Christine Erbe

Christine Erbe
Curtin University · Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST)

PhD Geophysics, University of British Columbia

About

144
Publications
71,044
Reads
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3,551
Citations
Citations since 2017
67 Research Items
2695 Citations
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Introduction
Christine Erbe is the Director of the Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST), at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Christine does research in underwater acoustics, marine noise, soundscapes and noise impacts on marine mammals.
Additional affiliations
October 2011 - present
Curtin University
Position
  • Director, Centre for Marine Science & Technology
December 2006 - September 2011
JASCO Research Ltd
Position
  • Director, JASCO Australia

Publications

Publications (144)
Article
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Migratory species undertake seasonal, long-distance travel between feeding and breeding grounds, and time their arrivals with high-quality resources. The Breeding Stock D population of humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) migrates from Antarctic to Western Australian waters every austral winter. Based on 16 years (2002-2017) of passive acoust...
Article
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The Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) has a distinctive vertical crease (or cleft) along the anterior surface of the forehead. Previous studies have speculated that the cleft may contribute to biosonar beam formation. To explore this, we constructed 2D finite element models based on computer tomography data of the head of a naturally deceased Risso...
Chapter
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The Source-Path-Receiver Model (SPRM) is a fundamental concept derived from hazard (including noise) control. It is useful in studies of animal bioacoustics where the sound sources may be animals, humans, or natural events within the habitat and the receivers are animals. It provides a framework for the researcher to ensure all aspects of the scena...
Chapter
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Sound propagation under water is a complex process. Sound does not propagate along straight-line transmission paths. Rather, it reflects, refracts, and diffracts. It scatters off rough surfaces (such as the sea surface and the seafloor) and off reflectors within the water column (e.g., gas bubbles, fish swim bladders, and suspended particles). It i...
Chapter
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This chapter describes the effects of noise on animals in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Potential adverse effects cover a range of behavioral changes and physiological responses, including—in extreme cases—physical injury and death. The types and severity of effects are related to a number of noise features, including the received noise level a...
Chapter
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Studies of animal bioacoustics require equipment to record and analyze sounds and sometimes to play back recorded sounds. Choosing the right equipment can be a difficult task for the novice bioacoustician. In this chapter, we outline the components that make up a typical recording or playback setup, define some of the commonly used terminology for...
Chapter
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An important component of bioacoustical research is the description and quantification of the hearing capabilities of different animal species. This chapter reviews common behavioral and physiological methods used to examine the hearing of live animals and discusses some of their strengths and weaknesses. The focus is on audiometric studies that id...
Chapter
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This chapter presents an introduction to acoustics and explains the basic quantities and concepts relevant to terrestrial and aquatic animal bioacoustics. Specific terminology that is introduced includes sound pressure, sound exposure, particle velocity, sound speed, longitudinal and transverse waves, frequency-modulation, amplitude-modulation, dec...
Chapter
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Classification of the acoustic repertoires of animals into sound types is a useful tool for taxonomic studies, behavioral studies, and for documenting the occurrence of animals. Classification of acoustic repertoires enables the identification of species, age, gender, and individual identity, correlations between sound types and behavior, the ident...
Chapter
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Soundscapes have been likened to acoustic landscapes, encompassing all the acoustic features of an area. The sounds that make up a soundscape can be grouped according to their source into biophony (sounds from animals), geophony (sounds from atmospheric and geophysical events), and anthropophony (sounds from human activities). Natural soundscapes h...
Article
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Passive acoustic monitoring is increasingly employed to monitor whales, their population size, habitat usage, and behaviour. However, in the case of the eastern Indian Ocean pygmy blue whale (EIOPB whale), its applicability is limited by our lack of understanding of the behavioural context of sound production. This study explored the context of sin...
Article
Potential harm is understudied and largely overlooked
Article
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In 2014, the South African government launched ‘Operation Phakisa’ under which port developments play a significant role in supporting ocean economic growth. These developments will likely increase vessel traffic to and from South African ports, making it imperative to monitor for changes in underwater sound budgets with potential negative effects...
