Robin Sussingham

Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She hosts the weekly current affairs program, Florida Matters, on WUSF and also created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.

Robin has earned multiple awards for reporting on science, health, the environment, culture and education. She’s hosted a daily call-in show in Salt Lake City; reported at a newspaper in north Texas; and covered many national stories for NPR, as well as publications like Newsday, the Times of London, the Tampa Bay Times, epicurious and others. She has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Duke University and a Masters Degree in Journalism from New York University. 

Robin thinks Florida is the most fascinating place to tell stories – and has reported on things like giant invasive lizards, how to run from an alligator (do not serpentine!), and the best wood for smoking mullet. 

 

Despite not being officially allowed to live in Florida until 1763, Jewish people escaping expulsion and exclusion were among the earliest settlers of the state.

A new comprehensive history – "Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories" – takes a look at that historic individuals who include politicians, business leaders, artists and Nobel Prize winners.

Sen. Bill Nelson was a three-term Democrat who served in Washington for more than 45 years before losing his seat to Rick Scott in the 2018 mid-term election.

Now that Tampa Bay residents are able to let their guard down against Hurricane Dorian, many people are taking a look at what can be done to help the hard-hit Bahamas.

One group of local pilots is quickly mobilizing to gather supplies and plans to fly them to the island.


CBD is showing up more and more in Florida, from gas stations to grocery stories. It was being sold long before it became legal in the state on July 1. But there is a lot of confusion about whether it’s safe and what is legitimate.

A tropical fruit expert said it's been a bad year for mangoes in South Florida.

Speaking at this year’s International Mango Festival in Coral Gables, Dr. Noris Ledesma blamed the situation on the weather. She's the tropical fruit curator at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables.

"It rained almost every week, when we had the blooming,” Ledesma said. “We lost the majority of the crop because of the rainy season."

By Robin Sussingham, Stephanie Colombini, Steve Newborn and Cathy Carter.

They’ve had to battle shark attacks, pollution, massive beach developments and confusing light sources, but sea turtles are bouncing back.

With nesting season well underway, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham speaks with experts about how sea turtles are faring and efforts to protect them in our state.


By Robin Sussingham and Stephanie Colombini 

Saturday July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, considered by many to be one of the most significant achievements in U.S. history.

This week on Florida Matters we talk with a filmmaker who produced a documentary about the historic event. 


By Robin Sussingham and Stephanie Colombini

Summer can be a great time to catch up on reading, so this week Florida Matters is offering up recommendations for good books to check out this season.


By Robin Sussingham

Customized burgers based on facial recognition and robots behind the counter at your favorite doughnut shop? It sounds like the premise of a sci-fi movie, but the future of food is stranger than fiction.

Whether you’re interested in politics, music, crime, technology or just about anything, there is likely a podcast for you. But while millions of people enjoy listening to podcasts every day, others still don’t understand this relatively new form of media.

This week on Florida Matters: Podcasting 101.


Lovebugs, termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches – there is no doubt that Florida is home to many insects, and they seem to thrive in the state's hot, humid conditions.

You can’t avoid them, so this week on Florida Matters we’re talking about how to deal with them.


Ed Chiles is the son of the late Governor Lawton Chiles. He’s also the owner of several seafood restaurants: the Sandbar on Anna Maria Island, the Beach House in Bradenton Beach and Mar Vista Dockside on Longboat Key.

Chiles's interest in local and sustainable food sourcing has led him to experiment with cooking one of the state's invasive species -- wild hogs. On The Zest Podcast, host Robin Sussingham spoke to him about some of the ways his restaurants' chefs have been utilizing wild boars from Shogun Farms.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about how the environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico shaped human life over the years with Jack E. Davis, whose book The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History.


Citrus has shaped the state’s identity for 100 years. But it has been a tough ten years with freezes, hurricanes, development pressure and, worst of all, citrus greening.

This week on Florida Matters we take a deep dive into the state of Florida’s citrus industry.


When Adam Putnam announced his candidacy for Governor of the state of Florida last year, he stood on the steps of the stately old Polk County courthouse in Bartow in front of a cheering crowd , with the American flag waving, the state song playing -- and crates of oranges lining the stage.


Jane Castor is in her first weeks as the new mayor of Tampa. Her position as the first gay mayor in the Southeastern U.S. didn't come up much during the campaign, but she made national news the day after her victory. 

Lawmakers in Tallahassee are returning home after two months of hashing out bills - some of which could soon become law. Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks with Janelle Irwin, a reporter with Florida Politics, and Steve Bousquet, a columnist with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about zoning and how it affects the way our state manages growth.

It may sound mundane, but zoning and building regulations affect us intimately because they hit us where we live.


These are exciting times for eating out in Tampa Bay. Our cuisine is getting better and more varied and starting to draw national attention.


  

Florida is home to more than 500 invasive species. Not all of these plants and animals are big and scary like pythons, but they can still harm the state’s native wildlife, and a lot of time and money is spent fighting them.

This week Florida Matters speaks with scientists on the front lines of this battle about how we’re doing.


Voters in Florida's third-largest city will go to the polls April 23 in the runoff for Tampa's mayor.

During the March election, former Police Chief Jane Castor almost got the 50 percent plus one needed to avoid a runoff. And retired banker and philanthropist David Straz came in second of the field of seven candidates, with around 16 percent of the vote.

Florida’s legislative session has been underway for almost a month and there have already been some big changes.

We talk with reporters about key issues lawmakers are considering and how their actions could affect our lives on this week’s Florida Matters.


Historians and local old-timers say that once, Tampa Bay was overflowing with delicious oysters.

And that some rivers, like the Manatee River, were once so full of mullet that they roiled the water and their noise would keep nearby residents awake at night.

Tourism is a vital industry for our state, and Florida Matters is taking a look at how businesses fared in the wake of red tide, what's new with our theme parks, and where tourism is heading after another record-breaking year.


A new exhibit opening this weekend highlights the colorful history of beer in Tampa Bay.

Cigar maker Vicente Martinez Ybor founded Florida's first commercial beer brewery, The Florida Brewing Company, in Tampa in 1897 at the site of an ancient springs. Artifacts from that brewery will be among the items on display at the Tampa Bay History Center at an exhibition called "History By the Pint," which explores the story of beer and brewing in Tampa Bay.

Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of calls placed to the national human trafficking hotline.

The charges filed against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft last week for soliciting prostitution in Jupiter have again put a spotlight on sex trafficking in our state.

These are exciting times for eating out in Tampa Bay. Our cuisine is getting better and more varied and starting to draw national attention.


The Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City starts Feb. 28. With the festival just a couple of weeks away, Florida Matters is taking another listen to stories from our 2018 special series "Telling Tampa Bay Stories: Plant City."

You’re invited to be part of a live audience at an upcoming Florida Matters taping on Wednesday February 13 at 9 AM.

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