Suzanne Simard, an ecologist at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Forests and Conservation Sciences, has dedicated her life to mapping the relationships between trees: how they send nutrients to one another, remember the past, warn their neighbors of disease or drought, and support their offspring. Her new memoir, Finding the Mother Tree, tells how her work has unfolded from her first discoveries of mycorrhizal fungi in the “wood wide web” to the inheritance left behind by dying trees and the life-giving force of the largest elders. Simard used isotopes and mass spectrometers to quantify the Indigenous knowledge that inspired her to study the interconnectedness of forest communities—and our human ones. She joins us on the podcast to discuss what we might all learn from trees.
Go beyond the episode:
- Suzanne Simard’s Finding the Mother Tree
- Read Miranda Weiss’s review from our Summer 2021 issue here
- Explore the Mother Tree Project, an experiment on forest resilience in the face of climate change
- Smarty Pants loves trees: listen to our interview with Isabella Tree on rewilding, Naoka Abe on cherry trees, and Carlos Magdalena on what life is like as the Plant Messiah
Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek. Follow us on Twitter @TheAmScho or on Facebook.
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