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UnDisciplined: The Paleontologist And The Atmospheric Scientist

Javier Luque via Twitter
Callichimaera perplexa

For more than a year now, we've been bringing together researchers from different disciplines in our never-ending search to build interdisciplinary connections. That's a lot of researchers, who are all doing a lot of really fascinating work — but we haven't had a paleontologist on our program yet. So today, that's going to change. 

Joining us today is Javier Luque, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of geology and geophysics at Yale University. He was the leader of an international team of researchers that just announced the discovery of hundreds of species from more than 90 million years ago, including an entirely new kind of crab. 

Also joining us is Brett Raczka, a research assistant professor in the departmet of biology at the University of Utah. He's part of a team of scientists that developed a new way of using satellites to track the ways forests are responding to climate change. 

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.