Scripps Institution of Oceanography
UC San Diego
spinner dolphin

The Behavioral Acoustic Ecology Group, lead by Dr. Simone Baumann-Pickering, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, investigates biological and ecological questions in regards to climate adaptations that range from a basic understanding of short and long-term cyclical behavioral patterns and geographic distribution of animals, to questions like habitat preference and quality, predator-prey interactions, or adaptations to anthropogenic impacts and a changing environment. Our goal is to contribute to the management and conservation of ecosystems.

With terrestrial and marine ecosystems undergoing global change, we need to establish long-term and large spatial scale datasets and methods to detect, quantify, and describe effects on daily and seasonal behavior, distribution and abundance, and animal-environment interactions. These will serve as a basis to identify and comprehend changes in natural cycles due to direct anthropogenic influences and large-scale ecosystem adaptations.

A broad range of invertebrates and vertebrates use sound for communication and sensing of their environment. Each ecosystem and habitat contains a unique symphony of sounds, a soundscape, that informs us about the species composition, and the ecology and behavior of the species producing and interpreting sound. Acoustics can be used to investigate how the individual’s behavior may be shaping the ecology of the community or how individuals and populations may be reacting to a changing environment. The group is using active and passive acoustic methods, optics and auxiliary environmental measurements to monitor and understand ecosystem adaptations to climate change.