I have worked on marine mammals for 40 years and I oversee the UK national cetacean monitoring scheme, which has been part-funded by the UK Department of the Environment. My field research concentrates upon ecological, behavioural and conservation biology studies of cetaceans in UK, and includes line transect surveys, photo-identification and distributional ecology studies of harbour porpoises, several dolphin species, killer whales and minke whales, as well as the effects of human disturbance upon cetaceans. For many years, I have also undertaken monitoring and ecological studies of seabirds in the North Atlantic. Alongside these studies, I have maintained a long-term population study on European starlings in Fair Isle, Shetland since 1980.
In a more local context, I oversee a programme of research and monitoring of bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises in Welsh waters, particularly Cardigan Bay, in collaboration with the Countryside Council for Wales. This work involves line transect survey using Distance sampling, photo-ID using mark-recapture (re-sighting) techniques, life history studies, and acoustics using static units (T-PODs and C-PODs) that function as click detectors. I have a particular interest in marine spatial planning, and sensitivity mapping in relation to noise (offshore renewable energy and oil and gas exploration), ship strikes, and fisheries interactions.
I have written or edited 12 books, including four textbooks on cetaceans ("Natural History of Whales and Dolphins", "Whales", "Dolphins", and "Marine Mammals: Biology and Conservation"), and one on seabirds ("Status and Conservation of the World's Seabirds"), and >100 other peer-reviewed scientific publications. I co-wrote "UK Cetacean Status Review" and "Atlas of Cetacean Distribution in Northwest European Seas", published by the UK government's Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and recently an "Atlas of Marine Mammals of Wales" on behalf of the Countryside Council for Wales, as well as lead-author of the MCCIP reports on the impact of climate chance upon marine mammals for the UK government. I am currently writing a book on Conservation of European Cetaceans for UNEP.