Dr. Ralph Simon

Name: Simon, Ralph

Position: Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Zimmer: 01.042


E-Mail: ralph.simon [at] fau.de


My main research interests are bioacoustics and echolocation in bats. At the moment I‘m working in the Bats and Wind Energy Project, which is funded by the German Ministry of the Environment. In this project we are studying the mitigation of bat fatalities at wind turbines in central Europe by using bat-friendly operation algorithms. The algorithms trade off the reduction in collision risk against the loss in revenue resulting from mitigation. The algorithms are turbine-specific and are based on data of acoustic bat activity, wind speed, month, and time of night. Based on data of fatality searches we are drawing conclusions on the effectiveness of algorithms (loss in revenue per reduction in bat fatality) and on the total cost of their implementation. We are also developing guidelines and practical examples for the quantification and mitigation of bat fatalities using bat-friendly operation of wind turbines in Central Europe.

Besides this project I’m interested in the sensory ecology of pollination i.e. the echo acoustic perception of flowers by glossphagine bats, their biosonar resolving power and the echo acoustic adaptations of bat-pollinated flowers. Some of these flowers developed special acoustic adaptations to reflect the bats‘ ultrasonic signals in a way making the flowers acoustically conspicuous for the bats. I’m using a robotic bat head made of ultrasound microphones and a special EMFI (Electro Mechanical Film) speaker to investigate the reflection properties of bat-pollinated flowers. So far I have collected echo signatures of flowers of more than 65 plant species.

For other projects and more information visit www.rsimon.de