Our Team

Below are brief personal profiles for team members Lang Elliott, Ted Mack, Wil Hershberger, Marie Read, Bob McGuire, Beth Bannister, and Carl Gerhardt:

Lang Elliott

Lang Elliott

Lang Elliott

My name is Lang and I am the the team leader of musicofnature.com. For over 25 years I have been exploring the wilds of North America, immersing myself in nature and gathering thousands of pure nature recordings, the best of which are featured in products available on this website.

Over the years I’ve written numerous books (accompanied by CDs) about the sounds made by our native birds, frogs, and insects. Go here to view a brief listing of these products.

In recent years I have been traveling further afield, with trips to the Peruvian Amazon and Australia. The soundscapes in these places are amazing to behold and now I’m excitedly planning visits to other exotic locations in hopes of sharing the “music” that I hear. Where do I plan to go? How about Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Tanzania, India … maybe even Japan (to record insect soundscapes!) … well why the heck not?

Please also check out Lang in Nature and Lang’s Bio and Lang’s Nature Bubble Website.

Ted Mack

Ted Mack

Ted Mack

I’m Ted, a lifelong outdoors enthusiast. Nature has beckoned me since I was a kid catching butterflies, bumblebees, and other creatures in the back yard to scrutinize and release. Later on I had no binoculars but did acquire Eaton’s two-volume Birds of New York which got me out in search of birds.

My wife and I met Lang in 1969 when he was researching chipmunk behavior in the Adirondacks. Lang and I did some natural history excursions as far afield as Texas and in 1976 he got me involved with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife breeding bird surveys, two routes of which I still do.

Lang encouraged me to attend the first natural sound recording workshop at Cornell, and in 1986 we began doing recording trips in this country with a later trip to Peru. In 1996 I took a six month sabbatical from Paul Smith’s College (where I was the librarian) in order to record natural sounds from the prairies to Florida and the Gaspe with Lang. Occasionally we were together but more often in different states. We had no cell phones so we communicated through a third party as we crossed species off our “hit list”.

My current interest is in recording natural soundscapes as well as individual species, and I look forward to sharing many more moments in nature with Lang and the rest of the team.

Wil Hershberger

Wil Hershberger

Wil Hershberger

My name is Wil and I am a nature photographer, videographer, and sound recordist. I own and operate Nature Images and Sounds, LLC with my wife Donna.

I have been interested in the natural world most of my life. Growing up in a rural community in the Mid-Atlantic area afforded me plentiful opportunities to explore the wonders of nature during my formative years.

I met Lang in 1999 at an artist’s party. From there Lang and I have been all over the eastern half of the US searching for sounds, especially the songs of insects. We published a book from those adventures, “The Songs of Insects,” featuring 77 species and their wonderful stories.

I have been recording the songs of nature for nearly two decades. While I am certainly enchanted with the songs and calls of birds, I find all of the sounds in nature mesmerizing. I have been on recording trips from Nova Scotia to Florida, from New Jersey to North Dakota and plan on many more trips gathering interesting and unique sounds for our collection. I am currently focused on capturing stereo recordings of species and their habitats.

Marie Read

Marie Read

Marie Read

Hello, I’m Marie and I’m a wildlife photographer and nature writer. I’ve loved birds and nature in general ever since I was a little girl growing up in the English countryside, but it wasn’t until I began studying birds more than 25 years ago in East Africa that I became interested in bird behavior.

Birds are really cool creatures with fascinating lives, and my main goal in life is to photograph and gather high definition videos of them doing their thing! I’ve traveled throughout the world in search of beautiful birds, but many of my most compelling images and videos come from my own backyard and within a couple of miles of my home near Ithaca, New York.

Since I started working with Lang in the early 1990s, my appreciation for bird sounds has grown considerably. I’m thrilled to be part of the Music of Nature team, and look forward to working with Lang to create compelling eBooks and other digital products that include the sounds of nature. You can see more of my work at www.marieread.com.

Bob McGuire

Bob McGuire

Bob McGuire

Hi neighbor!—(after appearing on “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” I am allowed to say that). My name is Bob. Following my careers as a classroom teacher, artist, and welder, I have settled into the role of field biologist and nature sound recordist.

I am happiest of all outdoors, whether sailing, skiing, hiking, cycling, or counting birds. My wife got me into birding a decade ago, and now I wonder why I waited so long. I am especially interested in the variety of songs and calls associated with bird behavior and look forward to featuring the best of my field recordings, including nature soundscapes, on musicofnature.com.

photo of Beth Bannister

Beth Bannister

Beth Bannister

Hi! My name is Beth, and I have been sharing my passions for nature, photography and community involvement with youth for 22 years. My personal early nature educators were the woods, fields, farms and waters in Western NY, along with the family and friends who brought me there. I have taken classes at Tom Brown’s Wilderness School, learned tracking with Sue Morse and Paul Rezendes and studied the Art of Mentoring and Kamana with Jon Young at the Wilderness Awareness School.

Along with all things outdoors, I am especially interested in birds and the songs they share. Following this passion, I have been enthusiastically working with Lang for many years as an assistant in sound recording and capturing photos and videos as well as with office work. My favorite places to explore and record have been here the Ithaca NY area, Kentucky, Florida and Central and South Texas. Currently, I am scheming ways to connect youth and families with the rich offerings from the Music of Nature Team.

Carl Gerhardt

Carl Gerhardt

Carl Gerhardt

Hi, I’m Carl. I grew up in Savannah, Georgia and became a nature lover through an early interest in reptiles and amphibians. I still live my childhood dreams as a university professor who teaches animal behavior and herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians).

My research in acoustic communication in frogs, which has taken me to Australia, South and Central America, and Europe, has led to new discoveries about the evolution of communication and some of the underlying mechanisms. For more information about my academic work, check out my University of Missouri faculty home page and Acoustic Communication in Insects and Anurans, a scientific book I coauthored in 2002 with biologist Franz Huber.

My sound recordings of frogs and toads and a common friend and mentor, Dean Metter (who taught herpetology at Missouri before me), led to my initial connection to Lang and ultimately to our coauthoring of The Frogs and Toads of North America, a popular book published in 2009. I am interested in all kinds of animals and I love photographing them, but the ability of video to capture both behavior and sounds has made high definition video my primary focus. I look forward to a productive and exciting collaboration with Lang and the rest of the Music of Nature team in the creation of multimedia eBooks and other digital products.