Beyond Carbon in Nature-Based Climate Solutions

Documenting Tropical Forest Biodiversity Loss and Recovery Using Sounds
Mar 4, 2024, 12:15 pm1:15 pm
300 Wallace Hall
In-person attendance for Princeton University ID holders (no RSVP req); Other guests RSVP to [email protected]; Livestream on MediaCentral



Event Description

Abstract: Forests are at the forefront of nature-based climate solutions, and this has stimulated a global investment into their protection. Yet, focusing on carbon, many nature-based climate solutions do not automatically protect biodiversity. I will discuss the need to include biodiversity conservation as a major goal for tropical forest nature-based climate solutions. I will demonstrate how we use new technologies, particularly bioacoustics (recording and analyzing sounds that animals and humans make), to document the losses and gains in biodiversity. Using new advances in machine learning to detect animal and gunshot sounds, I will show not only the patterns but also the processes that underlie biodiversity changes in the world’s most diverse tropical forests. In this talk, I will draw on examples from the Sound Forest Lab’s work in Indonesia, Gabon, Sierra Leone and Mexico.

Bio: I am an Assistant Professor and the Principal Investigator of the Sound Forest Lab. I am a tropical forest ecologist and conservation scientist, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I am affiliated with the department of Forest & Wildlife EcologyThe Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). I was a NatureNet post-doctoral research fellow at Princeton University and The Nature Conservancy. I did my PhD at ETH Zurich, MSc at the University of Geneva, and Bachelors at Oxford University.

I look for ways to protect biodiversity in tropical forests, both forests that are used by people, for example for logging, and forests set aside for conservation, from national parks to small community protected areas. I feel privileged to have worked in the tropical forests of Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Borneo, Gabon, Peru, and Ecuador.

I am the 2021 winner of the nature award for driving global impact. In 2023, I am honored to have received the 2023 WINGS Women of Discovery Award.

  • Center for Policy research on Energy and the Environment
  • High Meadows Environmental Institute
  • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology