Sara Keen

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Sara is an acoustic ecologist, engineer, and maker. She is an expert in non-human communication systems and her research aims to use machine learning to uncover patterns of meaning in the signals of birds, elephants, and whales. Her interests include cultural evolution, behavioral ecology, information theory, and the perceptual experience of sound from an aesthetic and physiological perspective. Sara has conducted ecological field studies in Kenya, England, North America, and Japan, and in this work aims to align and collaborate with local communities to support research and conservation initiatives. She frequently works with artists to create biologically inspired works and occasionally designs interactive sound installations.

Currently, Sara is a Senior Research Scientist at Earth Species Project, where she uses AI to interpret animal communication and shed light on the nature of non-human intelligences. She holds a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell, an MA in Conservation Biology from Columbia, and a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida. Her goal is to advance understanding of Earth’s systems while encouraging joyful exploration of our world.