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Acoustic Telemetry Resources

Nassau grouper resting at spawning aggregation site offshore Puerto Rico. Photo Credit: JP Zegarra

Data Analysis Tools

VEMco Biotelemetry User Database (VEMBU)

Developed by our very own Joy Young the VEMco Biotelemetry User Database (VEMBU) is an access database used to store receiver and sensor metadata, download logs, and tagging metadata. The VEMBU has a lot of useful tools and outputs as well as a means to format data easily to be put into the FACT Datanode – the FACT Network’s detection sharing hub created by the Ocean Tracking Network. The VEMBU is named in honor of our friend Vembu Subramanian, a big supporter of the FACT Network who was taken from us too soon. To get a copy of the VEMBU please email

Check out our VEMBU Tutorial series on YouTube

Marine Geospatial Ecology Tools (MGET)

A free open- source geoprocessing toolbox that works with ArcGIS. Some of the functions that we are the most excited about include the assistance the tool gives on detecting spatiotemporal patterns in fisheries data, building predictive species distribution models, and pulling in remote sensing data (created by the Marine geospatial ecology lab at Duke).

Launch MGET

FACT Wiki Page

Check out the FACT Wiki page for best practices on receiver attachment methods, on how to manage receiver metadata, and more. Click here.

R you into Programming? (See what we did there)

While many programming languages exist, the most common language used by FACT researchers is R. If you’re an R geek like us here are some useful tips and packages we think are pretty snazzy for animal tracking data analysis.

R Packages We Recommend

  • Dplyr: For everything. Literally everything. Ok it’s actually great for data manipulation of dataframes which is generally a huge issue for our large datasets (created by Hadley Wickham). Here’s a good introduction to what dplyr can do for you.
  • Marmap: Want to calculate distances around barriers or in a particular depth contour? This is a common question for our researchers and marmap works well using least cost path analysis to help you get to your answer (created by Eric Pante and Benoit Simon Bouhet). It also does a whole bunch of other cool stuff too. Here’s a great document to get you started with marmap.

Upcoming R Packages

  • Gitlab R GLATOS Package – The GitLab site for the GLATOS R package which we are very excited about. While the package is still in development functions of the package may be generally useful for processing, analyzing, simulating, and visualizing acoustic telemetry data

Other Collaborative Networks

Like Acoustic Telemetry? Check out these other collaborative networks

Acoustic Tracking Array Platform (ATAP)

Champlain Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (CATOS)

Southern California Acoustic Telemetry Tracking Network

Texas Acoustic Array Network (TEXAAN)

Tags and Robots

At the FACT Network our researchers commonly use different tag types to help answer questions about animal movement. Below are links to some of the tag manufacturers our researchers use.

Acoustic Telemetry products

Satellite, archival, and sensor tags

Passive recorders, cameras, IMU tags

Acoustic, radio, archival, and satellite telemetry products

Got a cool tool, tag, or robot we should know about? Email us at