YOUR DREAMS COMING TRUE. Whether you’ve never read the Harry Potter series — or you have dogeared copies on your nightstand — there’s…
Potterology Part 1 (WIZARD SCIENCE) with Rebecca Lai
Sep 9, 2019 • 72 min
Accio: ALL YOUR DREAMS COMING TRUE. Whether you’ve never read the Harry Potter series — or you have dogeared copies on your nightstand — there’s something for everyone in this 2-part episode dissecting the science of the spells in J.K. Rowling’s books.…
Vexillology (FLAGS) with E. Tory Laitila
Sep 3, 2019 • 78 min
Flags! How long have we flown them? Will you get arrested for stomping on one? Which ones are cute and which are fugly? Which colors don’t we see on flags and why? How did all this flag etiquette originate? E. Tory Laitila, a textile expert who also…
Paleontology (DINOSAURS) Encore Presentation with Michael Habib
Aug 28, 2019 • 51 min
It’s a trip back in time to a baby podcast! Hear the humble beginnings of Ologies as your Ol’ Dadward takes a week to celebrate her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. This encore presentation of Paleontology — complete with new bells, whistles, intro and…
Disasterology (DISASTERS) with Samantha Montano
Aug 20, 2019 • 86 min
Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, explosions, hurricanes, oil spills, bombings, BAD THINGS: Why do they happen? What can we do to prepare? What is a disaster vs. a catastrophe? Who makes it their life’s work to go help? Professional Disasterologist…
100th Episode: Best Life Advice from Ologists + 100 More Ologies
Aug 14, 2019 • 24 min
ONE HUNDRED EPISODES, kiddos. From slimy hagfish coils on the ocean floor to the outer reaches of space. Into our brains and out a bird butt and beyond. Ol’ Dadward reflects on the past 100 episodes by distilling the 5 best peptalk lifehack self-helpy…
Saurology (LIZARDS) with Earyn McGee
Aug 6, 2019 • 67 min
Saurologist and professional lizard scientist Earyn McGee visits Alie to go on a little lizard hunt, then they hunker down to chat about everything from tiny chameleons to drooling dragons, venomous thiccbois, legless lizards, geckos’ antigravity grip,…
Graphology (HANDWRITING/FORGERY) with Sylvia Kessler
Jul 30, 2019 • 63 min
Is it weird to have different handwritings? How do you forge ancient documents? What pen should you use to write checks? Who is the greediest person in American history? Forensic document examiner Sylvia Kessler met up with Alie in the back of a Nebraska…
Cnidariology (CORAL) with Shayle Matsuda
Jul 25, 2019 • 81 min
Will changing your sunscreen save coral reefs? What even IS a coral? Where do they grow and what do they eat and why are they so pretty? Is it reefs or reeves? The wonderful and charming coral biologist and cnidariologist Shayle Matsuda of the Hawaii…
Disinfectiology (BLEACH) with Evan Rumberger
Jul 16, 2019 • 52 min
It lives under your sink and may have saved your life but… WHAT THE FUNK IS BLEACH? Hot off of a beaker-laden lab tour, Alie chats with Dr. Evan Rumberger, a bleach scientist, about his work, his history, what bleach IS, what it turns into, and how to…
Nomology Part 2: (THE CONSTITUTION): Let’s read the whole friggin thing.
