Beth Mortimer

Research Interests

For many diverse organisms, the physical environment is more than a habitat – it is a platform through which they send and receive information. From elephants to spiders, vibrations that propagate along surfaces are used for biological information about other organisms and their environment, where the implications of anthropogenic noise are largely unknown. Humans may also be able to eavesdrop on the vibrations animals generate to remotely and non-invasively infer their presence and status for remote monitoring and conservation applications. My interdisciplinary research group studies how and why animals use mechanical senses for information, with a particular focus on surface-bound vibrations, including seismic vibrations. Ongoing projects currently include elephant seismology (understanding how elephants use seismic vibrations; how we can use these vibrations to remotely monitor their behaviours; uses seismology and biology fieldwork approaches, multimodal sensors and machine learning), and vibrational communication in arthropods (vibration generation, propagation and sensing, including species comparisons; experimental field manipulations of physical environment and noise).

Qualifications & Experience

BA Biological Sciences/MA (Oxon); PGCE Primary Education (Oxford Brookes); DPhil Zoology (Oxon); Student supervision at DPhil level since 2015; Student supervision at Bachelors or Masters level since 2012 at Universities at Oxford and Bristol


Personal Research Keywords

animal behaviour, remote monitoring, seismic vibrations, African elephants, anthropogenic noise, bioacoustics