Cover art for podcast People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers

People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers

300 EpisodesProduced by Dr. Marie McNeely, featuring top scientists speaking about their life and cWebsite

Are you searching for great stories to ignite your curiosity, teach you to perform better in life and career, inspire your mind, and make you laugh along the way? In this science podcast, Dr. Marie McNeely introduces you to the brilliant researchers behind the latest scientific discoveries. Join us … read more


526: Studying the Role of Sea Otters in Kelp Forest Ecosystems - Dr. Jim Estes

Dr. Jim Estes is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In addition, Jim is author of the book Serendipity: An Ecologist’s Quest to Understand Nature, and he is a contributing scientist in a new documentary film called The Serengeti Rules. Most of Jim’s career has been spent as a research scientist studying topics in ecology. He is interested in how nature works, and how species interact with one another and their physical environment. Specifically, Jim is working to better understand coastal marine ecosystems, kelp forests, and the kelp forest ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean. One of Jim’s major passions outside of science is fly fishing. He also enjoys hiking, reading, writing, and spending time with friends. He received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Minnesota, his MS in biology from Washington State University, and his PhD in biology and statistics from the University of Arizona. For over 30 years, Jim worked as a research scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. He retired from his position there in 2007 to join the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Jim has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, including the U.S. Geological Survey’s Schumaker Award for excellence in science communication, the Western Society of Naturalists’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Society of Mammalogists’ C. Hart Merriam Award. Jim is also a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In our interview, Jim shares more about his life and research.

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