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Academy Speaker Series

Fireside Chat with Dan Otte and Greg Cowper.

Noises in the Night: Fireside Chat With Dan Otte and Greg Cowper Featuring the Stridulators
Friday, March 31
6:30–8 p.m.

Join us for an evening fireside chat with Emeritus Senior Curator of Entomology Daniel Otte, PhD, and Entomology Curatorial Assistant Greg Cowper. The program opens with Cowper & Otte at their campsite during an African expedition where they are discussing biodiversity and insect sound production. As the night progresses the auditorium enlivens with the sounds of crickets accompanied by a special appearance by the musical ensemble, The Stridulators.

A photo of Dan Otte listening to insect noises.

Daniel Otte is one of the world’s leaders in cricket communication. He is renowned for his international work identifying crickets (Orthoptera) through their species-specific songs. Like many other organisms, crickets communicate through song to find a mate and deter predators.

Otte has used cricket sounds to describe and name over 1,850 cricket species to date. From decades of research, he amassed over 200 field recordings of grasshoppers and crickets stored on aging, obsolete, non-digital reel-to-reel and cassette tapes. Recently Westphal Professor of Recording Arts and Music Production Toby Seay, Academy Entomology Curatorial Assistant Greg Cowper and student Mikayla Traini came together at Drexel University Audio Archives to digitize these recordings.

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In this program we recognize Otte’s groundbreaking work and celebrate the digitization project, making this astounding work available to the public.