Webinar – Using acoustic indices in environmental and biodiversity research, Dr. Tom Bradfer-Lawrence (RSPB, UK)
Acoustic monitoring has an enormous potential for ecosystem research; improving our understanding of the environment and the impacts of anthropogenic pressures on natural systems. Relatively cheap recorders have made it possible to collect thousands of hours of audio recordings, but analysing these recordings is more complicated. Acoustic indices are one popular option for analysis, these are objective metrics based on recording features such as fundamental frequency/pitch and amplitude. Acoustic indices are an appealing method for simplifying complex audio recordings into single numbers, and are straightforward to generate using open-source software. However, the novelty and apparent simplicity of acoustic indices has often led to poor implementation and interpretation, which has resulted in numerous papers reporting contradictory patterns. These inconsistencies are causing uncertainty around the utility of these indices and limiting uptake. This talk will outline the ways in which acoustic indices can be used for environmental and biodiversity research, highlight potential pitfalls, and provide recommendations for those seeking to use these indices in their own research.
Dr. Tom Bradfer-Lawrence currently works for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as a Conservation Scientist. He recently completed his Ph.D., much of which involved using acoustics to investigate the environment and wildlife of a human-modified tropical landscape. Prior to this, Tom worked in the conservation sector for many years, both in Scotland and overseas. Although he has studied a range of taxa, the overarching research theme has been one of seeking opportunities to balance human needs with wildlife conservation.
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Early Careers SIG Webinar Series
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