Ig Nobel Prize Winners 2020

On September 17th, 2020 one of our lab members, Judith Janisch, together with colleagues Prof. Dr. Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna, Dr. Stephan Reber from the University of Lund, Mark Robertson from Florida, US, and Dr. Takeshi Nishimura from Kyoto University, Japan, won an Ig Nobel prize in Acoustics for making a Chinese alligator bellow in Heliox. The study, conducted by Judith while she was a Master student at the Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Biology, revealed that the vocalizations of alligators contain resonances which we also find in mammals and birds, but not in Amphibians. Published in the Journal of Experimental Biology in 2015, this was the first experiment showing that non-avian reptiles produce sound from vibrations in the vocal tract, also known as formants.

Judith with an american alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) at the St. Agustine Alligator Farm, Florida, US, where the heliox study was carried out.

www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/ig-nobel-prizes-reward-research-helium-huffing-alligators-and-knives-made-feces

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/18/us/ig-nobel-awards-alligator-helium-scli-scn-intl/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54197198

https://science.orf.at/stories/3201801/

https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000120092616/forscher-aus-oesterreich-gewinnen-einen-ig-nobelpreis

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