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Interspecies listening – Bath Spa University

Interspecies listening

This transdisciplinary project combines new techniques in bioacoustic monitoring of aquatic life with listening practices associated with acoustic ecology, sound art and ecomusicology.

Project background

At Newton Park campus, hydrophones will be installed to listen to and monitor underwater species, including the European protected species, the great crested newt (Tritturus cristatus) and invertebrate fauna. Alongside this, terrestrial recordings and monitoring of critically endangered, and culturally significant species – the mountain chicken and the imperial parrot – will take place in Dominica, West Indies.

The pilot project, funded by a HEQR grant, will support the development of a bioacoustics facility on Newton Park campus. The soundscapes will be shared through platforms such as Bath Spa Observer and the Zooniverse citizen science platform as a new way to engage members of the public with life underwater.


Dr Ian Thornhill (Reader in Ecology and Conservation, Lead Researcher)

Ian is a freshwater ecologist with a background in pond and stream ecosystems in both temperate and tropical environments. He has also worked extensively in the field of citizen science. He currently leads a project called Resilient People, Resilient Ecosystems in Smart Cities, a social and ecological study of urban bluespaces (ponds, rivers, lakes and streams) in both Bristol and Mexico City. He has previously worked as an environmental consultant, for local government and in the charitable sector, and as such works towards applied solutions to environmental issues.

  • Staff profile
Professor Amanda Bayley (Professor of Music, Co-Investigator)

Amanda leads an interdisciplinary research group on Intercultural Communication through Practice. Her publications include The Cambridge Companion to Bartók (2001) and Recorded Music: Performance, Culture, and Technology (2010), which received the Ruth A. Solie Award from the American Musicological Society in 2011. Her research focuses on composer-performer collaborations, rehearsal analysis and creative processes across repertoires, genres and cultures.

She is humanities editor for the Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies and Co-Investigator on two projects funded by the European Research Council: ‘Beyond East and West: developing and documenting an evolving transcultural musical practice’ (2015-2020), and ‘Interactive Research in Music as Sound’ (2017-2022). She is a series editor for a forthcoming book series with Routledge, on Transcultural Musical Practices.

Kathy Hinde (Audiovisual artist, Research Fellow)

Kathy is an audiovisual artist whose practice embraces open methods and evolving processes. Through installations, performances and site specific experiences, she aims to nurture a deeper and more embodied connection to other species and the Earth’s systems. Kathy frequently works in collaboration with other practitioners and scientists and often actively involves the audience in the creative process.

Kathy has been showing work globally for over 20 years. She joined the Cryptic Artist programme in 2015, is a member of Bristol Experimental Expanded Film (BEEF) and a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Sound Art in 2020, an honorary mention at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2015, an ORAM award and a British Composer Award in 2017, a Scottish Award for New Music and was selected for European SHAPE Platform for innovative music and audiovisual art in 2018.

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