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ONLINE COURSE – Bioacoustics For Ecologists: Hardware, Survey design And Data analysis (BIAC03) This course will be delivered live

3rd October 2022 - 5th October 2022

ONLINE COURSE – Bioacoustics For Ecologists: Hardware, Survey design And Data analysis (BIAC03) This course will be delivered live

Event Date

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

Course Format

This is a ‘LIVE COURSE’ – the instructor will be delivering lectures and coaching attendees through the accompanying computer practical’s via video link, a good internet connection is essential.

Please email oliverhooker@prstatistics.com for full details or to discuss how we can accommodate you.

Time Zone

TIME ZONE – GMT – Please email oliverhooker@prstatistics.com for full details or to discuss how we can accommodate you).

About this course

This course will introduce and explain the different applications for bioacoustics to answer ecological questions. Starting with a detailed overview of the correct and most efficient methods of data collecting in the field, this course will then go on to show delegates cutting edge methods for analysing and interpreting different types of bioacoustic data.

By the end of this 5-day practical course, attendees will have the capacity to set up and deploy recording devices, download acoustic data, how to analyse this data and report the results.

Bioacoustic methods are becoming increasingly recognised as a valuable approach for ecological surveying. Bioacoustics can be used to effectively replace some current techniques whilst increasing the quality of the data collected or can be used in unison to compliment them. They are particularly useful for developing long-term, permanent datasets that can be independently reviewed, particularly for rare species with low detectability, or when working in difficult environments.

The course will provide a practical introduction to bioacoustics methods, with a mix of lectures and practical workshops, and some optional fieldwork. It will start with a basic introduction to sound and recording theory, before developing hands-on skills in setting-up and deploying a range of acoustic and ultrasonic audio recorders. Workshops will then cover the download and analysis of audio data, mainly using Kaleidoscope Pro and Audacity software. The processed audio data will then be analysed and presented using R, the free software environment for statistical computing and graphics (http://www.r-project.org/).

Example data sets will mostly cover applications for bat and bird surveys, as well as the use of Acoustic Indices as biodiversity metrics. If you are working in different areas of ecology using bioacoustics please feel free to contact oliverhooker@prstatistics.com so we can advise if the learning outcomes are transferable to your field of research.

Intended Audiences

This course is suitable for anyone working with bioacoustics from those in academia, conservation biologists and persons in industry and government.


Delivered remotely

Course Details

Time Zone – GMT

Availability – 15 places

Duration – 3 days

Contact hours – Approx. 21 hours

ECT’s – Equal to 1.5 ECT’s

Language – English

Teaching Format

There will be morning lectures based on the modules outlined in the course timetable. In the afternoon there will be practicals based on the topics covered that morning. Data sets for computer practicals will be provided by the instructors, but participants are welcome to bring their own data.

Assumed quantitative knowledge

A basic understanding of statistical concepts. Specifically, generalised linear regression models, statistical significance, hypothesis testing.

Assumed computer background

Familiarity with R. Ability to import/export data, manipulate data frames, fit basic statistical models & generate simple exploratory and diagnostic plots.

Equipment and software requirements

A laptop computer with a working version of R or RStudio is required. R and RStudio are both available as free and open source software for PCs, Macs, and Linux computers. R may be downloaded by following the links here https://www.r-project.org/. RStudio may be downloaded by following the links here: https://www.rstudio.com/.

All the R packages that we will use in this course will be possible to download and install during the workshop itself as and when they are needed, and a full list of required packages will be made available to all attendees prior to the course.

A working webcam is desirable for enhanced interactivity during the live sessions, we encourage attendees to keep their cameras on during live zoom sessions.

Although not strictly required, using a large monitor or preferably even a second monitor will improve he learning experience


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Cancellations are accepted up to 28 days before the course start date subject to a 25% cancellation fee. Cancellations later than this may be considered, contact oliverhooker@prstatistics.com. Failure to attend will result in the full cost of the course being charged. In the unfortunate event that a course is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances a full refund of the course fees will be credited.


If you are unsure about course suitability, please get in touch by email to find out more oliverhooker@prstatistics.com

Course Programme
Tuesday 20th

Classes from 09:30 – 17:30


1. Acoustic Data and Metadata – what does it look like?
Data sources – survey methods/approaches, recorder hardware, file types etc
Metadata recording and systems
Case study examples – terrestrial & freshwater (& marine)

2. Introduction to spectrograms
Visualizing sound – understanding spectrograms, identifying species
Bats – peakfreq, IPI, max, min, duration, shape etc..
Birds – Nathan Pieplow keys – time/frequency characteristics, song/call shapes
Measuring parameters manually and programatically

3. Introduction to audio software – for species ID and vocalizations
Analysis tools for acoustic data
Software tools – Kaleidoscope, Audacity, R (others: Raven/Lite, Batscan, Batsound, Batscope, iBatsID, Analook, SonoChiro, Sonobat, Luscinia, BirdNet, MATLAB, PAMGUARD, etc)
Viewing/listening/measuring, recognizers, clustering
Manual and automated call detection and ID methods
Limitations and emerging opportunities in acoustic data analysis

4. Workshop – sound editing, measuring and management using Audacity


5. Workshop – Kaleidoscope bat ID processing (Paul H-L)

Wednesday 21st

Classes from 09:30 – 17:30


6. Workshop – R (Seewave/Soundecology) (creat/view/analyse spectrograms)


7. Data collation, analysis and interpretation
Moving from sound to data to meaning (creating tidy data/metadata and using this)
Data and recognizer quality – false positives/negatives and validating auto-IDs…
Activity levels
Temporal changes
Population assessments/occupancy
Localizing calls with amplitude levels or microphone arrays
Identifying individuals
Mention of Soundscapes and Acoustic indices – more on this later

8. Soundscapes and Acoustic indices
What different indices
Pros and cons of each
Using and comparing scores

9. Example workflows from previous studies
Carlos capercaillie and TBH work
BCT/CIEEM guidance on call assessment
Other published research and recommendations

Thursday 22nd

Classes from 09:30 – 17:30


10. Workshop – Kaleidoscope (analyse Acoustic Indices)

11. Workshop – R (Seewave/Soundecology) (analyse Acoustic Indices)


12. Workshop – presenting spatial data using Google Earth and R
EMtouch kml output – Google Earth
CSV output
Spatial analysis with R

13. Review and roundup/conclusions

Course Instructor

Dr. Carlos Abrahams

Works at – Technical Director at Baker Consultants Ltd and Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University
Teaches – Bioacoustics for ecologists: Hardware, Survey design and Data analysis (BIAC)

Carlos has been working in the practical fields of ecology and nature conservation for over 25 years. Starting his career in nature reserve and countryside management, he has been an ecological consultant since 2001. Alongside managing a busy consultancy, undertaking Environmental Impact Assessments for a range of clients, he is also a part-time lecturer at Nottingham Trent University on the BSc Environmental Biology. Carlos has previously published research on wetland vegetation/management and amphibian habitat selection. However, after many years of using static and handheld detectors for bat surveys, he is currently engaged in studying the potential of bioacoustic methods for investigating bird populations, especially for rare and declining species such as Capercaillie and Nightjar.


3rd October 2022
5th October 2022
Event Categories:
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Delivered remotely (United Kingdom)
Western European Time, United Kingdom + Google Map


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