Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology

Gneiss Chats Podcast, fun geoscience learning for all!

Gneiss Chats Podcast, fun geoscience learning for all!

The Gneiss Chats podcast is an interview podcast where the host (under the secret identity of Dr.B, because most people can’t pronounce Barrote) interviews an expert and asks them a bunch of questions about a certain theme in the field of geosciences including Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology and Volcanology. The idea behind the show is to teach the listener about an interesting topic that might be new to them, but in a very light and fun environment.

“Gneiss Chats – trailer‘’


Every episode has the same basic structure. The show starts with a fun game, that is different every time, in order to break the ice and ensure the listener that this next 40 to 50 minutes will be filled with fun learning and light jokes. In these games, we often learn that experts with many years of experience in their respective research fields might also not remember all the details of their intro to crystallography syllabus, just like the rest of us! The game section also tries to poke fun at some of the silly things that some researchers hold dear to their heart, like the use of diabase versus dolerite, or the habit that some scientists have of criticizing their colleague’s work in conferences by posing “more of a comment than a question”, at the end of presentations.

“Short extract from Gneiss Chats Ep. 2 – Supercontinents with Dr. Erin Martin ‘’


Dr. Silvia Volante (producer and occasional co-host) and Dr.B. (host and producer) recording an episode of Gneiss Chats.


Once everyone is comfortable, and the listeners have already started to feel giggly and perhaps find common ground with our expert guest, we move on to the core of each episodes’ theme. This part usually starts by covering basic concepts in order to allow people from all backgrounds to be able to follow and learn from the podcast. GMPV members that are not familiar with the scientific advances in areas such as Palaeomagnetism or Supercontinents, could tune into an episode of Gneiss Chats and learn about a different field, while having fun and getting to know other scientists’ work and interests.

For example, do you remember what an isotope is? If you either don’t remember or have actually never learned about it, you don’t have to google it before listening to the upcoming interview with Dr. Bryant Ware about Isotopic Geochemistry. In this upcoming episode, the first question of, “What is an Isotope?”, lays the foundation to the next few minutes of learning about very complex phenomena in chemistry and geology that are explained by Bryant in a simple and approachable way to a diverse audience that includes both seasoned researchers as well as non-experts.


On the left: Isotope Geochemist Dr. Bryant Ware guest of a future episode of Gneiss Chats and producer and host of multiple episodes from the GPN. On the right: Dr.B.


The podcast episodes then move on to asking the same three questions to all the guests.

  1. How did you first decide to become a geologist?
  2. What are some of the specifics of the research that you are conducting at present?
  3. What do you enjoy doing when you are not geology-ing?


These questions are designed to, once again, make the guests more familiar and relatable to the audience, as many geoscientists share interests and stories of how they became in love with the study of the Earth. This is also a very unique and exciting opportunity to compare experiences from diverse perspectives, since the show is designed to host geoscientists within many fields of study and different career stages.

Gneiss Chats was made possible by its association with the Geology Podcast Network (GPN), sponsored by TravelingGeologist. The GPN is a collaborative effort created in order to facilitate the conceptualization, production, and dissemination of Geological Podcasts, by aspiring geoscience communicators, by removing initial hurdles to entering the world of podcasting, such as technical and financial barriers. The GPN is host to two other Podcasts in addition to Gneiss Chats: Geological Expeditions of Yore and Backyard Geology, which have released 8 episodes each for their first season and are currently in the research and preparation phase of their upcoming second season.


You can listen to all of the shows from the GPN, including Gneiss Chats on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Stitcher and Google podcasts or directly at


Logos for the GPN and its other two Podcasts.


Did you enjoy the Gneiss Chats Podcast? You want some more?

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Happy listening!


A member of the TravelingGeologist team and the host for Gneiss Chats on the Geology Podcast Network. Vitor, also known as Dr. B, has a PhD in applied geology from Curtin University. His current research focus is on analytical developments in geochemistry and geochronology, but he has a soft spot for Economic Geology, also. He enjoys multidisciplinary studies that apply unorthodox and innovative solutions to resolve unusual problems. He is a big fan of spreading education through inclusive media, with science outreach efforts such as this podcast series. He also holds an (honorary) PhD in geological dad-jokes.

A member of TravelingGeologist team, producer and occasional co-host for Gneiss Chats on the Geology Podcast Network. Silvia also has a PhD in applied geology from Curtin University. She loves to explore the different pressures, temperatures and compositions conditions at which igneous and metamorphic rocks formed. Her favorite word? Unravelling! Unravelling the evolution of basement rocks by mapping them in the field, as a good old-fashioned field geologist would do, and investigating the record incapsulated in minerals that define ductile fabrics and, why not, that can also be dated!

Dr. Ware is a geology researcher (an isotope geochemist, and geochronologist for those who want to know exactly) at Curtin University in Western Australia. He knows all about the nitty gritty details of the geochemical analysis of rocks to produce the data that help us to understand the processes that shape our planet. Despite spending an excessive amount of time in the clean lab, he loves the outdoors and spending time in the field. As a member of the Traveling Geologist Team, and producer on Gneiss Chats from the Geology Podcast Network he enjoys sharing his excitement about geology with others.

Francesca has a PhD in planetary geology from Sorbonne University. She is an experimental mineral physicist and petrologist who enjoys squishing and heating minerals to extreme pressures and temperature, to investigate the mysteries of planetary interiors. She is also a member of the Geology Podcast Network's Gneiss Chats and TravelingGeologist.

A member of the TravelingGeologist team and editor for Gneiss Chats on the Geology Podcast Network. Mikaela has a bachelor’s degree in geology and is focused primarily on carbonate geology and coral reef biodiversity. She is passionate about the earth as well as educating the public on topics in geology and oceanography and hopes to inspire a love and fascination with our natural world. Mikaela also hopes to one day be involved in informal education at one of the many places of learning across the country.

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