Article
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The fin whale is listed as globally vulnerable, with ongoing threats to their population, yet little is known about the distribution and movements of the Southern Hemisphere sub-species, Balaenoptera physalus quoyi. This study assesses fin whale distribution in the Southern Hemisphere analysing acoustic recordings from 15 locations in Antarctic and...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT Spinning is a natural and common dolphin behavior; however, its role in echolocation is unknown. We used computed tomography (CT) data of a live and a recently deceased bottlenose dolphin together with measurements of the acoustic properties of head tissues to perform acoustic property reconstrcution. The anatomical config...
Article
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Aquatic environments encompass the world’s most extensive habitats, rich with sounds produced by a diversity of animals. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an increasingly accessible remote sensing technology that uses hydrophones to listen to the underwater world and represents an unprecedented, non-invasive method to monitor underwater environm...
Article
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Managing the impacts of vessel noise on marine fauna requires identifying vessel numbers, movement, behaviour, and acoustic signatures. However, coastal and inland waters are predominantly used by ‘small’ (29 dB range within individual Vessel Types. The most parsimonious model (22.7% deviance explained) included ‘Speed’ and ‘Closest Point of Approa...
Article
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Marine soundscapes consist of cumulative contributions by diverse sources of sound grouped into: physical (e.g., wind), biological (e.g., fish), and anthropogenic (e.g., shipping)—each with unique spatial, temporal, and frequency characteristics. In terms of anthropophony, shipping has been found to be the greatest (ubiquitous and continuous) contr...
Article
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Underwater sound is modelled and mapped for purposes ranging from localised environmental impact assessments of individual offshore developments to large-scale marine spatial planning. As the area to be modelled increases, so does the computational effort. The effort is more easily handled if broken down into smaller regions that could be modelled...
Article
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Preventing declines in common species is key to sustaining the structure and function of marine ecosystems. Yet for many common marine mammals, including oceanic dolphins, statistical power to detect declines remains low due to patchy distribution and large variability in group sizes. In this study, population viability analyses (PVA) were used to...
Article
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An anthropogenic cacophony Sound travels faster and farther in water than in air. Over evolutionary time, many marine organisms have come to rely on sound production, transmission, and reception for key aspects of their lives. These important behaviors are threatened by an increasing cacophony in the marine environment as human-produced sounds have...
Article
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Bather protection nets have been in place off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, since the 1950’s. Besides sharks, they also catch a number of other marine vertebrates, including dolphins, the majority of which are Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins Tursiops aduncus . Previous analyses of dolphin bycatch in the nets indicated the potenti...
Article
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While in the northern hemisphere, many studies have been conducted on the vocal repertoire of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), no such study has been conducted in the southern hemisphere. Presented here, is the first study on the vocalisations of long-finned pilot whales along the southern coast of mainland Australia. Multiple measure...
Article
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Recent years have seen the rapid development of tools and approaches to model the population consequences of disturbance in several marine mammal populations from high-amplitude, acute sound sources. Ocean noise from shipping and other maritime activities is now recognised as a chronic, habitat-level stressor. Advances are needed in several key are...
Article
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Military operations may result in noise impacts on surrounding communities and wildlife. A recent transition to more powerful military aircraft and a national consolidation of training operations to Whidbey Island, WA, USA, provided a unique opportunity to measure and assess both in-air and underwater noise associated with military aircraft. In-air...
Article
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The effects of anthropogenic (man-made) underwater sound on aquatic life have become an important environmental issue. One of the focal ways to present and to share knowledge on the topic has been the international conference on The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life (“Aquatic Noise”). The conferences have brought together people from diverse interes...
Article
Automatically detecting animal signals in soundscape recordings is of benefit to passive acoustic monitoring programs which may be undertaken for research or conservation. Numerous algorithms exist, which are typically optimized for certain situations (i.e., certain animal sound types and ambient noise conditions). Adding to the library of algorith...
Article
Concern over the impacts of anthropogenic noise on aquatic fauna is increasing, as is the number of vessels in the world's oceans, lakes, and rivers. Sound signatures of different vessel types are increasingly characterized, yet few reports are available on solar-electric powered vessels. Such data are important to model the sound levels experience...
