The Sound Studies Institute at the University of Alberta hosts regular events that enrich our contribution to the educational and sonic community. This page lists the events coming up in the next month.

For an up-to-date listing of current activity, please check out our calendar.

Unfamiliar Underwater Utterances:  Baffled by the Sounds of Alberta Lakes

Presented by John Acorn and Yelena RiemerDr. Gordon Fitzell

Over the past winter, spring, and summer, we have had the pleasure of exploring three remarkable aspects of the underwater soundscapes of local lakes.  First, we pursued a puzzling “snapper-popper” sound under the ice in Wabamun Lake, and Yelena will premiere a video she put together on this subject.  Second, we began the process of matching the 41 species of sound-producing water boatmen (aquatic bugs in the family Corixidae) to their characteristic “stridulation” calls.  And third, we addressed another baffling mystery; the astonishing array of buzzes, ticks, sirens, and squeals that are audible in the shallows of Gull Lake and other similar water bodies.  Our goal was to document “biophony,” but the result was a greater appreciation of the difficulty one faces when attributing unfamiliar sounds to animal, vegetable, or mineral causes.

John Acorn teaches in the Department of Renewable Resources at the U. of A., and has broad interests in animal biology, including communication via sound.

Yelena Riemer is a recent graduate of the Environmental and Conservation Science program at the U. of A..  She now works in environmental consulting.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
7:00 – 8:00pm MST