Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Vibroscape: discovering an overlooked world of vibrational communication

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
biotremology, vibrational communication, Hemiptera, neurophysiology, communication network, vibroscape, signal active space, signal transmission, vibrational community, Umwelt, sensory ecology, automated classification, computational audio processing
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on June 12, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  275  6,548  4,996  18.17 
Scopus  311  7,379  5,709  18.36 
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  36398  PhD Klemen Čandek  Biology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  48 
2.  51983  Rok Janža  Biology  Junior researcher  2021 - 2022  19 
3.  56644  Andraž Juvan    Technical associate  2022 - 2024 
4.  16131  PhD Alenka Kavčič  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2021 - 2024  138 
5.  34501  PhD Anka Kuhelj  Biology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  43 
6.  19326  PhD Matjaž Kuntner  Biology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  500 
7.  52309  Žiga Lesar  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2021 - 2024  45 
8.  53539  Juan Jose Lopez Diez  Biology  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024  11 
9.  15677  PhD Matija Marolt  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2021 - 2024  396 
10.  35071  PhD Matevž Pesek  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2021 - 2024  147 
11.  31231  PhD Jernej Polajnar  Biology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  139 
12.  19430  PhD Nataša Stritih Peljhan  Neurobiology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  102 
13.  38172  PhD Rok Šturm  Biology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  50 
14.  05231  PhD Meta Virant Doberlet  Biology  Head  2021 - 2024  281 
15.  56478  Manca Žerovnik Mekuč  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2022 - 2023  11 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,387 
2.  1539  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science  Ljubljana  1627023  16,564 
In the proposed research project, we will use an integrative and interdisciplinary approach combining knowledge from behavioural ecology, neurophysiology and computational audio analysis to study the complexity of the natural vibrational environment (i.e. vibroscape). Human reliance on vocal communication and perception of other air-borne sounds in the environment, so far focused our attention exclusively on description of soundscape in different environments, while we almost completely overlooked the ecological context of another form of mechanical communication, namely substrate-borne vibrational communication. The latter is now recognized as one of oldest and most widespread forms of animal communication, which in evolutionary terms also predates communication by air-borne sound. However, the complexity of the natural vibrational environment, where this communication takes place and evolves, remains unknown and, crucially, how species relying on substrate-borne vibrations interact at the level of a natural community and share vibrational space is virtually unexplored. The natural vibrational environment is accessible to humans only via specialized equipment and the ultimate challenge in vibroscape studies is that we need to understand the natural vibratory world from the perspective of the specific sensory worlds (Umwelt) of animals relying on information provided by substrate vibrations. The main overall objective of the proposed research project is to provide an essential comprehensive platform that will put vibrational communication into a relevant ecological context. In WP1 ‘Vibroscape ecology’ we will describe the characterises of the natural vibroscape in chosen habitats. We will focus our attention on hey meadows, because in this habitat arthropods, in which vibrational behaviour is prevalent, are the dominant animal group. In WP2 ‘Umwelt’ we will correlate the frequency sensitivity of insect vibroreceptors with vibroscape properties to determine which vibroscape components are detected by insect receivers. To study the species-specific sensory worlds, we will use leafhoppers Aphrodes makarovi and Cicadella viridis, which are common species in the studied habitats. In WP3 ‘Automated classification’ we will develop computational approaches for automated detection and classification of vibrational signals in vibroscape recordings in order to facilitate the screening and analyses of the large amount of raw data obtained in WP1. Ultimately, we aim to provide a framework on which guidelines for other comparative vibroscape studies can be designed, as well as to offer open source tools for automated vibroscape analyses. The results of this study will accelerate the progress in the recently recognized independent research field of biotremology and provide critical new insights into processes that are also central to understanding communication in general. Moreover, they are likely to change our perception and understanding of the world around us. In addition, the results will be an important contribution to the soundscape ecology and ecoacoustics. Since arthropods are essential for the functioning of ecosystems, the results may, ultimately, also provide invaluable information to predict the effects of climate change and anthropogenic noise. Besides scientific excellence, the project also supports the transfer of knowledge and promotion of science.
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