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The Hancock Lecture: Decoding the Natural Soundscape, a Northumbrian perspective

Grasshopper Warbler © Geoff Sample

Friday 24 November2017, 19:00.  Newcastle University – Ridley Building, Lecture Hall RIDB2.1.65

For naturalists of the past, sound was an essential cue for finding and identifying a wide range of different animals; and while previous generations lived in more rural contexts, the sounds of nature were familiar daily as a source of interest, pleasure and inspiration. Yet now, despite all the information and technological aids at our disposal, an interest in the sound of the natural world is so often regarded as a specialism reserved for geeks.

Geoff’s talk will reveal the rich rewards of engaging nature with an attentive ear, taking us on an aural journey to explore how his sound studies of species and habitats in Northumberland have led to considering the wider ecological context of our position on the oceanic fringe of north-west Europe.

Based in Northumberland, Geoff Sample has been recording and studying wildlife sound for almost 30 years. He is the author of Collins Bird Songs and Calls, as well as a number of other Collins guides and works for the BTO and SNH. He supplies sounds and contributions for film, TV and radio, including the BBC’s infamous ‘Tweet of the Day’, and regularly collaborates on creative projects in this field with artists and musicians.