SMRU Long-term measurement of marine mammal population structure, dynamics and trophic interactions

Lead Research Organisation: University of St Andrews

Abstract

The Sea Mammal Research Unit carries out fundamental, leading edge research on marine mammals in many different subject areas. This research is carried out worldwide with a core objective of understanding the causes and consequences of changes in populations. With ever increasing pressure on the world's oceans and it resources, marine mammals are consequently often impacted by man's marine activities. One of our main aims is to therefore determine the nature, magnitude and significance of these expanding interactions. Our research is highly integrated and can therefore be divided in many different ways . However, the broad research areas are listed below and further details of each and how they are connected can be found by following the links. Research Areas include: abundance Estimation, acoustics, communications/social Interactions, conservation, demographics, disease distribution, dive behaviour, endocrinology/physiology, feeding/diet, fishery interactions, foraging ecology, genetics, habitat preference, immunology, industrial impacts/interactions, instrumentation, marine renewable energy, oceanography, population modelling, reproduction, social behaviour/cognition, toxicology.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The population of UK grey seals continues to increase at a national level although trends vary regionally. Populations in Orkney and West Scotland are probably reaching their carrying capacity as numbers plateau.

In contrast, harbour seals in many Scottish populations continue to be in serious decline. Whilst the causes of this decline are being investigated, harbour seals in certain regions and seasons are experiencing increased trauma mortality due to predation by grey seals. In addition, exposure of harbour seals to various toxins from harmful algae, through the consumption of fish contaminated with domoic acid and saxitoxin, are a cause of concern.

The impact of marine renewable energy developments on marine mammals has been investigated. Collision risk models have been refined. These have been used to estimate the rate of harbour seal collisions with tidal turbine blades in the Pentland Firth. The consequences of collision on trauma and mortality was investigated by simulated blade strikes on seal carcasses.

During the construction of wind farms, the redistribution of harbour seals during the pile driving activity lasted only approximately two hours. Although they temporarily avoided the piling noise, the propogation of the noise was such that they were still at significant risk of long term hearing impairment. Some seals were observed to use operational wind turbine foundations as feeding sites.
Exploitation Route The advice on the conservation and management of seals and the results on recent population trends and underlying drivers is reported to UK government as part of NERC's statutory requirements under the Conservation of Seals (1970) Act and the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. This is used by UK government and devolved administrations and their associated conservation agencies (NRW, Natural England, SNH and JNCC) to inform policy and management plans. This advice is scrutinised and reviewed annually by the Special Committee on Seals (SCOS), is signed off by NERC and Scottish Ministers and is published on our website.

This information is also used by the offshore energy generation, port authority development and oil and gas decommissioning industries in their requirement to carry out environmental impact assessments.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL http://www.smru.st-andrews.ac.uk/pageset.aspx?psr=411
 
Description 1. The very dramatic decline in the abundance of harbour seals in some regions in Scotland, particularly on the east coast and in the Northern Isles is continuing. The slowing of the grey seal population size on the west coast of Scotland has also been maintained, suggesting it has reached carrying capacity. This information, and the drivers behind them, is critical for the UK to fulfil its obligations under the EU Habitats and the Marine Strategy Framework Directives. These results are also used by UK government to set the regional levels of man-induced mortality of seals (known as the potential biological removal limits). 2. Current harbour seal Management Units are consistent with genetic metapopulation data and microsatellite genotype analysis. However, some Units could be combined. Certain populations may also be sink populations because of poor habitat quality and will only be maintained with significant immigration from adjacent source populations. 3. Harbour seal and grey seal pup predation by grey seals is also continuing to be reported and could be a significant source of mortality for some harbour seal populations. These findings are reported to UK government annually and provide the basis for the designation of conservation management areas for harbour seals. 4. Harbour seals continue to be exposed to toxins from harmful algal blooms and combined with potentially decreased fecundity rates are being further investigated as drivers of observed population declines. Again, these findings are reported to UK government as part of the Advice on Matters relating to Seal Populations through the NERC Special Committee on Seals. 5. Human disturbance of harbour seals at their haulout sites has limited impact on their behavioural and energetic status. This information is being used by Marine Scotland and SNH to inform their policies on disturbing harbour seals on land.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Energy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Advisor to Marine Scotland on selection of harbour porpoise SAC on west coast of Scotland
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Advisor to UK Inter-agency Marine Mammal Working Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Advisory Group European Marine Energy Centre
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
 
Description Assessment of the Development and Use of Passive Acoustics Advanced Survey Technologies to Support Marine Mammal Stock Assessments
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description CMS Scientific Council Expert Working Group on Culture and Social Complexity
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://www.cms.int/en/legalinstrument/
 
Description Committee on Cumulative Effects of Anthropogenic Stressors on Marine Mammals
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://dels.nas.edu/osb
 
Description Development of seal indicators for MSFD
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The UK leads on the seal indicators for MSFD at a European level through OSPAR. SMRU through ICES organised a workshop to finalise the European-wide indicators and provided analyses of data across Europe for grey seal abundance. This has led to the adoption of the indicators for Biodiversity by OSPAR and submission to the Intermediat Assessment, 2018.
 
