Category Archives: Science

Jellyfish: Aliens, Assassins or Adventurers




  • Producer : Michael Schubert
  • Jellyfish: Aliens, Assassins or Adventurers

Jellyfish are a poorly understood member of “the other 99%” as the invertebrates are known. A simple creature, floating, stinging eating, and breeding en masse. Jellyfish blooms are sometimes huge, exceeding 1,000 km in length, and it’s completely natural.

Blooms occur worldwide and to some it seems they are becoming more prevalent, or perhaps they are now being monitored more closely. Immense blooms compromise fisheries, sinking boats and destroying captive breeding pens. The also enter industrial sites using seawater intake for cooling – air conditioning plants, desalination plants, nuclear plants and nuclear aircraft carriers. All have fallen victim to jellyfish.

How big, how bad and why? Michael Schubert talks with Lisa Gershwin aka Dr Jellyfish.


Dr Lisa Gershwin


Current Oriented Swimming by Jellyfish


Koop Jellyfishes
Deya Dova – Jellyfish


Seasons of Change : Nature vs Calendars




  • Producer : Michael Schubert
  • Seaasons of Change: Nature vs Calendars

Seasons are more than just the changes in weather, ecology and hours of daylight caused by the Earth’s rotation around the sun and the gentle tilt of the Earth’s axis.  Astronomers and meteorologists are at odds, and in Australia the conventional “Vivaldi” seasons are found wanting.  Seasons affect people and people, plants and animals are intimately connected with their own seasonal understanding.

I speak with Professor Tim Entwisle, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria and author of Sprinter and Summer : Australia’s Changing Seasons.  He has considered the natural biological responses of plants in particular and proposed, as a discussion paper, the inclusion of an additional “season” into our horticultural calendar.

Dr John Ryan from Edith Cowan University is an environmental philosopher and considers that an understanding of the indigenous weather calendar is essential to a deeper understanding of all disciplines in particular localities.  He has followed the development of the Indigenous Weather Knowledge Project by the Bureau of Meteorology, a compilation of indigenous seasonal calendars around Australia.


  • Professor Tim Entwisle – Director of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (formerly of Kew Gardens and RBG Sydney)
  • Dr John Ryan – Environmental Philosopher at Edith Cowan University (Perth)
  • Bureau of Meteorology Indigenous Weather Knowledge Project


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Arsenic vs Water




  • Producer Michael Schubert
  • Arsenic vs Water : A bigger problem that you drink

Ata Nosrati grew up in a village in Iran, where the water was safe to drink. He is now turning his chemical engineering knowledge and understanding of water contamination to work to develop a safe, low cost, easy to use method for removing Arsenic from drinking water. Many nations including Bangladesh, Vietnam and even the United States have dangerous levels of Arsenic in their water supplies, sometimes 300 times the safe limit.


Dr Ata (Ataollah) Nosrati is a lecturer and researcher at Edith Cowan University [ECU] School of Engineering in Perth, Australia.  Ata is a chemical engineer and metallurgist involved in a range of applied and fundamental project activities with problem solving and process optimization nature.

Ata’s areas of research interest include:

  • Mineral processing: Leaching/dissolution of mineral ores; Agglomeration; Dewatering; Acidic mine water neutralization
  • Rheology: Interfacial chemistry and particle interactions (rheology) nexus in complex dispersions used in chemicals/minerals processing; rheological characterization of complex fluids and materials
  • Water purification: Design and development of hybrid adsorbents for selective and clean recovery of metals from solutions
  • Solvent Extraction
  • Finding new applications for microfluidics in chemical engineering and mineral processes industries


Amirhossein, Water flowing in pool Chesmeh Ali Damghan
Lobo Loco, Fire Dance
Lobo Loco, Hopefully
Lobo Loco, Sleeping Guru
Masters of Persian Music, Avaz va Saz (Nehriz, Aragh, Dashti)
Peyman Haydarian, Santur recital
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Arsenic is a chemical element with symbol As and atomic number 33.  Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal.



Water, read by Ata Nosrati in Farsi and English

Image © Saskia Schubert

Pigments, Plums & Pulses




  • Producer: Michael Schubert
  • Pigments, Plums & Pulse
  • The search for cardioprotective natural products

Cardiovascular disease is treatable, but the long term health of patients can suffer as a consequence of the prescriptions.  From a medical family, Dr Abishek Santhakumar watched the treatments provided for his mother help and hinder her health.  He thought there must be a better way, and his research trajectory has led him though pigments, plums and pulses in a search for cardioprotective natural products.


Dr Abishek Sankathumar completed his PhD at Griffith University and his research investigates the role of natural dietary antioxidant compounds in reducing the risk factors of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Abishek currently is a lecturer and researcher in haematology and blood banking at Charles Sturt Univerisity [CSU] School of Biomedical Sciences. During his research tenure, Abishek has led nationally registered human clinical trials investigating the feasibility and efficacy of natural antioxidant compounds as therapeutic alternatives in diverse pro-thrombotic populations. His research focus is strongly aligned to the objectives of the ARC ITTC Functional Grains Centre.

Abishek’s research interests include:

  • To evaluate the anti-diabetic, anti-obesity and cardio-protective properties of polyphenols present in grains and pulses
  • Antiplatelet therapy versus dietary antioxidants in metabolic syndrome
  • To investigate the mechanisms involved in platelet activity under oxidative stress
  • To evaluate the effect of diet and life-style on platelet function


Current Publication List 2017
Taurine in Lower Concentration Attenuates Platelet Activity
, in Food and Public Health
The Synergistic Effect of Taurine and Caffeine on Platelet Activity and Hemostatic Function, in Food and Public Health
Consumption of anthocyanin-rich Queen Garnet plum juice reduces platelet activation related thrombogenesis in healthy volunteers, in Journal of Functional Foods
The potential of anthocyanin-rich Queen Garnet
plum juice supplementation in alleviating
thrombotic risk under induced oxidative
stress conditions, Journal of Functional Foods
A review of the mechanisms and effectiveness of dietary polyphenols in reducing oxidative stress and thrombotic risk, in Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
The ex vivo antiplatelet activation of fruit phenolic metabolite hippuric acid, in Food and Function


to be added with episode







  • Producer: Michael Schubert
  • Fit4Two: Pregnancy, Fitness & Entrepreneurial Research

Research is not a business. Think again, Dr Melanie Hayman has taken an entrepreneurial approach to researching fitness during pregnancy. It involves marketing strategies, a seven foot tall, hot pink, pregnant cardboard woman called Sophia and an innovative online program delivered via your GP or midwife.


Dr Melanie Hayman is a physical activity researcher based at Central Queensland University [CQU], Australia, where she is the Head of the Bachelor of Health Science course in the School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences.

Melanie’s research is focused on women’s health, more specifically the health and fitness during pregnancy, as well as the successful integration of e-Health and m-Health interventions into clinical care.

Melanie’s work culminated in an activity-during-pregnancy intervention project titled Fit4Two.  Melanie’s presentation at the 2016 5 Minute Research Pitch was so successful that she won both the sciences category and the overall best presentation.



An investigation into medical practitioners’ knowledge of
exercise during pregnancy guidelines, in the Australian Journal of Rural Health.
Confusion surrounds physical activity prescription
for pregnant women, in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.
Regionally based medical practitioners may need support
when prescribing exercise to pregnant women, in the Australian Journal of Rural Health.
An investigation into the exercise behaviours of regionally based
Australian pregnant women, in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
Position Statement: Exercise in Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period, Sports Medicine Australia




Will Bangs, I’m So Glad That You Exist
Jon Luc Hefferman, Triumph
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