Deep Blue stories: Alice in Barcelona

Deep Blue Stories #6 | Alice Affatati tackled a fascinating topic: underwater noise pollution. Her Deep Blue mobility brought her to the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) of the UPC, in Barcelona.

Alice is an engineer who fell in love with marine science, and already worked with bioacoustics before: sound is really important for marine organisms, as many use sound as their primary form of communication and navigation. But there aren’t only natural sounds in the sea: human-made sound sources are ever increasing in number and power, and threaten the well-being of the wildlife. That’s why Alice’s tasks at the LAB revolved around LIDO, “Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment”, a state-of-the-art automated software package that uses machine learning to collect and process real-time data streams to conduct noise assessment, detection, classification and localization of acoustic sources.

We asked Alice what does Blue Growth means to her:

“It means using oceans resources without exploiting it. Mankind depends on ecosystem services provided by the ocean. However, human presence has altered and exploited, directly and indirectly, the features of these habitats. [...] A joint approach needs to be implemented: the ocean has no borders. For this reason, marine noise lends itself well as a blue growth subject, it cuts across several disciplines considering the feature of sound that propagates swiftly and the need to implement legislation based on international cooperation.”

The mobility was beneficial for both parties: not only Alice learned more about bioacoustics and data processing, but her tutor was positively impressed by the collaboration:

“I must say Alice’s work went way beyond my expectations. Not only she managed to perform the initial programmed tasks with efficiency and with a high level of competence but she also acquired new skills that allowed me to regularly add new objectives on her list with the certainty she would also reach them.”


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