Michael Towsey

Michael Towsey
Queensland University of Technology | QUT · School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

PhD

About

145
Publications
27,977
Reads
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2,379
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2004 - December 2015
Queensland University of Technology
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Our lab develops techniques to navigate, search and visualize terrabytes of acoustic data. We focus on environmental recordings for ecologists. We also develop techniques for animal call recognition and for the sampling of long duration recordings.

Publications

Publications (145)
Article
Full-text available
Continuous recording of environmental sounds could allow long-term monitoring of vocal wildlife, and scaling of ecological studies to large temporal and spatial scales. However, such opportunities are currently limited by constraints in the analysis of large acoustic data sets. Computational methods and automation of call detection require speciali...
Article
One quarter of all terrestrial native bird species have become extinct since human arrival in New Zealand, leading to a pervasive silence in many natural environments due to the decrease in native bird song. Passive acoustic techniques are a potential tool for environmental monitoring, especially for testing whether the control of mammals can rever...
Technical Report
Full-text available
An ecological burn within French Island National Park was conducted on 3 April 2021. The area burnt was on the eastern boundary of McLeod West (Block 3) over an area of approximately 267.4 Ha. The two objectives of the McLeod West burn were: 1. Primary Land Management Objective: to promote ecological resilience in the heathland (sands) by manipula...
Article
Fauna surveys are traditionally manual, and hence limited in scale, expensive, and labour intensive. Low‐cost hardware and storage mean that acoustic recording now has the potential to efficiently build scale in terrestrial fauna surveys, both spatially and temporally. With this aim, we have constructed the Australian Acoustic Observatory. It provi...
Article
Detecting presence and inferring absence are both critical in species monitoring and management. False-negatives in any survey methodology can have significant consequences when conservation decisions are based on incomplete results. Marsh birds are notoriously difficult to detect, and current survey methods rely on traditional labor-intensive meth...
Article
This study aims to recognise frog choruses using false-colour spectrograms and machine learning algorithms with acoustic indices. This can be a useful solution for improving the efficiency of long-term acoustic monitoring. Acid frogs, our target species, are a group of endemic frogs that are particularly sensitive to habitat change and competition...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas (PAs) monitoring is a technical bottleneck that limits the implementation of decision-making processes for natural resource and wildlife management. Recent methodological advances make passive acoustic monitoring and associated acoustic index analysis an increasingly suitable method for PAs monitoring. Acoustic indices are mathemati...
Article
Acoustic monitoring provides opportunities for scaling up bioacoustic study of vocal animals to greater temporal and spatial scales. However, the large amounts of audio that can be easily and efficiently collected necessitates automated methods of analysis to extract useful ecological data. Acoustic indices have been used in spectrographic visualis...
Article
This research explores the data selection problem in acoustic recognition of two co-existing sibling frog species from long-duration field recordings. This study explores the data selection problem in species recognition with machine learning, including instance selection and acoustic index feature selection. Our target species are two co-existing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This research explores the recognition of choruses of two co-existing sibling frog species in long-duration field recordings using false-colour spectrograms and acoustic indices. Acid frogs are a group of endemic frogs that are particularly sensitive to habitat change and competition from other species. The Wallum Sedgefrog (Litoria olongburensis)...
Article
Long-term recordings of acoustic signals allow us to reveal biological patterns not previously available. We aimed to determine the patterns of chorusing of the invasive cane toad, Rhinella marina, in a tropical savanna region in Australia where they are common and investigate the influence of environmental variables. We collected continuous acoust...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid decreases in frog populations have been spotted worldwide, which are regarded as one of the most critical threats to the global biodiversity. Recent advances in acoustic sensors provide a novel way to assess frog vocalizations and further optimize the global protection policy. Specifically, frog populations can be reflected by detecting frog...
Article
Long duration acoustic monitoring is becoming an increasingly popular approach to extend survey effort by using autonomous sensors to passively collect data over large temporal and spatial scales. This is of particular benefit when attempting to detect a species whose temporal vocalization strategy is unknown, and whose small population size reduce...
Article
1.Selective logging in tropical forests changes the local number of animal species (alpha diversity), but it also likely affects species turnover (beta diversity). Whilst such changes are documented in many ecosystems under different disturbances, they are poorly understood in selectively logged tropical forests. 2.By using soundscape recordings ac...
Conference Paper
Audio recordings are playing an ever more important role in environmental conservation, however as many of these recordings can be thousands of hours long it becomes impossible for a human to listen to them. There already exist several methods of visualising this long-duration data, and each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages that ma...
Article
Full-text available
The key to this provocation is the spectrogram with its beautiful bands of colours. This image represents 44 days of recorded acoustic data which has been subject to false- colour imagery in the same way that satellite images are represented. The soundscape was captured to help ecologists understand the migration patterns of the endangered North At...
