Pond Playlist

It's a chat show charting the ecological succession of a tiny pond. New guests each week because, well, succession.

About the show

Join science-writer Jules Howard and a host of fabulous scientists to chart the life of each and every animal species colonising a tiny backyard pond in the UK. Yes, this is quite possibly the most niche weekly podcast on the internet.

Pond Playlist on social media


  • Episode 7: Water-bears

    13 June 2019  |  16 mins 3 secs
    adam hart, microscopy., tardigrade, waterbears

    Professor Adam Hart joins Jules at Cheltenham Science Festival to talk about a lowly (and beautiful) tardigrade (sometimes called a moss piglet or water-bear) that turned up in some moss dangling over the pond edge. Topics include microscopy, memories and invertebrates that are gateway drugs to hardcore entomology.

    Michael Rosen's book 'We're going on a bear hunt' features heavily.
    The sample is from this author's reading: https://youtu.be/0gyI6ykDwds

  • Episode 6: Bloodworms

    24 May 2019  |  21 mins 33 secs
    bloodworms, chironomids, flies, invertebrates, larvae, ponds, succession

    Yay! Bloodworms are in the pond at last! Jules is joined by the magnificent Dr Erica McAlister, world fly aficionado who is based at the Natural History Museum, London. We talk about chironomid larvae, commonly called bloodworms, and about why flies are such a fantastic part of the insect family tree.

  • Episode 5: Copepods

    17 May 2019  |  18 mins 50 secs
    copepods, crustaceans, pollution

    Copepods have arrived! Jules is joined by the marvellous Dr Ceri Lewis, marine biologist at the University of Exeter. We chat about copepod behaviour, their anatomy and their role in ecosystems. We also talk about how badly they may be being impacted by plastic pollution - including in the Arctic.

  • Episode 4: Ramshorn snails

    9 May 2019  |  17 mins 9 secs
    molluscs, snails

    Finally! After four weeks, an animal we can see with the naked eye! Jules is joined by Dr Helen Scales to talk about the gorgeous ramshorn snail that is making the pond its home. We talked about shell evolution, snail anatomy and the wonderful world of molluscs. Enjoy!

  • Episode 3: Rotifers

    1 May 2019  |  15 mins 59 secs

    Jules is joined by Dr Chris Wilson of Imperial College London to talk about the pond's third coloniser, the charming (and wholly sexless) rotifers! We talk about how these animal have tamed time and space to become masters (mistresses?) of the world's temporary freshwaters. Enjoy!

    Chris's biog and a link to all of his teams papers can be found here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/chris.wilson

  • Episode 2: Nematode worms

    24 April 2019  |  15 mins 14 secs
    ecology, freshwater, museums, nematodes, ponds, science, worms, zoology

    Jules rambles on about nematode worms, the second tiny coloniser of his little backyard pond. Scientific insights and general brilliance come this week courtesy of Emma Sherlock, the Natural History Museum's worm guru.

  • Episode 1: Diatoms

    15 April 2019  |  19 mins 8 secs

    Jules speaks to Dr David Williams (of the Natural History Museum, London) about the pond's first coloniser, a humble diatom.

  • Episode 0 - A brief introduction...

    30 March 2019  |  3 mins 49 secs

    A quick summary of what to expect from this podcast. The first podcast episode launches on the 19th of April 2019.