Università degli Studi di Pavia

Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali

Via Taramelli 24 - 27100 Pavia - Italy
e-mail : cibra@unipv.it

Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture

President Prof. A. Zichichi

International School of Ethology

Directors of the School: Prof. Danilo Mainardi, Prof. Stefano Parmigiani

Erice, Sicily (Italy) : October 18-21, 2013

( Arrival 17th, Departure 22nd )

30th International workshop

Cetacean echolocation  and outer space neutrinos: ethology and physics for an interdisciplinary approach to underwater bioacoustics and astrophysical particles detection

Directors of the workshop


Gianni Pavan (Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali, University of Pavia, Italy)

Peter Tyack (Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK)

Giorgio Riccobene (INFN-LNS, Catania, Italy)

William A. Barletta (US Particle Accelerator School; Dept. of Physics, MIT, Cambridge, MA, US)

Workshop outline

The development of underwater ocean observatories has stimulated new interactions between disparate disciplines to optimize  their sensors and layout.  Observatories based upon underwater cables are expensive to install and difficult to move, but they offer particular promise for long term observational data sets unlike any gathered to date. The cost and opportunity argue for planning and technical exchanges from as broad an array of disciplines as possible. One of the least predictable synergies has come from interactions between astrophysicists working to detect light and acoustic signals from neutrinos and marine biologists listening to the sounds of marine animals (Nosengo, Nature 462, December 2009).

Marine bioacoustics, acoustical oceanography and astroparticle physics have now many aspects in common; while they are distinctly different disciplines that have not interacted in the past, they have begun to converge in the project NEMO (Neutrino Mediterranean Observatory) managed by INFN-LNS (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare – Laboratori Nazionali del Sud) with important national and international partners. This cooperation among different disciplines is further developed within SMO (Submarine Multidisciplinary Observatory), an INFN project funded by the Italian Government, and extends in the EU-ESFRI project KM3NeT aiming at the construction of a km3-scale deep-sea laboratory incorporating a neutrino telescope.

Acoustics is a particularly good medium for remote sensing in the ocean because sound propagates more efficiently than other cues. Long range propagation means that sounds from many sources are often detected by ocean acoustic sensors. Rather than having each discipline search for their signal of interest among what is treated as random noise, it may be more effective for all of the disciplines to work together to tease apart their signals of interest from ocean acoustic sensors, helping one another to separate each desired signal from undesired ones. This will require each discipline to acquire a deeper understanding of the other relevant disciplines than is common in today’s partitioned world of science.

This workshop is intended to join these different disciplines to promote the understanding of the underwater acoustic world and the development of common research strategies and tools. The workshop will focus on the study of the acoustic behaviour of marine mammals, on the acoustic detection of neutrinos in the sea, on the sources of sound in the ocean, on the sharing of detection technologies, and on the related technological challenges with a broad interdisciplinary approach.

On goal of the workshop will be to explore technologies that can improve acoustic detection capabilities, to serve both biological and physical studies. Another goal is to explain the basic scientific issues driving both communities. We will explain the source of acoustic signatures of neutrinos from space, and will explore the sensory and cognitive skills that have allowed mammals to successfully exploit the marine environment and to evolve as top predators there by using acoustics.

The workshop is ideally related to an early workshop “UNDERWATER BIOACOUSTICS: Behavioural, Environmental & Evolutionary Perspectives organized by the International School of Ethology in 1994.

To balance the very different themes of the workshop, the following main sessions are planned:

  • Principles of acoustical oceanography
  • Acoustic communication, vocal learning and cognition in marine mammals
  • Astrophysics with acoustics in deep sea
  • Submarine Multidisciplinary Observatories
  • Information technology infrastructures for acoustic data acquisition, archival and analysis
  • Interdisciplinary approach to Computational (Bio)Acoustics
  • Advanced marine research for conservation

The expected audience would come from different disciplines, mainly marine biology, marine bioacoustics, ethology, acoustics, mathematics, acoustical oceanography, astroparticle physics and embraces many science fields related with the study, monitoring and conservation of the marine environment.

Top scientists will present the state of the art in their peculiar disciplines and selected contributes will be presented by participants in a context open to discussion and knowledge sharing in the warm and friendly environment of the Ettore Majorana Centre.

Scientific sponsors

Program and preliminary timeline

October 17th - Arrivals

Day 1 - October 18th


08:30 – Registration formalities

09:00 – Opening Ceremony


09:30 – Acoustical Oceanography


·      Henrik Schmidt (MIT, US) - Nested Autonomy: A Robust Operational Paradigm for Adaptive and
           Collaborative Ocean Acoustic Sensing

         coffee break

11:00 - Acoustic communication, vocal learning and cognition in marine mammals


·      Brandon Southall (California Univ., US) – Overview of vocal parameters and hearing abilities in pinnipeds and cetaceans


14:30 - Astrophysics with acoustics in deep sea


·      Lee Thompson (Sheffield Univ., UK) - Listening for neutrinos - from astrophysics to the deep sea – Part I

·      Sean Danaher (Notrhumbria Univ., UK) - Listening for neutrinos - from astrophysics to the deep sea – Part II

