Personal profile

Research overview

Ecology, physiology and life history of marine mammals.

Interactions between the foraging behaviour and diving physiology: Interactions between foraging ecology and reproductive success; parental investment; interactions between marine mammals and the exploitation of marine resources; use of telemetry and remote sensing to study marine mammals at sea.

Other expertise

I have led SMRU's instrumentation group for many years.   We develop and sell advanced telemetry equipment for use on marine mammals, turtles and large sharks which collect and send behavioural and environmental information via satellites and mobile phone systems.  .  Current research involves developing the methodology for using marine mammals as oceanographic sampling platforms. We are have adapted our current Satellite Relayed Data Loggers (SRDLs) to become CTD probes and combine the temperature and salinity profiles they collect with location and behavioural information about the animal in the data stream relayed by the tags. We thus are able to use our subject animals to adaptively sample the ocean environment, providing information from logistically difficult areas or limited temporal coverage to  augment conventional oceanographic sampling. These devices have now been delivering large quantities of ocean data from large areas ofthe world's oceans and have been particularly important on the Southern and Arctic Oceans where sampling is difficult and costly. They are now recognized as an important part of the ocean observation system.


See and

Industrial relevance

Our CTD-SRDLs will provide extremely cost-effective solutions to oceanographic sampling and monitoring programs, particularly in logistically difficult locations. The most recent large scale projects using the approach have provided more than 100,000 profiles in hard to reach polar oceans, even below ice.  Such programs are becoming increasingly important in the development of models that are used to predict consequences of climate change and marine exploitation. Thus, the development has potential commercial applications.


Academic/Professional Qualification

Ph.D., Zoology/Physiology, Duke University; M.A., Biology, Duke University; B.A., Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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