Article
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This study presents non-song vocalizations of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from two migratory areas off the Western Australian coast: Geographe Bay and Port Hedland. A total of 220 sounds were identified as non-song sounds in 193 h of recordings reviewed. Of those, 68 were measured and qualitatively classified into 17 groups using their...
Article
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Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are top marine predators occurring globally. In Antarctic waters, five ecotypes have been described, with Type C being the smallest form of killer whale known. Acoustic recordings of nine encounters of Type C killer whales were collected in 2012 and 2013 in McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea. In a combined 3.5 h of recordings, 638...
Article
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The Swan–Canning River System is home to an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) community of currently 17 adult and juvenile individuals. While a complete photo-identification catalogue exists, visual monitoring requires repeated boat-based surveys and is thus laborious and expensive. Bottlenose dolphins are known to emit individuall...
Article
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Cetaceans are iconic predators that serve as important indicators of marine ecosystem health. The Bremer Sub-Basin, south-western Australia, supports a diverse cetacean community including the largest documented aggregation of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Australian waters. Knowledge of cetacean distributions is critical for managing the area’s...
Article
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The Protocol on Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty stipulates that the protection of the Antarctic environment and associated ecosystems be fundamentally considered in the planning and conducting of all activities in the Antarctic Treaty area. One of the key pollutants created by human activities in the Antarctic is noise, which is pr...
Article
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The number of marine watercraft is on the rise—from private boats in coastal areas to commercial ships crossing oceans. A concomitant increase in underwater noise has been reported in several regions around the globe. Given the important role sound plays in the life functions of marine mammals, research on the potential effects of vessel noise has...
Conference Paper
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The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life took place in Den Haag, the Netherlands, in July 2019. The potential effects on animals ranging from plankton, shrimps, crabs, and lobsters, to fishes, seals, dolphins, and whales were discussed. Reported effects include behavioral responses, auditory masking, cardiac rate changes, stress, a temporary loss of he...
Article
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The effects of underwater noise pollution on marine life are of increasing concern. Research and management have focussed on the strongest underwater sound sources. Aerial sound sources have understandably been ignored as sound transmits poorly across the air-water interface. However, there might be situations when air-borne noise cannot be dismiss...
Article
Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are found in all oceans of the world. In Antarctic waters, five ecotypes have been described, each displaying distinct differences in morphological features, foraging behaviours, habitat and diet preferences, and genetic structure. Acoustic recordings of Type C killer whales were collected between December 2012 and Janu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Marine mammals (whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea cows) use sound both actively and passively to communicate and sense their environment, covering frequencies from a few hertz to greater than 100 kHz, differing with species. Although a few documents on marine mammal sound production and reception date back 200 years, concern about the effects...
Preprint
Taking advantage of a religious holiday called Nyepi that curtailed human activities for one day, we recorded acoustic noise levels for one week in shallow waters of a little-trafficked area west of Bali below the Ngurah Rai airport flight path (Figure 1). Sound is as important to many marine organisms as vision is to humans. From the song of the h...
Article
Research in Animal Bioacoustics includes (1) animal sounds, communication, biosonar, and associated behavior; (2) sound production anatomy and neurophysiology; (3) auditory capacities and mechanisms, anatomy, and neurophysiology; (4) acoustic phylogeny, ontogeny, and cognition; (5) acoustic ecology, acoustic characterization of habitats, and effect...
Article
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Underwater noise environments are increasingly being considered in marine spatial planning and habitat quality assessments, particularly with regard to acoustically specialised fauna. The Swan River in Western Australia flows through the state capital of Perth and consequently experiences a range of anthropogenic activities. However, the river is a...
Article
Naturally constrained environments like bays and lakes are frequently used for water sports activities. While the sound of motorized vessels is rather well understood, non-motorized activities have received less investigation. Ten water sports activities (swimming backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle; snorkelling with fins; kicking a...
Technical Report
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Cetaceans are some of the most iconic animals on the planet, yet few of the 45 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises known to occur in Australian waters have been extensively studied to date. Historical commercial whaling records and recent modelling studies suggest that the submarine canyons within and around the Bremer Marine Park provide fav...
