Baker Consultants


Listening to the soil

Baker Consultants is currently undertaking pioneering research into the use of ecoacoustics to measure soil health. We are working the University of Warwick on a £250,000 DEFRA-funded research project to develop a method for listening to earthworm activity in the soil. We are also exploring how this approach could be used to monitor their population in the soil, without the need to dig worm-pits or take away samples for lab analysis.

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Ecoacoustic Surveys

Species that can be surveyed using these techniques include; bats, birds, and amphibians such as natterjack toad. We can also monitor the biodiversity of animals in freshwater including; water-boatmen, beetles and fish, and animals in soil such as earthworms, centipedes and woodlice.

The outputs from our surveys can be used for Environmental Impact Assessment, or within longer-term monitoring projects, enabling the success of projects to assessed, whether these are for Biodiversity Net Gain, rewilding or agricultural land management.

Why Baker Consultants?

Agri-Environment Monitoring and Biodiversity Net Gain

Our in-house ecoacoustic team is highly experienced in using the latest technology to gather robust, defensible data on a range of species and habitats, on land, in freshwater, and within soil. Innovation and robust science is at the heart of what we do. The ecoacoustic team has developed unique ways of collecting and analysing data to save time and money on your project. Remote monitoring of species and habitats removes surveyor bias and provides more robust data, which can be archived and reanalysed for long-term projects. Analysis of the overall ‘soundscape’ can also be used to more broadly assess ecosystem functions, such as habitat condition and soil health, providing a wider view of biodiversity and environmental quality over large areas or long timeframes.

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Innovation in Survey and Monitoring Techniques

Our ecoacoustic team offers an effective, scaleable and robust alternative to conventional survey techniques that can be more cost-efficient and defensible than standard approaches. Baker Consultants is at the forefront of developing these methods in the UK and globally, actively developing innovative new guidance and demonstration case-studies, backed-up by peer-reviewed research.

The services can be split into three distinct areas:

  • Field data collection – either as stand-alone ecoacoustic projects, or alongside traditional survey methods
  • Data analysis and consultancy
  • Interpretation, visualisation and reporting

Our ecoacoustics service can be applied to development-related projects within an Environmental Impact Assessment framework, but is also particularly useful for long-term monitoring projects, such as for Biodiversity Net Gain, rewilding, conservation or agri-environment schemes.


Pioneers of Ecoacoustic Methods

Future Vision

Ecoacoustics is a rapidly evolving field, with frequent advances in technology, field methods, and analysis techniques. As the scientific basis for ecoacoustics expands, we will enhance our ability to detect and understand the complex patterns of environmental sound. At the same time, the needs for consistent, scalable and long-term ecological data are becoming more critical, as clients and regulators become more aware of the importance of monitoring for conservation, research, and management purposes. Our company is highly adaptable and committed to staying at the forefront of these developments, using the latest techniques and technologies to meet the evolving needs of our clients. We are dedicated to providing high-quality ecoacoustic services that are tailored to the specific requirements of each project, ensuring that our clients receive the best possible outcomes.

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Ecoacoustics Survey Protocols and Methods

Terrestrial guidelines for ecoacoustics monitoring

The ecoacoustic team at Baker Consultants is leading the way in developing innovative methods, protocols and guidance for acoustic assessments of biodiversity. Research we have undertaken for DEFRA, Natural England and with a number of key universities is challenging the status quo of traditional survey methods and moving the industry towards better practice. In 2020 we won the Best Practice Award for Innovation at the CIEEM Awards for our pioneering work with heathland birds bioacoustic monitoring.

We have produced guidance for long-term ecoacoustic monitoring in terrestrial habitats, surveying ponds, and recording bird assemblages. These publications have helped transform cutting-edge scientific research into practical methods for consultants, conservationists and regulators.

Our Ecoacoustic Team

Dr. Carlos Abrahams, Director of Bioacoustics, has built our ecoacoustic team in parallel with the delivery of existing ecology services at Baker Consultants. He has unique experience in integrating the commercial applications of acoustic methods with scientific research. In particular, he is keen to develop knowledge exchange, so that evidence-based ecoacoustic methods can be employed in real-world applications, and by a wide range of participants.

Karthik Ashok is the ecoacoustic team’s Data-Scientist and Database Developer. He has international experience in the analysis of acoustic data from terrestrial and aquatic habitats.