Tag Archives: Australian Rivers Institute

Riverfire 2016

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Listen to a preview of the River Listening South Bank sound walk for Riverfire 2016 

Griffith University will bring its own form of colour and energy to the Riverfire weekend, as the curtain comes down on the 2016 Brisbane Festival.

A series of digital installations will celebrate the senses during the weekend and after. ‘Heart and Breath’ will light up the walls of the Art Gallery and Webb Centre at South Bank on Saturday night, while imagined sounds from the world beneath the Brisbane River will be accessible through the River Listening augmented reality sound installation.

The installations are hosted by Griffith University Red Zone,  which provides exciting interactive learning experiences through hands-on technology and exploring innovative research in science, health, business and the arts.

River Listening is an augmented reality sound installation reimagining the world beneath the Brisbane River in sound. The installation can be experienced by walking along the river with a mobile device and triggering geo-located soundscapes throughout South Bank. These geo-located sounds are layered with hydrophone (underwater) recordings and creative responses to the Brisbane River that connect to the soundscapes of river systems across the world.

This installation is part of an interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers and the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics. River Listening explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems.

To experience River Listening download the free app Recho and your phone will act as a sonic compass guiding you throughout South Bank. New sounds will be added and adapted throughout Riverfire meaning every person will have a different listening experience.

Use the hashtags #RiverListening, #griffithredzone and #beremarkable on social media to share your experiences.

Conservation Biology Congress 2016

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River Listening is featured at the 2016 Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Congress in a symposium titled “Continuous monitoring of invisible places: bioacoustics in marine and freshwater environments”

DATE: July 6, 2016
TIME: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre

Monitoring aquatic species in underwater environments – rivers, lakes and oceans – has proven even more difficult than terrestrial surveys of endangered taxa. Traditional methods of aquatic survey techniques bear a) risks to fish health and habitat integrity, b) introduce bias, because it might cause fright responses in key aquatic species and c) standard surveying only produces a snapshot from the time of surveying – which in many cases does not happen more than once a year and d) it can be very expensive, particularly in areas with remote access. Non-invasive passive bioacoustic monitoring can address all four problems. This special session will explore novel techniques in aquatic bioacoustics that can aid conservation managers. Topics will range from holistic ecosystem monitoring (Linke, Gifford) to descriptions of detailed algorithms with which soniferous aquatic taxa can be detected. The symposium will also include talks on the challenges of using acoustical data for monitoring populations and on protocols for monitoring and mitigating impacts of noise. The final talk by Dr Leah Barclay will cover bioacoustics as a tool for engaging with the public. We hope that this first session in freshwater and marine bioacoustics at a continental or worldwide SCB conference will raise awareness and kickstart increased joint efforts by marine and freshwater scientists to establish bioacoustics monitoring as a key survey method.

02:30 Simon Linke Real-time Ecosystem Monitoring in Freshwater Environments using Passive Acoustics

02:40 Toby Gifford Underwater Soundscape Ecology: Holistic Methods in Freshwater Bioacoustics

02:50 Chris Karaconstantis Automatic Detection of a Soniferous Fish Species (Neoarius graeffei) to Facilitate Continuous Monitoring

03:00 Jan-Olaf Meynecke Monitoring cetaceans in nearshore coastal waters using hydrophones

03:10 Angela Recalde-Salas Imperfect detection: estimating detection probabilities of baleen whales using passive acoustics

03:20 Elisa Girola Changes in song characteristics with various sources of noise in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

03:30 M. Montserrat Landero F. Can we generate relevant terrain metrics of the seafloor to model species distribution using a low-cost echo-sounder?

03:40 Leah Barclay River Listening: Raising ecological awareness through community engagement

03:50 Discussion

 

World Science Festival

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The World Science Festival began in New York in 2008 and is an annual weeklong celebration and exploration of science. The inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane will bring some of the world’s greatest thought leaders to Queensland, showcase local scientists and performers from around the Asia Pacific region, and host the brightest and the best from previous events in New York.

The inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane will take place between 9 and 13 March 2016 and is presented by the Queensland Museum. River Listening is thrilled to be a featured part of the program with our popular River Listening Augmented Reality Sound Installation for the duration of the festival. We are also pleased to present a number of activities on March 12th including a live performance, presentation and series of our signature sound walks (see the program below).

RIVER LISTENING INSTALLATION

River Listening is an augmented reality sound installation reimagining the world beneath the Brisbane River in sound. The installation can be experienced by walking along the river with a mobile device and listening to content that is geo-located along the river. These geo-located soundscapes are layered with hydrophone (underwater) recordings and creative responses to the Brisbane River. This installation is part of our interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers across the world. River Listening explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and underscores the value of listening in our current state of ecological uncertainty.

To experience River Listening download the free app Recho and your phone will act as a compass guiding you on a sonic exploration along the Brisbane River. The soundscapes will evolve with new material added every day during WSF. Follow the hashtag #RiverListening on twitter for live updates on site and tweet @LeahBarclay if you have any questions. River Listening launches on March 9th and continues until March 13th.

RIVER LISTENING PROGRAM

Date: Saturday 12th March
Cultural Forecourt, Melbourne Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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STREET SCIENCE, RIVER LISTENING LAB

10am – 4pm, Booth 21 (near the Festival Lab)

Come and meet the River Listening team (Dr. Simon Linke, Dr. Leah Barclay and Dr. Toby Gifford), learn about the art and science of listening to rivers, experiment with a hydrophone (underwater microphone), learn more about our sound installation and experience hands-on demonstrations of our aquatic bioacoustics technology.

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RIVER LISTENING – Afternoon tour

15:30 – 16:30, Festival Lab

Meeting point details: The River Listening Walking Tour departs the River Listening tent (located next to the Festival Lab venue) at 3:30pm on Saturday, March 12.

River Listening is an interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers across the world. Join the River Listening team on a 60-minute guided sound walk along the Brisbane River to learn about the project and explore aquatic soundscapes geo-located throughout the Southbank Parklands. To experience the River Listening installation you will need a mobile device and headphones to use the free app Recho. Participants will also have the opportunity to listen to a live hydrophone in the Brisbane river. Please download the free app Recho before the walk.

Leah Barclay

RIVER LISTENING LIVE

5:30pm-6:30pm, Festival Lab

River Listening is an interdisciplinary research project that explores the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems. The project inspires community engagement through interactive listening labs, sound maps, immersive performances and augmented reality sound installations that have travelled the world. River Listening combines digital technologies, science and creativity to connect communities and inspire environmental engagement. Join internationally renowned artists and scientists Dr. Leah Barclay, Dr. Simon Linke and Dr. Toby Gifford to learn about the project and hear an exclusive live performance for World Science Festival.

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RIVER LISTENING – Night tour

18:45 – 19:45, Festival Lab

Meeting point details: The River Listening Walking Tour departs the River Listening tent (located next to the Festival Lab venue) at 6:45pm on Saturday 12 March.

River Listening is an interdisciplinary project exploring the art and science of listening to rivers across the world. Join the River Listening team on a 60-minute guided sound walk along the Brisbane River to learn about the project and explore aquatic soundscapes geo-located throughout the Southbank Parklands. To experience the River Listening installation you will need a mobile device and headphones to use the free app Recho. Participants will also have the opportunity to listen to a live hydrophone in the Brisbane river. Please download the free app Recho before the walk.

 
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Dr. Simon Linke is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University. Dr. Leah Barclay and Dr. Toby Gifford are Research Fellows at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith Univeristy. We acknowledge the support of Griffith University in this project.