Jul 9, 2019 • 80 min
Have you ever read every word of The U.S. Constitution? You don’t have to, because ol’ Dadward here is about to read it into your ears and give little sidenotes to make sure we both understand it. This episode is a follow up to Nomology with law professor…
Nomology (THE CONSTITUTION) with Franita Tolson
Jul 2, 2019 • 90 min
If you’ve never read The Constitution, you’re like most of us. What does it even say?! Most Americans aren’t law scholars, which is why we sat down with a Dean of USC’s Gould School of Law, Professor Franita Tolson, to have her give us the crib sheet on…
Cabinology (CABINS) with Dale Mulfinger
Jun 25, 2019 • 59 min
Log cabins, woodsy getaways, A-frame cuties, cottages, tiny homes, lake houses: WE GET INTO IT. World famous Minnesota architect, author, professional cabinologist and human delight Dale Mulfinger sits down to discuss everything from what makes a cabin a…
Disease Ecology (LYME/TICK-BORNE ILLNESSES) with Andrea Swei
Jun 18, 2019 • 72 min
Lyme Disease! Powassan virus! That Lonestar tick meat allergy! Paralysis ticks! Acarology taught us all about the eight-legged villains that aim for our crevices, but Disease Ecologist Dr. Andrea Swei offers a deep dive under the skin to learn more about…
Island Ecology (ISLANDS) with Andy Kraemer
Jun 11, 2019 • 48 min
What IS an island? How do birds and plants and mammals GET there? Why do we like going to islands? Dr. Andy Kraemer studies how life populates and survives on hunks of remote rock and chats all about the Galapagos Islands — where he does his research. We…
Acarology (TICKS) with Neeta Pardanani Connally
Jun 5, 2019 • 79 min
Ticks: They’re tiny. They’re thirsty. They’re drooling vectors of various illnesses and they want nothing more than to cuddle up to your darkest crevices. In the episode, learn how to remove a tick, if you should spray your yard and with what, how…
Psychological Traumatology (PTSD & STRESS) with Nicholas Barr
May 28, 2019 • 88 min
What happens to the brain under extreme stress? Why do past traumas haunt us? What kind of therapies work for veterans? And what can we do in day-to-day life to be more resilient to adverse experiences? Traumatologist and social worker Dr. Nicholas Barr…
Behavioral Ecology (REPRODUCTIVE TRADEOFFS) with Amy Worthington
May 21, 2019 • 47 min
Why do we bone? Why should we have kids? When should we have kids? Crickets might answer all these questions. Dr. Amy Worthington of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska studies “life history tradeoffs:” when to allocate resources to reproduction…
BONUS Minisode: Preview of Alie on Bill Nye’s “Science Rules!”
May 16, 2019 • 11 min
Announcement: BILL NYE HAS A PODCAST. And Alie’s his first guest. Bill Nye’s on a mission to change the world, one phone call at a time and yer ol’ Dadward VonPodcast is first in the chair helping field questions. Yes she is freaking out about this and…
Mycology (MUSHROOMS) with Tom Volk
May 14, 2019 • 76 min
Mushrooms! Psilocybin! Humungous fungus! Black mold! Foraging! The incredibly charming and warm Dr. Tom Volk, world-renown mushroom expert, welcomes Alie into his office to dive deep into the underground world of fungal enthusiasts and touch on pathogens…
Bufology (TOADS) with Priya Nanjappa
May 7, 2019 • 69 min
Toaaaaads! Friend or foe? Dive into a toad hollow with bufologist and charming human Priya Nanjappa, who is a wealth of knowledge and a font of affection for toads. Which toads are the biggest, the most poisonous, the history of the cane toad, toad…
Minisode: All of My Secret Travel Trips + Some Updates
Apr 30, 2019 • 19 min
THAT’S RIGHT IT’S A MINISOHDA FROM MINNESOHDA. On the last stop of a six-state Midwest tour interviewing -ologists for future episodes, your ol’ Dadward Von Podcast was going to serve up a re-run this week. HOWEVER, I love you all too much and instead I…
Addictionology (ADDICTION) with Erin Parisi
Apr 23, 2019 • 91 min
“Addiction doesn’t have to be a bummer!,” quoth addictionologist Erin Parisi, who has some uplifting and hopeful tales from her professional life. But content warning: it’s definitely not a day in the park. Tune in for some info on alcohol dependence,…
Hagfishology (HAGFISH) with Tim Winegard
Apr 16, 2019 • 73 min
Hagfish: these floppy hot dogs of the deep sea deserve our undying respect. Tim Winegard is a professional hagfishologist (YES IT’S A WORD) at Chapman University, and he dishes on the world’s slimiest treasures. Prepare to hear about swift escapes,…
