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STEPS' scholar-led podcast dives
deep into the world of phosphorus

PhosForUs Podcast

PhosForUs is a STEPS scholar-led podcast all about phosphorus! In each episode, we reach out to subject matter experts, within and outside STEPS, as we try to understand the challenges and opportunities towards phosphorus sustainability. From interviews and panel discussions with our guests, to discussions about key parts of STEPS, we have it all right here. So put on your headphones, press play, and listen along.

For questions or suggestions related to any of our episodes or our podcast in general, please reach out at

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The Podcast Team

Our team consists of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral scholars in the STEPS Center, each engaged in exciting phosphorus related research in one of the partner institutions. Each episode is a result of our collective hard work.

PhosForUs Episodes

Episode 7: Phosphorus Week

Phosphorus Week 2024 is a special occasion celebrated by the Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center and the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (the Alliance).  In this episode, we reach out to Dr. Matthew Scholz to know more about Phosphorus Week and how we can contribute towards phosphorus sustainability. 
Hosted by Hector Fajardo.

Episode 6: What and Why: Convergence Research

Modern challenges of today create the need for more efficient and effective research to tackle them. By what means are we achieving this? Convergence research is how. In this episode, we want to elaborate on the fine details of convergence research.
Hosted by Alison Deviney and George Hotelling.

Episode 5: Introduction to the P Flow Diagram

The P flow diagram is a key aspect of STEPS convergence research, because it functions as a “boundary object” to connect researchers from many different fields. In this episode, we give a brief overview of what flow diagrams are, and then we talk to some of the researchers in STEPS about how they use the P flow diagram and what they like (and don’t like!) about it.
Hosted by Ashton Merck.

Episode 4: Who Are the Guardians? A Conversation with Dr. Dana Cordell

As much as we need food to stay alive, our crops need phosphorus to keep growing. But how do we ensure a sustainable phosphorus supply to our agricultural lands? In fact, who ensures that sustainability? Who are the other stakeholders? Hear from Dr. Dana Cordell, Research Director of the Food Systems research group at the Institute of Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Hosted by Dr. Jacob Jones, Director of STEPS.

Episode 3: Phosphorus and Climate Crisis: Why Should We Care?

Phosphorus is a key element for life on Earth, but it can also have devastating effects on the environment when it accumulates in water bodies. In this episode, we explore the complex relationship between phosphorus and climate change, and how it affects the health of ecosystems.
Hosted by: Smitom Borah.

Episode 2: STEPS Vision: Is 25-in-25 Possible?

The Science and Technology for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) center is a recently created convergence research center that is addressing the complex challenges around phosphorus sustainability with an interdisciplinary group of researchers coming from diverse scientific areas. In this episode, we talk to the director of the STEPS center, Dr. Jacob Jones, about the 25-in-25 vision of the center.
Hosted by: Hector Fajardo and George Hotelling.

Episode 1: Phosphorus: Past, Present, and Future

Phosphorus is an important element on earth. It is a non-metallic element that is essential for life as we know it. It is used in a variety of industrial and agricultural applications, such as fertilizers, food additives, and flame retardants. However, excess phosphorus usage has also led to many environmental problems. In this episode, we talk to two renown phosphorus experts, Dr. Jim Elser and Dr. Phil Haygarth, about Phosphorus’s past, present, and future.
Hosted by: George Hotelling and Smitom Borah.