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  • Isolation of infected individuals can help to stop the spread

    Understanding Covid-19 transmission, informing control

    Tackling a previously unseen pathogen – like the one that causes COVID-19 – is like piecing together a puzzle. There are many different parameters to investigate before the pathogen can be fully understood, and before effective control measures can be put in place. So how do scientists go about solving the puzzle, and why is…

  • Imma Oliveras Menor

    Imma Oliveras Menor

    Plant and ecosystems ecologist, fire ecologist

    I was born in a rural town in the mountains of Catalonia, and I have had a passion for nature since I was a toddler. At the age of nine, I witnessed how wildfires sweeped across the neighbouring mountains next to home, and over the years I followed the vegetation recovery. This sparked many questions that…

  • Could chocolate go extinct?

    Chocolate. It’s rare to find anyone who isn’t partial to a square or two of this delicious treat. But is its very existence in danger? (*Cue worried faces.*) In this episode of the Big Questions Podcast we chat to chocoholic and researcher Acheampong Atta-Boateng, who studies the relationship between cocoa trees and their micro-pollinators. We…

  • Is This A Fossil I See Before Me?

    Lockdown Walks – Is this a fossil I see before me?

    You find fossils on the beach, right? If you’re really lucky and spend ages looking? WRONG! Fossils – by which we mean the preserved remains of ancient life – can be found all around us! Including, as Matt Sutton tells us, in the centre of town…Make sure you look out for one next time you’re…

  • Should all robots have an ethical black box?

    Nowadays, the idea of encountering robots in our daily lives isn’t pure science fiction. Many of us interact with AI every day, and the use of robots in, for example, healthcare settings, is already on the horizon. But what if something goes wrong? The RoboTIPS team at the University of Oxford is developing an innovative feature – an ‘ethical black box’…

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