Scorpiology (SCORPIONS) with Lauren Esposito
Apr 9, 2019 • 69 min
Scorpions: the victims of undue shade. If you’ve ever wanted to impress a date with weird facts THIS IS THE EPISODE FOR YOU. A handful of people on planet Earth have a PhD in scorpions and Dr. Lauren Esposito is one of them. She spills the beans on how…
FIELD TRIP: How to Change Your Life via the Natural History Museum of LA
Apr 2, 2019 • 35 min
After last week’s heavy episode, Alie takes a little break with a Field Trip to one of her favorite places, the Natural History Museum of LA County. Hop in her pocket to hear about singing trees, hungry harpy eagles, architectural antelopes, crows that…
Victimology (CRIME VICTIMS) with Callie Rennison
Mar 26, 2019 • 90 min
In a world saturated with CSI spinoffs and true crime documentaries, we look at a criminology subset focusing not on the pathology of the killers, but on the victims of crime: their experiences, vulnerability, survival rates, statistics, trauma, and…
Astrobiology (ALIENS) with Kevin Peter Hand
Mar 19, 2019 • 82 min
ALIENS! EXTRATERRESTRIALS! MARTIANS! Let’s. Get. Into. It. The phenomenal Dr. Kevin Peter Hand of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory dishes on the oceans of distant moons, methane rivers, E.T., ice crusts, what might be out there, the timeline of possibly…
Ludology (VIDEO GAMES) with Jane McGonigal
Mar 12, 2019 • 76 min
Video games! Tabletop games! IRL role-play gaming! The … lottery? Dr. Jane McGonigal is a video game developer, TED speaker, bestselling author and total badass with a deep knowledge of how games — and especially video games — can motivate, soothe and…
Etymology (WORD ORIGINS) with Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist Podcast
Mar 5, 2019 • 60 min
The brilliant and dazzling Helen Zaltzman, host of The Allusionist podcast and person who technically for a living researches the origins of language and thus is an etymologist, visits Alie’s apartment to chat about various word origins, gender in…
Thermophysiology (BODY HEAT) with Shane Campbell-Staton
Feb 26, 2019 • 83 min
This episode, and Dr. Shane Campbell-Staton, are a true joy. The UCLA professor, host of the Biology of Superheroes Podcast and Thermophysiologist talks about big animals vs. little ones, lizard storms, dinosaur blood, hibernating bears, why you sweat in…
Personality Psychology (PERSONALITIES) with Simine Vazire
Feb 19, 2019 • 77 min
WHO ARE WE? Personality researcher & psychology professor Dr. Simine Vazire dishes about introverts, extroverts, self-esteem, sociopaths, neuroticism, conscientiousness, Buzzfeed quizzes, yearbook inscriptions, trusting people, screwing up your kids,…
Matrimoniology (MARRIAGE) with Ben Karney
Feb 12, 2019 • 92 min
Love! Romance! Intimate relationships! Marriage! Divorce! Remarriage! Clowns! This episode has it all. The wonderfully warm Dr. Benjamin Karney of the UCLA Marriage lab has been studying romance and intimate relationships for 20 years and sits down to…
Biogerontology (AGING) with Caleb Finch
Feb 5, 2019 • 51 min
How long can we live? How much of aging is genetics vs. environment? What does oral hygiene have to do with brain health? What causes Alzheimer’s? How do turtles and naked mole rats live so long? Are there any proven strategies for living a longer life?…
Cheloniology (SEA TURTLES) with Camryn Allen
Jan 29, 2019 • 84 min
If you think you like sea turtles, get ready to become wildly obsessed with them. Cheloniologist Dr. Camryn Allen met up with Alie on a tropical island (ok, in a hotel room on a tropical island) to chat about flipper slappings, turtle rodeos, nesting BBs,…
Testudinology (TORTOISES) with Amanda Hipps
Jan 22, 2019 • 72 min
What’s a tortoise? What’s a turtle? Why do they live so dang long? What’s up with their junk? Wildlife biologist and testudinologist Amanda Hipps studies gopher tortoises and dishes about turtle nomenclature, cliques, dicks, behavior, burrows, evolution,…
Snow Hydrology (SNOW & AVALANCHES) with Ned Bair
Jan 15, 2019 • 58 min
It’s tiny! It’s beautiful! It’s cold! It can kill you. Snow and avalanche expert Dr. Ned Bair meets up on a bench during a layover to chat about the beauty of snowflakes, the best ammo for snowball fights, firing cannons at mountainsides, avalanche…
Minisode: Ologies Upgrades & Changes for 2019
Jan 8, 2019 • 8 min
A few things are changing in the world of Ologies and I just wanted to take a few minutes in this bare-bones minisode to lay ‘em out. Transcripts and bleeped versions will be available in the next month or two, donations are going to specific…
