Researchers have suggested that the negative effects of human infrastructure on animals are largely owing to noise. Although suggestive, most past studies of the effects of noise on wildlife were conducted in the presence of other confounding factors, such as visual disturbance, collisions and chemical pollution, among others. In his talk, Dr. Barber will discuss experimental work, in which he has avoided these confounds using broadcast of noise with speaker arrays. Taken together, his results show that noise pollution degrades the value of habitat that is otherwise suitable, and that a species’ presence does not indicate the absence of impact. Further, Dr. Barber will highlight ongoing work that demonstrates the evolutionary importance of the soundscape in structuring animal behavior and habitat use.
Dr. Jesse Barber grew up in Alaska and completed his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Wyoming. After finishing his Ph.D. at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, Jesse was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University where he worked in collaboration with the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the National Park Service. Currently Dr. Barber is a tenured professor of Biology at Boise State University. His lab’s work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society.