Article
1.This paper presents an active learning framework for the classification of one‐minute audio‐recordings derived from long‐duration recordings of the environment. The goal of the framework is to investigate the efficacy of active learning on reducing the manual annotation effort required to label a large volume of acoustic data according to its dom...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper demonstrates empirically that simple recurrent networks (SRNs) can be more efficient learners when their nodes are sparsely connected rather than fully connected. Small increases in generalisation accuracy and learning speed are achieved when the number of hidden units is increased, while maintaining the same number of weights in the net...
Article
Full-text available
Long-duration recordings of the natural environment have many advantages in passive monitoring of animal diversity. Technological advances now enable the collection of far more audio than can be listened to, necessitating the development of scalable approaches for distinguishing signal from noise. Computational methods, using automated species reco...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past decade, frog biodiversity has rapidly declined due to many problems including habitat loss and degradation, introduced invasive species, and environmental pollution. Frogs are greatly important to improve the global ecosystem and it is ever more necessary to monitor frog biodiversity. One way to monitor frog biodiversity is to record...
Article
Full-text available
Audio recordings of the environment are an increasingly important technique to monitor biodiversity and ecosystem function. While the acquisition of long-duration recordings is becoming easier and cheaper, the analysis and interpretation of that audio remains a significant research area. The issue addressed in this paper is the automated reduction...
Data
Site information. Site photographs and a list of bird species found at each site. (PDF)
Data
Cluster statistics. Complete sets of the temporal distribution plots, radar plots, polar histograms for each of the 60 clusters. (PDF)
Data
Sample minutes. Links to the 1200 minutes used to help determine the cluster contents. (PDF)
Article
There have been various studies using automated recognisers of acoustic features and machine learning algorithms to classify frog species within a chorusing community. Such studies rarely consider within-species call variation in the classification process. Individual frog species may make a range of different calls, with different purposes. Includ...
Article
Over the past decade, dramatic declines in frog populations have been noticed worldwide. To examine this decline, monitoring frogs is becoming increasingly important. Compared to traditional field survey methods, recent advances in acoustic sensor technology have greatly extended spatial and temporal scales for monitoring animal populations. In thi...
Article
This paper considers computer-assisted learning of sound spectra in environmental recordings to facilitate manual bird species identification. Today, a variety of automated methods have been successfully applied for acoustic recognition of specific bird species. These methods are more effective for single targeted species detection. For in-field re...
Article
Full-text available
There is global concern about tropical forest degradation, in part, because of the associated loss of biodiversity. Communities and indigenous people play a fundamental role in tropical forest management and they are often efficient at preventing forest degradation. However, monitoring changes in biodiversity due to degradation, especially at a sca...
Poster
Cane-toads (Bufo marinus) are introduced to Australia to negate the insect pests. However, cane-toad population is out of control, and has highly affected native frog species for its great reproductive capacity. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor cane-toads and control their population. Recent advances in acoustic sensors make it possible to mon...
Chapter
Ecoacoustics analysis is becoming an important way to quantify ecological aspects of the landscape. This chapter focuses on the analysis of periodic and long-duration acoustic recordings, including analysis of multiple recordings, for the purpose of understanding the temporal patterns and phenology of the sites under study. It also considers the us...
Article
Full-text available
Frog population has been declining the past decade for habitat loss, invasive species, climate change, and so forth. Therefore, it is becoming ever more important to monitor the frog population. Recent advances in acoustic sensors make it possible to collect frog vocalizations over large spatio-temporal scale. Through the detection of frog calling...
Article
Acoustics is a rich source of environmental information that can reflect the ecological dynamics. To deal with the escalating acoustic data, a variety of automated classification techniques have been used for acoustic patterns or scene recognition, including urban soundscapes such as streets and restaurants; and natural soundscapes such as raining...
Conference Paper
Frog population has been declining the past decade for habitat loss, invasive species, climate change, and so forth. Therefore, it is becoming ever more important to monitor the frog population. Recent advances in acoustic sensors make it possible to collect frog vocalizations over large spatio-temporal scale. Through the detection of frog calling...
Conference Paper
The sounds of animals leave remarkable traces of information about their habitat. Ecologists use environmental sound as a proxy to monitor the environment. This has led to the collection of massive sound archives, posing a big data problem of how to investigate it all. Visualization can transform aural information into visual representations summar...
Article
Frogs are often considered as excellent indicators of the overall state of the natural environment, but a steady decrease in the frog population has been noticed worldwide. To monitor this change of frog population and optimise the protection policy, frog call classification has become an important bioacoustic research topic. However, automatic aco...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we propose an adaptive frequency scale filter bank to perform frog call classification. After preprocessing, the acoustic signal is segmented into individual syllables from which spectral peak track is extracted. Then, syllable features including track duration, dominant frequency, and oscillation rate are calculated. Next, a k-means...