Felinology (CATS) with Mikel Delgado
Jan 8, 2019 • 84 min
We love them. We live with them. We are mystified by them. Alie hunted down professional cat behavior expert Dr. Mikel Delgado who dishes on everything from toilet training to feral taming to neonatal kittens to cats eating our dead bodies to…
Entomophagy Anthropology (EATING BUGS AS SUSTAINABLE PROTEIN) with Julie Lesnik
Dec 31, 2018 • 81 min
DO YOU CARE ABOUT THE APOCALYPSE? Okay cool. No matter what your diet, get this episode in your ears. Entomophagy Anthropologist Dr. Julie Lesnik — an enthusiastic expert on bug eating — breaks down the human past, present and future of insect cuisine for…
Ornithology (BIRDS) Encore Presentation with James Maley
Dec 24, 2018 • 54 min
Birds! Horned screamers! Winged pirates! Just in time for the Audubon’s winter Christmas Bird Count (which goes until Jan. 5) here is an encore presentation of an early episode. Professional bird-person and all around cool dude James Maley joins Alie to…
Mixology (COCKTAILS) with Matthew Biancaniello
Dec 18, 2018 • 69 min
Foraging, infusing, shaking, stirring: this one’s got it all. How do you make weird, fancy drinks at home? How much booze should you buy for a party? What drinks do bartenders hate to make? How can you avoid a hangover? What are the best mocktails? Famed…
Selenology (THE MOON) with Raquel Nuno
Dec 10, 2018 • 81 min
Are we crazier during a full moon? What is the Moon made of? Can we move to the Moon? Was the Moon landing a hoax? What’s up with all those craters? Planetary geologist and selenologist Raquel Nuno loves the Moon and sits down to answer approximately 1…
Classical Archeology (ANCIENT ROME) with Darius Arya
Dec 3, 2018 • 72 min
If you LIVE for drama, you will LOVE dead Romans. Wars, murders, opulence and uprisings: a little something for everyone. Classical Archeologist and TV host Dr. Darius Arya dishes about priceless garbage piles, lead poisoning, ancient political scandals,…
Microbiology (GUT BIOME) with Elaine Hsiao
Nov 26, 2018 • 76 min
LOVE YOUR GUTS. 90% of your serotonin is made in your guts and you have hundreds of trillions of friends clinging to you at all times. Microbiologist Dr. Elaine Hsiao is a total badass who runs her own lab investigating the role of the gut biome in…
Grateful-ology (GRATITUDE) is not totally a real word
Nov 19, 2018 • 15 min
A (perhaps) much-needed refresher course on last year’s gratitude minisode. As a friend of a friend’s hairdresser once said: “It’s hard to be hateful with a plateful of grateful.” Is it? In this pre-holidays quickie episode, Alie is grumpy as hell and…
Food Anthropology (FEASTS) with Katherine Spiers
Nov 13, 2018 • 73 min
Loosen your belts and tuck a napkin under your chin because feasting season is here. Katherine Spiers — journalist, food anthropologist and host of the wondrous culinary history podcast Smart Mouth — lets Alie belly up for a buffet of questions about…
Eschatology (THE APOCALYPSE) with Phil Torres
Nov 5, 2018 • 67 min
Doomsday. The apocalypse. The End. Join scholar, author and professional existential risk philosopher Phil Torres for a surprisingly jovial romp through different “Oops we’re screwed” scenarios that will lead to the destruction of the planet or extinction…
Corvid Thanatology (CROW FUNERALS) with Kaeli Swift
Oct 29, 2018 • 73 min
Crows have funerals? CROWS HAVE FUNERALS. The inky black bird with the big brain warns and maybe mourns around their fallen friends and Dr. Kaeli Swift is here to tell us all about it. As an avid wildlife researcher and corvid specialist, she’s observed…
Somnology (SLEEP) Part 2 with Dr. W. Chris Winter
Oct 22, 2018 • 70 min
Have you listened to Part 1 yet? No? Go on, git. Go do that. Now if you have, this Part 2 is a bonanza of problem solving from neurologist and somnologist Dr. W. Chris Winter. He’ll cover: if you should be taking sleep supplements or pills, sleep talking,…
Somnology (SLEEP) Part 1 with W. Chris Winter
Oct 16, 2018 • 73 min
Birds do it. Bees do it. Why the hell can’t we do it? Called “The Sleep Whisperer,” neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. W. Chris Winter joins Alie for a thrilling 2-parter about why we need sleep, the ideal amount of it, what sleep does to the brain,…
Surgical Oncology (BREAST CANCER) with Donna-Marie Manasseh
Oct 8, 2018 • 82 min
(Bonus: I bleeped any curse words so you can share this episode with your kids and your grandma.) Yes, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month but Dr. Donna-Marie Manasseh spends 12 months a year as a tumor hunter, saving lives. She is brilliant,…
