Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in the ecology, conservation, and restoration of nearshore benthic communities, how habitat degradation alters ecological processes, and how habitat restoration returns ecological functioning to these communities.

More specifically, I use aspects of soundscape ecology to study the dynamics of habitats, how anthropogenic influences degrade and mask marine soundscapes, and how soundscapes interact with the communities from which they emanate.

I develop novel, low-cost technology to help study and monitor coastal ecosystems, harnessing the "maker revolution" to bring open-source computer hardware and software into ocean science. I have a particular soft spot for combining acoustic and optical sensors to "spy" on the inhabitants of these habitats.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Anderson, ER, J Butler, and M Butler (2021) Response of fish and invertebrate larvae to backreef sounds at varying distances: implications for habitat restoration. Frontiers in Marine Science.

Butler, J, CMLS Pagniello, JS Jaffe, PE Parnell, and A Širović (2021) Diel and seasonal variability in kelp forest soundscapes off the Southern California Coast. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8.

Butler, J, H Gaff, and M Butler (2017). Snap, crackle, and pop: estimating the effects of a sponge die-off on snapping shrimp

populations using remote acoustic recorders. Ecological Indicators 77:377-385.

Butler J, J Stanley, and M Butler, 2016. Underwater soundscapes in near-shore tropical habitats and the effects of environmental degradation and habitat restoration. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 479:89-96.

Griffin J, J Butler, N Soomdat, K Brun, Z Chejanovski, B Silliman, 2011. Top predators suppress rather than facilitate plants in a trait-mediated tri-trophic cascade. Biology Letters 7(5):710-713.

Butler, J, E Parnell, J Jaffe, and A Širović. " Exploring kelp forest soundscapes using ad hoc frequency based metrics." Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Dec. 3rd, 2019. San Diego, CA.

Butler J, C Pagniello, E Parnell, J Jaffe, and A Širović. "Sights and sounds of the kelp forest: exploration of fish community dynamics through acoustic and photographic datasets." Ocean Sciences Meeting 2018.

Butler, J, E Parnell, and A Širović. "Who's making all that racket? Seasonal variability in kelp forest soundscapes off La Jolla, CA." Acoustical Society of America, June 2017.