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Pause Fest 2016, Australia

Melbourne’s first River Listening experience explored the Yarra River and launched during Pause Fest 2016. The augmented reality installation can be experienced by walking along the Yarra River with a mobile device and listening to content that is geotagged along the river bank. As you walk along the path, the sounds of the river system are layered with sonic art and river stories for Pause delegates to discover between sessions. In addition to the Yarra soundscapes, this experience stretched through Federation Square with a sound map connecting river systems across the world.

Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay Toby Gifford   Leah Barclay

Leah Barclay

Six Degrees of Separation Exhibition

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The ”Six Degrees of Separation” Exhibition at the Gympie Regional Gallery invited a select group of artists to explore climate change and environmental art. Leah Barclay was invited to showcase the latest installation from River Listening.

Key Public Events:

16 July – 15 August, Exhibition featuring River Listening

The River Listening installation is presented as a immersive multi-channel listening space where listeners can lie down immersed in sound with a river bed floating above their heads.

August 11th, 1pm, River Listening Artist Talk with Dr. Leah Barclay (also streaming live on Periscope)

August 15th, “Future Communities” Symposium
6pm at the Gympie Regional Gallery

How will climate change effect us?
What might future communities look like?
How can we be prepared for the future?

Join guest speakers Dr Marcus Bussey, Dr Leah Barclay, Dr Tony Fry and Zela Bissett, when these questions and more will be raised at this event held in conjunction with the exhibition “Six Degrees of Separation”, where twelve artists have responded to issues of climate change, whether real or perceived, in a variety of visual and auditory mediums.

River Listening (2015) Dr. Leah Barclay
Interactive multi-channel sound installation

River Listening is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Dr. Leah Barclay and the Australian Rivers Institute that explores the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems.

The project involves listening labs, field recording, sound maps, performances and installations to experiment with virtual technologies and community engagement in understanding river health and aquatic biodiversity.

This immersive installation draws on hydrophone (underwater) recordings from the Mary River, Noosa River and Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia collected throughout 2014. The additional sonic material draws on fragments from Barclay’s previous rivers projects across Australia, Brazil, India, Korea, China and Europe. This includes the Amazon River Dolphin in central Brazil, water insects at dusk on the banks of the Pamba in southern India, snapping shrimp in Cambodia’s Tonlé Sap Lake and explorations on London’s iconic Thames.

River Listening is a sound installation that reimagines the world beneath the surface of river systems. Aquatic environments we often think of as silent are actually dynamic acoustic ecologies that can help us understand the health of a river. This installation explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and draws on ten years of collaborations with river systems across the world.

2014 World Parks Congress

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”, it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.

Dr Leah Barclay was invited to speak about the development of the River Listening project in the ‘inspiring a new generation’ stream.  Leah also hosted a demo of the River Listening sound installation and played hydrophone recording for the congress during a digital showcase. 

This ‘inspiring a new generation’  stream empowered the growth of an enduring global initiative for a new generation to experience, connect with, be inspired by, value, and conserve nature. It will bring the powerful voices of young people from across the globe to the Congress, along with key partners in the conservation community, corporate and social leaders, educators, and others, to share their experiences, perspectives, knowledge, skills, technologies, and ideas in innovative and creative ways, and empowering them to take leadership to ensure the on-going stewardship of nature. The stream will support a shared vision to connect a new generation to nature and ensure new leadership and engagement of young people in support of inter-generational partnerships for parks, people and planet.

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 will articulate the vital role of protected areas in conserving nature while delivering essential ecosystem services and position protected areas within goals of economic and community well-being, and demonstrate how this can be achieved in practice.

For parks, it will strengthen conservation targets whilst engaging a varied audience from government to general members of society who care about the health of our planet.

For people, it will engage with development sectors and inspire citizens to connect with nature.

For the planet, it will demonstrate nature-based solutions to global challenges such as climate change, health, and supporting human life.