Ologiesology with Alie Ward (1-Year Anniversary Episode)
Oct 4, 2018 • 67 min
Ever wanted to know how an episode of Ologies is made? Are you curious to learn about your host Alie Ward’s journey into science communication and beyond? If you need to know how Dad Ward does it all each week, this episode is for you. Become a patron of…
Functional Morphology (ANATOMY) with Joy Reidenberg
Oct 1, 2018 • 72 min
Ever poked at roadkill? Watched videos of whales exploding? Drooled over a curio cabinet full of claws & bones? Peered into a jar with a pickled toad? Then this one is for you. Arguably the world’s most famous comparative anatomist (and pretty-much-also…
Myrmecology (ANTS) with Terry McGlynn
Sep 24, 2018 • 82 min
Cult-leader queens. Bullet ant stings. Kitchen pest hacks. The dynamics of a billion-sister megacolony. Dr. Terry McGlynn sits down to have a BIG discussion about itty-bitty creatures. Learn about tropical ants, urban ants, how they walk on water, which…
Egyptology (ANCIENT EGYPT) with Kara Cooney
Sep 17, 2018 • 80 min
After a decade of fandom, Alie finally meets famed Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney — and forgets her equipment. They meet again for a spirited history lesson on ancient Egypt: the pyramids, the monarchs, the dynasties, the cats, the corpses, the curses. Kara…
Conservation Technology (EARTH SAVING) with Shah Selbe
Sep 10, 2018 • 83 min
THIS IS UPLIFTING, I PROMISE. And it might just make you switch careers. As a bookend to last week’s Oceanology episode, Conservation Technologist Shah Selbe chats about saving the planet with some well-intentioned technology. Wind turbines, solar cars,…
Oceanology (OCEANS) with Ayana Johnson
Sep 3, 2018 • 75 min
Are plastic straws really that bad? What’s the oldest message in a bottle? Any scuba vs. snorkel strategies? Does sunscreen kill coral? Can we reverse ocean warming in our lifetime? In a conversation with ocean and policy expert Dr. Ayana Johnson, Alie…
Ferroequinology (TRAINS) with Matt Anderson
Aug 27, 2018 • 63 min
Trains. Locomotives. Choochoos. Bullet trains. Hyperloops. Subways. How fast can they go? How did they change American history? Why do people love them? What should we do with all that abandoned track? Can you marry a train? What’s it like to shovel coal…
Bonus Minisode: Kalology — Your Letters
Aug 20, 2018 • 43 min
As a companion to Kalology (BEAUTY STANDARDS) Alie reads your thoughts about appearance and beauty culture in this, a bonus minisode. You wrote in about how make-up is a creative outlet, how beauty standards can be an oppressive time suck, about hairy…
Kalology (BEAUTY STANDARDS) with Renee Engeln
Aug 20, 2018 • 98 min
We love it. We hate it. BEAUTY CULTURE. Looking good can make us feel decorated, empowered and more confident — but why? And why are certain groups subtly told to “make-up” for their appearance? What’s the line between self-care and oppression?…
Oology (EGGS) with John Bates
Aug 13, 2018 • 57 min
The biggest eggs! The smallest eggs! The people arrested for stealing the most eggs! Oologist Dr. John Bates gave Alie a tour of the egg vault at the Field Museum of Chicago and it was a barrage of beautiful sights and shocking facts about bird butts. Get…
Ophthalmology (EYES) with Reid Wainess
Aug 7, 2018 • 82 min
75% of adult Americans have wonky vision of some kind, your host included. Longtime pal and real-life eye surgeon, Dr. Reid Wainess answers all the questions that you never bring up during appointments. He and Alie chat about how eyes are just little…
Epidemiology (DISEASES) with ‘This Podcast Will Kill You’s’ Erins Welsh & Allmann-Updyke
Jul 30, 2018 • 89 min
TWO epidemiologists-named-Erin — and hosts of the stellar This Podcast Will Kill You — chat with Alie about historical horror stories, THE plague, cholera cocktails, flu shots, tick bombs, milkmaids, witch trials and more as they share their infectious…
Selachimorphology (SHARKS) with Chris Lowe
Jul 24, 2018 • 76 min
SHAAAARKS. Leading shark researcher Dr. Chris Lowe dishes about bad shark PR, behind-the-scenes Jaws trivia, his thoughts on Sharknado, surfing safety, immune system marvels, cannibal twins, shark personalities, sea sex, and knife teeth. Alie learns that…
Malacology (SNAILS & SLUGS) with Jann Vendetti
Jul 17, 2018 • 70 min
