Quantifying Similarity in Bird Calls

Naomi Harte

ICSI & Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
12:30 p.m., Conference Room 5A

Approaches to automatic bird species classification from their calls and songs have borrowed heavily from the field of speaker recognition. This talk will present work on a related but trickier topic: figuring out how similar calls from bird populations are. This is important for species delimitation, with subsequent implications for conservation. I will explore how separation metrics originally developed to quantify similarity of human speech dialects can be applied to bird calls.


Dr. Naomi Harte is a lecturer in Electronic Engineering at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. She was appointed as an SFI Engineering Initiative Lecturer in Digital Media in 2008, sponsored by DTS. She previously spent time as a Research Associate Academic in McMaster University in Canada. Prior to returning to academia, Naomi worked in high-tech start-ups in the field of DSP Systems Development, including her own start-up. Naomi’s specialist area is Human Speech Communication. Her industrial background brings a real-world approach to her research. Current projects focus on speech quality, audio-visual speech recognition, emotion in speech, ageing voices in speaker verification and bird species analysis. She is currently on sabbatical at ICSI in Berkeley.