It’s an ‘incredibly exciting’ time for the field of bioacoustics

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Today we take a look at the growing world of bioacoustics research and listen to a number of recordings of wildlife, from owls, lemurs, and elephants to seals, right whales, and humpbacks.

Many of the bioacoustics researchers who have appeared on this podcast in the past were supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Bioacoustics at Cornell University in upstate New York, and our guest today is Laurel Symes, assistant director of that program, now called the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics.

Thanks to a $24 million endowment gifted by K. Lisa Yang, a philanthropist and member of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s advisory board, the center now has that new name and will be able to expand its support for conservation bioacoustics research and technology around the world. Laurel Symes tells us about the impact this gift will have on their work and discusses a couple recent examples of how the field of bioacoustics is informing scientific research and conservation strategies.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be part of the field of bioacoustics,” Symes says. “It’s a huge privilege and challenge and just an exciting time to be in this place, in this field, as we begin to think about what can we actually do over the next 15, to 30, to 50 years…it’s the sort of timescale that’s really going to be key to making technologies and approaches that people can use in conservation in a meaningful way to have an impact.” 
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