- CETACEAN RESEARCH
I am a cetacean scientist who has conducted visual (from shore, boat and aerial platforms) and acoustic studies of free-ranging whales, dolphins and porpoises since 1995. My research interests focus primarily on the distribution and ecology of cetacean species and communities, through methodologies including visual and acoustic distribution and abundance surveys, photo-identification (abundance, movements and social structure), and faecal and genetic sampling.
My cetacean work began in the waters of Scotland in the mid-1990s, including studying harbour porpoises in Shetland and the dolphin populations off Aberdeen. I then switched focus to the (sub)tropical waters off the west coast of Africa, particularly Angola. In 2011, following eight years of cetacean survey work in that region, I completed my PhD (Ecology) at the University of Aberdeen titled “Ecology and conservation of cetaceans in the waters between Angola and the Gulf of Guinea, with focus on the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii).” My expertise in Angolan and Gulf of Guinea cetaceans has led to my inclusion in the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group and the CMS Scientific Council’s Aquatic Mammals Working Group (AMWG).
In recent years, my research has particularly focussed on carrying out ecological studies of two baleen whale species in the Falkland Islands off the tip of South America, comprising sei whales and southern right whales. This work has a strong emphasis on management-related science, aimed at monitoring the post-whaling recovery of both species in the southern hemisphere.
I have produced a wide range of peer-reviewed publications related to my research interests. I also regularly peer-review papers for a variety of scientific journals. I am a member of the Editing Board of the African Journal of Marine Science.
EXPERTISE: visual cetacean surveys / species identification / sei whales / Falkland Islands / Angola and the Gulf of Guinea / biopsy sampling / faecal sampling / acoustic monitoring