«Project SoundWel aims to understand the encoding of emotion in pig vocalisations and use this knowledge to develop a tool that can assess welfare on-farm by determining the emotion state of pigs through their vocalisations.
Understanding the information encoded in vocalisations is an important tool for welfare assessment, as information on wellbeing is coming straight from the animal, rather than being measured subjectively. The final outcome of SoundWel will be an accurate, non-invasive system for identifying pig emotional states. This system could be used on-farm, and serve as a tool for professionals to understand and control the welfare threats to pigs. With the information the system will provide, professionals would be better able to monitor and improve pig welfare by minimising stress and encouraging positive emotions.
The SOUNDWEL project is funded by the EU within the Animal Health and Welfare ERA-Net (ANIHWA)“ framework. It is a joint project of INRAE (UMR PEGASE, coordination, and UMRH, France), ETH Zürich (Switzerland) and University of Copenhagen (Danemark, Co-coordination), FBN (Dümmerstorf, Germany), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Oslo, Norway), Institute of Animal Science – Czech University of Life Science (Prague, Czech Republic), Bureau E.T.R.E. (Olby, France) and the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (Germany).»
Credits: Alexas_Fotos–686414 via Pixabay
Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots (VIHAR)
«Almost all animals exploit vocal signals for a range of ecologically-motivated purposes: from detecting predators/prey and marking territory, to expressing emotions, establishing social relations and sharing information. Whether it is a bird raising an alarm, a whale calling to potential partners, a dog responding to human commands, a parent reading a story with a child, or a businessperson accessing stock prices using Siri on an iPhone, vocalisation provides a valuable communications channel through which behaviour may be coordinated and controlled, and information may be distributed and acquired. Indeed, the ubiquity of vocal interaction has led to research across an extremely diverse array of fields, from assessing animal welfare, to understanding the precursors of human language, to developing voice-based human-machine interaction.
VIHAR is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of vocal interactivity in-and-between humans, animal and robots.»
International Council of Ethologists (ICE)
«The purpose of the International Council of Ethologists – ICE is entirely scientific and educational. The goal of ICE is to organize international conferences, to promote and encourage the study of animal behaviour in the broadest sense and to promote closer contact among behavioural scientists.
The ICE website is intended to promote more interactions among researchers, students and animal behaviourists across the globe by providing up-to-date information and encouraging discussion among scientists.»
Credits: Christels–3741991 via Pixabay
Bioacoustics Winter School (BWS)
Credits: ThisIsEngineering via Pexels
«Bioacoustic combines biology and acoustics. It investigates the production, propagation and reception of sounds produced by living beings. Fundamentally, bioacoustics is particularly interested in acoustic communication mechanisms (animal and human “languages”). On the applied level, bioacoustics covers several aspects, such as the study of the effects of anthropogenic noises on animals and humans (e.g. impacts of sounds produced by boats on marine mammals), the use of acoustic probes to characterize the quality of ecosystems, acoustic monitoring of animal populations (e.g. counting of birds), the use of biological sounds for pests’ scaring (e.g. birds on airport runways), etc.
Learning objectives: training in bioacoustic scientific investigations and tools
At the end of the course, the following skills will have been acquired:
knowledge in how to use the basic material necessary for any study in bioacoustics (digital recorder, microphones, speakers);
basic knowledge in sound and signal processing (use of softwares such as PRAAT and Seewave);
skills in how to set up a bioacoustic study (scientific question, experimental design, realization of experiments, results’ analysis);
general knowledge on the bioacoustic world and its interests, both in basic and applied research
The two week training is concluded by a written and oral exam, and successful students will receive a certification in bioacoustics by the University of Lyon/Saint-Etienne.»
International Master of Bioacoustics (MoBi)
«The International Master of Bioacoustics (MoBi), a unique one year international and excellence training programme entirely taught in English, welcomes French and international students from diverse academic backgrounds: acoustics, ethology, ecology, biological conservation, evolution, neuroscience, informatics…
The aim of the MoBi program is to provide thorough knowledge and skills for students aspiring to access doctoral training in bioacoustics-related fields, as well as for scientists (e.g. neuroscientists, conservationists, etc) or environmental consultants aiming to incorporate bioacoustics in their skillset.»
Credits: Isabelle Charrier
Sound Communication and Behaviour Group, University of South Denmark (SDU)
«The Sound Communication and Behavior Group studies vocal communication at the interface of behavioural neuroscience, biomechanics, robotics and physiology. We use an integrative, high-tech experimental approach including laboratory, modeling, robotics and field studies in a comparative setting across a wide range of animals, including songbirds, frogs, bats and whales. We have a strong emphasis on and excellence in physics, computation, signal analysis and method development and innovation.»
Marine Bioacoustics Lab, Aarhus University
«Welcome to the Marine Bioacoustics Lab based at the section for Zoophysiology at the Department of Biology, Aarhus University, Denmark. We primarily study the sensory physiology and behavioral ecology of marine animals with special focus on how they use and produce sound to navigate, find food, avoid predators and communicate. Primary areas of investigation include:
- Biosonar and sound production in toothed whales and bats
- Kinematics and energetics of feeding and locomotion in wild cetaceans and pinnipeds
- Ecophysiology of diving air-breathers
- Sound communication and behavioral ecology of cetaceans and pinnipeds
- Effects of man-made noise
- Passive acoustic monitoring
We strive to do hypothesis-driven research in a biophysical framework, and we pursue an integrative biology approach to experiments at an organismal level with emphasis on how animals function in an evolutionary context.»
Credits: skeeze–272447 via Pixabay