World Oyster Day: Prof. Rowan Lockwood & Dr Bryce Stewart “shell-ebrate” the mighty mollusc!

As kismet would have it, it’s WORLD OYSTER DAY! Before we found out oysters even had their own day, we wanted to celebrate these slippery salt-water molluscs because it turns out, when gathered together, they’re quite amazing and could provide natural solutions to many of mankind’s biggest environmental problems. Familiar voice, friend of the show, marine ecologist and fisheries biologist, Bryce Stewart, kicks us off with an answer to the most important question asked this week, “Why don't you chew an oyster?”. From there we go into the cleaning power of oyster reefs - learning that a one-acre reef can daily filter 36 olympic swimming pools worth of water! Then Professor Rowan Lockwood, chair of geology at William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia, explains how she uses the fossil records of oysters, and a technique called sclerochronology, to figure out how to restore the populations in the modern Chesapeake Bay. Rowan explains how oysters aren’t just filtration machines, they are ecosystem engineers, building three-dimensional habitats for other species to live in. And, as seems to be the case for all experts in their field, we drool over the deliciousness of oysters - because you simply have to eat your study!

An extra massive thank you to John Hartoch for lending his versatility of voice to Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" at the very tip-top of this episode. Thank you John.

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