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Program summary 

The importance of acoustic communication cannot be underestimated, especially in the marine environment. Marine and terrestrial animals use auditory communication in a myriad of ways and they are vulnerable to human-made noise. HSWRI bioacousticians are working to understand how noise affects animals and how these effects can be mitigated.

Conservation impact 

We live in a world of over six billion humans. Even in remote places like the open ocean or mountain forests, animals cannot escape contact with our noise, our vehicles, our artifacts, and our invasion of living space. We don't yet understand very much about the challenges these interactions present to wild animals. But, we do know that we can help prevent population-level impacts if we know how species at risk use sound and what they can tolerate. Hubbs bioacoustics team members are finding ways to use sounds as a tool to warn people in vehicles away from sensitive animals, or help animals avoid dangerous artifacts like nets. We're figuring out what animals can hear and finding ways to strategically minimize noise impact. We're also working to understand sound production-communication- which tells us about animal societies, a key factor when populations are in decline. This knowledge is the legacy of the HSWRI Bioacoustics Laboratory.



Unraveling the mysteries of animal communication and the effects of human-made noise on animals

Dr. Ann Bowles, Ph.D.
Program Leader