Areas of Expertise

  • marine biology
  • marine mammal science
  • bioacoustics
  • static acoustic monitoring of cetaceans
  • remote sensing
  • statistical modelling
  • underwater surveys
  • marine renewables
  • scientific diving
  • photo-identification
  • line-transect and towed acoustic surveys

Publications

  1. & Estimating effective detection area of static passive acoustic data loggers from playback experiments with cetacean vocalisations. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 9(12), 2362-2371.
  2. & Seasonal and diel patterns in cetacean use and foraging at a potential marine renewable energy site. Marine Pollution Bulletin
  3. & Don’t forget the porpoise: acoustic monitoring reveals fine scale temporal variation between bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise in Cardigan Bay SAC. Marine Biology 164(3)
  4. (2015). Development of videographic methods for measuring distance from vantage point to porpoise sightings in Ramsey Sound. Presented at Marine Energy Pembrokeshire Annual Industry Seminar 2015,
  5. & (2015). Developing marine mammal monitoring at marine renewable energy sites. Presented at THE NOC ASSOCIATION 5th ANNUAL MEETING March 2015,

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Teaching

  • BIO238 Marine Ecosystems: Threats and Conservation

    This module introduces the students to various marine ecosystems and the broad ecological concepts that underpin marine community structure. The first block of lectures will present processes that are common across many marine ecosystems. Subsequent lectures will go into detail on types of marine ecosystems, with specific examples in tropical, temperate, and polar regions. Within these lectures we will focus on some of the threats faced by these ecosystems, ranging from climate change and marine plastics to illegal fishing and tourism. The module will also introduce conservation efforts in the marine ecosystems presented over the semester. There will be two fieldtrips that will exemplify some of the processes and challenges faced by biota found in some of the ecosystems covered in the lectures. One will be to the Crymlyn Burrows to assess the adaptations of estuarine organisms to salinity variability and the other will be carried out on the RV Mary Anning investigating how primary and secondary production can influence marine community structure. There are three pieces of coursework associated with the module. Two of these will be based around the field trips. These assignments will rely on observations and data, with emphasis placed on teamwork and group cooperation both in the field and when preparing and presenting your findings. The third will be a computer-based practical using ecosystem modelling software to look at how different threats (e.g. ocean warming, overfishing) might impact a virtual marine ecosystem.

  • BIO318 Ecology of Marine Animals

    This is a research-led module that explores the free-living behaviour of a range of marine animals through recent advances in biotelemetry such as satellite tracking and use of miniaturized dive computers and activity sensors attached to animals ranging from fish to air-breathing vertebrates.

  • BIO338 Polar Biology

    This module considers the ecology of the polar region. Topics are organised into six themes: 1) History of polar exploration; 2) Characteristics of the environments; 3) Major wildlife; 4) Adaptation strategies; 5) Ecosystem dynamics; 6) Changes and threats. Lectures will be complemented by paper discussions.

  • BIO346 Professional Skills in Marine Biology

    This field-based module will introduce students to the professional techniques utilised to monitor and study marine life in a variety of marine and coastal habitats and in relation to conservation management and biodiversity monitoring in the United Kingdom. The course places a strong emphasis on marine ecological census techniques. Students will learn key skills relevant to the marine ecology sector including protected and economically-important species (especially marine mammals, fish, shellfish, coastal birds), Phase 1 habitat surveys and water quality surveys. Students will also learn about the biotic and abiotic factors that define different UK habitats and relevant regulations that protect them. The module provides an introduction to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and a range of impacts on the marine environment including energy generation and pollution. Participants in this module will work in groups acting as a marine environmental consultancy and the class will be responsible for producing key survey results for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and public engagement presentation for a proposed commercial development in Carmarthen Bay. Students will gain insider experience about professional techniques in marine (and freshwater) biology through a series of lectures delivered by marine environmental practitioners from environmental consultancies and regulatory organisations in the UK. The course includes a five-day residential field course in September/October which provides the students with the opportunity to practice the key technical skills in a real-world setting

Supervision

  • STANDARDISED METHODS FOR COLLABORATIVE LONG-TERM MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT OF CETACEANS IN WALES (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Unsworth
    Other supervisor: Dr William Allen
  • Remote methods for the assessment of coastal biodiversity interacting with marine renewable developments. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Kam Tang
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Unsworth
  • Marine protected areas as a management tool: A global assessment into the effect of varying levels of protection on seagrass-associated fish communities (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Unsworth
  • The challenges of studying cetaceans: a focus on the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) at potential marine renewable energy sites in Wales (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Unsworth
  • 'Local and Regional variability of Indo-Pacific Seagrass Fish Assemblages' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Unsworth