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Dr Erica Morley

The impact of anthropogenic noise on non-marine UK species

As part of the Bioacoustics and Behavioural Ecology research group I work on a Defra funded project examining the impacts of anthropogenic noise on non-marine UK wildlife. I am particularly looking at impacts on threatened species. This work constitutes an initial assessment of what is known about the impacts of anthropogenic noise on non-marine biodiversity in the UK.


PhD Research: Auditory mechanics in Drosophila melanogaster

My PhD research examined hearing in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster with particular focus on receiver mechanics. Acoustic cues are important in the mating success of D. melanogaster. Males produce a species-specific courtship song by vibrating an outstretched wing in attempts to entice a female to mate. The particle velocity component of this stimulus can be heard by both males and females through the vibratory response of their antennae. Far from simply transducing mechanical displacements into neural signals the mechanosensory cells at the base of the antenna actively move the antenna to amplify quiet, low frequency sounds. My work focuses on further understanding the active auditory mechanics in the D. melanogaster auditory system with particular attention to directional sensitivity and the development of tools to stimulate the antenna at biologically relevant scales.

Research keywords

  • Bioacoustics
  • Insect audition
  • Sound production
  • Drosophila melanogaster

Research methods

  • Laser vibrometry
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Atomic force microscopy


  • Prof. Jérôme Casas & Thomas Steinmann IRBI Faculté des Sciences Université de Tours