Conservation news

Audio: A deep dive into the study of marine wildlife through bioacoustics

On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Leah Barclay, a sound artist, acoustic ecologist, and researcher with Griffith University in South East Queensland, Australia, for our latest Field Notes segment.

Here at the Mongabay Newscast, we’re very interested in acoustic ecology, perhaps for obvious reasons: Acoustic ecology, sometimes known as ecoacoustics or soundscape studies, is the study of the relationship between human beings and the natural environment as mediated through bioacoustics, or the sounds that are produced by living organisms.

In order to highlight the findings of this exciting line of research, we’ve created our ongoing Field Notes segment. In this particular Field Note, which takes up the entire episode, Leah Barclay plays for us several of her underwater recordings of marine wildlife and ecosystems.

We met Leah at the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit in Washington, D.C. a couple weekends ago, where she gave a great presentation about her work. We wanted to hear more of her thoughts on the field of bioacoustics, plus the new spectrogram app she’s developing, and all the ways she uses her interactive soundscape art to get kids excited about engaging with nature. Leah also plays a number of recordings she’s made of dolphins, humpback whales, the Great Barrier Reef — and even what it sounds like to a humpback whale when a ship goes by.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

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A humpback whale. Photo by Christopher Michel.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

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