Christopher Clark, PhD

As the I.P. Johnson Director of the Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) at Cornell University, Chris Clark oversees and directs a vigorous multi-disciplinary program.

The Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) is a unit within the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. BRP develops digital recording equipment, computer software, and algorithms that are used by scientists around the world to study animal communication and to monitor the health of wildlife populations. BRP is also pioneering new techniques for censusing and tracking wildlife with arrays of microphones placed in natural environments around the globe.

Sound recording and analysis techniques developed at BRP are allowing researchers to monitor the vocal behavior and movements of many animal species, providing new insight into complex migration and communication patterns.

Dr. Clark’s own research has shown that humanity’s din in the oceans could be blocking whales’ courtship songs and population recovery. Using the Navy’s underwater submarine listening system, he has been able to track deep water whales, like the blue whale and fin whale, throughout the ocean basins. But as the number and noise of commercial ships has increased, it is likely to interfere with the whale’s ability to hear one another. What the long term effect of this will be on the whales is largely unknown.

Communication: What Can Animals Tell Us?
November 2012