Baker Consultants

Soil Ecoacoustics: The Sound of Restored Soil

As part of our ongoing research and guidance development at Baker Consultants, Carlos Abrahams has been working with former colleague, Jake Robinson, on a variety of research projects over the last few years.

Carlos and Jake’s projects have been looking at ways in which we can apply the science of ecoacoustics and bioacoustics to ecosystem assessment and habitat management practice, so that they can supporting initiatives such as biodiversity net gain, rewilding and regenerative agriculture.

The latest piece of research, conducted alongside Jake and Martin Breed from Flinders University, is a study entitled “The Sound of Restored Soil: Measuring Soil Biodiversity in a Forest Restoration Chronosequence with Ecoacoustics“.

“This is the first known study to assess the sounds of soil biodiversity in a forest restoration context, paving the way for more comprehensive studies and practical applications to support global ecosystem recovery. Furthermore, we found that soil ecoacoustics has the potential to support restoration ecology/biodiversity assessments, providing a minimally intrusive, cost-effective and rapid surveying tool”, said Carlos, Director of Bioacoustics at Baker Consultants and senior author of the paper.

Jake, a microbial and restoration ecologist, had been working on soil and air genomics to understand how microbial communities influence both ecosystem functions and human health. He developed an interest in bioacoustics whilst working at Baker Consultants previously and began wondering if the sounds of soil biota could be detected and whether this could help monitor ecosystem restoration. Following their study, lead author Jake said, “ecoacoustics can contribute toward overcoming the profound challenge of quantifying the effectiveness of forest restoration interventions in reinstating target species, functions and ecosystem services.”

Co-author, Martin Breed, said, “it’s a fascinating time to be in ecology. I love how ecoacoustics (and eDNA) is doing this great reveal of the unseen diversity of life. So many opportunities to apply this technology in our quest to restore global ecosystems!”

Our ground-breaking (pardon the pun) soil ecoacoustics study comes at an exciting time for the field as the new UKAN ecoacoustics guidance document, co-produced by Carlos, will be released in a few days’ time. This document will provide best-practice guidelines on how to apply long-term ecoacoustics monitoring techniques to the terrestrial biodiversity in the UK.

The full paper can be found here.

And a short article has also been published in this week’s New Scientist.


To explore how the use of ecoacoustics could help your biodiversity project, please get in touch at