Behavioural Acoustic Research Facility

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Provides the tools necessary to enable an integrative approach to elucidate the mechanisms underlying variation in insect acoustic signaling behaviour

Areas of expertise

Our state-of-the-art Behavioural Acoustic Research Facility provides the tools necessary to enable an integrative approach to elucidate the mechanisms underlying variation in insect acoustic signaling behaviour, by employing bioacoustic, genetic, behavioural, physiological, and ecological methodologies. The research this infrastructure supports contributes to our understanding of a fundamental question in evolutionary biology: how heritable variation is maintained in traits that enhance fitness. This infrastructure could benefit Canada by developing applications for pest control and conservation. Dr. Bertram’s research on insect reproduction provides the necessary foundation for innovative control methods for orthopteran crop pests. Further, because enhancing genetic diversity is essential for managing species decline, Dr. Bertram’s genetic variance research could provide the foundation for innovative conservation methods. Ours is the only facility in Canada with the power to simultaneously analyze the numerous individuals required to quantify the genetic components underlying variation in these fitness-enhancing behaviours.

Research services

Electronic acoustic recording of insect mating signals

Bioacoustics, mating, signalling, ecological stoichiometry, social influences, genetic variation, indirect genetic effects, condition, temporally fluctuating selection

Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food



Sound proof chambers

Miniature sound isolation chambers are required to control the sound environment and to ensure individuals are acoustically isolated.

Acoustic data acquisition system


Calibrated acoustic recordings of multiple individuals simultaneously. Data acquisition hardware and software coordinate the simultaneous recording of hundreds of signaling insects. Microphones record each signal and special software analyzes the signals in real time. Data acquisition hardware and software also coordinate play-back experiments.

Insect rearing facility

Shelves, lights, containers, and a growth chamber to aid in insect rearing.

Morphological and physiological analysis system

Photographic equipment, imaging software, tissue homogenizers, rotary evaporators and other miscellaneous lab-ware used to quantify insect morphological and physiological variation.

  • University of Toronto
  • University of Ottawa