Description Expert Commission of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment to evaluate German Antarctic Research
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description ICES Working Group for the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Waters Ecoregion (WGBIE)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description ICES Working Group on Marine Mammal Ecology
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://www.ices.dk/community/groups/Pages/WGMME.aspx
 
Description ICES Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal Stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak (WGNSSK)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description ICES/NAFO Working Group on Harp and Hooded Seals
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://www.ices.dk/community/groups/Pages/WGHARP.aspx
 
Description Intermediate Assessment for MSFD
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Enabling UK Government to respond to its responsibilities under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The Intermediate assessment was successfully completed in 2017.
URL https://oap.ospar.org/en/ospar-assessments/intermediate-assessment-2017/
 
Description International Whaling Commission
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://iwc.int/chemical-pollution
 
Description Long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact This scientific advisory board oversees the studies which are assessing the impacts of the oil spill on marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico. The findings will influence oil spill response practice and oil pollution policy in the US.
 
Description Marine Mammal Non-Lethal Deterrents
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Policy makers used the information gathered and discussed to inform new and updated legislation on the best, most acceptable methods of dettering marine mammals from frequenting economically important sites, such as fish farms. This has enormous potential to reduce the numbers of marine mammals that are killed at such sites, and thus also potential to enhance environmental sustainability of the mammals in question.
 
Description NERC Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Advisory Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Knowledge exchanged between the developers, regulators and marine mammal scientists has enabled consents for marine renewable energy developments to be granted. Without evidence regarding the likelihood of various impacts (e.g. collision risk, effects of noise) regulators would be much more precautionary in their approach to licences and licence conditions.
 
Description National Marine Mammal Peer Review Committee, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact This Committee assess the population management advice for various stocks of Beluga, Narwhal, Walrus and grey seals. The outputs are Scientific Advisory Reports for the Canadian Government.
 
Description Predator prey interactions with grey seals
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact An ICES report outlining the formulation of appropriate seal conservation policy coordinated across Europe
URL http://www.ices.dk/Lists/Glossary/DispForm.aspx?ID=791
 
Description Scientific Advisory Committee on Seal Rehabilitation in the Netherlands
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact A revised policy on licensing of seal habilitation centres resulted from this advisory committee.
 
Description Steering Group for the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact .
 
Description Steering Group for the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://www.sruc.ac.uk/info/120150/scottish_marine_stranding_scheme
 
Description Additional funding for Harbour Seal Decline
Amount £17,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 05/2020
 
Description Additional pup production surveys of the harbour seal population in the Wash
Amount £12,507 (GBP)
Organisation Statoil 
Sector Private
Country Norway
Start 05/2015 
End 12/2016
 
Description Additional pup production surveys of the harbour seal population in the Wash
Amount £7,876 (GBP)
Organisation Statoil 
Sector Private
Country Norway
Start 09/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Aerial Survey Equipment
Amount £350,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 07/2015
 
Description Aerial thermal imaging survey for harbour seals, 2017 to 2018
Amount € 159,276 (EUR)
Organisation Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht 
Start 08/2017 
End 11/2018
 
Description Behavoural responses by seals to offshore energy activites
Amount £39,969 (GBP)
Organisation Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 01/2021
 
Description Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast Grey Seals Desktop study
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural England 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 03/2017
 
Description CASE Studentship
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Resources Wales 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 03/2017
 
Description Capital - Boats, Vehicles and Engines
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 12/2017
 
Description Contribution to air surveys for harbour seals
Amount £13,500 (GBP)
Organisation Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDNI) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2018 
End 05/2019
 
Description Contribution to the investigation of harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) decline in Orkney
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Description Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Amount £32,960 (GBP)
Organisation Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 08/2016
 
Description Development of Unmanned Aerial Photography for Seal Photo Identification
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2013 
End 06/2014
 
Description Elaborating on passive acoustic algorithms for tracking of harbour porpoises.
Amount £9,929 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 03/2015
 
