Nature breathes, moves, sings, screams, and falls silent, in a never-ending dynamic of sounds and vibrations. These sounds tell us thousands of stories, big and small, about the natural processes and environmental changes that our planet is currently experiencing. Should we listen to them, as scientists are doing around the world, we can improve our capacity to assess biodiversity and face the challenge of global change.

The World Ecoacoustics Congress (WEC) serves as a global platform for researchers, scientists, technicians, engineers and practitioners to review and debate advances in ecoacoustics. In 2024, the 5th WEC, which will be held from 8th to 12th July in Madrid, will aim to bring together cutting-edge researchers and the international scientific community around this emerging field. During five days, we will take a tour of the past, present and future of ecoacoustics, with a diverse program of talks, symposia, workshops and other scientific, dissemination and social activities. Combining knowledge from disciplines such as ecoacoustics, bioacoustics, soundscape analysis, artificial intelligence, community ecology, biogeography or conservation biology, the 5th WEC aims to go beyond the borders between disciplines and to achieve a robust and far-reaching multidisciplinary perspective that helps us improve our understanding of natural communities, ecosystems and landscapes.

“Sounds tell us thousands of stories, sweeping and subtle, about natural processes and environmental changes”

Ecoacoustics links the ecological research agenda with new technologies in environmental sound recording and analysis, and hence it has become a field of research that has notably grown around the world in recent decades. In this edition, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the International Society of Ecoacoustics (ISE), a society that was founded at the first Ecoacoustics Congress (Ecology and Acoustics Meeting) held in Paris in 2014. The prospects on passive acoustic monitoring, soundscape analysis, acoustic indices, species identification and machine learning classification, among others, will be central topics of the 5th WEC. This event will be dedicated to our colleague and friend, Gianni Pavan, who sadly passed away in 2023 and whose role in ecoacoustics was seminal.

In the unique natural setting offered by the campus of the Autonomous University of Madrid, located near the vibrant city of Madrid, the 5th WEC will offer a space for exchange and networking among emerging and experienced international researchers, together with the presence of the leading companies in the sector that will present the latest developments in equipment and services. Along with other initiatives, attendees will be able to participate in the publication of a monograph, entirely dedicated to the Congress and published by a prestigious publisher. In addition, the social program will invite attendees to enjoy all the tourist and cultural attractions of the city of Madrid and its magnificent surroundings, including the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, the habitat of emblematic species such as the Spanish imperial eagle, the Iberian wolf, the Iberian desman, the common midwife toad, the ocellated lizard and the Spanish moon moth.

“A four-day tour of the past, present and future of Ecoacoustics research and an opportunity for exchange and networking in a unique natural setting”

There are plenty of reasons to participate in what we hope will be a historic, inspiring and exciting event, which will leave pleasant memories for all attendees. Let's listen to what nature has to tell us. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Diego Llusia, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

President of the 5th World Ecoacoustics Congress