Koala census using acoustics

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Paul Roe
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Koalas have a characteristic bellow. For several years the Ecoacoustics team at QUT (www.ecosounds.org) has been working with koala researchers to understand koala bellowing behaviour and to use acoustics for monitoring koalas. An interesting idea is to use acoustic recorders sent through the post for koala monitoring by different landholders.

Research activities

There are several possible projects ranging from ecological projects to understanding koala bellowing behaviour, to developing novel monitoring protocols, to developing citizen science techniques for acoustic monitoring of koalas, to robust sound analysis techniques for recognising koala bellowing and potentially recognising different koalas through their bellows.


Outcomes could include software, tools, models or techniques for koala census and papers. These might be technical, statistical or qualitative e.g. about citizen science and keeping landholders engaged in acoustic monitoring.

Skills and experience

This project would suit ecologist, computer science, citizen science or HCI students interested in koalas and how to monitor them.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round


Contact the supervisor for more information.