What do we do ?

Our team is dedicated to the study of vocal communication processes of animals in their natural environment. We use a multi-disciplinary approach :

  • Signal processing and Big data analysis (sound analysis & synthesis software, noise extraction methods, localisation, Machine learning,…)
  • Animal behavior and Cognition (use of acoustic/visual/olfactory lures to decipher recognition mechanisms, operant conditioning, multi-sensor tag attached to animals)
  • Imaging methods (MRI, Synchroton X-Ray)
  • Biological analysis (DNA, biochemical analyses such as GC-MS).

Our team belongs to the Department of Cognitive Neurosciences at the Paris-Saclay Institute of Neurosciences.



What’s New ?


November 2023

Andréa Thiebault attended the XXVⅢ International Bioacoustics Congress at Hokkaido University (Sapporo campus) in Japan to present some playback data on African penguins. IBAC 2023


August 2023

Fieldwork in Madagascar tagging humpback whales with our long-term collaborator CETAMA. We did some very cool playback experiments with Charlotte Curé and Loanne Pichot !!


March 2023

Congratulations to Olivier and Andréa for their publications in Acoustiques et Techniques, issue 98, 2023 (only in French).








January 2023

Participation de Fanny Rybak à la conférence « La Nature et ses musiques : rechercher, enregistrer, composer, transmettre », à la Philarmonie de Paris. https://philharmoniedeparis.fr/fr/activite/colloque/24519-la-nature-et-ses-musiques

December 2022

Participation d’Isabelle Charrier au forum « Pour protéger les sons du vivant » (in French only !) à la Philarmonie de Paris. https://pad.philharmoniedeparis.fr/forum-pour-proteger-les-sons-du-vivant.aspx

November 2022

Isabelle and Mathilde spent one month in Namibia to study mother-pup vocal communication and finalise some studies for Mathilde’s PhD thesis ! Last fieldwork season for Mathilde… Again, many playback experiments done, and we got lucky by sighting several times a brown hyena during our early morning trip to the colony at Pelican Point.


Octobre 2022

A new video on our Youtube Channel ! The work done by Maevatiana during the 2022 breeding season of Humpback whales in Madagascar, 12 CATS cam deployments on calves ! Well done Maeve and Cetamada !

 August 2022

The team is out !! Fieldwork in Madagascar for Maevatiana and Olivier, studying mother-calf social interactions in Humpback whales, but also fieldwork in Australia for Isabelle doing some audio recordings of Australian sea lions at Seal Bay Conservation Park on Kangaroo island. 

June 2022

A documentary (15 min, in French only) has been done by Emma Fourreau, a student from IFFCAM (Institut Francophone de formation au cinema animalier de Ménigoute), on our research on the European Robin. Our guest stars: Fanny Rybak and Thierry Aubin. 


June 2022

Andréa, Chloé and Thierry in Cape Town to do some fieldwork on African penguins and communication at sea, acoustic recordings and lots of playback tests done, more results coming soon, stay tunes !

Nov 2021 – January 2022

Mathilde and Isabelle were doing some fieldwork in Namibia to study mother-pup vocal recognition, as well as neighbour vocal recognition in territorial males.

July 2021

On July 22, Fanny has been invited to the Quai Branly museum to talk about the wildlife sounds (in French only).


July 2021

Andréa just came back from her first fieldwork session on the AFNAP project. Check out the project’s webpage for some news!

June 2021

Two book chapters from Isabelle published in the new book « Ethology and Behavioural Ecology of Otariids and the Odobenid » edited by Claudio Campagna and Rob Harcourt. 

A great book, with everything you need to know about otariids and walrus 🙂




June 2021

New paper on vocal production in two subantarctic seabirds published in Behavioural Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arab020.

Congratulations to Charlène Gemard, another paper from her PhD work. 




A new paper on olfaction abilities in California Sea lions published in Physiology and Behaviour. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2021.113408

Congratulations to Jules Brochon, our former Master student !




May 2021

Fanny published a paper in French on the website « Planet Vie » on how and why do birds sing ? »


April 2021

After nearly 13 months without any fieldwork, Mathilde and Isa are back to South Africa to investigate the vocal communication of Cape fur seals ! A real taste of freedom…


April 2021 

Welcome to Dr. Andréa Thiebault ! Andréa is joining our team for the next two years and she has been awarded a prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Fellowship for a project on African penguins. You can follow some updates on the AFNAP project here



December 2020

A new website for a collaborative project on the reduction of avian mortality in windfarms (« Réduction de la Mortalité Aviaire dans les Parcs Éoliens en exploitation »  -MAPE ). In French only. https://mape.cnrs.fr/

Our team will investigate the best methods (acoustic and/or visual) to deter birds from windfarms. 

October 2020

A  video clip produced by the CNRS  on our research on Humpback whales ! (in French only)


July 2020

Mathilde’s first PhD talk to the Animal Behaviour Society Online Conference !

May 2020

Kirby created a blog about her PhD research work on Hawaiian monk seal !


April 2020

Our YouTube channel has more and more cool videos to watch ! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-bO1ymcVv0SVZXTxo-bcWg

March 2020

Fieldtrip to Namibia to study Cape fur seals, and the end of the fieldwork for Mathilde who spent 4 months there !!! Crawling among the fur seals was her daily task to be able to record and test them.

January 2020

New paper in Ethology:  Déaux et al.  « Courtship display speed varies daily and with body size in the Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)« . https://doi.org/10.1111/eth.13004

December 2019

Penguins produced calls under water ! Check our paper in PeerJ.  Thiebault A, Charrier I, Aubin T, Green DB, Pistorius PA. 2019First evidence of underwater vocalisations in hunting penguins.  PeerJ 7:e8240  https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8240

December 2019

World Marine Mammal Science Conference

Participation to the World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona ! We have several posters presentations by I. Charrier on olfactory discrimination in Australian sea lion (ASL), by K. Wierucka on mother-pup olfactory recognition in ASL, by C. Huetz on diving and vocal behaviour in mother-calf Humpback whales, by A. Saloma on the Humpback whale calf’s vocal repertoire, by S. Marchesseau on the larynx of Humpback whale caves, by O. Adam on social behaviour of Sperm whales. 

Congratulations to Kaja who was awarded the best poster presentation !

November 2019

First fieldtrip to Namibia to study the social communication network of Cape fur seals ! An amazing project and the beginning of Mathilde’s PhD project ! This project is done in collaboration with T. Gridley and S. Elwen from the Namibian Dolphin Project and Sea Search (SA).

Octobre 2019

Pourquoi les oiseaux chantent-ils ? Why do birds sing ? A question answered by Fanny Rybak in 180s ! Interview for la Cité des Sciences et de l’industrie.

September 2019

HomeParticipation to the 27th IBAC meeting in Brighton (UK). Plenary talk by I. Charrier on « Recognition systems and Social structure in Pinnipeds » as well as a talk on Northern elephant male vocal recognition,  a talk by Juliette Linossier on the ontogeny of individual vocal recognition in Northern elephant seal mothers, and a talk by Charlène Gémard on burrowing petrel vocal communication !


August 2019

News from the field ! Amazing videos of humpback whale from Madagascar. We are studying the vocal and behavioral interactions between mothers and calves using CATS camera.