Research Areas research areas


  • 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.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2024 Characteristics of wild moose (Alces alces) vocalizations.JASA Express Lett.  4:041201. 2024
    2024 Graded alarm call behavior in wild fox squirrels (Sciurus niger).Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  155:1308-1314. 2024
    2023 Acoustic behavior in the northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda): Ultrasonic click production in a novel environment.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  154:411-417. 2023
    2023 BatCount: A software program to count moving animals.PLoS ONE.  18:e0278012. 2023
    2022 Variations in advertisement call modulations do not influence vocal interactions in bullfrog choruses.JASA Express Lett.  2:111202. 2022
    2022 Estimating chorusing activity by quantifying total acoustic energy.JASA Express Lett.  2:081201. 2022
    2021 Foundations of form and function: A synthesis-based curriculum for introductory-level organismal biology.Ecology and Evolution.  11:15458-15467. 2021
    2021 Aerial attack strategies of hawks hunting bats, and the adaptive benefits of swarmingBehavioral Ecology.  32:464-476. 2021
    2020 Different as night and day: wild bats modify echolocation in complex environments when visual cues are presentAnimal Behaviour.  168:1-6. 2020
    2019 Echolocation while drinking: Pulse-timing strategies by high- and low-frequency FM bats.PLoS ONE.  14:e0226114. 2019
    2018 The Chirocopter: A UAV for recording sound and video of bats at altitudeMethods in Ecology and Evolution.  9:1531-1535. 2018
    2017 Stereotypy of group flight in Brazilian free-tailed batsAnimal Behaviour.  131:123-130. 2017
    2016 Estimating colony sizes of emerging bats using acoustic recordingsRoyal Society Open Science.  3:160022-160022. 2016
    2012 Active echolocation beam focusing in the false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidensThe Journal of Experimental Biology.  215:1306-1312. 2012
    2010 Decreased echolocation performance following high-frequency hearing loss in the false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens)The Journal of Experimental Biology.  213:3717-3722. 2010
    Recording animal vocalizations from a UAV: bat echolocation during roost re-entryScientific Reports.  8.

    Teaching Activities

  • Acoustic Ecology Taught course
  • Animal Communication Taught course
  • Intro Biol: Evol Biodiv & Ecol Taught course
  • Intro Biol: Evol Biodiv & Ecol Taught course 2023
  • Animal Communication Taught course 2022
  • Animal Communication Taught course 2022
  • Education And Training

  • Ph.D. Zoology/Animal Biology, University of Hawaii Manoa
  • Full Name

  • Laura Kloepper