A close up of a fishes eye


a UC Davis podcast

Unfold is a podcast that breaks down complicated problems and unfolds curiosity-driven research. Each season, the podcast takes a deep dive into a different topic, including food, climate change, health and curiosity-driven innovation and discovery at UC Davis. Episodes of Unfold offer sound-rich scenes, reporting from the field and interviews with leading researchers, scientists and scholars. Hosted by public radio veteran Amy Quinton and co-host Kat Kerlin.


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Unfold Season 3

Coming Sept. 28, Unfold brings you stories of awe, wonder and discovery as we explore how UC Davis researchers are driven by curiosity. Curiosity can lead to some of the greatest discoveries, like why songs get stuck in your head or what real-world engineering concepts you can learn from comic book superheroes. This season, we examine an archaeological discovery that raises new questions about the sexual division of labor in early hunter-gatherer societies. UC Davis researchers reveal what they found by peeling back the layers of a fish’s eye and by studying cute, pink, baby-faced axolotls. We have lots of surprising and curious stories to tell this season — even a spooky, dark and murderous one, just in time for Halloween.

Season 3 Episodes

Cockroaches for Dessert

UC Davis boasts one of the largest insect collections in North America, so how could we not take you on a tour? The Bohart Museum of Entomology holds more than 7 million specimens.

The Poet's Voice

Researchers have discovered a way to empirically analyze the complexities of poetry read out loud. We look at their newest project which analyzes the voices of 101 African American women poets.

The Science of Superheroes

This episode of Unfold mixes comic book superhero action and science! We learn about the real-world applications of material science based on superhero powers.

Murder, Suicide and the Macabre

In this Halloween episode, we discuss a true, disturbing and dark trend of child murder in the 1700s in Germany. Not suitable for all audiences.

*Was* She a Badass?

The archaeological discovery of a 9,000-year-old female big-game hunter may upend the belief that only men hunted and women gathered.

Why Is That Song Stuck in My Head?

UC Davis researchers have found that those songs that get stuck in your head may play an important role in helping us form memories.

Unfold Season 2

The Earth’s climate is changing. Temperatures around the world are rising. Traditional weather patterns are shifting, and extreme weather events are happening more often. In Season 2 of Unfold, hosts Amy Quinton and Kat Kerlin will talk to researchers who believe this unprecedented crisis calls for unprecedented solutions, including projects that pull CO2 out of the air. From carbon farming to electric cars, we’ll examine the best ways to transition to a low-carbon future. We’ll travel from California to Kenya to examine how climate change is punishing the world’s poor and how insurance might protect them when drought hits. We’ll also examine what the coronavirus crisis is teaching us about the climate crisis.

Season 2 Episodes

Transitioning to Low-Carbon Transportation

In California, 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Emissions from this sector will make it difficult to meet the state’s 2030 climate goals.

Decarbonizing Energy

A quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions comes from heating and electricity. In this episode, we discuss renewable energy and the importance of life-cycle analysis when discussing climate change solutions.

Oceans Under a Changing Climate

Oceans have always done us a favor, absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But now rising greenhouse gases are warming the ocean and changing its chemistry.

E-Commerce and Climate Change

Since COVID-19, our online shopping habits, particularly all those groceries, have increased dramatically. What that has meant for our carbon footprint might just surprise you.

California Wildfires In a Changing Climate

Wind-driven wildfires like the Santa Anas that Southern California experiences are moving further north, striking when conditions are hotter and drier. Unfold examines how fire is changing California’s landscapes and how to manage wildfires going forward.

Becoming Arizona

Co-host Kat Kerlin discusses her "Becoming Arizona" series, examining how cities are dealing with rising temperatures and efforts to build climate-resilient communities.

Coronavirus and Climate Change

There are lessons we can take away from the pandemic about climate change, including how we’re handling both crises. Unfold looks at surprising similarities between the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

Unfold Season 1

Climate change threatens to make sustainably feeding two billion more people by 2050 a seemingly impossible task. We’ll need to grow more food, more efficiently and waste less. In Season 1 of Unfold, hosts Amy Quinton and Alexa Renee talk with UC Davis researchers working to make agriculture more sustainable about potential solutions to the challenges that lay ahead.

Season 1 Episodes

Bonus Bite: What Happened to Flavor?

Flavor breeding is considered “the last frontier of plant breeding” by some experts and could bring tastier products to our tables. This episode covers the work of UC Davis researchers in search of a tastier strawberry.

Bonus Bite: The Father of Wine

This Bonus Bite episode examines the legacy of former UC Davis professor and viticulture chair Maynard Amerine. His contributions to the wine industry include helping develop the Winkler Index, which is still used to determine optimal wine grape growing regions.

Bonus Bite: Stranger Beers with Charlie Bamforth

After nearly 40 years in the beer business, the now-retired UC Davis professor Charlie Bamforth holds the crown as “The Pope of Foam.” Join Unfold for a light-hearted discussion about the strangest beers he's come across throughout his career.

Food Politics

Everyone has an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t eat and why. In this episode, we explore why we get into heated debates and arguments when we talk about food.

Is the Chicken Local?

Imagine you could know exactly where your food comes from, how it was grown, what kind of soil it was grown in and how it was handled and distributed. UC Davis experts are helping build this food information superhighway, known as the Internet of Food.

The Future of Food

Unfold examines biotechnologies such as gene-editing and CRISPR and how they could help reduce food waste, create higher-yielding or disease-resistant crops, as well as what it could mean for animal agriculture.

You've Come a Long Way, Baby Carrot

A California carrot farmer invented the baby-cut carrot while trying to reduce food waste. This episode examines the unexpected reasons why we waste so much food and how finding solutions to the problem can help feed a growing population.


Unfold talks with two UC Davis experts who believe that organic farming and genetic engineering don’t have to be so antagonistic. They argue a blend of both types of agriculture is key to helping sustainably feed more people.

What's the Beef With Beef?

In this episode, we look more closely at cattle’s environmental hoofprint and look at how UC Davis scientists are researching ways to make livestock more sustainable.

Communications award

CASE Award of Excellence - Gold

From the Judges

This podcast is exceptionally well done, indistinguishable from podcasts being produced by the big names in podcasting. The marketing mix among the social media platforms and website is tightly integrated and beautifully designed. The storytelling in the podcasts and the balance of airtime among the hosts and the UC Davis experts gives you a feel of being at a dinner party with fascinating and insightful individuals who bring you deep into a conversation that opens your perspective and makes you think. The music and ambient sounds provide both "visual" context to the story and also brief pauses to let the provocative ideas sink in.