Episode 1

Kelly Brenner (Naturalist)

Sep 9, 2020 | Science

In this episode, Julie speaks with Seattle-based Naturalist, Kelly Brenner! We talk about slime molds, dragonflies and nudibranchs! And, we talk about her book, “Nature Obscura: A City’s Hidden Natural World”.

Kelly talks about dragonflies

About this episode


Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and author from the Seattle region. In this episode, Kelly shares her knowledge about all sorts of marine and land-based creatures, ranging from sea slugs to dragonflies. We also talk about what it’s like to work as a nature writer. Kelly has a vast amount of knowledge about nature as she stays perpetually curious about the world around her.

Learn more about Kelly Brenner: http://www.metrofieldguide.com/

Buy Kelly’s book, “Nature Obscura”: https://www.mountaineers.org/books/books/nature-obscura-a-citys-hidden-natural-world

Follow Kelly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyBrenner


Follow Planet B612 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlanetB612fm

Support the podcast on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/julielaurin

Visit the website: https://planetb612.fm/


Interview with Kelly Brenner: Writer and Naturalist

Episode Timestamps

  • Introductions and how Kelly got involved in writing about nature [0:22]
  • Documenting nature when travelling [4:15]
  • Kelly’s work as a photographer [5:00]
  • Writing online content and books [6:40]
  • Talking about family life [8:06]
  • What are slime molds? [8:56]
  • What does a slime mold look like? [9:53]
  • Are slime molds related to mushrooms? [10:51]
  • Difference between a naturalist, and a scientist [11:08]
  • Early explorers were naturalists [12:18]
  • Designing for the “big picture” [13:16]
  • How to pronounce “nudibranch” [13:57]
  • What is a nudibranch? [14:26]
  • Why nudibranchs are so unique [15:46]
  • An interesting fact about nudibranchs [16:57]
  • Nudibranch Appreciation Society [18:06]
  • Nudibranchs are all sea slugs [18:42]
  • How Kelly does research on creatures [19:17]
  • Collaborations with other experts [20:00]
  • Kelly talks about dragonflies [20:39]
  • Julie reads excerpt from Kelly’s book [21:50]
  • More facts about dragonflies [22:19]
  • Dragonflies: what happens when it rains? [23:24]
  • Intro to Kelly’s book “Nature Obscura” [23:52]
  • Shout-out to illustrator for the book [24:11]
  • Kelly’s favorite season [24:52]
  • The transitions that happen through the changing of seasons [25:35]
  • The fear of spiders [27:10]
  • Creatures that feed on rotting wood [28:48]
  • Creatures and plants that inhabit urban environments [30:03]
  • What Kelly looks at under microscopes [31:25]
  • Building a backyard pond for invertebrates [32:06]
  • Pond life [33:15]
  • Pond maintenance [34:22]
  • Winters in Seattle [34:50]
  • Hummingbirds in the wintertime [35:08]
  • Climate change in Seattle [35:47]
  • Tools to bring on a hike [37:11]
  • Life during a pandemic [39:40]
  • Leaving the city [40:43]
  • Kelly’s other interests: anime [41:52]
  • Learning the art of Kendo [42:16]
  • Yelling and exertion [43:39]
  • Kelly’s future plans [44:41]
  • #Invertefest [44:59]
  • Observing creatures at night [47:00]
  • Folklore of nature [48:42]
  • Kelly’s future books [49:46]
  • What country does Kelly want to explore next? [50:22]
  • Kelly’s fiction and parting remarks [52:35]

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