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March 21, 2011

The new science of aeroecology uses modern tools such as radar and thermasl imaging to follow the migrations of flying birds, bats, and insects.



Biology in the sky…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Birds, bats and insects spend much of their time in the lowest layer of the atmosphere called the aerosphere. But this aerial habitat has been poorly studied until now. Boston University ecologist Thomas Kunz explains that a new discipline called aeroecology has recently emerged to study the biology of the aerosphere.


Aeroecology is the emerging discipline that incorporates geography, biology and atmospheric science to understand the movements and activities of organisms in the airspace above our feet.  Air density, wind, precipitation.


He says scientists studying aeroecology are combining tools such as thermal imaging, radar arrays, and radio tracking. They’re trying to better understand how animals migrate along weather fronts or to predict the spread of infectious diseases, for example. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.