Dr. Michael Flinn, Murray State University, Department of Biology
Entomology Graduate Student Organization (EGSO) speaker.
Abstract. Dr. Michael Flinn is a professor of biological sciences and director of Hancock Biological Research Station at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. His research focus is on bioindicators of aquatic ecosystem health. He and his students have examined stream and wetland restorations, invasive species, ecological scaling, permafrost degradation, and bioacoustics. His lab set out to develop the first ever program that used the calls of aquatic insects to identify them. The use of digital signal processing to identify aquatic invertebrates by sound is a novel technique which has potential uses in taxonomy, surveys, and long-term biomonitoring. To do this they used hydrophone recordings of aquatic beetle species within family Hydrophilidae (water scavenger beetles). They created an automated identification program in Matlab™ using digital signal processing techniques and could differentiate between 4 beetle species within single-species recordings. When reference recordings were classified with the program, the beetle present was identified most frequently (accuracy 81—98%). Also, 12-fold cross-validation of training calls showed accuracies of >93% between beetle species. Testing the classifier on other beetle recordings, including those taken in different environments, gave inconsistent results that often-showed misidentifications of other closely related beetle species suggesting that the recording environment is important for the development of these techniques.