Our Partners

Dr. Ari Friedlaender tagging a Risso's dolphin off the coast of California. Image courtesy of Friedlaender Lab of Bio-Telemetry and Ecology at UC Santa Cruz

Dr. Ari Friedlaender tagging a Risso's dolphin off the coast of California. Image courtesy of Friedlaender Lab of Bio-Telemetry and Ecology at UC Santa Cruz

Making progress on decoding animal communication will require the collaboration of many organizations and brilliant minds in this interdisciplinary field of ethology, AI, linguistics, mathematics and neuroscience. One of our core principles is collaboration, and we are proud to be partnering with more than 40 biologists and institutions on this journey. We are also committed to ensuring that our work advances the entire field, with all our data made publicly available to support researchers and other organizations in their work.

Our keystone partnerships

We have formed three key partnerships with leaders in behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and bioacoustics who we are engaging with in a number of our research experiments.

Dr. Ari Friedlaender

Professor of Ocean Sciences and Principal Investigator, Friedlaender Lab of Bio-Telemetry and Behavioral Ecology Laboratory at the University of California Santa Cruz

Dr. Friedlaender works on a wide range of marine mammal species, including baleen whales, toothed whales, and dolphins. He leads long-term ecological research projects ongoing in Alaska, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Antarctica. The Friedlaender Lab and its colleagues maintain one of the largest marine motion-sensing tag databases in the world, some of which are the only recorded kinematic data for many species of cetacean. Dr. Friedlaender is making this data available to ESP to feed into our project on Self-Supervised Ethograms.

See related project

Dr. Christian Rutz

Professor Christian Rutz, Professor of Biology at the Centre for Biological Diversity, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, and Founding President of the International Bio-Logging Society.

Professor Rutz and his colleagues collaborate with ESP on projects analyzing the vocal repertoires of tool-using Hawaiian crows, and cooperatively-breeding carrion crows. As a leading expert on wildlife tracking technologies, Professor Rutz is also collaborating with ESP on the sourcing, analysis and interpretation of bio-logging datasets — with a focus on terrestrial taxa, complementing Professor Friedlaender’s expertise in the marine realm.

See related project

Dr. Michelle Fournet

Marine behavioral ecologist, Director of the Sound Science Research Collective, and Associate Director for Education at the Center for Acoustics Research and Education, University of New Hampshire

Dr. Fournet is using passive acoustics towards understanding humpback whale communication and behavior (see the documentary film, Fathom). We are collaborating with her nonprofit, Sound Science in support of her research efforts through ESP Senior AI Researcher Jen-Yu Liu’s  Generative Models for Vocalizations project.

See related project

Data Contributors

Quality data is critical to advancing our efforts to understand non-human communication. These organizations have generously shared their datasets with us. Please visit our [sharing data page] to enquire about the potential to share your own research data.

Technology Partners

Research Partners

Research Advisors

Our Supporters

Earth Species Project was started under the fiscal sponsorship of the Internet Archive, allowing us to establish ourselves as a fully functioning 501c3 organization in 2020.

We are very grateful to Internet Archive for their founding support, and to all the amazing donors who have invested in our work.

We share the thoughts of a few of our lead supporters here.

Reid Hoffman

Founder LinkedIn, Partner at Graylock, Anchor ESP Donor
“The potential for Earth Species Project to transform the way we interact with nature and understand ourselves is profound. I’m deeply concerned about the future of our planet and I believe that ESP is one of the most inspiring paths forward.”

Chris Larsen

Executive Chairman and Co-Founder at Ripple
“These challenging times call for bold approaches. ESP and its partners are harnessing technology to push the boundaries of what we once thought impossible. Their work is driving a greater understanding of our fellow species and I suspect will have a broader impact on technologies that help us thrive.”

Ajaz Ahmed

CEO, AKQA
“In these uncertain days, we need hope. In all the noise and disruption, there is the Earth Species Project, finding connection and ways of communication that are profoundly important and deeply moving. This work gives us optimism that we can turn the tide in time, find our common humanity and our solidarity with the natural world.”

Shiva Rajaraman

VP Product, OpenSea
“Core to empathy is effective communication. Core to innovation is realizing there is more than one way to achieve a goal. Even the possibility that we might be able to better understand our fellow creatures is exciting, but understanding that communication itself is way more varied than the human form could lead to even larger breakthroughs.”

Our Community

Join the dynamic and growing online conversation around interspecies communication!

We are also proud to have been a founder of the Interspecies Internet community, a multidisciplinary group focused on advancing the understanding and appreciation of the mental lives and intelligence of the diverse species with which we share our planet.