Iain Barr – Biodiversity

Name: Iain Barr

Location: Swaziland/Peru

What do you do?
I’m currently researching the use of remote tools to quantify biodiversity. So, we record acoustic space by putting out recorders into, for example, a jungle setting to see if the amount of sound detected is indicative of the biodiversity of the area. We are currently working in Swaziland and will be working in Peru on how the soundscape matches the biodiversity of dung beetles, moths and other insect groups so we put out a beetle trap next to a recorder and see if the results mirror each other. High diversity sites should yield a lot of beetles and a lot of sound whereas a low diversity site should be low for both, we can then move to just using sound to accurately measure biodiversity and save a lot of conservation money with the same end result.

What can you see?
In Peru its mainly the understory of forest so it’s very dark and damp. You ever really know what you’re going to see so you can’t really prepare for anything. You might be walking along one day and see a Howler monkey or the next you might see the frogs that you’ve been listening to on the recordings for the last few weeks.

When I’m not doing science I…
Do more science… I do a lot of bird catching, ringing and watching. I also like playing with my kids who are nine and five and a lot of fun. I also enjoy taking photographs like the one on here.

If you’d like to find out more about Iain’s research, and other cutting each research at UEA, check out their twitter feed:@UEAResearch