Coronavirus, carbon & colonialism: An interview on The Anthropositive Outlook

Have you heard the name Krti Tallam?

Well, remember it, because she's one of the brightest up-and-coming stars at the intersection of conservation and health!

The one and only Krti Tallam.

Like so many of the important events in my life, I met Krti through serendipity.

Krti was a Udall Scholar a few years after me — the Udall is a federally-funded scholarship for undergraduates engaged in environmental work, indigenous health, or indigenous governance — so we ended up on the same alumni mailing list. She'd posted asking for advice on graduate programs in marine disease ecology, I sent her a few links, and neither of us let the conversation drop. It's like one of the old fashioned pen-pal friendships you read about in books. Except without the actual letters.

Krti just finished a Fulbright year in India looking at the relationship between sea level rise and cholera using machine learning (y'all, that is a technical skill the puts my baby-level computer programming to shame!) And, she's now entering the De Leo lab at Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University to start her PhD (the very same lab where I'm doing my master's thesis research, and the one that analyzes Health In Harmony's forest conservation impact with satellite imagery). In short, she is a rock star.

Can you read this logo?!

Not only that, but Krti is also the host and producer of the Anthropositive Outlook, an original podcast that weaves together stories of ecologists, health practitioners, programmers and other humans dedicated to making Earth a livable planet for all.

One day, Krti asked if I would be interviewed for her podcast.

Of course, I said, what an honor!

Here's the final product, our hour-long discussion ranging from COVID-19 and ocean acidification to the importance of healthcare for gender equity and the legacy of colonialism in conservation.

Without further ado, have a listen on Podbean to:

Anthropositive Outlook Season 1, Episode 6:
"COVID-19, Healthcare, Women in Conservation, and the Role of Colonialism in Conservation"
a conversation with Nina Finley and Krti Tallam

If that doesn't work, try listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

I encourage you to also check out the Anthropositive Outlook website and follow their Twitter at @anthropositive.

Thank you, Krti, for the opportunity! Hope to meet you in person someday :)


  1. Awesome.


    We are utterly dependent on microbes (and all life in general). The conclusion of the sixth extinction event will be the end of us.

    COVID came from a wet market, which sells wildlife to people who see the consumption of wildlife as a status symbol. The use of wildlife for food needs to end.

    Sea stars still missing along the docks in Puget sound.

    Most people don't realize that the impact on the oceans is likely the more immediate concern regarding climate change.

    Shoes instead of pharmaceuticals!

    The Health in Harmony success story is uplifting. The people were forced to cut trees to pay for health services. Giving them health services prevented the cutting of trees.

    But, once we humans have housing, health, and sustenance under control (rise up out of poverty), we begin seeking more stature, nicer “things.” The trees will be cut again at that point to buy status unless some way can be found to give them stature without cutting the trees (to provide fancy furniture to increase the stature for other humans in other places).

    Agree with your mindset; not hopeful about conservation, plan to stay with the trouble, don’t need to know that you can win this to continue the fight.

    The link to your Semester in the West presentation (which always brings a tear to my eye):

    And go here to see the slide show that went with it:

  2. Wonderful podcast, Nina, and thank you for the introduction to Krti!


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