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Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Cetaceans

Handbook / Manual
  • Theory is complemented with Matlab, enabling comparison of mathematical description with real functional code
  • Datasets are provided allowing readers to use codes and data to reproduce figures and examples, as well as to implement their own ideas and modifications
  • Incremental approach develops theory where needed so data can be manipulated without first having to cover all of the theory

By: Walter MX Zimmer(Author)

356 pages, 112 b/w illustrations, tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Aug 2014 | #213951 | ISBN-13: 9781107428386
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £35.99 $50/€41 approx
Hardback | Apr 2011 | #189471 | ISBN-13: 9780521193429
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $142/€116 approx

About this book

Passive acoustic monitoring is increasingly used by the scientific community to study, survey and census marine mammals, especially cetaceans, many of which are easier to hear than to see. PAM is also used to support efforts to mitigate potential negative effects of human activities such as ship traffic, military and civilian sonar and offshore exploration. Walter Zimmer provides an integrated approach to PAM, combining physical principles, discussion of technical tools and application-oriented concepts of operations.

Additionally, relevant information and tools necessary to assess existing and future PAM systems are presented, with Matlab code used to generate figures and results so readers can reproduce data and modify code to analyse the impact of changes. This allows the principles to be studied whilst discovering potential difficulties and side effects. Aimed at graduate students and researchers, Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Cetaceans provides all information and tools necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding of this interdisciplinary subject.

"This book is unusual in that it combines underwater acoustics, signal processing and ecology in practical applications of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to both marine mammals and anthropogenic noise [...] also sets the benchmark for a similar approach to PAM in air [...] Two useful practical aspects of the book make PAM more accessible [...] First, explicit description and examples of the use of the programme MatLab clarify the processing underlying PAM. Second, detailed discussion of the hardware and software requirements increase the chances of successful deployment [...] a 'must read' [...] Anyone with an interest in marine mammals, whether this interest is in acoustics, ecology, behaviour or conservation, will gain an insight into the important role of sound in the life of marine mammals and how sound can give a much-needed, yet unobtrusive, window on the marine world."
– Peter McGregor, Cornwall College

"Sound is the medium of choice to sense things in the ocean. Cetaceans evolved acoustic senses to take advantage of ocean sound, but even a decade ago, humans required a ship full of electronics to do so. Now all a student needs is a laptop connected to some hydrophones. Zimmer's book is the first to provide the critical knowledge to enable you to understand the methods required to detect, classify, locate and track marine mammal vocalizations. It is a must have for anyone interested in this growing research area."
– Peter L. Tyack, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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Part I. Underwater Acoustics (The Basics):
1. Principles of underwater sound
2. Cetacean sounds
3. Sonar equation

Part II. Signal Processing (Designing the Tools):
4. Detection methods
5. Classification methods
6. Localisation and tracking

Part III. Passive Acoustic Monitoring (Putting It All Together):
7. Applications of PAM
8. Detection functions
9. Simulating sampling strategies
10. PAM systems
11. References and literature


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Walter M. X. Zimmer holds a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Regensburg, Germany. He is currently a Scientist in the Applied Research Department of the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) in La Spezia, Italy and a Guest Investigator at the Biology Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA, USA.

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