Perspectives in Ecoacoustics

Posted by Alice Eldridge on March 8, 2018

::::: Thursday, May 3rd, 2018. 4pm - Sussex Humanities Lab :::::

Talk: Perspectives in Ecoacoustics – Prof Almo Farina, University of Urbino, Italy

We are delighted to welcome Prof Almo Farina, a naturalist and landscape ecologist and one of the pioneers of Ecoacoustics - the investigation of the ecological role of sounds.

Sussex Humanities Lab (Silverstone Building, 2nd floor) - All welcome!


When you are happy, your voice is more fresh. When you are tired or annoyed, it changes. The same applies to the environment.

Perspectives in Ecoacoustics: A contribution to defining a discipline

Ecoacoustics is a recently established discipline that investigates the ecological role of sounds. A set of processes in four [adaptive, behavioural, geographical, ecosemiotic] domains supports and guides the development of ecoacoustics.

  • The adaptive domain includes evolutionary mechanisms that join sound typology with the physical and biological characteristics of the environment and create frequency partitioning among species to reduce competition.
  • The behavioural domain addresses interspecific signals associated with geophysical and anthropogenic sounds that operate to shape temporary acoustic communities and orient species to select suitable acoustic habitats.
  • The geographic domain pertains to the geography of sound, an entity composed of three subordinate acoustic objects: sonotopes, soundtopes, and sonotones, which are operationally delimited in a geographical and temporal space by the distribution of the ecoacoustic events. The ecoacoustic events allow the classification of complex configurations/patterns of acoustic signals and represent the grain of a soundscape mosaic.
  • The ecosemiotic domain operates by communication mechanisms within the species level according to a function-specific perception of the acoustic information facilitated by encoding/decoding processes.

Long-term monitoring, habitat health, biodiversity assessment, soundscape conservation and ecosystem management makes ecoacoustics relevant in several fields where human intrusion in ecosystems is growing at an unprecedented rate.

recorder SET – Soundscape Explorer [Terrestrial]) digital recorder. Photo: Almo Farina


Almo Farina is an Italian naturalist and Professor of Ecology in the Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, Urbino University, Italy. He has dedicated the last ten years to elaborate new theories in landscape ecology, soundscape ecology and ecoacoustics. He considers the protection of the biological diversity integrated with the human cultural heritage and well-being, a priority of its scientific and human mission. In 2014 Almo was elected the first President of the International Society of Ecoacoustics, and in 2015 he founded the International Institute of Ecoacoustics .

Presented in association with Sussex Humanities Lab and Sussex Sustainability Research Programme