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Underwater bioacoustics (Week 10, 3 ECTS)

In the first part of the module we will review 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. Then we will look at the material and methods used to record underwater sound, with a section on signal propagation. 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).

Key theoretical notions will be presented by specialist speakers, 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.














2024 Provisional Schedule

Day 1: Monday 11th October 

No teaching (National Holiday)


Day 2: Tuesday 12th October

Morning Lecture (9h00 – 12h00): TBC

Afternoon Lecture (14h00 – 18h00) : TBC


Day 3: Wednesday 13th October

Morning Practical (9h – 12h): TBC

Afternoon Practical (14h – 17h): TBC


Day 4: Thursday 14th October

Morning Lecture (9h – 12h): TBC

Afternoon Lecture (14h30 – 17h30): TBC

Day 5: Friday 15th October 2022

Morning Lecture (9h – 12h): TBC

Afternoon (14h00 – 15h00): TBC 



This module will be assessed by a one-hour exam consisting of questions on the different parts of the module.

Organisers and tutors: Marilyn Beauchaud, Vincent Medoc 

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

© Marilyn Beauchaud

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