Dr. Laura Kloepper's research explores how animals use acoustics to sense and navigate their world and how we can use acoustics to monitor animal populations. Specifically, using bats as her primary model organism, she investigates the link between acoustics and locomotion in actively sensing animals, the behavior of animals in groups, and passive acoustic approaches to estimate animal populations. This research combines acoustic recordings with thermal, infrared, and 3D video tracking to understand acoustic behavior in concert with animal movement. Her work is primarily field based and uses mobile platforms for data collection including drones, zip-lines, and falconry.
Current projects in the Ecological Acoustics and Behavior Lab include:
-Investigating how bats modify echolocation and flight behavior when in dense groups and under high-speed flight
-Understanding rules that govern the interactions of bats flying in groups
-Using passive acoustics to census populations of animals in dense groups including bats, frogs, and seabirds
Techniques in our lab can be used to investigate animal acoustic behavior across taxa. Past projects with students include work with dolphins, whales, shrews, owls, and giraffes.