Acoustical Ocean Ecology

Kelly Benoit-Bird, Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator Kelly Benoit-Bird and Research Specialist Chad Waluk work on a sonar transducer system.

In the ocean, most resources are unevenly distributed and highly dynamic. The Acoustical Ocean Ecology Group investigates how animals respond to constantly changing environments, including how animals find dinner without becoming dinner themselves and the way group behaviors like schooling or cooperation affect predator-prey interactions.

To study the complex, four-dimensional interactions that occur beneath the water’s surface, we use acoustic technologies (often called sonar). This is a form of active acoustics, meaning we send out specific sound waves and then listen to how they reflect back, allowing us to “see” the locations and movements of animals beneath the ocean’s surface.

Our lab also develops and applies new forms of active acoustic techniques and integrates established technologies into novel platforms. A big part of our work is to combine these tools with other techniques, including underwater cameras, animal tagging, and behavioral modeling.

Through our efforts, we’re contributing to the understanding of how patchiness—the variability in resources over space—is critical to how animals from plankton to whales make a successful living.

Acoustic instruments

To gather acoustical data, the Acoustical Ocean Ecology Group uses several instruments and vehicles.

Acoustic fingerprinting

By improving our catalog of known acoustic signatures, we can use acoustics to get much higher resolution understanding of the ocean.

Acoustic community ecology

Acoustics enable our lab to look at whole ecosystems in order to study animal interactions and group behaviors.

Team

Science

Upper-ocean systems
Acoustical ocean ecology
Acoustic instruments
Acoustic fingerprinting
Acoustic community ecology
Acoustics in the news
Biological oceanography
Global modes of sea surface temperature
Nitrate supply estimates in upwelling systems
Chemical sensors
Chemical data
Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory in Elkhorn Slough
Listing of floats
SOCCOM float visualization
Periodic table of elements in the ocean
Biogeochemical-Argo Report
Profiling float
Marine microbes
Population dynamics of phytoplankton
Microbial predators
Microbe-algae interactions
Targeted metagenomics
In the news
Upcoming events and lab news
Past talks and presentations
Join the lab
Resources
Molecular ecology
Molecular systematics
SIMZ Project
Bone-eating worms
Gene flow and dispersal
Molecular-ecology expeditions
Interdisciplinary field experiments
Ecogenomic Sensing
Genomic sensors
Field experiments
Harmful algal blooms (HABs)
Water quality
Environmental Sample Processor
ESP Web Portal
In the news
Ocean observing system
Midwater research
Midwater ecology
Deep-sea squids and octopuses
Food web dynamics
Midwater time series
Respiration studies
Zooplankton biodiversity
Seafloor processes
Biology and ecology
Effects of humans
Ocean acidification, warming, deoxygenation
Lost shipping container study
Effects of upwelling
Faunal patterns
Past research
Technology development
High-CO2 / low-pH ocean
Benthic respirometer system
Climate change in extreme environments
Monitoring instrumentation suite
Sargasso Sea research
Antarctic research
Long-term time series
Geological changes
Arctic Shelf Edge
Continental Margins and Canyon Dynamics
Coordinated Canyon Experiment
Monterey Canyon: Stunning deep-sea topography revealed
Ocean chemistry of greenhouse gases
Emerging science of a high CO2/low pH ocean
Submarine volcanoes
Mid-ocean ridges
Magmatic processes
Volcanic processes
Explosive eruptions
Hydrothermal systems
Back arc spreading ridges
Seamounts
Near-ridge seamounts
Continental margin seamounts
Non-hot-spot linear chains
Eclectic seamounts topics
Margin processes
Hydrates and seeps
California borderland
Hot spot research
Hot-spot plumes
Magmatic processes
Volcanic processes
Explosive eruptions
Landslides
Volcanic hazards
Hydrothermal systems
Flexural arch
Coral reefs
ReefGrow software
Biogeography
Eclectic topics
Submarine volcanism cruises
Volcanoes resources
Areas of study
Biology
Microscopic biology research
Open ocean biology research
Seafloor biology research
Chemistry
Automated chemical sensors
Methane in the seafloor
Geology
Volcanoes and seamounts
Hydrothermal vents
Methane in the seafloor
Submarine canyons
Earthquakes and landslides
Ocean acidification
Physical oceanography and climate change
Ocean circulation and algal blooms
Ocean cycles and climate change
Research publications
Publications