From fungi to furniture: the future of sustainable design with Dr Jane Scott

In this episode, we talk to Dr Jane Scott, Newcastle University Academic Track Fellow (NUAcT) in the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE).

Her current research explores the future of interior design, made with mycelium, a root-like structure of fungus.

Learn about the BioKnit Project, a venture which aims to investigate if fungus-filled textiles could become the new cutting-edge technique for making architectural structures and furniture.

Find out more about Jane’s research and follow her on twitter @responsiveknit. Discover more about the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment and follow them on twitter @Bio_Buildings.

Also mentioned in this episode:


Future Observatory Display, Design Museum London:

Magical Mushroom Company:

Farrell Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne:

The future of coral reefs with Dr James Guest and Liam Lachs

In this episode, we talk to Dr James Guest, ERC Research Fellow and Liam Lachs, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University.

Learn about their research into coral reef reliance and how they are working to protect ocean biodiversity for the future.

Find out more about James‘ and follow him on twitter @jr_guest . Find out about Liam’s research and follow him on twitter @LiamLachs. Discover more about the Coralassist Lab at Newcastle University and follow them on twitter at @Coralassist_Lab.

Also mentioned in this episode:
Palau International Coral Reef Center:
British Sub-Aqua Club:

Further information can be found at:
Coralassist Lab:
The Conversation:

5.6 Earth Day Special with Dr Bethan Davies and Dr Rachel Carr

In this special episode to mark Earth Day (22 April 2023), we talk to Dr Bethan Davies and Dr Rachel Carr, Senior Lecturers in Physical Geography at Newcastle University. 

Learn about the significance of Earth Day, the impact of climate change on glaciated landscapes and the steps that we can all take to help meet net-zero targets.

Find out more about Dr Bethan Davies research at and follow her on twitter @AntarcticGlacie. Find out about Dr Rachel Carr‘s research.

4.3 Communicating the climate crisis with Dr Alistair Ford

In this episode we talk to Dr Alistair Ford, Lecturer in Geospatial Data Analytics at Newcastle University about climate change engagement.

Learn about how research-led scenarios can be used to highlight climate change issues in urban planning, COP27 and how our younger generation may be the solution to the climate change crisis.

Find out more about Alistair’s research and follow him on twitter at @AlistairCFord. Discover more about the Climate Change Catastrophe project in collaboration with the Cap-a-Pie theatre company.

2.2 COP26 Special: The future of energy with Professor Sara Walker and Dr Greg Mutch

In this COP26 special episode we talk to Professor Sara Walker, reader in Energy and director of the Centre for Energy and Dr Greg Mutch, Royal Academy Engineer and Research Fellow in the School of Engineering, about climate change, fuel poverty and the future of energy.

Learn about carbon capture, alternative sources of energy and the one thing we can all do to help tackle the climate crisis.

To find out more about Sara’s work at the Centre for Energy and National Centre for Energy Systems Integration and @ProfSaraWalker. You can follow Greg’s work on his YouTube Channel LiveInTheLab and @MutchDr.

Read Newcastle University’s Climate Action Plan and discover more COP26 events at:

1.3 Climate Change and the Future of Flooding

In this episodewe talk to Richard Dawson, Professor of Earth Systems Engineering and Director of Research and Innovation in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University about climate change and the future of flooding.

Over the past few years, we have experienced an increase in extreme weather events, from disappearing islands in the Pacific Ocean to severe flooding in the Lake District. Professor Dawson has been researching the environmental risk to infrastructure and cities for the past 20 years and is a member of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, providing advice to the government on the adaptation of infrastructure to climate change.

Learn why rising greenhouse emissions lead to more frequent storms, the impact this can have on our lives and what we should be doing now to reduce the risk of extreme weather in the future.

To find out more about the risks posed by extreme weather and flooding visit the Global Challenges Academy website and follow Richard on twitter @profrichdawson.