Università degli Studi di Pavia

Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali

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

Marine Bioacoustics and Acoustical Oceanography

The CIBRA - Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali (Interdisciplinary Center for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research) was founded in 1988 by the University of Pavia. Since 1989 it is endowed with a Laboratory of Marine Bioacoustics and Acoustical Oceanography; the creation of the lab was granted by the Ispettorato Centrale per la Difesa del Mare (Central Inspectorate for the Defence of the Sea) of the Italian Ministry of the Environment (the Inspectorate was formerly belonging to the Ministry of Merchant Navy).

The activity focuses on research projects on the acoustic communication in animals, the development of equipment and protocols for the monitoring and censusing with passive acoustics, the development of advanced sound analysis methods based on the digital processing of signals, the establishment of a Digital Sound Library of Mediterranean Cetaceans as well as the technical support to other institutions involved in bioacoustical research. 

Field activities to study marine mammals by using passive acoustics began in 1991 with a research cruise in the Aeolian Islands, organized in cooperation with Tethys Research Institute, aimed at testing the new equipment developed at CIBRA [Read more] and at recording sounds of marine mammals in the area.

Other than studying the acoustic communication and echolocation in marine mammals, CIBRA interests apidly evolved to more comprehensive research topics such as environment use, identification of critical habitats, analysis of the impact of human activities on marine mammals (ship traffic, chemical pollution, noise pollution, habitat degradation).

In 1995, to achieve these goals, CIBRA began to cooperate with the Italian Navy [Read more] to study cetaceans, to develop dual uses of ASW technologies, to integrate multidisciplinary data and to develop awareness and concern about the potential impact of sonars on marine mammals. This cooperation, born within the activities of the European Year for the Conservation of Nature (ENCY95) led to important advances in the study of the marine environment and in the protection of sensitive areas of the Mediterranean.

Since 1998 CIBRA is involved in international research programs concerned with the design of mitigation protocols and tools to reduce the impact of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals and, more recently, on the preservation of terrestrial soundscapes.

CIBRA participates in the SOLMAR Joint Research Project managed by the NATO Undersea Research Center with grants from the Office of Naval Research (ONR-USA) to carry out the Project "Bioacoustic Characterization of the Mediterranean Sea". These programs are aimed at improving underwater acoustic research and at providing information relevant to the conservation of cetaceans in the Mediterranean.

CIBRA also cooperates with Columbia University / Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to implement mitigation protocols required by NMFS during seismic surveys and to develop new detection, data collection and analysis tools and protocols.

Research projects today concern mainly marine mammals and their environment, but we are also working on insects, fishes, amphibians, birds, other mammals, and on all the technologies (information technology, digital signal processing, storage technologies, geographic information systems, global positioning system, etc.) required to improve our ability to collect, process, and interpret data.

Organization of international conferences

Coorganized the Workshop "UNDERWATER BIOACOUSTICS: Behavioural, Environmental & Evolutionary Perspectives" at the International School of Ethology of the Center Ettore Majorana in Erice, Sicily (Erice, November 4-9, 1994) whose proceedings have been published on the Journal of Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology in 1997. The workshopo was organized within the Italian activities for the European Nature Conservation Year 1995 (ENCY95). [Read more]

Organized the XV IBAC international conference on bioacoustics at the University of Pavia, October 1996. [Read more]

Participated in the organization of the IV National Conference on Cetaceans and Marine Turtles organized by Centro Studi Cetacei, Milan (Italy), November 1999.

Organized the XVIII IBAC international conference on bioacoustics, Cogne (Italy), 3-6 September 2001. For its scientific relevance, the meeting has obtained the patronage of the Presidency of the Italian Republic and of the Council of Europe. [Read more]

CIBRA Publications

CIBRA Theses

CIBRA Home Page

Work in progress in this page!!