You are here

Natalia Sidorovskaia

Professor of Physics & Chairperson
Natalia Sidorovskaia head shotUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette

Dr. Natalia Sidorovskaia
Professor and Chairperson
Department of Physics, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
UL BOX 44210, Lafayette, LA 70504-4210

Phone: (337) 482-6274
Fax: (337) 482-6699

Research Areas

My area of research is underwater acoustics, an area where we collect acoustic signals produced by humans or nature in the ocean and decode them through sophisticated signal processing and interpretation techniques. Acoustic signals are most viable sensing tools to explore the underwater world, because electromagnetic signals do not propagate far from the source under water unlike they do above ground in the atmosphere. This fact explains why marine animals (dolphins, whales etc.) have the most advanced sound production and perception (hearing) organs.

By interpreting underwater acoustic signals, we are looking for ways to improve our understanding of the underwater world and the processes happening in deep bottom layers. Acoustic signals help us to find natural resources (oil, gas) stored deep under the ocean bottom, to predict destructive earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricane paths, to understand marine mammal communities, and to unveil many other mysteries of the deep ocean.

The first focus of my research has been on developing computational models which accurately predict how different sounds propagate through different regions of the ocean (Read more about SWAMP). These models are used: in detailed mapping of ocean temperature (ocean acoustic tomography) which impacts hurricane strengths and paths; in seismic data interpretation to find oil/gas reserves for deep water drilling; and in predicting the human environmental impact on marine life. In the past decade I have been also closely involved in designing, conducting and processing passive acoustic experiments to study marine mammals, particularly sperm and beaked whales in the Gulf of Mexico. Watch the Science in Action video.

In 2000 we formed a consortium of scientists (physicists, mathematicians, and biologists from four Gulf State Universities), called Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center (LADC). LADC research is mostly dedicated to studies of marine mammals in the world oceans based on recordings of their acoustic signals. One primary focus of LADC research is the search for subtle signatures in animal’s phonations that may give scientists clues how to recognize individual animals acoustically in collected data and to understand their communication codes (“languages”). One day acousticians will be as good as humans are on the phone when they recognize voices of their friends and peers.


Ph.D. 1997 University of New Orleans, USA

View CV.

Selected Publications


Alexander I. Khil’ko, Jerald W. Caruthers, Natalia A. Sidorovskaia, “Ocean Acoustic Tomography. A review with Emphasis on the Russian Approach,” Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Applied Physics, Nizhny Novgorod, 1998

M.F. Werby and N.A. Sidorovskaia, “Modern developments in the theory and application of classical scattering,” in book: “ACOUSTIC INTERACTIONS WITH SUBMERGED ELASTIC STRUCTURES. Part III: Acoustic Propagation and Scattering, Wavelets and Time Frequency Analysis,” edited by Ardéshir Guran, Adrianus De Hoop, Dieter Guicking, and Francesco Mainardi, World Scientific Publishing, New Jersey, August 2001, pp.256-358 (ISBN: 981-02-2950-X)

Yu.K. Postoenko, N.A. Sidorovskaya, et al., “The reconstruction of structure of moving acoustical sources with complex spectrum,” In book: "Formation of acoustical waves in oceanic waveguides. Inhomogeneity reconstruction", ed. Zverev V.A., Institute of Applied Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod, 35 pp., 1993 (in Russian, translated in English).


Li, K., Sidorovskaia, N.A., Guilment, T., Tang, T., Tiemann, C.O. (2021). Decadal Assessment of Sperm Whale Site-Specific Abundance Trends in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Using Passive Acoustic Data, J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 454,

Guilment, T., Sidorovskaia, N., and Li, K. (2020). Modelling the Acoustic Repertoire of Cuvier's Beaked Whale Clicks, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 147, 3605-3612,

Li, K., Sidorovskaia, N., and Tiemann, C. (2020). Model-based unsupervised clustering for distinguishing Cuvier's and Gervais' beaked whales in acoustic data. Ecological Informatics, vol. 58, 19p. (

Ackleh, A.S.; Chiquet, R.A.; Ma, B.; Tang, T.; Caswell, H.; Veprauskas, A.; Sidorovskaia, N. (2017). Analysis of lethal and sublethal impacts of environmental disasters on sperm whales using stochastic modeling. Ecotoxicology, 1-11. doi:10.1007/s10646-017-1813-4

Ackleh, A., Ioup, G.E., Ioup, J.W., Ma, B., Newcomb, J., Pal, N., Sidorovskaia, N., and Tiemann, C. (2012). “Assessing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impact on marine mammal population through acoustics: endangered sperm whales,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 131(3), 2306-14. Read the PDF version.

Tiemann, Chris O., Jaffe, Jules S. , Roberts, Paul L. D. , Sidorovskaia, Natalia A., Ioup, George E. , Ioup, Juliette W. , Ekimov, Alexander , Lehman, Sean K. (2011). “Signal and image processing techniques as applied to animal bioacoustics problems,” Acoustics Today 7 (3), pp. 35-43. Read the PDF version

Tashmukhambetov, A.M., Ioup, G.E., Ioup, J.W., Sidorovskaia, N.A., Newcomb, J.J. (2008). “3-Dimensional seismic array calibration study: experiment and modeling,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 123(6), 4094-4108. Read the PDF version.

Sidorovskaia, N. (2004). “Systematic studies of pulse propagation in ducted oceanic waveguides in normal mode representation,”The European Physical Journal, Applied Physics 25 (2), 113-131. Read the PDF version.