Photo of Ben Makin


When Ben can’t be found in the science laboratory, playing with small green microbes, you can usually catch him in the ‘beat lab’ (his home recording studio). He has recently released his first EP, proceeds from which he will donate to The RNLI (Search for ‘Young’ by ‘Benjamin Makin’ on iTunes/Amazon/Spotify/YouTube).

His research has a focus on the way in which temperature fundamentally underpins ‘friendly’ relationships between hosts and resident microbes in nature. As it turns out, this kind of interaction (termed a ‘mutualism’) is absolutely vital for all living things on the planet: take coral reefs, which amazingly underpin around one third of all species of fish in the entire ocean; the coral animals responsible for manufacturing these rocky structures (reefs are actually the external skeletons of corals; pretty weird right?) live with tiny plant-like organisms inside them.

The two partners in this coral-plant relationship both benefit from this ‘friendship’: they swap nutrients, a bit like if we had living solar cells inside our bodies that we supplied with nutrients such that they could keep running (the plants provide their corals with food in the form of sugars from photosynthesis and, in return, receive various nutrients for their efforts).

Anyway, many of these vital mutualisms in nature are breaking down or changing as the climate changes (think ‘coral bleaching’, where corals lose their resident plants). So, it’s a priority for scientists to understand some of the key factors which affect these relationships. It’s within this field that Ben’s work is framed.

He’s always delighted to answer questions about his work, anything science-related or anything that he chats about on his show; get in touch with him at Ben’s Breakfast Show and he can even feature your questions on the radio should you fancy some airtime!

Listen again to Ben Makin's recent shows

Programmes featuring Ben Makin

Listeners say

Just a quickie to say thank you for keeping us entertained on our (rainy) holiday in Falmouth. We really enjoyed the variety of music on your radio station and loved hearing all the local voices.


I can only say how much pleasure Source FM has given us over the years! What an amazing radio station! Unbelievably and consistently excellent! Well done and thank you, Best wishes, Jeremy


Just wanted to say what a lovely surprise it was on Monday morning when I first discovered your channel on my tablet. I am an artist and I love to have music and humour playing in my studio. The programme that I discovered was called the Monday Morning Comedy Collective with a presenter called Colin Leggo . A lovely lively entertaining programme with lots of humour and a good variety of music. I think a big strength of the programme is the warm personality and the professional style of the presenter. Colin Leggo was often using funny voices which I found really funny but he also encouraged the listeners to contribute to the programme. He was also interviewing a comedian which was interesting and entertaining. I will definitely catch the Colin Leggo show again and explore the other Source programmes.

David Hosking