Lecturer in MarinBiology, University of Portsmouth

I am a marine scientist specialising in vertebrate ecology, animal behaviour, and underwater acoustics.

Originally from Scotland, I completed an BSc (Hons) Zoology at the University of Aberdeen followed by an MRes Marine Mammal Science at the University of St Andrews. In 2010, I travelled to Australia to work on various marine mammal research projects “for a few months” - which turned into eight years!

During my time in Australia, I completed a PhD in Applied Physics with the Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST) at Curtin University. My doctoral thesis examined coastal dolphins and noisy environments, focusing on bottlenose dolphins and snubfin dolphins in Western Australia. Following my PhD, I worked on research projects studying marine megafauna, anthropogenic disturbance, and animal movement at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. I also gained industry experience as an environmental consultant working on marine impact assessments in both Australia and South-East Asia. In 2018, I returned to the UK to begin work at the University of Portsmouth as a Lecturer in Marine Biology.

In addition to conducting research, I have also spent several years working as a science communicator and tertiary educator. I am a strong supporter of both public engagement and citizen science.

I am an Associate Editor for Austral Ecology and Blog Editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology. I also sit on the Media Committee for the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life conference.

My research focuses primarily on marine megafauna, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions), birds, and fish. I am particularly interested in aspects of:

Animal behaviour
Bioacoustics
Citizen science
Habitat-use
Human disturbance
Marine soundscapes
Marine ecology
Movement patterns
Underwater acoustics

Experience

  • 2018–2018
    Postdoctoral research associate, University of Western Australia
  • 2017–2018
    Postdoctoral research associate, Curtin University

Education

  • 2017 
    Curtin University, PhD Applied Physics
  • 2009 
    University of St Andrews, MRes Marine Mammal Science
  • 2008 
    University of Aberdeen, BSc (Hons) Zoology

Publications

  • 2019
    The effects of ship noise on marine mammals-a review, Frontiers in Marine Science
  • 2017
    Occupancy of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in relation to vessel traffic, dredging, and environmental variables within a highly urbanised estuary, Hydrobiologia
  • 2017
    Spatial and temporal variation in the acoustic habitat of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) within a highly urbanized estuary, Frontiers in Marine Science
  • 2017
    A tale of two soundscapes: comparing the acoustic characteristics of urban versus pristine coastal dolphin habitats in Western Australia, Acoustics Australia
  • 2017
    Underwater recordings of the whistles of bottlenose dolphins in Fremantle Inner Harbour, Western Australia, Scientific Data
  • 2017
    Effects of vessel traffic and underwater noise on the movement, behaviour and vocalisations of bottlenose dolphins in an urbanised estuary, Scientific Reports
  • 2016
    Underwater sound in an urban estuarine river: sound sources, soundscape contribution, and temporal variability, Acoustics Australia
  • 2016
    Characterizing diversity and variation in fish choruses in Darwin Harbour, ICES Journal of Marine Science
  • 2016
    Long-term monitoring of soundscapes and deciphering a usable index: Examples of fish choruses from Australia, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
  • 2014
    Non-song vocalizations of pygmy blue whales in Geographe Bay, Western Australia, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • 2013
    Using Tooth Rakes to Monitor Population and Sex Differences in Aggressive Behaviour in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)., Aquatic Mammals