Episode 89: Camera Trapping and Large Mammal Monitoring with Adam Francis Smith

In this instalment of the podcast, our guest is a young scientist, Adam Francis Smith, who lives in the Bavarian Forest National Park. Adam specializes in large terrestrial mammal monitoring and predator-prey interactions. He also works for the Frankfurt Zoological Society where he focuses on specific project areas in Ukraine and Belarus and where, with a team of ecologists, he tries to protect large wilderness areas.

During our conversation, Adam took us on a fascinating journey to, among other places, the Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve where he and his team set camera traps to monitor predator and prey species. Of course, there was no way to avoid mentioning rewilding, a topic that is prominently featured in recent podcasts.

Episode 88: Rewilding Scotland with Peter Cairns

Peter Cairns is the executive director of the environmental charity Scotland: The Big Picture, the first organisation in Scotland wholly dedicated to championing rewilding. We started our conversation by discussing the controversy surrounding the term rewilding. Since rewilding (for want of a better, less controversial, term) is of great interest to me, the discussion started to flow from there.

After that, we discussed a wide range of related socio-economic and environmental issues. Finally, we ended up examining individual species that had been extirpated. Some of them, like beavers, have since been reintroduced. Others, like lynx, could be reintroduced in the future. And wolves… yes we talked about wolves too. But don’t worry, this conversation wasn’t about some fantasies. I feel like we had a very reasonable and balanced discussion. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Episode 87: Irish Whale and Dolphin Group with Pádraig Whooley

I have wanted to record an episode about the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) and their work for quite a while now. Their excellent website, with a database where you can report sightings and strandings, was even mentioned in one of my vlogs. So today, it is my pleasure to bring you my conversation with IWDG’s Sightings Officer Pádraig Whooley.

We started with discussing at length IWDG origins and their current work. After that, we dug deep into a whole host of interesting topics related to cetaceans, starting with a discussion about cetacean species that can be observed and encountered in our local waters. That conversation included some interesting facts about how to behave in the presence of a whale and about the rules and regulations around it. We discussed whale watching techniques and the required equipment. We also talked about the unpleasant issue of whale strandings. And of course, I did not forget to discuss cetacean evolution, a personal favourite of mine.

This is an amazing episode and if you have any level of interest in whales or dolphins you will, without a doubt, find it deeply interesting.

Episode 84: Basking Sharks with Natasha Phillips and Amy Garbett

In this episode, I had the pleasure to talk once again with scientists from SeaMonitor project. This time our guests were Dr Natasha Phillips and Dr Amy Garbett. Our conversation was focused on Basking Sharks but while at it we discussed a whole range of other subjects as well, like genetic connectivity, biotelemetry and bioinformatics. There is nothing like a conversation with scientists who are genuinely passionate about their work. If you are interested in marine biology, sharks and science you can’t afford to miss this episode!

Episode 83: Tracking Seals with Sam L Cox

This is yet another episode of the podcast where we talk about seals. This time I hit you with a healthy dose of unbiased, evidence-based knowledge. Actually, that’s not me doing the hitting but our guest Dr Sam L Cox who is a quantitative ecologist and researcher for the SeaMonitor project. In our conversation, we discuss the behaviour and spatial ecology of harbour seals which are tracked using GPS tags glued to their head. But that’s not all, Sam has done a lot of research studying other, more exotic, species of seals, like elephant seals. So, we discuss that too! We also touch on the anthropogenic impact on seals and mobile marine predators in general. This is one interesting episode. Enjoy!

I have a killer podcast for you

This week on Tommy’s Outdoors was a little quiet, but not because of the unfolding situation with COVID-19. It was due to some high priority work that I’m involved with. You can read more about it in my housekeeping blog from the beginning of the year. But worry not, as per the usual schedule, next week I have a killer podcast for you. It’s going to be about nature, conservation and hunting. But it’s not going to be the usual “hunting is conservation” mantra, coming from someone with a lot of pictures of dead stuff on his Instagram page. So don’t forget to tune in. In fact, the best you can do is subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! It is available on all podcast platforms and on YouTube.

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Podcasting controversy

Dear friends, it finally happened! I knew it would at some point, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. Someone who initially agreed to be my guest decided to pull out because he didn’t like one of the subjects previously discussed on the podcast. People are different and have different motivations for their actions. I respect his decision but thought this would be a good moment to make a short statement about the purpose of the podcast.

Tommy’s Outdoors is dedicated to everything outdoors. We discuss not only specific outdoor activities, like cycling and angling, but also issues related in any way to the outdoors, such as outdoors safety or wildlife conservation. The podcast is meant to be a conversational and educational platform. I welcome guests from all walks of life with a variety of different views. I encourage them to express their ideas. The more the merrier, as that will provide listeners with a wide spectrum of opinions on many different, often complex, subjects.

Being my guest doesn’t mean that you agree with or support the opinions expressed in any previous episodes of the podcast. Instead, it gives you an opportunity and platform to express your own views even if they are completely opposed to mine. That is okay and it has already happened more than once. I’m happy to have my opinions challenged and I welcome the discussion. This is how progress is made, this is how we get a better understanding of complex issues, and this how we enrich and educate listeners.

Thank you for your continuous support and I hope you will enjoy coming episodes of the podcast!

Episode 23: Hunt Fish Travel with Carrie Zylka


A very special episode with a very special guest. Carrie Zylka is a fellow podcaster and also an avid hunter and angler. She hosts a number of podcasts but, for us, her Hunt Fish Travel podcast is especially interesting. Some of you might remember that I made an appearance on the Shark Week special of Carrie’s podcast. There are also other reasons why this podcast is special. It is the first episode of the Tommy’s Outdoors podcast recorded over the Internet and it is the first episode where my guest is an American. So it was a great occasion to talk about the specifics of hunting and fishing in the United States. We discuss the tag system, sheep hunting, anti-hunters, the issue of CWD in deer and many other topics. Also don’t forget to subscribe to her Hunt Fish Travel podcast!

Episode 15: Tralee Equestrian Centre with Rachel Daly


For many of us horseback riding is one of the best ways to experience the outdoors. In this episode, I talk with Rachel Daly from Tralee Equestrian Centre. You will learn how to get started if you are new to this activity. Rachel will walk you through various disciplines of equestrian sport. You will also hear about a number of horse breeds as well as some interesting facts about horse life. Finally, you will find out about the services Tralee Equestrian Centre offers. They range from one-day trekking trips under the watchful eye of a professional instructor to full livery services. Even if you are not into horseback riding this episode is worth listening to as it is very informative and could clarify a few misconceptions surrounding equestrianism.