Laura Kloepper

Laura Kloepper

Assistant Professor
Phone: (603) 862-3897
Office: UNH COLSA Biological Sciences, Spaulding Room 248, Durham, NH 03824

Dr. Laura Kloepper's research explores how animals use acoustics to sense and navigate their world and how we can use acoustics to monitor animal populations. Specifically, using bats as her primary model organism, she investigates the link between acoustics and locomotion in actively sensing animals, the behavior of animals in groups, and passive acoustic approaches to estimate animal populations. This research combines acoustic recordings with thermal, infrared, and 3D video tracking to understand acoustic behavior in concert with animal movement. Her work is primarily field based and uses mobile platforms for data collection including drones, zip-lines, and falconry.

Current projects in the Ecological Acoustics and Behavior Lab include:

-Investigating how bats modify echolocation and flight behavior when in dense groups and under high-speed flight
-Understanding rules that govern the interactions of bats flying in groups
-Using passive acoustics to census populations of animals in dense groups including bats, frogs, and seabirds

Techniques in our lab can be used to investigate animal acoustic behavior across taxa. Past projects with students include work with dolphins, whales, shrews, owls, and giraffes.

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 412/412H: Intro Biol: Evol Biodiv & Ecol
  • BIOL/NSB 827/727: Animal Communication

Education

  • Ph.D., Zoology/Animal Biology, University of Hawaii Manoa

Research Interests

  • Acoustics
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal Communication
  • Ecology and Population
  • Mammalogy
  • Unmanned Aircraft/Drones
  • Wildlife & Habitat Management/Conservation
  • Zoology

Selected Publications

  • Brighton, C. H., Zusi, L., McGowan, K. A., Kinniry, M., Kloepper, L. N., & Taylor, G. K. (2021). Aerial attack strategies of hawks hunting bats, and the adaptive benefits of swarming. Behavioral Ecology, 32(3), 464-476. doi:10.1093/beheco/araa145

  • McGowan, K. A., & Kloepper, L. N. (2020). Different as night and day: wild bats modify echolocation in complex environments when visual cues are present. Animal Behaviour, 168, 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2020.07.025

  • Fu, Y., Kinniry, M., & Kloepper, L. N. (2018). The Chirocopter: A UAV for recording sound and video of bats at altitude. METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 9(6), 1531-1535. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12992

  • Kloepper, L. N., & Kinniry, M. (n.d.). Recording animal vocalizations from a UAV: bat echolocation during roost re-entry. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26122-z

  • Kloepper, L. N., & Bentley, I. (2017). Stereotypy of group flight in Brazilian free-tailed bats. Animal Behaviour, 131, 123-130. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.07.019

  • Kloepper, L. N., Linnenschmidt, M., Blowers, Z., Branstetter, B., Ralston, J., & Simmons, J. A. (2016). Estimating colony sizes of emerging bats using acoustic recordings. Royal Society Open Science, 3(3), 160022. doi:10.1098/rsos.160022

  • Kloepper, L. N., Nachtigall, P. E., Donahue, M. J., & Breese, M. (2012). Active echolocation beam focusing in the false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215(8), 1306-1312. doi:10.1242/jeb.066605

  • Kloepper, L. N., Nachtigall, P. E., Gisiner, R., & Breese, M. (2010). Decreased echolocation performance following high-frequency hearing loss in the false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(21), 3717-3722. doi:10.1242/jeb.042788