Life in the Soil Audio Podcast

Our podcast Life in the Soil brings you the insights and voices of some of the world’s best soil scientists. Learn about soil biodiversity, why it matters, and how we can protect it.


There’s a hidden world beneath your feet, the world of earthworms, springtails, fungi, and bacteria. We hardly ever see these little creatures, but their impacts are huge!

Episode 1: Living Soil – a Habitat Hidden from View

Soils and their inhabitants play a huge role for the overground world, from food security to climate change. It’s a special habitat, full of surprises. In this episode, host Anja Krieger learns more from co-producer Matthias Rillig and soil scientist Johannes Lehmann. Published on World Soil Day, December 5, 2020.

Episode 2: Fungi – the Kingdom of Mushrooms, Spores, and Networks

Hundreds of millions of years ago, plants started to colonize the land. But amazingly, they did this without roots. So how on Earth did these early plants feed themselves? It looks like they found some helpful friends: The so-called mycorrhizal fungi. How does the plant-fungi relationship work? Is it love or just a deal? And how do fungi travel? In this episode, Anja learns more from Katie Field, Toby Kiers, Bala Chaudhary and podcast co-producer Matthias Rillig. Published Saturday, December 19, 2020.

Episode 3: The Soil Food Web – A Jungle in Tiny Dimensions

In this episode, Anja and Matthias take you on an underground safari through the hidden jungle of the soil. And they’ve won some excellent scientists as tour guides. You’ll hear from Diana Wall about a tiny worm that is so tough it even lives in Antarctica or hot deserts. Richard Bardgett introduces you to collembola, also known as springtails – tiny insect-like animals that can jump like crazy! Stefan Scheu and Maddy Thakur reveal which animals are considered the “wolves of the soil”, and Kate Scow delves into bacterial communities. How do all these organisms work together as a system, and why does this soil food web matter greatly to us as well? Publication: January 16, 2021. Image by Andy Murray,

More episodes coming soon

About this project

Life in the Soil is a collaboration between the Rillig Lab and podcaster Anja Krieger. The podcast is funded through the BiodivERsA projekt Digging Deeper.