E&E Seminar: The Australian Acoustic Observatory: Lessons Learnt and Future Directions

The Australian Acoustic Observatory (A2O) was created five years ago, a unique infrastructure to monitor vocal fauna across Australia using a network of solar powered acoustic recorders. The goal was to transform environmental science by recording vocal species 24/7, providing spatial and temporal data for ecosystem monitoring and research. The project was designed to enable continental scale environmental monitoring, and the data generated was made freely available to all online, enabling new science in understanding ecosystems, long-term environmental change, data visualisation and acoustic science. In this talk I will present the project, how it came about, what we learnt along the way and where we hope to go in the future.


Paul is a Professor of Computer Science at QUT in Brisbane Australia, and Head of School. Paul is an expert in ecoacoustic monitoring; for the past 12 years his group has been researching how acoustics can be used to scale environmental monitoring. His team have developed novel hardware devices and software tools for collecting and analysing big acoustic data. This has included tools for recognising fauna calls, browsing and analysing whole soundscapes and for high throughput acoustics analysis. Paul leads the Australian Acoustic Observatory: a $1.8M Australian Research Council (ARC) LIEF project comprising more than 400 continuously recording sensors deployed over Australia. He is passionate about open science and also leads the Open Ecoacoustics project, which is developing an open ecoacoustics platform, tools, techniques and protocols to further ecoacoustic monitoring for conservation.