To mark Earth Day we've been looking at the archive of interviews which make up the Louder Than Words Podcast.

As we celebrate the global efforts being taken to protect and restore the planet, we look back to recognise the substantial role that Essex researchers have had in advancing knowledge of our ecosystem and fostering positive change within academia and influencing wider environmental policy.

From representing nature in the international courts and bioengineering efforts to clean up our seas and soil, to using poetry and storytelling to understand climate data and how your smartphone holds the key to tracking climate change, we've brought together interviews with academics conducting policy-changing research and sharing their stories on the Louder Than Words podcast and Brighter Futures video series, hosted by Professor Jules Pretty.

Reaching Net Zero

Episode One – Climate Change

“I really believe that exploring our own planet is vital. And understanding how our planet works is vital. Because if we understand it, it means that we can support it and we can make sure it's sustainable and better for our children and our grandchildren and for the rest of human existence.” – Dr Michelle Taylor

Dr Michelle Taylor and Professor Graham Underwood from the School of Life Sciences discuss how they support policies aimed at reducing climate change through their research.

They are joined by:

  • Environmentalist and company director Dr Simon Lyster , exploring the role that business can play in sustaining a healthy natural environment.
  • Andri Snær Magnason is a writer and poet, incorporating his passion for speaking out against the climate crisis. He uses his writing to get climate change on the agenda and storytelling to make sense out of complex data.
  • Tanya Steele, CEO of the UK’s World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF), who emphasises the importance of science in making decisions and generating new ideas.
  • WWF Youth Ambassador Hattie who shares her passion for nature and the importance of preservation for future generations.

Calming Rough Waters

Episode 13 – Saving The Seas

Dr Natalie Hicks and Dr Michelle Taylor from the School of Life Sciences join in the conversation tackling the double threat facing our oceans today – climate change and declining biodiversity.

They are joined by Essex graduate Simon Walmsley, Chief Marine Advisor at WWF-UK, who provides insight onto wider environmental trends, and The Climate Show presenter Tom Heap discussing his book 39 Ways to Save the Planet, which explores ways we can start rebuilding our future for the better.

It’s A Bug’s World

Episode 36 – Good Bugs, Bad Bugs

Join Professor Terry McGenity and Professor Corinne Whitby from the School of Life Sciences in conversation on the populations of microbes in oceans, soils and the air, and how microbes can be deployed in new ways to clean up oil spills and microplastics to help repair the environment.

Can A River Be A Victim?

Episode 48 – Talking about the crime of Ecocide

Dr Matthew Gillett and Dr Marina Lostal from Essex Law School share their experiences in international institutions and environmental policy. Covering attacks to cultural heritage sites and the environmental effects of conflict, they delve into the crime of ecocide and how this is being brought to the courts.

Blooming Smartphones

A World of Data: How Citizen Science is Increasing Our Knowledge of the Effects of the Climate Crisis

Professor Jules Pretty sits down with Dr Dave Clark to learn how we can help wildlife organisations track changes to our local areas using our mobiles, and what the data shows us about the impact of climate change.

Louder than Words Podcast

The Louder Than Words Podcast is about ideas that improve lives.

It encourages discussions, offers a platform to people making a difference – including our researchers – and aims to explain how you can take action on issues you care about.

Professor Jules Pretty, Director of our Centre for Public and Policy Engagement, has created Louder Than Words to show how research can deliver solutions to global problems, how we can improve people’s lives and how we can inspire people to act now.

Each episode of Louder Than Words will look at a key global issue and give you a chance to hear from leading researchers, policy makers, thinkers and campaigners plus those directly affected by the issue.

Series One and Two were produced by CommsConsult and presented by journalist Martha Dixon and Professor Jules Pretty. Series Three was produced by Ali Walker at the University of Essex Media Centre and is presented by Professor Jules Pretty.

You can find all the latest podcasts on this page and subscribe through our podcast player.