Listening to aquatic ecosystems 
Leah Barclay (Griffith University)
Chancellery Building, A1-129
Friday 7 December, 9:00-10:30, 13:45-15:15 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

Listening to freshwater and marine ecosystems can inspire and engage communities to understand changing environments. This interactive lab will explore Queensland's aquatic ecosystems through interdisciplinary sound and creative technologies, with a particular focus on the Great Barrier Reef.

Long Abstract

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef and its connected ecosystems requires interdisciplinary action to inspire and mobilise communities to participate in monitoring and conservation. Conventional environmental monitoring in aquatic ecosystems remains to be challenging - it is highly invasive, unreliable and constrained to restricted areas, infrequent time intervals and manual processing of observations. There is an urgent need for more effective methods to address these significant gaps in our knowledge, and provide reliable information to decision makers. There is a clear opportunity to provide better mechanisms to inspire communities to understand aquatic ecosystems and participate in global conservation efforts. Technology is transforming how we monitor and protect ecosystems and accessible and affordable acoustic sensors can help us better understand changing ecosystems. Listening to freshwater and marine environments with underwater microphones can inspire and engage communities to understand biodiversity and protect ecosystems - particularly when dramatic changes in aquatic ecosystems can go unnoticed simply due to visibility. Underwater recordings of aquatic ecosystems also provides communities with another way to connect with rivers, reefs and waterways.

This interactive lab will explore the cultural and biological diversity of Queensland's aquatic ecosystems through sound. Participants will listen to sounds of extinction and explore the role of acoustic ecology in environmental health. The lab will conclude with the creation of collaborative soundscape responding to the current state of the Great Barrier Reef.