Description Genetic studies of Scottish harbour seals (Phoca vitulina)
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Grey Seal Habitat Preference and distribution on the West and North UK - Phase 1
Amount £169,200 (GBP)
Organisation Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description Grey seal abundance during the moult
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SNH 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 03/2014
 
Description Harbour seal abundance
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SNH 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 09/2013
 
Description Harbour seal survey recommendations
Amount £5,743 (GBP)
Organisation Statoil 
Sector Private
Country Norway
Start 01/2015 
End 03/2015
 
Description Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy on Harbour Seals in the Moray Firth
Amount £48,667 (GBP)
Organisation University of Aberdeen 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 03/2019
 
Description Innovation Funding
Amount £122,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Description Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship
Amount £131,039 (GBP)
Organisation European Union 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2019
 
Description Marine Mammal Scientific Support
Amount £311,129 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Scotland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2020
 
Description Marine mammal collision risks
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SNH 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2013 
End 08/2014
 
Description Modelling harbour seal population extinction rates
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 02/2014
 
Description Movements of grey seals in relation to vessel activity
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 07/2015
 
Description Movements of grey seals in relation to vessel activity
Amount £25,900 (GBP)
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 07/2015
 
Description Movements of seals in relation to port developments
Amount £249,000 (GBP)
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 02/2016
 
Description NERC Innovative Monitoring Approaches
Amount £353,747 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 06/2019
 
Description NERC capital investment in new Gatty building
Amount £3,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Description National Capability - Multi-Centre Long Term Science
Amount £8,400,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2021
 
Description Natural Resources Wales
Amount £7,999 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Resources Wales 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Natural Resources Wales
Amount £4,999 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Resources Wales 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 08/2016
 
Description ORJIP ADD Stage 1 Phase 2
Amount £3,185 (GBP)
Organisation Carbon Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 08/2015
 
Description Photo-ID database for Welsh grey seals
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Resources Wales 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description RESPONSE
Amount £389,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/J004251/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 07/2015
 
Description SNH - Putative foraging areas of harbour seals tagged in Scotland
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description SNH - The consequences of genetic diversity for Scottish Harbour Seals
Amount £45,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 06/2018
 
Description SNH Harbour Seal Aerial Surveys
Amount £257,500 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2014 
End 03/2019
 
Description Scottish Natural Heritage
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 02/2017
 
Description Sea Mammal Research Unit, Marine Mammal Scientific Support - 2015-2020
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Scotland 
Department Marine Scotland Directorate
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2020
 
Description Seal Diet
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 02/2015
 
Description Sound of Islay study
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SNH 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2013 
End 08/2014
 
Description Sound of Islay study
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 02/2014
 
Description Survey of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Firth of Tay 2015
Amount £6,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2015 
End 01/2016
 
Description The effects of offshore marine renewable construction and operation on harbour seals
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department of Energy and Climate Change 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2012 
End 02/2014
 
Description Trialling methods for tracking the fine scale underwater movements of marine mammals in areas of marine renewable energy
Amount £305,825 (GBP)
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2016
 
Description Vodafone
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Vodafone 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
 
Description Wash Breeding Harbour Seal Survey
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural England 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 07/2018
 
Description Welsh grey seal Photo-ID
Amount £12,959 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Resources Wales 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Title Development of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Sensor for tissue oxygenation measurements in free swimming seals 
Description This non-invasive sensor enables physiologists to understand oxygen management at the tissue level in free diving marine mammals. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This work was presented at an International conference which has resulted in us being approached by a number of institutes and researchers seeking collaboration and the opportunity to used this in their own research. 
 
Title Activity Budgets 
Description Previous models of seal activity budgets used movement behaviour to estimate time spent foraging and travelling in trips to sea. However, behavioural data should also be used because one type of movement (slow, tortuous movements) could be associated with multiple activities (e.g. resting and foraging). Thus a Bayesian state-space model was developed that for the first time included both behavioural and movement data to define four states: resting on land, resting at sea, foraging and travelling. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This development allows foraging effort to be more accurately defined which is key to marine spatial planning. These models have already been used in two high profile publications (with a third one in review). 
 