Conference Paper
Frog call classification has received increasing attention due to its importance for ecosystem. Traditionally, the classification of frog calls is solved by means of the single-instance single-label classification classifier. However, since different frog species tend to call simultaneously, classifying frog calls becomes a multiple-instance multip...
Article
Advances in programmable field acoustic sensors provide immense data for bird species study. Manually searching for bird species present in these acoustic data is time-consuming. Although automated techniques have been used for species recognition in many studies, currently these techniques are prone to error due to the complexity of natural acoust...
Article
Environmental changes have put great pressure on biological systems leading to the rapid decline of biodiversity. To monitor this change and protect biodiversity, animal vocalizations have been widely explored by the aid of deploying acoustic sensors in the field. Consequently, large volumes of acoustic data are collected. However, traditional manu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bioacoustic monitoring has become a significant research topic for species diversity conservation. Due to the development of sensing techniques, acoustic sensors are widely deployed in the field to record animal sounds over a large spatial and temporal scale. With large volumes of collected audio data, it is essential to develop semi-automatic or a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Frogs have received increasing attention due to their effectiveness for indicating the environment change. Therefore, it is important to monitor and assess frogs. With the development of sensor techniques, large volumes of audio data (including frog calls) have been collected and need to be analysed. After transforming the audio data into its spect...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Acoustic recordings play an increasingly important role in monitoring terrestrial environments. However, due to rapid advances in technology, ecologists are accumulating more audio than they can listen to. Our approach to this big-data challenge is to visualize the content of long-duration audio recordings by calculating acoustic indices. These are...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Frog protection has become increasingly essential due to the rapid decline of its biodiversity. Therefore, it is valuable to develop new methods for studying this biodiversity. In this paper, a novel feature extraction method is proposed based on perceptual wavelet packet decomposition for classifying frog calls in noisy environments. Pre-processin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Frog species have been declining worldwide at unprecedented rates in the past decades. There are many reasons for this decline including pollution, habitat loss, and invasive species [1]. To preserve, protect, and restore frog biodiversity, it is important to monitor and assess frog species. In this paper, a novel method using image processing tech...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a system to analyze long field recordings with low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for bio-acoustic monitoring. A method based on spectral peak track, Shannon entropy, harmonic structure and oscillation structure is proposed to automatically detect anuran (frog) calling activity. Gaussian mixture model (GMM) is introduced for modell...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Acoustic classification of anurans (frogs) has received increasing attention for its promising application in biological and environment studies. In this study, a novel feature extraction method for frog call classification is presented based on the analysis of spectrograms. The frog calls are first automatically segmented into syllables. Then, spe...
Article
Acoustic sensors allow scientists to scale environmental monitoring over large spatiotemporal scales. The faunal vocalisations captured by these sensors can answer ecological questions, however, identifying these vocalisations within recorded audio is difficult: automatic recognition is currently intractable and manual recognition is slow and error...
Article
Full-text available
Acoustic recordings of the environment are an important aid to ecologists monitoring biodiversity and environmental health. However, rapid advances in recording technology, storage and computing make it possible to accumulate thousands of hours of recordings, of which, ecologists can only listen to a small fraction. The big-data challenge addressed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Environmental monitoring has become increasingly important due to the significant impact of human activities and climate change on biodiversity. Environmental sound sources such as rain and insect vocalizations are a rich and underexploited source of information in environmental audio recordings. This paper is concerned with the classification of r...
Article
Full-text available
Temporal and environmental variation in vocal activity can provide information on avian behaviour and call function not available to short-term experimental studies. Inter-sexual differences in this variation can provide insight into selection effects. Yet factors influencing vocal behaviour have not been assessed in many birds, even those monitore...
Article
In a total solar eclipse, the Moon completely covers the Sun, casting a shadow several hundred km wide across the face of the Earth. This paper describes observations of the 14 November 2012 total eclipse of the Sun visible from north Queensland, Australia. The edge of the umbra was captured on video during totality, and this video is provided for...
Conference Paper
Environmental monitoring is becoming critical as human activity and climate change place greater pressures on biodiversity, leading to an increasing need for data to make informed decisions. Acoustic sensors can help collect data across large areas for extended periods making them attractive in environmental monitoring. However, managing and analys...