Marine mammals are known to produce sound in various behavioural contexts. In polar oceans, autonomous passive acoustic recorders therefore form of valuable and year-round source of information on marine mammals presence and behaviour. The presence of species-specific sounds does not only function as an indicator that the concerning species is present in the immediate vicinity of the recorder, but can also provide information the behaviorual context it is involved in.
Some sounds serve a purpose during the mating season, others are produced in foraging context. When and what kind of sound a species produces whill be determined by the species-specific behavioural ecology, as wekk as by abiotic, biotic and anthropgenic factors of the animals living environment, a concept known as acoustic ecology.
Acoustic ecology thereby describes the interaction between an animal and ints environment as mediated through sound. One of the core research ares of the Ocean Acoustic Lab is to understand the drivers that determine why, when and where animals produce sound.