I'm delighted to share that collaborators, Krishna Anujan, Sarika Khanwilkar, Pooja Gupta, and Vijay Ramesh and I have won the National Geographic Meridian grant to carry out our research -
Soundscapes and stories: a locally replicable model for conservation using a biocultural approach'. Through this research we address the need to conserve biodiversity through a holistic approach, one that links local values, perspectives, and knowledge with technology-driven biodiversity research and conservation. This project, launching in a year, will help develop and refine approaches to conservation. We will continue to record soundscapes across sites in the Western Ghats and Central India as we will embark on recording stories about landscapes and soundscapes from local stakeholders. More updates to follow!
I was delighted to speak to the host of the podcast, The Subverse, Susan Mathews. We chatted about what ecological restoration means to different people, what it entails, and how to measure it using novel tools like acoustics. I speak about some of my acoustics research in central India (which I have carried out along with my amazing colleagues Mayuri Kotian, Siddharth Biniwale, Pravar Mourya and Devendra Korche). Have a listen!
India's leading daily, The Hindustan Times, recently covered some of the bioacoustics research I have carried out in collaboration with Project Dhvani scientists. You can have a read here!
I'm excited to be taking our bioacoustics-based automated species recognition work to the next level! Project Dhvani scientists, Keshav Bhandari (PI) and Vijay Ramesh (Co-PI) and I won the Microsoft Azure grant to create a robust automated recognition system for rare bird species across central India (CI) and the Western Ghats (WG). Our solution will use a plethora of methodological advancements, including data augmentations, class weighted loss functions and state-of-the-art computer vision model ensembles on a large dataset (>160 hours of annotated acoustic data) of tropical birds from CI and the WG. We anticipate a noticeable improvement in automated detection of rare birds, thus reducing manual effort (for expert annotators) and providing a realistic biodiversity monitoring solution for multiple stakeholders in India.
As part of their Wildlife Week celebrations , I got a live chat with folks at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Mumbai. We had a lively discussion on how acoustics can help us understand the ecology of a species, the latest research in India, the often gargantuan task of analyzing TBs of acoustic data and lots more. Have a listen!