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Palaeocasting Call

June 1, 2014

I realize that I have been very lax about posting here in the past month or so. I have been on the road a good bit lately (more on this soon), and when I have been around in Winnipeg I seem to have been occupied with other things.

One of those other things was the recording of a lengthy interview for Palaeocast, the first half of which was posted today. Palaeocast is a series of podcasts about paleontology,  produced in the UK by Dave Marshall, Joe Keating, and their friends. It had been suggested to Dave that he interview me about fossil jellyfish (medusae), and we e-mailed back and forth for a while about the questions he might ask. Dave works some of the time on offshore oil rigs, so when he was back on dry land we tried to figure out when an interview might work, given a few issues such as the six-hour time difference between England and Manitoba, and my aforementioned absences.

We eventually fitted in the interview before I headed off to Brandon for a major specimen acquisition. It was done by Skype, which I had never used before in an interview setting. All rather strange, talking into a microphone attached to my computer, in the comfort of my home office. And it was also strange to do an interview for which there was virtually no time limit!

Dave’s approach to interviewing is to ask the question and then sit back and let the interviewee expand/ramble as s/he sees fit. I am mostly pleased with how this turned out – I think we have given a good overview of the fossilization of jellyfish and the geological occurrence of medusan fossils. Nevertheless, there are one or two places where I wish I could go back and tweak the answers to make them absolutely scientifically accurate – a combination of the gaps in my knowledge of this huge subject, and the natural incoherence that occurs when one is placed in front of a microphone!

If you listen to it, the interview itself begins at about the 4-minute mark; the link can be found here.

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