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Honorary Professor at Bangor University; Director of Sea Watch Foundation, Bangor University

I have worked on marine mammals for >40 years and oversee a national cetacean monitoring scheme. 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 had a long-term population study on European starlings in Fair Isle, Shetland and a rainforest conservation project on the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean.

Within UK, I have overseen a programme of research and monitoring of bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises in Welsh waters, particularly Cardigan Bay, in collaboration with Natural resources 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 devices that function as click detectors. I have a particular interest in marine spatial planning, marine protected areas 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 five textbooks on cetaceans ("European Whales, Dolphins and porpoises. Marine Mammal Conservation in Practice", "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 >150 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 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.


  • –present
    Honorary Senior Lecturer, Bangor University