Peter Narins, UCLA distinguished research professor of integrative biology and physiology and of ecology and evolutionary biology, has been honored with the Acoustical Society of America’s silver medal in animal bioacoustics. This is only the fourth silver medal ever given by the society in animal bioacoustics, and the first since 2012.
Narins’ numerous honors and awards include election to fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright Award, the 2019 Association for Research in Otolaryngology Award of Merit and election to four scientific societies: the Acoustical Society of America, the Animal Behavior Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Society for Neuroethology. He has served as president of the International Society for Neuroethology.
In a landmark study, Narins and his students demonstrated that both the pitch and the timing of the calls of the Puerto Rican Coqui treefrog change in a similar fashion along an altitudinal gradient. In a set of field experiments spanning 23 years, Narins and his team demonstrated that the spectral and temporal parameters of the calls of the Puerto Rican Coqui have shifted in the amount and direction consistent with the observed temperature rise in Puerto Rico over that same period.
He also co-led an international team of scientists that made the very surprising discovery that the concave-eared torrent frog — a species living in central China, amid the intense broadband noise generated by surrounding waterfalls — produces and hears ultrasound. Narins and colleagues have identified other species of frogs in Asia that similarly communicate in the ultrasound range, wrote Andrea Megela Simmons, a professor at Brown University, and Cynthia Moss, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, in a tribute when he won the Association for Research in Otolaryngology Award of Merit.