·      Francesco Simeone (INFN Roma, I) - NEMO and SMO Projects

coffee break


17:00 – Short talks - Session I


         Viola S. (INFN-LNS, Italy)  - SMO acoustic array: calibrations and first results
        Larosa G., Viola S. (INFN-LNS, Italy) - Positioning System for neutrino telescopes: SMO and KM3NeT-Italia in Capo             Passero
        Pulvirenti S. (INFN-LNS, Italy) - Correlation between underwater noise level and AIS data in the Gulf of Catania                       (Sicily)

Day 2 - October 19th


08:30 - Submarine Multidisciplinary Observatories


·      Paolo Favali (INGV Roma, I) - EMSO - European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory

·      Kim Juniper (Victoria Univ., Canada) - Expansion of the Ocean Networks Canada hydrophone network and linking with AIS monitoring

coffee break

·      Gianni Pavan (CIBRA/UNIPV, Italy) - Bioacoustic results in NEMO-SN1 ONDE and way ahead with EMSO, the European Multidisciplinary        Submarine Research Infrastructure

·     Michel Andre (UPC, SP) - A Global Ocean Soundscapes Monitoring Approach


14:30 - Information technology & infrastructures for acoustic data acquisition, archival and analysis


·      Lars Kindermann (AWI, D) – Underwater acoustics in Anctartica

·     Doug Gillespie (St. Andrews Univ., UK) - Looking for spaghetti in a haystack: Semiautomatic approaches to detecting marine mammals in highly variable noise environments

·    Alexander von Benda-Beckman (WhaleFM/TNO) - Look who’s talking – classification of whale sounds using the Whale FM Citizen Science project

            coffee break

17:45 – Short talks - Session II

            Lin Tzu-hao, Yu Hsin-yi, Chen Chi-fang, Chou Lien-siang (National Univ. of Taiwan, Taiwan) - Detecting the
                  structural variability of cetacean tonal sounds by automatic detection and classification algorithms
            Vignola J., Shane G. (Catholic Univ. of America, US) - A preliminary investigation on the seismic air gun
                  reverberant field in a shallow water Arctic environment
           Caruso F., Sciacca V., Pavan G. (INFN-LNS, Italy) - An algorithm to measure the size of sperm whales recorded by
                   INFN deep-sea observatories in the Ionian Sea (Eastern Sicily).
           Sciacca V., Caruso F., Pavan G. (INFN-LNS, Italy) - Acoustic detection of fin whales vocalizations offshore Eastern
                   Sicily, Ionian sea

Day 3 - October 20th - Sunday


            Full day excursion


Day 4 - October 21st

08:30 - Interdisciplinary approach to Computational (Bio)Acoustics

      ·      Walter Zimmer (CRME, I) - Model-based bio-acoustics
Herve Glotin (Toulon Univ., F) - 3D tracking and automatic featuring of sperm whales

            coffee break

      ·      Paul White (Southampton Univ., UK) - Tracking Algorithms in Marine Mammal Acoustics

11:30 - Advanced marine research for conservation

      ·      Mauro Taiuti (INFN, Italy) - ARION - Systems for Coastal Dolphin Conservation in the Ligurian Sea

14:30 - Advanced marine research for conservation

 ·      Peter Tyack (St. Andrews Univ.) - How new technology has revolutionized the study of cetacean bioacoustics and                 suggestions for new directions and collaborations for the future

·      Hong Young Yan (Academia Sinica, Taiwan) - Impact of noise on fishes and marine mammals

coffee break

·      Tiago Marques (St. Andrews Univ., UK) - Cetacean density estimation from passive acoustic data

·      Bob Gisiner (US Navy) - The Sea Finds Its Voice: Changes in the Scientific Understanding of Sound and Marine Life from 1993 to 2013


18:10 – Concluding remarks



Acoustic data acquisition systems (AcouDAQ) for the SMO, KM3NeT and SN1 experiments
Pellegrino C.

Click and burst pulse proprieties of wild bottlenose dolphin in the Central Mediterranean Sea   
Buscaino G., Alonge G., Buffa G., Filiciotto F., Maccarrone V., Di Stefano V., Mazzola S.

A Calibrator for UHE neutrino acoustic detection in underwater telescopes
Adrian Martinez S., Ardid M., Bou M., Felis I., Llorens C., Martinez-Mora, J.A., Saldana M.

A smart platform for monitoring underwater noise   
Barker P., Lepper P.

Acoustically derived growth rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) around Ischia and Ventotene Islands (Italy): preliminary results   
Pace D. S., Miragliuolo A., Dernowski R., Vivalid C., Mussi B.

First results on underwater acoustic background in SMO - NEMO Phase II   
Grasso R.

What does a small, shy cetacean which vocalises 6 times above a human's hearing range do underwater? Challenges in localising harbour porpoises.   
Macaulay J., Gillespie D., Northridge S., Gordon J.

WaveShark – a compact multifunctional multichannel high sampling rate recorder
Pelicella I., Clemente F., Pavan G.

An Inter-frequency attenuation model for estimation of click distance
Doh Y.,  Glotin H., Razik J., Paris S.

Biomechanical Evidence of Low to Infrasonic Hearing in Mysticetes:  Implications for Impacts

Ketten D., Arruda J., Cramer S., Zosuls A., Mountain D.

October 22nd - Departures


LNS-INFN for the management of the registration website
AEST for the organization support
Sara Pulvirenti and Giuseppina Larosa.

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