For the first time, the Congress will collate and communicate the most compelling and inspiring solutions to global challenges. It will help create new sustainable commitments for protected areas across the conservation, development and business sectors. This will be the promise of Sydney.

www.worldparkscongress.org

Listen(n) Symposium, Arizona

In October 2014 Leah Barclay was invited to premiere the River Listening installation at the ASU Art Museum in Arizona as part of the Listen(n) Symposium.

The symposium featured scholarly and creative presentations, including research papers, panel discussions, musical performances, installations, and sound walks and a welcome from Tohono O’odham musicians.  It provided a forum for a growing body of scholarship and creative activities on acoustic ecologies and sustainability issues of American Southwest desert.

The keynote address at the ASU Art Museum on October 16 featured Dr. Sabine Breitsameter (Berlin/Darmstadt), Professor for Sound and Media Culture at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

The keynote was proceeded by a collaborative community engagement in making John Cages 49 Waltzes for the Tempe campus, a concert of John Cages Child of Tree by Simone Mancuso and opening remarks from Tamara Underiner, Associate Dean, Research, HIDA, and was followed by an opening reception at the ASU Art Museum.

The full day Symposium on October 17th, 2015, began with an opening welcome and blessing by “Kieg Mek Ne’edham kc Kehindam” from the Gu Achi District, Tohono O’odham Nation, led by Simon Lopez, traditional singer, curer, and cowboy.  It also featured presentations from the Chair of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, Eric Leonardson and the founder of the Balance-Unbalance conference, Ricardo Dal Farra with opening remarks from the Director of IHR, Sally Kitch and a presentation and demo of the EcoRift system for Oculus Rift developed as part of the Listen(n) project to enable remote visitation to national park environments by the elderly and disabled.

The closing concert at the ASU Art Museum featured new musical works composed from the sounds of the SW Deserts recoded as part of the Listen(n) Project by leading acoustic ecology composers include Ros Bandt (AU), Leah Barclay (AU), Douglas Quin (USA), Ricardo Dal Farra (CDN), and Garth Paine (USA/AU).

The inaugural Listen(n) Symposium was hosted by the ASU Art Museum, the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Funding support was received from the Institute for Humanities Research, Herberger Institute, and the Schools of Music, Arts Media and Engineering and International Letters and Cultures, ASU.

The River Listening installation featured throughout the symposium in the foyer of the ASU Art Museum.

“River Listening is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Leah Barclay and the Australian Rivers Institute to explore the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the conservation of global river systems. The project involves listening labs, field recording, sound maps, performances and installations to experiment with virtual technologies and community engagement in understanding river health and aquatic biodiversity. 

This exclusive installation for the 2014 Listen(n) Symposium draws on hydrophone (underwater) recordings from the Mary River, Noosa River and Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia collected throughout 2014. The additional sonic material draws on fragments from Barclay’s previous rivers projects across Australia, Brazil, India, Korea, China and Europe. This includes the Amazon River Dolphin in central Brazil, water insects at dusk on the banks of the Pamba in southern India, snapping shrimp in Australia’s Noosa River and explorations on London’s iconic Thames. This installation explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and draws on ten years of collaborations with river systems across the world.”

Further information on the full symposium program is available here – http://listennsymposium2014.sched.org/

The Australian Rivers Institute

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“ Our mission is to do world-class science that improves our understanding of catchment, river, estuarine and coastal ecosystems; to provide a creative and collaborative environment that fosters the next generation of ecosystem scientists; and to provide the knowledge to support the sustainable use and conservation of the world’s natural resources.”

One of the most exciting aspects of River Listening is the opportunity to collaborate with The Australian Rivers Institute (ARI) in Brisbane. While River Listening revolves around field work with ARI scientists across South East Queensland, we are also exploring ways to integrate our outcome into existing ARI research projects.

The Australian Rivers Institute is Australia’s largest university aquatic ecosystem research group with globally recognised expertise in river, catchment and coastal ecosystems and the interaction of these systems with society. The institute brings together 130 staff and researchers at the Nathan and Gold Coast campuses of Griffith University. Their international reputation is evident in being a founding member of the International Water Centre and holding seats on a number of international water management committees, such as the Global Water System Project, and Diversitas. The research conducted at the ARI provides the knowledge to underpin the sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems and ARI researchers have initiated a series of interdisciplinary research projects, including creative collaborations, that have been recognised internationally.

