Imperial College London

Introducing Dr Sarab Sethi


Dr Sarab Sethi

We interviewed Dr Sarab Sethi - a new Lecturer who joined us in September.

Can you tell me a little about your background?

Slightly unusually for a Life Sciences faculty member, I dropped biology after GCSE! After completing my Engineering degree, I was looking for interesting opportunities to use my skills and spotted an ad for a PhD that would involve using sounds to monitor biodiversity (with some exciting looking fieldwork) and that was my hook in. I did my PhD and a postdoc at Imperial in South Ken, a stint in Norway at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, a fellowship at Cambridge, and now I'm here!

Can you tell us a bit about your study prior to now?

I work on developing solutions for fully automated biodiversity monitoring. My focus has been on acoustic monitoring technology, creating autonomous sensors (, deploying large-scale monitoring networks (, and developing machine learning analyses to turn audio data into ecological insight. 

Dr Sarab SethiWhat is your new role at Imperial?

I'm a Lecturer in Life Sciences, under the cross-departmental Imperial-X AI initiative.

What motivated you to work in this area?

I have an unhealthy obsession with fancy gadgets and shiny tech. Having the freedom to dream up and build my own fancy tech to solve difficult global problems produces the ideal conditions for a fulfilling career!   

What attracted you to working in Life Sciences at Imperial?

My PhD was split across three departments (Maths, Design Engineering, Life Sciences), so I had first-hand experience of the breadth and quality of research at Imperial. I'm particularly excited to draw on the engineering and machine learning expertise from colleagues across departments to help solve the urgent global environmental challenges that we face today. 

Tell us an interesting/unusual fact about yourself.

I grew up in the same small village as Theo Walcott and had a few kick arounds with him as a kid! 


Emily Govan

Emily Govan
Department of Life Sciences