Jesse Barber is a Professor in the Department of Biology at Boise State University where he leads the Sensory Ecology Lab. His group integrates research and conservation practice on sensory ecology and sensory pollution with a robust public engagement program to protect biodiversity and advance ecological theory. He has spent much of his career studying the ecological consequences of loud and bright sensory environments for bats, birds, and insects. His lab’s work, along with a growing community of scholars, has shown that human-caused noise and light-at-night are indeed pollutants, with consequences on par with other drivers of biodiversity decline. Importantly, these sensory pollutants interact with climate in inextricable ways that connect solutions. Making the world quieter and darker reduces energy use, protects biodiversity, and improves human experience in nature.
His lab has extensive previous and ongoing work attempting to understand how to mitigate the costs of noise and light pollution for wildlife and people in a socio-ecological framework.
“At the core of Leave No Trace principles is coexistence between natural ecosystems and people. By behaving in ways that make the world darker and quieter, we can simultaneously benefit people and wildlife.”
Sensory pollutants alter bird phenology and fitness across a continent. M Senzaki, JR Barber, JN Phillips, NH Carter, CB Cooper, MA Ditmer, … Nature 587 (7835), 605-609
Anthropogenic noise alters bat activity levels and echolocation calls. JP Bunkley, CJW McClure, NJ Kleist, CD Francis, JR Barbe Global Ecology and Conservation 3, 62-71
Why conservation biology can benefit from sensory ecology. DM Dominoni, W Halfwerk, E Baird, RT Buxton, E Fernández-Juricic, … Nature Ecology & Evolution 4 (4), 502-511