Technical Report
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Approximately 70 kilometres south-east of Bremer Bay (119.4°E, 34.4°S) off southern Western Australia’s coast lies a group of submarine canyons that incise the continental slope, plunging to depths of more than 1,000 metres. Charismatic pelagic organisms such as cetaceans, sharks, seabirds and squid are known to concentrate in high abundance above...
Article
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The coral reefs surrounding Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef have a diverse soundscape that contains an array of bioacoustic phenomena, notably choruses produced by fishes. Six fish choruses identified around Lizard Island exhibited distinctive spatial and temporal patterns from 2014 to 2016. Several choruses displayed site fidelity, indicat...
Presentation
Full-text available
As human activities continue to expand across the marine environment, anthropogenic ocean noise is also rapidly increasing. This is of concern to acoustically-specialised species, particularly those displaying a high degree of habitat overlap with anthropogenic activities, such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.). There is a need to describe the...
Article
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Abstarct The potential disturbance of dolphins from tourism boats has been widely discussed in the literature, in terms of both physical vessel presence and associated underwater noise. However, less attention has been paid to the potential impact of non-tourism vessels, despite these being much more widespread and occurring in greater numbers thro...
Article
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Passive acoustic recording of marine noise has advanced considerably over recent years. For a long time, a lack of widely available technology limited the acquisition of long-term acoustic data sets to a small number of large, cabled installations mostly restricted to military use. For other users, recordings were limited by the available technolog...
Article
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Dolphins use frequency-modulated whistles for a variety of social functions. Whistles vary in their characteristics according to context, such as activity state, group size, group composition, geographic location, and ambient noise levels. Therefore, comparison of whistle characteristics can be used to address numerous research questions regarding...
Article
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Geotechnical site investigations prior to marine construction typically involve shallow, small-core drilling and standard penetration testing (SPT), during which a small tube is hammered into the ground at the bottom of the borehole. Drilling (120 kW, 83 mm diameter drillbit, 1500 rpm, 16–17 m drill depth in sand and mudstone) and SPT (50 mm diamet...
Article
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The study of marine soundscapes is a growing field of research. Recording hardware is becoming more accessible; there are a number of off-the-shelf autonomous recorders that can be deployed for months at a time; software analysis tools exist as shareware; raw or preprocessed recordings are freely and publicly available. However, what is missing are...
Article
Full-text available
Underwater noise environments are increasingly being considered in marine spatial planning and habitat quality assessments. Although the overall aim of regulation is to quieten anthropogenically noise-rich habitats whilst maintaining pristine habitats free of man-made noise, effective management plans require knowledge upon which to base decisions....
Article
When humans take to the water, they generate sound. This is helpful for the detection, classification, localisation and tracking of certain activities for purposes of border security, health and safety of offshore industrial development, environmental management, etc. The most commonly measured acoustic quantity is pressure. Vector quantities relat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive Summary Anthropogenic noise interferes with the ability of the critically-endangered southern resident killer whales to communicate and to detect prey with echolocation. As such, noise has been identified as a key threat to the survival and recovery of the population. Efforts to address this issue both by learning more about noise sources...
Technical Report
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This final report for the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) documents the findings of a collaborative project aiming to increase our understanding of the distribution, abundance and population connectivity of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and humpback (Sousa sahulenis) dolphins, including the development of new researc...
Article
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Passive acoustic monitoring can provide valuable information on coral reefs, and examining the acoustic attributes of these ecosystems has the potential to provide an insight into their status and condition. From 2014 to 2016, a series of underwater recordings were taken at field sites around Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Six...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing awareness of underwater noise in a variety of marine habitats, and how such noise may adversely affect marine species. This is of particular concern for acoustically-specialized species, such as dolphins. In order to ascertain the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on these animals, baseline information is required for defini...
Article
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Coastal areas, and thus coastal species, are at increasing risk from human activities. Sections of the coastline of Western Australia are undergoing intense coastal development to fulfil commercial, industrial, and recreational requirements. Multiple populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) occur around this coastline; however, small c...