Is it possible to listen to whether an anthill or earthworms living in contaminated soil are so affected that they have changed their behavior? We believe it is because studies have shown that sensitive microphones can hear what terrestrial animals do. This project therefore aims to develop the first prototype of a sound-based monitoring system that can be used to study how environmentally harmful substances affect terrestrial animals' behavior in the wild. We plan to use ants and earthworms as experimental organisms.
The reason for choosing these two groups is that they partly contribute to important soil functions (lateral and vertical transport of nutrients) but also that they are common and therefore well suited for environmental monitoring. We will perform experiments both in the field and in laboratory environments to investigate how a sound-based monitoring system can be optimized to study the behavior of terrestrial animals.