Crazy dongs! Gardening tips! Snail-based beauty products! Weather the LA heatwave and slug along with Dr. Jann Vendetti of the Natural History Museum of LA County as she gossips with Alie about some sensual slug lovemaking, Gold Rush lore, urban snails,…
Areology (MARS) Part 2 with Jennifer Buz
Jul 10, 2018 • 56 min
Last week we got a big thicc primer on ol’ Mars, that dusty desert doomsday cabin millions of miles away. This week, Alie continues the conversation with areologist Dr. Jennifer Buz and asks your Patreon questions about whether we could landscape Mars to…
Areology (MARS) Part 1 with Jennifer Buz
Jul 3, 2018 • 66 min
The Red Planet. A mysterious dusty orb millions of miles away. Our emergency escape bunker. Alie sits down with Dr. Jennifer Buz to talk about what Mars’s DEEEEAL is, why we send rovers there, good science fiction, so-so science fiction, double egg yolks,…
MINISODE: Aestaology (SUMMER) should be a word
Jun 26, 2018 • 21 min
Melons. Fire. Waterfights. It’s finally summer and Alie’s into it. So with this solo mini-ep, learn about a few ologies that are not real but should be such as aestaology (summer) & hydropolemology (waterfights). Also discussed: a few ologies that are in…
Deltiology (POSTCARDS) with Donna Braden
Jun 19, 2018 • 54 min
Why were postcards invented and why do they still exist? Why do we lie to people and say our lives are better than they are? Alie stopped into the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and talked to curator of 40 years, Donna Braden, about her work with…
Rhinology (NOSES) with John Craig
Jun 12, 2018 • 68 min
Allergies. Nose jobs. Smell nostalgia. Street drugs. Septum piercings. Snoring. Hang on to your faces because Dr. John Craig goes deep and shares why he’s so passionate about rhinology. You’ll have a whole new relationship with your whiffer, appreciating…
Phonology (LINGUISTICS) with Nicole Holliday
Jun 5, 2018 • 63 min
Vocal fry. Code switching. Black Twitter. Valley girls. Culture vultures. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TALKING. Alie battles traffic to sit down with linguistics professor Dr. Nicole Holliday about intonational phonology: how tones and pitch help us bond with…
Cynology (DOGS) with Brandon McMillan
May 29, 2018 • 76 min
Your best friend is a hairy beast and that’s something to celebrate. This episode is a little different in tone and let’s just say GOOD LUCK NOT CRYING, SUCKERS. Alie sits down with “Lucky Dog” host Brandon McMillan, who cares more about saving shelter…
Lepidopterology (BUTTERFLIES) with Phil Torres
May 22, 2018 • 79 min
Butterflies are gross. Yes they are delightful and beautiful and part of any idyllic picnic-scape but lepidopterologist, TV host and jungle explorer Phil Torres is here to gossip about how shamelessly disgusting our favorite bugs actually are. Learn their…
Trichology (HAIR) with Valerie Horsley
May 15, 2018 • 77 min
Peach fuzz. Chin hairs. Mammalian ponytails. WHY DO THEY HAPPEN. Yale researcher and associate professor Dr. Valerie Horsley stops by California to chat with Alie about the nature of hair and why it grows in the wrong places, the causes and remedies for…
Dendrology (TREES) with J. Casey Clapp
May 8, 2018 • 88 min
Do trees have feelings? How do they talk? How old can they get? Are there any tree stories that will make me cry? Spoiler: YES. Possibly the world’s most enthusiastic tree expert, J. Casey Clapp, shows Alie his many tree tattoos, explains how roots…
Fearology Pt. 2 (FEAR) with Mary Poffenroth
May 1, 2018 • 59 min
FEAR. Anxiety. Stress. Dread. It’s all the same dang thing, as it turns out. Biologist and fear expert Mary Poffenroth is back for Part 2 of what has been one of the most helpful interviews of ol’ Alie Ward’s life. Learn how super successful people…
Fearology Pt. 1 (FEAR) with Mary Poffenroth
Apr 24, 2018 • 73 min
Every day, your brain tries to save your life by being terrified. Thanks, brain! Also, calm the f*ck down, brain. Alie hunted down Mary Poffenroth, an expert in the biological and sociological causes/effects of fear and it is riveting. This real life…
Radiology (X-RAY VISION) with Varshana Gurusamy
Apr 17, 2018 • 69 min
Hey, kiddo, it’s what’s INSIDE that matters — like your guts and bones and squishy brain and intestines and stuff. Meet Dr. Varshana Gurusamy: diagnostic radiology resident, Texan and amazing person with great stories. You’ll learn the difference between…
Evolutionary Biology (DARWINISM) with John McCormack
Apr 10, 2018 • 60 min
Celebrate your lucky mutations with an episode about natural selection, agonizing boat trips, redemption stories, olde timey inter-family marriages, how much money you can make playing videos games, finch beaks, whether or not cave men are kinda hot and…