Their research focuses on a “source to sea” philosophy, delivering through six themes:

  • Catchment and river ecosystem processes
  • Coastal and estuarine ecosystem processes
  • Restoration science and environmental flows
  • Aquatic ecosystem monitoring and assessment
  • Aquatic biodiversity and conservation
  • Integration and adoption

Through its leaders and researchers, the Institute is proactive in national and international water science planning and research bodies. Freshwater conservation planning is an area of emerging strength at ARI.  Dr Simon Linke, Dr Virgilio Hermoso and Dr Mark Kennard are at the forefront of pioneering research to identify conservation and management priorities to sustain freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. Adapting and applying systematic planning principles to the unique challenges posed by freshwater environments, they have developed novel techniques for integrating spatial and temporal hydrologic connectivity and other important ecological processes into the spatial prioritization process.

Dr Simon Linke recording during a River Listening Lab on Logan River
Dr Simon Linke recording during a River Listening Lab on Logan River

The scientific grounding of the River Listening collaboration is led by ARI Senior Research Fellow Dr Simon Linke, one of Australia’s leading freshwater conservation scientists, whose pioneering work in biomonitoring and river conservation planning has been used by agencies and NGOs from South East Queensland to the Congo.  Dr Linke’s current research interests include environmental planning and real-time ecology using movement tracking, bioacoustics and environmental DNA.

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An iconic building and the headquaters of the Australian Rivers Institute, the Sir Samuel Griffith Centre is Australia’s first teaching and research building powered by a combination of photovoltaics and hydrogen. The centre has been awarded a 6-star green rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

The building exemplifies Griffith University’s mission to provide world leading technology, facilities and resources enabling the finest minds to strive for great outcomes in education and research – all founded on a non-negotiable commitment to environmental sustainability.

Griffith long-standing international reputation for excellence in environmental research helps it play a leading role in managing water resources with a focus on freshwater, estuarine and urban water. Australian Rivers Institute researchers have developed a set of ecosystem health assessment tools for measuring conservation efforts in producing South-East Queensland’s annual Healthy Waterways Report Card. They have also revolutionised work in wastewater testing and identified new methods for river monitoring. The River Listening team is looking forward to expanding this project in collaboration with ARI in the future.

For further information on ARI, see their website www.rivers.edu.au

Why listen to rivers?

In our current state of environmental crisis, biodiversity assessment is critical to understanding the rapid ecological changes taking place across the globe. In the last ten years, there has been a strong emergence of non-invasive monitoring involving auditory recordings of the environment. This emerging field is commonly referred to as soundscape ecology and shares many parallels with other fields, including bioacoustics. Soundscape ecology has an array of creative possibilities that have been deeply explored by practitioners including Bernie Krause. The literature suggests it will continue expanding within scientific fields, with a particular focus on the importance of soundscape conservation, the impact of noise pollution, and the value of soundscapes to assist with biodiversityanalysis. There are now a growing number of international projects and scientific institutions embracing methods of bioacoustics in biodiversity analysis of aquatic environments.

River Listening is a practice-led interdisciplinary collaboration of freshwater biodiversity, virtual technologies, soundscape ecology and environmental sound art to explore methods of hydrophonic recording, soundscape analysis and virtual dissemination. Despite the rapidly growing interest in emerging auditory fields such as bioacoustics, there is yet to be standardised approaches to field recording and interpreting the data. While scientists have developed advanced software tools for species recognition, there is a growing need to consolidate the available tools and explore the value of listening to the data in new ways. There are also exciting possibilities to make this data available for a wider audience through digital technology and creative collaborations.

