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 aspects of acoustic behavior, sensory and behavioral ecology of a variety of marine organisms, in particular echolocation behavior and ecology of odontocetes. The group uses active and passive acoustic methods, optics, and oceanographic measurements to detect, quantify, and describe animal-environment interactions. 

A broad range of marine invertebrates and vertebrates use sound for communication and sensing of their environment from shallow to deep-water habitats. The use of sound in the marine environment is likely highly underestimated, certainly understudied, and poorly understood. 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.

We are interested in investigating the diel and seasonal presence, spatial distribution, behavioral adaptions, habitat preference, food web interactions, and response to natural or anthropogenic noise of marine species using active and passive acoustic methods, optics and auxiliary oceanographic measurements. These methods are excellent tools to monitor and understand animal-environment interactions.