Plenary Speakers

Greg BryantGreg Bryant is a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Los Angeles. Greg is a leading researcher in human vocal communication and social behaviour, including examining the mechanisms and evolutionary underpinnings of laughter, infant directed speech, and vocal communication of emotion. As a pioneer in cross-cultural perception studies, his research often involves large, representative samples of participants from around the world.  
Isabelle CharrierIsabelle Charrier is a French senior researcher at CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) co-leader of “Acoustic Communications” the team at the Paris-Saclay Institute of Neuroscience. Isabelle has made an outstanding contribution to the field for marine bioacoustics. She studies vocal communication in a wide range of marine species (pinnipeds, cetaceans and seabirds) with a special focus on Pinnipeds (seal, fur seals, sea lions and walrus).  She is interested in the recognition processes developed by mothers and their offspring, but also the vocal assessment and social communication networks in males. Most of the work involved field experiments and behavioural observations of animals in their natural environment. Isabelle works in different parts of the World (Arctic, Antarctic, Australia, Canada, Greece, Madagascar, USA) and in collaboration with international colleagues. 
Arik KershenbaumArik Kershenbaum is a zoologist, College Lecturer, and Fellow at Girton College, University of Cambridge. Arik’s contributions to the field of sequence analysis have been particularly impactful. He received his PhD at the University of Haifa in Israel, where he studied the complex communication of the rock hyrax, demonstrating the sophisticated syntax of their bird-like songs. He has since concentrated on vocal communication in wolves and dolphins, looking at how their howls and whistles are used to convey specific information about the world around them. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis in the USA, Dr Kershenbaum became interested in the less familiar ways that animals encode information in their signals, and what alternatives might exist to the word-sentence approach with which we are familiar from human language. He was Herchel Smith Research Fellow in Zoology at the University of Cambridge, before taking up his position at Girton College. He is also a member of the international board of advisors for, a think tank on the topic of Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. 
Peter NarinsPeter Narins has carried out pioneering studies in auditory and seismic sensory neuroethology.  He discovered the first example of sexual dimorphism in a vertebrate sensory system.  Moreover, he demonstrated phase-locking in the auditory nerve of amphibians and used it to provide evidence for the extraordinary seismic sensitivity of the amphibian inner ear.  Narins discovered that a highly territorial South American dendrobatid frog uses a combination of acoustic cues (advertisement calls) and visual signals (vocal-sac pulsations) to repel conspecific intruders. He developed a robotic frog to demonstrate that aggressive behaviour can be elicited only when both signals are presented simultaneously (temporal binding) and at particular spatial orientations (spatial binding). Narins and colleagues (a) discovered several Chinese torrent frogs produce and detect calls containing ultrasonic harmonics and that a distantly related Bornean frog communicates entirely in the ultrasonic range; (b) revealed that the functionally blind Namib golden mole relies solely on seismic cues to locate food sources; and more recently (c) demonstrated that the vibrational component alone of a Guyanese frog’s call is sufficient to alter calling behaviour and direct movement of neighbouring vocalizing frogs. Narins’ original, groundbreaking field studies and correlated seismic and auditory physiological investigations have profoundly altered our understanding of how terrestrial vertebrates perceive their world.
Katharina Riebel Katharina Riebel investigates causes and consequences of condition and learning dependent phenotypic variation in sexually selected traits and preference at Leiden University. Her current research interests focus on improving our understanding of developmental processes that contribute to such variation, namely sensory learning and state dependency of choice (full bio to follow).


Social Events

Welcome Reception

On Saturday 31st August, we are pleased to announce there will be a Welcome Reception for all conference attendees. This will begin at 7pm. (Details to follow.)

Pub Crawl

On Sunday 1st September, there will be a Pub Crawl through Brighton in the evening. Itinerary to follow.

Excursion to Petworth Park - £25

On Tuesday 3rd September, there will be an excursion to beautiful Petworth Park in Sussex. This National Trust property is a 17th century house surrounded by a 700 acre park designed by the famous landscaper, Capability Brown, home to more than 900 fallow deer. There is also a pleasure garden, with a wooded walk. For art lovers, there are paintings by Turner, Van Deck, Reynolds, Titian, and Blake, and classical and neoclassical sculptures. The Park offers a restaurant and coffee shop with a range of options as well as a shop selling gifts.

The trip will be by coach from Falmer Campus from approximately 14:00 on Tuesday and will leave the park at 17:00, with an expected arrival back at campus by 18:00.

The price is expected to be £25 per person, including coach travel.

(The organisers cannot be held responsible for any personal accident or damage to personal property during the excursion. The organisers strongly urge participants to ensure they have adequate travel and personal insurance cover before they join the excursion.)

Petworth Park landscape ( © David Reby)

Petworth Park Fallow Deer ( © David Reby)

Petworth Park house ( © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler)

Gala Dinner at the Brighton Metropole Hotel - £48

On Wednesday 4th September, there will be a Conference Dinner open to all attendees. This dinner will take place at the Brighton Metropole Hotel on the seafront near the i360 and the (pebble) beach.

This will be a three course meal with arrival drink, 1/2 bottle of house wine, and a choice of tea or coffee included in the price.



(for information only, subject to change until the publication of the final programme in August 2019)


Sat 31 Aug

Sun 1 Sept

Mon 2 Sept

Tues 3 Sept

Wed 4 Sept

Thurs 5 Sept


(poster hanging) 1

Plenary Plenary Plenary Talks 3 Plenary
10:00 Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
10:30 Talks Talks Talks Talks 3 Talks
11:00 Welcome
11:30 Plenary General Assembly
12:30 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch

(poster take down)

2:00 Talks Talks Talks Trip Talks Talks
4:00 Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break  
4:30 Talks Talks Talks Talks
6:00 Award ceremony 2
6:30 Free time

Poster session
Wine & Cheese

7:00 Welcome Reception Conference dinner
EVE Pub Crawl



  1. Posters to be put up throughout the conference (hung on Day 1, taken down on Day 6)
  2. Awards will be given for
    • Best sound recording
    • Craziest spectrogram
    • Best poster
    • Best talk for early career scientist (PhDs and postdocs) – special talk session
  3. Likely slots for Best talk by Early Career Researcher