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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Soundscapes and Wellbeing

16 January 2024


Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Soundscapes and Wellbeing

Research on links between nature and health and wellbeing has predominantly focused on visual stimuli. There is a smaller, but growing, body of evidence regarding psychological benefits of nature sounds and soundscapes. Whilst the negative effects of noise on mental and physical wellbeing are well-established and addressed in planning legislation in the UK and EU, there is still a significant way to go in developing understanding of the positive effects of soundscapes and applying this to policy and practice.


As part of a workshop led by University of Surrey’s Environmental Psychology Research Group (EPRG), we will livestream talks that will advance the field by showcasing interdisciplinary research on soundscapes and wellbeing conducted within and beyond the UK. The event is supported by the University of Surrey's School of Psychology and the UK Acoustics Network (UKAN+).


Click here for full programme details.


Keynote speakers

Four distinguished speakers will bring perspectives on soundscapes and wellbeing from the disciplines of urban planning, acoustics, neuroscience, and ecology:


09:30: Dr. Miriam Weber, WHO European Healthy Cities Network Coordinator, Utrecht, Netherlands

Healthy cities: Creating positive soundscapes and living environments for all


11:15: Dr. Jean Marc Wunderli, Head of Acoustics / Noise Control Laboratory, Empa, Switzerland

Promoting vegetation and sound quality as alternative noise mitigation measures?


13:45: Prof. Simone Kühn, Head of the Lise-Meitner Group for Environmental Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, and University Clinic Hamburg Eppendorf, Germany

Testing the effects of environment on the human brain and mental health, and its implications for soundscapes


15:30: Dr. Taylor Shaw, Conservation Scientist, Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme, Cambridge Conservation Initiative, UK

Dr. FOREST - does forest diversity affect our health and well-being?


Click here to read more about our keynote speakers and their talks.


Flash presentations

In between the keynotes, we will stream 5-minute 'flash' presentations from researchers and practitioners working at the interface of soundscapes and wellbeing. These include:


1) 10:15: Societal engagement with soundscapes: Lisa Lavia, Julija Smyrnowa, Ruth Bernatek, Alex Smalley, Amanda Bayley, David Frohlich, Adam Thomas, and Sarah Payne


2) 12:00: Soundscape modelling and use of AI: Neil Bruce, Grant Waters, Andrew Mitchell, Simon Butler, Thomas Deacon, and Mark Plumbley


3) 14:30: Nature soundscapes and biodiversity: Gunnar Cerwén, Gail Austen, Liz O'Brien, Konrad Uebel, Usue Ruiz Arana, Kevin Rozario, and Melissa Marselle



This event is organised by Dr Melissa Marselle, Dr Sarah Payne, Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, and Dr Konrad Uebel at the University of Surrey. In case of queries or for further information, please contact Dr Konrad Uebel ( The event will be streamed via Teams webinar. An access link will be emailed to you shortly before the date.



Click here for the provisional programme. This may be updated before the event. All times are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

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