Underwater bioacoustics (Week 7, 3 ECTS)

In the first part of the module we will look at the material and methods used to record underwater sound, with a section on signal propagation. Then we will review the anatomical basis of the production of acoustic signals in fish, and discuss their nature, function and evolution, with a focus on acoustic communication from both emitter and receiver perspectives. In the second part of the module, we will see the principles, methods and applications of underwater eco-acoustic. We will see how we can assess the aquatic biodiversity based on sounds emanating from a variety of species and environments.

© Clara Amorim & Paulo Fonseca

We will analyse the relationship between eco-acoustics and bioacoustics and review the responses of individuals and communities to anthropogenic noise. We will also discuss the areas for potential future research in eco-acoustics including challenges in species conservation (i.e. use of acoustic tools to manage invasive species).

During the mornings, key theoretical notions will be presented by specialist speakers, while afternoons will be dedicated to practicals. We will review cutting edge methods and tools for the measure and analysis of underwater sounds and for the measurement of biodiversity, including the spatiotemporal sampling strategy. 

Research talks on sound production and reception, acoustic communication, anthropogenic noise and underwater eco-acoustic will expose students directly to current research.


Learning outcomes 

By the end of the module, a successful student should be able to:


1. Record underwater soundscapes and measure biodiversity from soundscapes.

2. Demonstrate a good understanding of tools for analysing underwater acoustic signals and soundscapes. 

3. Demonstrate familiarity with the main issues and current topics relating to sounds production and acoustic communication in fish, eco-acoustics and anthropogenic sounds.














2022 Provisional Schedule

Monday 24th October

Morning Lecture: Presentation of the module. Measure and underwater sound propagation (Paulo Fonseca & ENES staff).

Afternoon Practical: Underwater recording equipment. How to record and measure underwater acoustic signals. (Paulo Fonseca & ENES staff).


Tuesday 25th October

Morning Lecture: The different sound production mechanisms in fish and invertebrates. Acoustic communication in fish: nature, function and evolution (Eric Parmentier with Clara Amorim via videoconference)

Afternoon Practical: Methods to study acoustic communication in fish (Eric Parmentier).


Wednesday 26th October

Morning Lecture: Underwater Eco-acoustic and biodiversity (Lucia Di Iorio). 

Afternoon Lecture: Underwater soundscape analysis (Lucia Di Iorio). 

Thursday 27th October - TBC


Friday 28th October

Morning: Anthropogenic noise: theory and examples (ENES staff)

Lunch: ENES lab talk.

Afternoon: Assessment finalization. 




Organisers and tutors: Marilyn Beauchaud, Vincent Medoc 

Tutors: Jöel Attia, Marilyn Beauchaud, Vincent Médoc

Guests tutors: Clara Amorim, Lucia Di Iorio, Paolo Fonseca, Eric Parmentier.

© Marilyn Beauchaud