Flower Echo Project

In this project, which is going on now for almost 10 years, I collect echo-acoustic fingerprints of bat-pollinated flowers, bat dispersed fruits and other bat dependent plants. We found sophisticated echo acoustic adaptations like the dish-shaped leaves of Marcgravia evenia in Cuba which act like acoustic beacons or the echo reflective pitchers of the pitcher plant Nepenthes hemsleyana, which lives in a mutualistic relationship with bats. Recently we also found sound absorbing structures in bat pollinated cacti, which make use of an acoustic contrast enhancement mechanism.

This is an echo sequence a nectar-feeding bat receives when approaching a Burmeistera flower. The sequence is generated by combining echolocation calls with impulse response recordings from the flower in a convolution.