Gynecology (NETHER HEALTH) with Philippa Ribbink
Apr 3, 2018 • 80 min
Let’s get intimate with the mechanics of nether parts via a frank chat with the calmest, coolest gyno in Portland, Dr. Philippa Ribbink. She visited Alie’s weird hotel to chat about vaginas (vs. vulvas), self-care, mental health, imposter syndrome, trans…
Zymology (BEER) with Quinton Sturgeon
Mar 27, 2018 • 52 min
If you like booze, you’ll love… fungus! Alie goes Rogue and takes a field trip to a brewery in Newport, OR where she smells vats of bubbling beer slop and learns about the microorganisms that are the workhorses of the brewing industry. Learn about yeasts,…
Melittology (BEES) with Amanda Shaw
Mar 20, 2018 • 74 min
BEES! Hives, honey, and how to keep them as outdoor pets. Meet melittologist and President of the Urban Beekeepers Association, Amanda Shaw. She and Alie cozy up in a weird hotel in Portland to chat about honeybees vs. native ones, how to become a…
Museology (MUSEUMS) with Ronnie Cline
Mar 13, 2018 • 59 min
Museums! Mummies! Paintings! Hot dogs! Alie sits down with her dear internet friend and museologist Ronnie Cline, who manages 30,000 artifacts over 22 California State Park Museums. Get the hot gossip about behind-the-scenes museum life, vintage ghosts,…
Gizmology (ROBOTS) with Simone Giertz
Mar 6, 2018 • 34 min
YouTube’s Sh*tty Robots machine-maker, very funny human being, professional tinkerer and potential astronaut Simone Giertz hops in Alie’s car to hang out in a sketchy Hollywood alley and chat. Topics covered: the definition of a robot, artificial…
Mythology (STORYTELLING) with John Bucher
Feb 27, 2018 • 72 min
Superhero movies. Bastardized fairy tales. The psychology of celebrity. Star Wars. And yes, some ancient Greek and Roman myths. Professional mythologist and screenwriting consultant John Bucher spins some yarns and unravels some mysteries behind what…
Teuthology (SQUIDS) with Sarah McAnulty
Feb 20, 2018 • 57 min
Squids. Cuttlefish. Octopusseseses. The world’s most impassioned squid nerd, Sarah McAnulty, gets locked in a basement with Alie to talk about cephalopods, alien DNA, camouflage, invisibility cloaks, why cute things make us insane, terrible mating…
Sexology (SEX) with Shan Boody aka Shannon Boodram
Feb 13, 2018 • 71 min
Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Also sex. Buckle up, Ologites, because clinical sexologist and author Shannon Boodram (known for her sex educational YouTube channel ShanBoody) chats with Alie about sexual identity, how a friggin’ vagina works, how to get over slumps,…
Gelotology (LAUGHTER) with Lee Berk
Feb 6, 2018 • 54 min
The. Study. Of. Laughter. It exists, and it’s called gelotology. In one of the oddly more somber episodes, Alie sits down with Dr. Lee Berk, a doctor who is “serious about laughter” and has dedicated decades to hunting down how humor affects the body.…
Ichthyology (FISHES) with Chris Thacker
Jan 30, 2018 • 66 min
ALL. ABOUT. FISH. Hilariously charming fish expert and LA County Natural History Museum Curator of Ichthyology, Dr. Christine Thacker, sits down with Alie in a basement full of several million jars of fish to chat about the worst fish husbands, the…
Herpetology (SNAKES, FROGS, ETC.) with David Steen
Jan 23, 2018 • 70 min
Sea turtles, frog storms, Indiana Jones trivia, the triumph of will that was Snakes on a Plane, plus dissembling your anti-sneck feelings with Dr. David Steen. Learn more about what makes a herp a herp, the unfortunate etymology behind the ology, and why…
Sports & Performance Psychology (ANXIETY & CONFIDENCE) with Sari Shepphird
Jan 15, 2018 • 80 min
Sweaty palms before a date. Racing heart during a presentation. Needing a diaper while delivering a wedding toast. We’ve all been there. On the heels of New Year’s resolutions, sports & performance psychologist Dr. Sari Shepphird explains confidence vs.…
Hematology (BLOOD) with Brian Durie
Jan 9, 2018 • 48 min
Bloooood. In this special episode, Alie sits down with Scotsman and hematologist Dr. Brian Durie to talk about blood: what it is, and what can go wrong. As an oncologist, Dr. Durie is a leading researcher in multiple myeloma, a disease that’s deeply…
Glycobiology (CARBS) with Michelle Dookwah
Jan 3, 2018 • 45 min
Carbohydrates: no longer just for your piehole. Stuff some knowledge into your ears with sugar scientist Michelle Dookwah and learn how your cells use carbs to communicate, the whys behind your winter cravings, the hot goss on the keto diet, and how much…
