Nicole Abate '20G

The Impact of Human-Induced Noise on Animals
Nicole Abate '20G

New research from Nicole Abate ‘20G was recently published in Metaleptea, the orthopterists’ society’s newsletter. The article, titled “Behaviorial response to multi-channel environmental noise: tracking noise-induced changes in daily locomotor patterns and mate attraction strategies in Acheta domesticus,” is based on research Abate completed for her master’s thesis and examines the effects of airborne, substrate borne and both air and substrate borne noise on crickets’ movement and mating. The work is also supported by a Theodore J. Cohn Research Grant. 

The Derry, New Hampshire native received her bachelor’s degree in zoology before joining the biological sciences master’s program.

COLSA: How would you explain your discipline and/or research to a non-scientist?

Nicole Abate: I study animal behavior, and my master's research focused on the effects of noise on cricket behavior.

COLSA: Why is your research important?

Nicole: Human-induced noise has been shown to have dramatic impacts on animal behavior, to the point where some species are at risk. It is important to know how different animals react to the noise we produce, even those we often overlook.

COLSA: Have you learned/discovered anything during your research that’s surprised you? If so, what?

Nicole: I was surprised by how much the noise we produce affects animals, especially during my own work with crickets.

COLSA: What do you consider your biggest challenge?

Nicole: The unpredictability of just everything. I had a lot of things in my way including power outages, pest control, and life in general. The only way I was able to compete my research was by keeping my focus on the big picture and asserting myself to those who may have stood in my way.

COLSA: What are you most proud of?

Nicole: I am proud of myself for completing my degree with so many obstacles that could have derailed me.

COLSA: Finally, tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself.

Nicole: I LOVE animals, I'm never more than a few feet from an animal at any point in time at home, work, school, and my internship. I've never understood people who don't have pets.

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