Acoustic Communication and Behavior

Infrared video recordings of communicating African forest elephants at night.

The study of animal acoustic communication and behavior is currently one of our smaller but steadily growing research areas. Understanding the acoustic behavior of animals, which often varies with time of day, season, and by sex and age class, is very important for many of our projects. The study of behavioral context of calls is another exciting area of research. Being able to connect certain call types with a specific behavior (e.g., foraging) allows us to make better sense of our long-term data sets (e.g., to identify prime foraging habitat of a species).

These behavioral studies often require long-term aural-visual observations or rely on data collected with animal-borne recording systems (tags).

We are also studying how animal communication might be altered by the presence of anthropogenic noise sources and what implications this might have for individuals, groups of animals, and populations.