Episode 3

Dr. Melina Luethje


Sep 13, 2020 | Science

What’s a “Paleolimnologist”?! In this episode, I speak with Dr. Melina Luethje, a recent PhD grad from Nebraska, about paleolimnology, the interesting life of diatoms, and what it’s like to go through grad school.

Interview with Dr. Melina Luethje (Paleolimnologist)

Episode Timestamps:

  • What is ‘paleolimnology’? (0:43)
  • Why Dr. Melina decided to pursue a PhD (2:02)
  • Why the focus on paleolimnology? (4:08)
  • Talking about the struggles of grad school (5:48)
  • How advisors work (9:40)
  • Funding in grad school (10:52)
  • How publishing works (12:16)
  • The pressure to publish (12:59)
  • Popular journals in science (14:01)
  • The pay-to-play format for academic journals (15:05)
  • The perceived normalcy of the journal industry (16:48)
  • Adjusting to life after schooling (18:42)
  • Thinking about the future during the pandemic (19:48)
  • Dr. Melina’s dream job (20:53)
  • The R1, R2, R3 system (22:55)
  • What Dr. Melina tells people she does for a living (25:17)
  • What is a diatom? (27:24)
  • Interesting features of diatoms (29:28)
  • The scientific process (32:33)
  • Algae produce the air that we breathe (33:56)
  • Are diatoms older than dinosaurs? (35:26)
  • Freshwater and marine diatoms (36:16)
  • Are there diatoms in space? (36:53)
  • The habitats that diatoms live in (37:36)
  • Six years of work on one topic (39:18)
  • Why studying past lakes is important (41:21)
  • Climate change (43:25)
  • CO2 levels today (45:29)
  • A scientist’s perspective on science denial (46:40)
  • Public understanding of science (49:50)
  • Dr. Melina’s passion for cooking (52:05)
  • The dream to live off-grid (55:04)
  • Closing remarks (59:39)

Follow Dr. Melina on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhD_Goddess

Visit Planet B612 on the web: http://planetb612.fm/

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