Big Picture Science spoke to NYU CUSP Research Assistant Professors Mark Cartwright and Charlie Mydlarz about the Sounds of New York City (SONYC) project in a new podcast.

What’s the difference between a bird call and the sound of a pile driver?  Not much, when you’re close to the loudest bird ever.  Find out when it pays to be noisy and when noise can worsen your health.  Just about everyone eventually suffers some hearing loss, but that’s not merely aging.  It’s an ailment we inflict on ourselves.  Hear how a team in New York City has put sensors throughout the city to catalog noise sources, hoping to tame the tumult.

And can underwater speakers blasting the sounds of a healthy reef bring life back to dead patches of the Great Barrier Reef?


  • Mark Cartwright – Research Assistant Professor at New York University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Charles Mydlarz – Research Assistant Professor at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Music and Audio Research Lab (MARL)
  • David Owen – Staff writer at The New Yorker, and author of Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World
  • Jeff Podos – Professor in the Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Steve Simpson – Professor of Marine Biology and Global Change, Exeter University, U.K.