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UnDisciplined: The Tropical Biologist And The Quantitative Ecologist

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about some pretty scary things. 

First, we're going to chat about the way global warming is impacting the world's fisheries and — spoiler alert — it isn't good. Then, we're going to talk about what happens when small vertebrates go to war with really big invertebrates and — another spoiler alert — it's the stuff of nightmares. 

Joining us from the University of California at Santa Barbara is Chris Free, who was part of a team of researchers whose recent study in the journal Nature paints a pretty bleak picture if you like to eat seafood — or even if you don't, but you recognize the importance of our oceans for feeding the world. 

Also with us from the University of Michigan is Rudi von May, who was part of a team of scientists who packed their recent paper in the journal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation full of photos of arthropods, like giant spiders, eating small frogs, lizards, snakes, and even some mammals. 

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling Lifespan with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, Superlative, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.