TROPICAL BIOACOUSTICS SCHOOL
A 10-day immersion into the bioacoustics of the Amazonian rainforest...
Situated in the heart of the rainforest in French Guiana, TBS is a unique 10-day field course, built as an immersive learning experience.
TBS is organized by experts from ENES at the University of Saint-Etienne, the University of Southern Denmark, the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, and the Office Français de la Biodiversité.
With a limited enrollment of 12 students, the Tropical Bioacoustics School offers an exclusive opportunity to study bioacoustics and ecoacoustics in one of the world's most unique and biodiverse environments.
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
DATES: Nov. 20 - 30, 2023
Note that it is necessary to arrive a few days before in Cayenne, and to leave a few days after.
We decline all responsibility if you do not show up on Monday 20 for the helicopter pick-up. The helicopter will not wait for you!
A stay in the Amazon forest is always an adventure. We decline any responsibility if the trips to and from the field stations are modified for reasons beyond our control.
N.B. The course is open to people who already have some knowledge of bioacoustics. If you have no background in bioacoustics, we encourage you to apply first for the Bioacoustics Winter School, (2 weeks, organized every January) the Graduate Summer Course in Bioacoustics, (17 days, every two years) or the International Master of Bioacoustics MOBI.
Tuition fees: 350 €
N.B. the normal tuition fees for TBS is €3750. Thanks to the subsidies we have obtained, it is €350 for the 2023 session. This reduced rate applies to all students, regardless of their nationality.
The fees include: transportation to and from Cayenne to the field station, accommodation and food in the field for the duration of the school, teaching fees.
The fees do not include: transportation to Cayenne from the student's home country, hotel nights and stay in Cayenne (it is essential to arrive in Cayenne at least 2 nights before the start of the school, and to allow at least 2 nights after returning from the field), personal insurance for travel and repatriation (mandatory), personal belongings (including a GPS and a hammock), and any other items not specified in the list of items included in the Tuition fees above.
Click here to get the application form
DEADLINE for application : MAY 20.
The decision will be communicated by MID-JUNE.
The registration process and the payment have to be completed before JULY 15 (more info will be given to successful applicants).
Notice that the competition for TBS is extremely tough. Due to security constraints and the capacity of the biological field stations, only 12 students will be selected. The major selection criteria are
- knowledge of bioacoustics. TBS is reserved for people who already have some knowledge of bioacoustics. If you are a beginner in this field, we encourage you to first get a training course organised in Europe, either by ENES at the University of Saint-Etienne (Bioacoustics Winter School, International Master of Bioacoustics) or by the University of Southern Denmark (Summer School in Bioacoustics).
- motivation and interest
- ability to live in a group in a totally isolated environment
- ability to follow safety instructions, to keep your cool, to be in a good mood, to be flexible about living conditions (food, sleeping conditions, sanitary facilities, etc).
Objective of the course:
The Tropical Bioacoustics School will aim to train people in the bioacoustics diversity that characterizes rainforests, and specifically the Amazonian rainforest. The courses will be organized along 3 axes: 1) understanding bioacoustics communities (nature and function of acoustic signals emitted by animals), 2) understanding the conservation issues of these environments (network analysis, propagation constraints, acoustic niche), 3) training in the use of tools for monitoring acoustic biodiversity (spatio-temporal sampling strategies of acoustic sensors, signal analysis, acoustic biodiversity indices).
Academic positioning: The Tropical Bioacoustics School is a unique program bringing together the skills of Danish and French academics specialized in bioacoustics. The TBS is open to students already engaged in the field of bioacoustics (master students, PhD students, post-docs) and professionals who wish to learn about bioacoustics and ecoacoustics topics specific to tropical forests. The TBS will lead to a university diploma of the University of Saint-Etienne entitled "Diploma of Tropical Bioacoustics". Any student who passes the exam will be awarded 6 ECTS.
Teaching load and location: The teaching will be done exclusively in the field, at the Nouragues biological Research Stations (French Guyana; https://www.leeisa.cnrs.fr/plateformes/station-scientifique-des-nouragues/). The number of teaching hours officially counted will be 80 hours. However, as this is field work, the hours will be totally flexible and particularly demanding (e.g. night work).
Prerequisites for students: The Tropical Bioacoustics School is open to people who have already practiced bioacoustics. Proof of basic knowledge in this field will be required. An excellent physical and mental condition is essential (e.g., ability to walk several hours in the forest with uneven terrain; ability to live in an isolated environment without the possibility of contacting the outside world by telephone; ability to live in a community under spartan conditions - sleeping in hammocks, cold showers, collective meal, day and night work -N.B. the meals will be prepared by a cook and you must be able to be flexible about the food. A medical certificate of fitness for walking and outdoor life will be required, as well as proof of vaccination against yellow fever. It is also essential to take an anti-malarial medication. In case of severe incapacity to live on the station, the organizing team reserves the right not to accept the person at the departure of Cayenne, or to send the person back to Cayenne by helicopter at its expense.
Mandatory equipment (each student has to bring its owns): GPS device, laptop, rainboots, hammock and 360° mosquito net, 2 head lamps. More details will be given to enrolled students.
Nicolas Mathevon, Professor, ENES Bioacoustics Lab, University of St-Etienne, Director of the Bioacoustics Tropical School
Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, Professor, University of Southern Denmark
Pierre-Michel Forget, Professor, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris
Nicolas Grimault, Research Director, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Ole Larsen, Professor, University of Southern Denmark
Frédéric Sèbe, Associate Professor & Researcher, ENES Bioacoustics Lab & Office Français de la Biodiversité
Jérôme Sueur, Associate Professor, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris
Nicolas Boyer, technician, ENES Bioacoustics Lab
PROGRAM (November 2023)
Monday November 20:
pick-up at the Hotel "La Marmotte" in Cayenne
transfer by helicopter to the field station "Les Nouragues Inselberg"
Tuesday November 21 to Monday 27:
Lectures, practicals & field projects around the station
Hike to the 2nd field station "Les Nouragues Parare" (6-8 hours of hiking through the forest)
day around the field station
back to Cayenne by pirogue (6-8 hours)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: the students should arrive in Cayenne 2 days before the beginning school, and plan to leave Cayenne 2 days after the end of the school. The dates and times of departure and return to the field may change due to weather conditions, etc. The organisers decline all responsibility for any changes. Stays in Cayenne must be organised by the students and are not covered by TBS.
The Tropical Bioacoustics School will be a mix between classes, practical work and student-led projects.
- Project 1 "PIHA": This project will aim to decipher the acoustic network of the screaming piha, a lekking bird of the Amazonian forest.
- Project 2 "FRUGIVORY": This project will study the comparative sound diversity of frugivores vertebrates in Nutmeg trees during the low-fruit season.
- Project 3 "FROG": this project will investigate the acoustic communication in a rainforest frog.
- Project 4 "SOUNDSCAPES": This project will investigate the characteristics of the soundscapes along an altitudinal gradient.
Each student will participate to all projects - the projects can be modified depending on the field conditions.
The Tropical Bioacoustics School is financially supported by Labex CEBA, Labex CeLyA and the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Saint-Etienne.