BBC Radio 4 Today Programme Interview on woodworm detection on 22 June 2017 at 8:25am.
I was interviewed for the BBC to talk about my acoustic detection work involving insects.
The interview can be heard here:Woodworm on the BBC
Insect Festival 2017 will be held in the Hospitium (Yorkshire Museum
Gardens, York) on Sunday 2 July. It is a celebration of insects
and is orgnaised by the Royal Entomological Society
I will be there representing the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union and will
be exhibiting moths, photographs and other insects.
Information on National Insect Week (2016)
Moth Anthology", 20 February 2015 - an evening of sound and image
drawing inspiration from the nocturnal world of moths (Lawrence Sterne
Insect Festival 2015 (5 July, The Hospitium, Yorkshrie Museum Gardens)
to Stag Beetle Larvae, "Great British Wildlife Revival", BBC1 17:35, 1
BBC1 Yorkshire 7pm, 1 August 2013
Listening Day, BBC Radio York 7am, 9 June 2013
BBC1 Countryfile 26 May 2013
BBC FOUR Alien Nation
Series. Planet Ant: Inside the Colony, 23 March 2013
Older Radio/TV Appearances
A Moth Anthology - 20 February 2015
This was an evening of sound and vision organised by the
Lawrence Sterne Trust exploring moths via music (including Japanese
Koto playing), prose and poems (haiku). It was held iin the Rymer
Auditorium at York University and attracted more than 100 people.
My role was to introduce 10 Yorkshire moths and say something about
them. More information can be found at: http://www.shandyhallmoths.blogspot.co.uk
Insect Festival 2015
The Insect Festival is a biennial event organised by the Royal
Entomological Society at the Hospitium in the Yorkshire Museum Gardens
in York. It is a 1 day event and in 2015 more than 1,700 people
attended. I organised the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union stand
which had live moths, caterpillars and photographs of (mainly)
moths. The caterpillars are always popular with children.
It was a very busy day, from steeing up at 8am to closing at 4pm. The
photograph below ia me manning the stand.
Copyright Royal Entomological Society 2015
BBC1 Great British Wildlife Revival
This was the Urban programme in a series of 6 programmes and
involve Dr George McGavin and others looking at varioous urban settings
and wildlife. My part inthe programme was to listen to and record
the soudns of beetle larvae in decaying tree stumps and play the sounds
to George, including deliberate "stridulation" sounds made by stag
beetle larvae. I used vibration sensors originally designed for
detecting the larvae of quarantine beetles such as the Asian Longhorn
BBC1 Urban Jungle
This is a programme about urban wildlife in Yorkshire, from Hull to
Shipley and York. It is presented by Mike Dilger and Keeley Donovan. My
part in the programme is trapping moths at York Cemetery which is an
amazing haven for wildlife and definitely worth a visit (http://yorkcemetery.org.uk/
ran a 125W Robinson trap overnight and the filming was in the evening
showing me putting up the trap and a light above a sheet. We then ran
the light for a while. The camera crew came back the following morning
and filmed the moths. Unfortunately, the temeprature had dropped to
around 10°C so the number of moths was not huge.
I was interviewed live on BBC Radio York to talk about
soundscapes. The interview was held in a layby on the northern
York ring road (A19) so that the listners could get a feel for traffic
noise, and it was very noisy.
Perhaps the most fleeting and cryptic appearance on a television
programme! Countryfile visited Normandy Barracks in Leconfield to
look at conservation on the army vehicle training site. I went to
carry out some moth trapping but the weather was not very good and we
only caught 2 moths (Angle Shades and Purple Thorn). At the same
time, the SeaKing helicopter was being flown with thermal imaging
cameras to look for deer and we (myeslf and Alan Bakewell) were filmed
whilst at the light from around 30m above ground.
So, for a total of 4 seconds of the programme, I was shown walking along
and towards the moth light as shown in the 2 pictures below!
Me on path
Me approaching the moth light
BBC FOUR Alien Nation Series. Planet Ant: Inside the Colony, 23
The BBC Four programme on Ants looked at leaf cutter ants in
detail and actually created a real colony in Glasgow. Part of the
programme involved acoustics of ants stridulating, either for normal
communications or for alarm calls. My vibration sensing equipment
was used to record the sounds.
Older `Radio/TV Appearances
Yorkshire TV Calendar, Hasholme boat monitoring of archaeologists’ health. unknown date.
BBC Radio Humberside, November 1997
BBC Radio 4 Material World, 23/1/2003. Identifying bats from echolocation.
BBC Radio York, 21/7/2004. Orange Footman found in Yorkshire after 164 years.
BBC 2 Gardeners World Live, 2006. Moth trapping from Harlow Carr Gardens, Harrogate.
BBC 1 Nature of Britain, 2008 (Urban nature – local Yorkshire section), moth trapping York Cemetery.
BBC Radio 4 Nature “Insect Sounds”, 6/10/2009
BBC Radio York, breakfast programme 18/7/2013 discussing World Listening Day.
I am a Senior Lecturer in the Electronics Department
at the University of York specialising in the application of
electronics to biology, especially entomology. Most of my
on automated identification of species using bioacoustics or image
processing. I am also an entomologist specialising in Lepidoptera
(butterflies and moths), Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets and
bush-crickets) and Symphyta (sawflies) and am the Yorkshire
Naturalists' Union's Recorder for Orthoptera and Symphyta (also
Secretary to the Entomological Section). I am a Fellow of the
Royal Entomological Society, Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural
Engineers, Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics and a Chartered
I have recently been appointed one of three Vice Presidents of the Institution of Agricultural
Engineers to seve for 3 years (2016-2019).
Many of my entomological activities are on-site surveys, running
public moth trapping events and stands at various events such as the Insect
. My activities for 2017 can be found here.
Moth Trapping and
Events in 2017
|Moth and bat night
||Eastrington Ponds LNR near Howden
||ERYC, 01482 395320 (booking required)*
||York Cemetery from 8:30pm
||01904 610578 (booking required)
|Hospitium, Yorkhire Museum Gardens
|Royal Entomoligcal Society
||Oakhill LNR, Goole (SE728231)
||ERYC, 01482 395320 (booking required)*
|Moths at Shandy Hall, part of National Gardens Scheme
||Shandy Hall, Coxwold
||York Cemetery (2pm)
||01904 610578 (booking required)
* see the East Riding Countryside events brochure
Recent and current research projects include:
Identification of Leaf-mining Insects
using Image Processing
We are currently concentrating on developing algortihms for extracting
information about leaf mine shape and characteristics from the
background (leaf). We are targetting the mines of Cameraria
(Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner) which is a pest of Horse
Species Identification Dataloggers
This work, funded by the Natural History Musuem in London, developed
high specification dataloggers capable of detecting the ultrasoinic
calls of Speckled Bush-crickets (Leptophyes
) as wells as GPS location, temperature, humidity
and light intensity.
Noise Monitoring and Characterisation in
(part of the CAPACITIE project). A new PhD that will look at noise
monitoring using mobile phones and wearable devices. The difference
between this project and others is that we will be identifying noise
types rather than just measuring noise levels.
More information on my research can be found at: http://www.elec.york.ac.uk/research/audio/bioApps.html