Cosmology PART 2 with Katie Mack
Dec 19, 2017 • 37 min
Listener questions! The universe, dimensions, asteroid bags and cosmic vertigo with the amazing Dr. Katie Mack. Part 1 was a primer on all things cosmological, from particle physics to black holes, so listen to that first then hop to this episode to get…
Cosmology (THE UNIVERSE) with Katie Mack, Part I
Dec 12, 2017 • 91 min
Stars. Black holes. THE GAWDANG UNIVERSE. Astrophysicist and cosmologist Katie Mack (@astrokatie) joins to tell us her most embarrassing moments as a cosmologist, to debunk some physicist myths and give the nuts + bolts of everything form particle physics…
Entomology (INSECTS) with Lila Higgins
Dec 4, 2017 • 55 min
Buuuugs. We cover perhaps Alie’s favorite ology ever with an ologist who changed her life. Meet Lila Higgins: the self-professed “bug geek” with passion more infectious than a glassy winged sharpshooter mouth. (That will make sense later.) We talk about…
Minisode: Grateful-ology is not a real word…
Nov 22, 2017 • 15 min
As a friend of a friend’s hairdresser once said: “it’s hard to be hateful with a plateful of grateful.” Is it? In this pre-holidays quickie episode, Alie is grumpy as hell and decides to research the neuroscience of gratitude. Does it work? Who’s studying…
Cosmetology (GLAM/GROOMING) with Alysha Sherri Marcantonio
Nov 14, 2017 • 68 min
Skin care! Beard care! History! Grooming! Men’s concealer! Make-up! And most importantly: what is self-confidence and where does it come from? The incredibly charming Alysha Marcantonio has been Alie’s make-up artist for years and stepped in the booth to…
Ornithology (BIRDS) with James Maley
Nov 7, 2017 • 53 min
Birds! Horned screamers! Winged pirates! Professional bird-person and all around cool dude James Maley joins Alie to talk about bird mating, monogamy, the cult of ornithology, absurd birds, parrots that are smarter than your friends’ kids, a surprising…
Thanatology (DEATH & DYING) with Cole Imperi
Oct 31, 2017 • 83 min
Hoooo boy. We’re all up in death and dying’s bizness and to Alie’s shock, it’s not a bummer. Confront and perhaps OVERCOME existential anxiety as we discuss not only the science of death but the nature and goddamn beauty of life. Everything from burial…
Minisode: Fall Ologies! … Fallogies?
Oct 24, 2017 • 8 min
It’s hot and Alie is nostalgic for fall. So here’s a mini episode on the world’s best autumn ologies to cozy up your week. Considerate blood bats, pumpkin hacks, leaf phenology, and … Real. Life. Zombies. alieward.com/ologies Instagram.com/ologies…
Horology (WATCHES) with Cameron Weiss
Oct 18, 2017 • 40 min
Million-dollar watches, World War II’s role in watchmaking, and how much caffeine a watchmaker drinks. Twenty-something horologist Cameron Weiss also dishes about mechanical vs. quartz, little tiny springs, patience, S-Town and the history of timekeeping.…
Gemology (CRYSTALS & GEMS) with Kelly Sitek
Oct 10, 2017 • 55 min
Professional gemologist Kelly Sitek talks about adventures in mining, the chemical composition of different gems, breaks down the test taking process for gemology and gives advice on haunted stones. We also spill some tea on cultured pearls and address…
Paleontology (DINOSAURS) with Michael Habib
Oct 4, 2017 • 47 min
Did Ross Gellar ruin being a paleontologist? What’s the hot goss on dino feathers? How did some dinos have four wings and which costs more: a used sedan or a dinosaur? Featuring guest Michael Habib of the Natural History Museum of LA County. Also covered:…
Primatology (MONKEYS & APES) with Kate Gilmore
Sep 26, 2017 • 75 min
Settle in with Alie Ward and guest Kate Gilmore, a professional primatologist and lead keeper of the great apes and Old World monkeys at the Los Angeles Zoo. Learn about chimpanzee mating, why zookeepers don’t wear FitBits, primate DRAAAMA, the erroneous…
Volcanology (VOLCANOES) with Jess Phoenix
Sep 19, 2017 • 57 min
In this first episode of Ologies, Alie Ward chats with volcanologist Jess Phoenix who also happens to be running for Congress. Learn how hot magma is, how volcanoes are formed, how screwed the Pacific Northwest is, what thrills Jess about volcanoes, and…
Episode 0
Sep 4, 2017 • 4 min
Comedy podcaster and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people dumb questions to learn about their professional obsessions. Music: Nick Thorburn Production: Jason Scardamalia, Dustin Marshall, Steven Ray Morris Instagram: @Ologies Twitter:…