The PI requests partial support for the 3rd International Conference of Acoustic Communications by Animals. This meeting will take place at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, August 2-5, 2011. The emphasis of this conference is the integration of information across animal taxa, and the enabling of exchanges between young investigators and more established investigators in the field. They will consider acoustic communication, its mechanisms, and the detection of acoustic signals, particularly in noisy backgrounds. At the same time, they will examine communication within the context of how it develops, how it evolved, and its neuro-ethological basis

Broader Impacts:

This conference will advance the field of animal bioacoustics. The information, knowledge and results of the meeting in the form of a program booklet containing the extended abstract will be distributed at the meeting and will be placed on the conference web site.

Project Report

was a resounding success. ATTENDANCE AND PRESENTATIONS One hundred and thirty one people attended. Of these, about forty percent .were students, and seventy percent presented their work. Participants came from 27 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and 12 other countries, including those in Europe, South America, Australia and the Middle East. There were twenty participants representing the host institution, Cornell University. A total of 96 oral and poster presentations were given. Of these, 14 were from invited speakers (including one keynote address), and 82 were submitted papers (all papers submitted for consideration were accepted). Thirty-eight submissions were accepted for talks, and 44 were posters. Of the 38 submitted oral presentations, 25 were from senior researchers and 13 from students. Of the 44 poster presentations, just over half (23) were from students. All sessions were plenary and were loosely organized by ideas and concepts rather than by animal groups. TAXA AND TOPICS Marine mammals (26 presentations), and birds (18) were the predominant taxa represented, together accounting for about half of the oral and poster presentations, followed by terrestrial mammals (14), bats (10), fish (8), invertebrates (7) and frogs (6) Topics covered included cognition/language, song and call classification, rule learning, acoustic ecology, communication in noisy environments, environmental noise impacts, development and evolution of animal communication, and methodology for measuring and analyzing complex animal sounds, including new equipment and software. INVITED SPEAKERS The keynote speaker was Dr. Peter Narins (UCLA Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology), whose address entitled "Building on Darwin's Legacy: Environmental Influences on the Evolution of Communication Systems" was enthusiastically received. The remaining invited speakers presented papers encompassing a variety of taxa and methodologies as follows: Whitlow Au, University of Hawaii, "The Soundfield Around an Echolocating Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin." Sandra Blumenrath, University of Maryland, "Communicating in Social Networks and Natural Environments: Effects of Noise and Reverberation." Christopher W. Clark, Cornell University, "Communication Masking: The influence of Ship Noise on Marine Mammal Acoustic Habitats." Kurt Fristrup, National Parks Service, "Estimating the scope of noise masking in National Parks." Timothy Gentner, University of California San Diego, "Neural mechanisms for individual vocal recognition in songbirds." David Mann, University of South Florida, " Acoustic Communication in Fishes." David Mellinger, Oregon State University, "A method for detecting chirps, whistles, moans, and other tonal sounds." Ronald Miles, State University of New York, Binghamton, "Small Ears and Hearing Aid Microphones." Cynthia Moss, University of Maryland, "Acoustic Behaviors and Social Learning in Foraging Bats." Daniel Robert, University of Bristol, England, "Auditory biomechanics in microscale hearing organs." Annemarie Surlykke, University of Southern Denmark, "Gain control of Emitted Intensity in Echolocating Bats." Peter Tyack, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, "Cetacean Communication" Edward Walsh, Boys Town National Research Hospital, "Tiger Bioacoustics: An Overview of Vocalization Acoustics and Hearing in Panthera tigris." . SPECIAL EVENTS Most Symposium events were held at the Statler Hotel and Conference Center on the Cornell University campus. Evening programs included a networking dinner ("Bioacoustics and Pizza") for people with similar interests to share and discuss specific concepts and applications, and a reception and tour of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, focusing particularly on the Bioacoustics Research Program and the Macaulay Library, the world's leading scientific collection of biodiversity media. The main Symposium was preceded on the opening day by a four-hour optional workshop in Acoustic Ecology, hosted by the Cornell Bioacoustics Research Program, and held at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The workshop was attended by 26 participants, of which 14 were students. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND AWARDS Funding assistance to attend the Symposium was provided to about 25 individuals, all of whom were students, or were travelling from outside the country or from a great distance within the United States. Assistance took the form of registration fee waivers and/or reimbursement of travel costs associated with attendance. All symposium costs were also waived for three local students who provided extensive logistical support. In addition, four students received cash awards for the best student presentations, as determined by a panel of judges. An amount of $17,000 was spent on travel support for student, student paper award and travel support for the keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Narins. PARTICIPANT EVALUATION An evaluation summary was completed by 55 participants (about 42%). Responses were quite favorable, with the highest approval rates going to the keynote speaker and the tour of the Ornithology Lab. About 95% of respondents said that the Symposium met their expectations and they would attend a fourth such event. The primary goal of this conference, to bring biologists, engineers, and other scientists from various fields together to discuss the field of acoustic communication by animals was met with good success.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)
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Kandace S. Binkley
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University of Hawaii
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