"What Sound Can Tell Us About Our Changing World"

"As new technologies supercharge the field of bioacoustics, researchers can better listen to environmental changes — and use the information to guide conservation efforts."

"Ben Gottesman, now a member of the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab, was part of a team of researchers from Purdue University’s Center for Global Soundscapes and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that monitored changes in the soundscape on land and in the water to better understand how birds, bugs, shrimp, fish and other animals responded to the disturbance.

The work is part of the growing field of bioacoustics, which combines biology and acoustics to gain insight into the world around us by listening. It’s become a potent tool for research and conservation as recording devices have improved and gotten cheaper — and as machine learning can crunch massive amounts of data. That’s helped researchers from the Yang Center and other institutions better understand everything from right whales in the North Atlantic to tiny katydids in the canopies of tropical forests.

The Revelator spoke to Gottesman about which animals bioacoustics can help us study, how researchers sort through millions of hours of recordings, and why new technologies aren’t just for experts."

Tara Lohan reports for The Revelator May 1, 2023.

Source: The Revelator, 05/02/2023