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How do birds compose their music? Modelling ecological patterns in bird song data

MACSI at the department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Limerick invites you to a seminar

Date: Friday, 10th May, Room A2-002 at 4p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Rafael de Andrade Moral (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Maynooth University)

Title: : How do birds compose their music? Modelling ecological patterns in bird song data

Abstract: Biomusicology is the study of animal singing in biological populations. It is an increasingly growing interdisciplinary area of science, especially as a new branch of ecological studies. Sound traits such as frequency, amplitude, period (among many others) can be used to study evolutionary and ecological processes related to the emission and reception of acoustic signals. In this work, we model the mean and dispersion of the fundamental frequency of perching bird songs to study how their phylogeny and functional ecology influence their singing. We then propose a joint model for the duration, minimum and maximum frequencies of the bird songs, based on the multivariate covariance generalized linear modelling framework. Our results suggest that modelling the mean alone would not reveal the contribution of musical pitch variability to microevolutionary and ecological processes of Neotropical perching birds. We discuss model implementation problems and present ideas for further studies. This is work in collaboration with Wagner Bonat (Federal University of Paraná, Brazil), Joe Timoney (Maynooth University), Mateus Mendes (University of Campinas, Brazil), and Luciano Verdade (University of São Paulo, Brazil).

Further Information: If you have any questions regarding this seminar, please direct them to Romina Gaburro (061 2131930, email  or Clifford Nolan (061 202766),

Supported by Science Foundation Ireland funding, MACSI - the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (, centred at the University of Limerick, is dedicated to the mathematical modelling and solution of problems which arise in science, engineering and industry in Ireland.