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Leah Barclay recording on the Noosa River

The River Listening Synapse residency specifically involves field labs on the identified rivers experimenting with various hydrophonic recording techniques and sound processing. The labs each involve a three-week immersive engagement process, which is based on a methodology developed during my doctoral research. The labs involve three daily recording sessions; sunrise, midday and dusk. Each recording session is approximately two hours, with a custom-made quadrophonic hydrophone rig attached to a moving kayak. These recordings are databased onsite, and made available online for analysis at the Australian Rivers Institute.

In addition to the kayak recordings, other field kits are distributed on location to capture sounds without human intervention. These include a stationary hydrophone that records from the same location during the entire field lab and a series of smaller field kits to capture the soundscapes above the water. The additional field kits are useful to analyse particular sound sources in the hydrophone recordings that might be difficult to identify. The recording sessions are accompanied by community workshops and creative development experiments involving streaming and processing the hydrophone recordings. The team will facilitate a range of community events and will also collaborate with existing programs in each river community.

The field labs are designed in an open format and encourage collaborations with the local community. The future outcomes will be made available through a virtual sound map and public listening sessions in Queensland, Australia. The database of recordings will form the foundation for a series of experiments at the Australian Rivers Institute to explore new methods in understanding and analysing the data from a scientific and creative perspective.

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with The Australian Rivers Institute (ARI) on River Listening. The Australian Rivers Institute is Australia’s largest university aquatic ecosystem research group with globally recognised expertise in river, catchment and coastal ecosystems. ARI is currently leading a range of innovative projects revolving around catchment and river ecosystem processes, aquatic biodiversity and conservation, and aquatic ecosystem monitoring and assessment. 

While I’m working with several researchers at ARI, the scientific grounding of the River Listening collaboration is directed by ARI Senior Research Fellow Dr Simon Linke, one of Australia’s leading freshwater conservation scientists, whose pioneering work in biomonitoring and river conservation planning has been used by agencies and NGOs from South East Queensland to the Congo. Simon has a strong interest in bioacoustics and was introduced to me Dr Toby Gifford, a music technologist from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Dr Gifford is a world-leader in real-time audio processing, machine listening and automated musical scene description who has worked with the ARI to explore future frameworks for a real-time bioacoustic wildlife population monitoring network for Australian waterways. We hope some of the results from River Listening can be incorporated into the broader aquatic bioacoustics visions of ARI in the future.  

As the international interest in the emerging auditory fields of bioacoustics and acoustic ecology continues to expand, there are clear opportunities to harness virtual technologies to develop accessible community engagement around the creative and scientific possibilities of listening to the environment. River Listening provides a model to develop a truly interdisciplinary approach at the critical stage of creative development and it is anticipated the future results will be beneficial to national ecosystem monitoring programs. I also hope that River Listening could become a catalyst for community engagement and interdisciplinary thinking at a time when the conservation and management of aquatic ecosystems is a critical priority. At the conclusion of the River Listening labs in Queensland, the research team hope to expand this project across Australia and  beyond.

Mary River, Queensland
Mary River, Queensland

About River Listening

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River Listening is a research collaboration between independent artist Dr. Leah Barclay and the Australian Rivers Institute to explore new methods for acoustically monitoring four Queensland river systems: the Brisbane River, the Mary River, the Noosa River and the Logan River. The project involves the establishment of site-specific listening labs to experiment with hydrophonic recording and sound diffusion to measure aquatic biodiversity including fresh-water fish populations – a key indicator of river health. River Listening fundamentally explores the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics and the potential for new approaches in the management and conservation of global river systems.

In 2014, The Australian Rivers Institute (ARI) and
Dr. Leah Barclay were awarded a prestigious Synapse grant to support the development of River Listening. Synapse is an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australia Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) that supports collaborations between artists and scientists in Australia. This project extends Barclay’s long-term engagement in acoustic ecology to explore the creative possibilities of aquatic bioacoustics in collaboration with an interdisciplinary research team.