Welcome to Dr. Arthur N. Popper's

Laboratory of Aquatic Bioacoustics

I have retired from my facutly position and no longer have a lab. 
Thus, I no longer supervise UMD undergraduate students, graduate students, or postdocs.

I do, however, continue my active involvement in research and other activities through collaborations and outreach. Some of my current activities include:

Research Interests
My research has primarily involved the study of hearing by aquatic organisms. Most work focuses on fishes, although studies have been done with other non-mammalian vertebrates. Our fish studies have focused on various aspects of hearing that range from behavioral investigations to determine what an animal can hear to physiological investigations of the responses of the ear and brain.

The majority of my work is now involved with studies on the effects of human-generated (anthropogenic) sound on aquatic organisms. This has resulted in a series of studies that explored behavioral and physiological effects of increased ambient sounds on fish. These studies have asked about effects of seismic air-guns, pile driving, and general increases in background sound levels on fish hearing and physiology.

Investigations in the past have ranged from basic questions concerning evolution and mechanisms of sound detection, investigations of hearing sensitivity, studies on the anatomy and ultrastructure of the ear, and many other topics (see publications link at left).


Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life
Over the past several years, I have been involved in the organization of several international meetings on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life.  Another meeting took place in 2013 in Budapest, with the proceedings published as a book co-edited with Dr. Anthony Hawkins.  The most recent meeting took place in Dublin in July, 2016 and papers from that meeting are avaialbe, open access, in the Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, volume 27.

Working with colleagues from around the world, we developed "guidelines" on the effects of noise on fishes and sea turtles. The report citation is below.

Popper, A.N., Hawkins, A.D., Fay, R.R., Mann, D., Bartol, S., Carlson, T., Coombs, S., Ellison, W.T., Gentry, R., Halvorsen, M.B., Løkkeborg, S., Rogers, P., Southall, B.L., Zeddies, D., Tavolga, W.N. (2014) Sound Exposure Guidelines for Fishes and Sea Turtles: A Technical Report prepared by ANSI-Accredited Standards Committee S3/SC1 and registered with ANSI. ASA S3/SC1.4 TR-2014. Springer and ASA Press, Cham, Switzerland. Link_

Since that report, my colleague Professor Anthony Hawkins and I have wrtten several additional papers germane to the topic effects of man-made sound on aquatic animals.

Hawkins, A. D., Pembroke, A., and Popper, A. N. (2015). Information gaps in understanding the effects of noise on fishes and invertebrates.  Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. 25:39-64. Link

 Hawkins, A. D. and Popper, A. N. (in press). A sound approach to assessing the impact of underwater noise on marine fishes and invertebrates.  ICES Journal of Marine Science. Link


My longtime colleague and friend Dr. Richard Fay and I have recently published our 25th co-authored paper.

Fay, R. R. and Popper, A. N. (2012). Fish hearing:  New perspectives from two “senior” bioacousticians. Brain, Behaviour and Evolution 792:215-217. DOI: 10.1159/000338719 Link

We are also very proud  and grateful that our former students and many colleagues have published a book in our honor, Fish Hearing and Bioacoustics edited by our colleague Dr. Joseph Sisneros.  A chapter in that book describes our collaboration of almost 45 years.

Popper, Arthur N. and Fay, Richard R. (2016). It Started in Hawai’i Kai: Reminiscences of 43 Years (and Counting) of Collaboration and Friendship.  In: Sisneros, J. A. (ed.) Fish Hearing and Bioacoustics: An Anthology in Honor of Arthur N. Popper and Richard R. Fay, Springer International Publishing, Chaim, Switzerland, pp. 31-52. Link


Papers on Effects of Pile Driving on FIshes

Halvorsen, M.B., Casper, B.M., Woodley, C.M., Carlson, T.J., and Popper, A.N. (2011).  Predicting and mitigating hydroacoustic impacts on fish from pile installations.  NCHRP Research Results Digest 363, Project 25-28, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. Link

Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M, Woodley, C. M., Carlson, T. J., and Popper, A. N. (2012). Threshold for onset of injury in Chinook salmon from exposure to impulsive pile driving sounds. PLoS ONE, 7(6) e38968. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038968. Link

Casper, B. M., Popper, A. N., Matthews, F., Carlson, T. J., and Halvorsen, M. B. (2012). Recovery of barotrauma injuries in Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha from exposure to pile driving sound. PLoS ONE, 7(6): e39593. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039593. Link  

Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M., Matthews, F., Carlson, T. J., and Popper, A. N. (2012). Effects of exposure to pile driving sounds on the lake sturgeon, Nile tilapia, and hogchoker. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  279, 4705-4714  doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.154.  Link.  

Casper, B. M., Smith, M. E., Halvorsen, M. B., Sun, H., Carlson, T. J., and Popper, A. N. (2013). Effects of exposure to pile driving sounds on fish inner ear tissues. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A, 166:352-360.  Link

Casper, B. M. Halvorsen, M. B., Mathews, F., Carlson, T. J., and Popper, A. N. (2013). Recovery of barotrauma injuries resulting from exposure to pile driving sounds in two sizes of hybrid striped bass. PLoS ONE, 8(9): e73844. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073844 Link  

Popper, A.  N.., Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M, and Carlson, T. J. (2013). U. S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Headquarters, Herndon, VA. Effects of Pile Sounds on Non-Auditory Tissues of Fish. OCS Study BOEM 2012-105. 60 pp. Link - reference OCS Study BOEM 2012-105

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