Title Grey seal pup production 
Description This database consists of the number of pups counted during the breeding season aeiral surveys carried out by SMRU. The number of white coated pups, moulted pups and dead pups are counted on a colony by colony basis across the UK between 4 and 5 times each season. These counts are incorporated into a population model to produce an overall pup production estimate for each region. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2006 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This long term dataset has been identified as an important input into the biodiversity indicators for assessing Good Environmental Status under the UK's obligations to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 
URL http://www.bodc.ac.uk/partners/research_centres/smru/
 
Title Harbour Seal IBM 
Description A prototype Individual Base Model is being constructed for harbour seal movement. This has the potential to predict the consequences of anthropogenic and inter-species interactions. Funding has been secured for a two-year Marie Curie fellowship starting in Jan 2018. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Still in prototype status. However the in-house development was the seed that attracted and won a Marie Curie fellowship 
 
Title Harbour seal moult counts 
Description This database consists of counts of harbour seals hauled out during their annual moult in August which are counted by thermographic and fixed wing air survey by SMRU. Some sites are counted annually (North sea) and those on rocky haulouts in Scotland are counted synoptically with the aim of counting the entire coastline every 5 years. Each record consists of a location and number of animals counted. Grey seals are also counted which have provided an estimate of population size which is independent from the pup counts. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact These harbour seal moult counts over time have been used as an bodiversity indicator for assessing Good Environmental Status enabling the UK to fulfil its obligations under the Marine Strategy and Habitats Directives. 
URL http://www.smru.st-andrews.ac.uk/pageset.aspx?psr=411
 
Title Reproductive success of individually identifiable grey seals 
Description Thi dataset consists of mark-recaptures of breeding females on two colonies in Scotland. Known animals (identifiable by markings on their fur) are observed each year and if they return to the colony to breed many are physically captured to assess their condition and to monitor the growth and condition of the pup. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Survival and fecundity estimates from this research (so-called vital rates) are used in estimating the total size of the UK grey seal population from the pup counts obtained during the breeding season. 
URL http://www.bodc.ac.uk/partners/research_centres/smru/
 
Title Seal Habitat Preference Model 
Description This model seeks to predict seal distribution based on habitat preference using empirical data from telemetry tags. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This work is ongoing but was developed in relation to decommissioning of offshore strucutres and will therefore allow informed decisions and assist the regulators involved in offshore structure decommissioning. 
URL http://www.insitenorthsea.org/the-insite-science-day-2017/downloads/
 
Title Telemetry data cleaning protocol 
Description SMRU has deployed over 700 telemetry tags on grey and harbour seals around Britain. A protocol was required to filter historical and new telemetry data in an effective and consistent way. There are two parts to protocol: location fixes associated with large distance error were removed and useful start and end dates were defined. Depending on the tag type, data transmission was through either the Argos satellite system or the mobile phone system. The resulting data differ in locational accuracy: Argos data encompass distance errors of over 2.5 km whereas data received through the mobile phone system are generally of GPS quality (although erroneous locations do occur). For Argos tags, location fixes were filtered by an algorithm using a maximum speed parameter of 2 ms- 1. This resulted in the masking of locations which would require an unrealistic travel speed from the last location. The remaining telemetry locations were corrected for positional error using a linear Gaussian state space Kalman filter built in-house. To clean GPS data, test data prior to deployment was used to define a relationship between provided data parameters (number of satellites and redisual error) and distance error. Using this relationship, locations that were likely to be associated with large error are removed. Tests on land show that 95% of the remaining locations have a distance error of less than 50m. 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact All SMRU data have been through this protocol resulting in the use of consistent data across projects. This protocol has also been adopted by other research groups using the SMRU tags such as the University of La Rochelle, France, the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies, Netherlands, The University of Syndey, and the University of Tasmania, Australia. 
 
Title Usage Maps 
Description Using both count and telemetry data, at-sea usage maps have been developed for grey and harbour seals around the British Isles. These quantify uncertainty in usage from various factors including individual variation in animal movements and uncertainty surrounding population size. This results in mean and 95% confidence intervals surrounding estimates of usage. 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact These maps are publically available through the Marine Scotland Interactive website and are been used to spatial marine planning, especially with regard to the marine renewable Environmental Impact Assessments. 
URL http://www.smru.st-andrews.ac.uk/smrudownloader/uk_seal_usage_of_the_sea7f
 
Title sPOCk (The effect of Pollutants on Cetacean Populations) 
Description This individual based model quantifies the flow and effect of pollutants on cetacean populations 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This model is available through our website as a windows based application and is being used by the International Whaling Commission and its member countries. Hall, A.J., McConnell, B.J., Schwacke, L.H., Ylitalo, G.M., Williams, R., Rowles, T.K., 2018. Predicting the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on cetacean populations through impacts on immunity and calf survival. Environmental Pollution 233, 407-418. 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.10.074 
URL http://www.smru.st-andrews.ac.uk/PCBdemo/
 
Description Development of fluorimetry logger for continuous plankton recorder 
Organisation Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SMRU Instrumentation Group modified fluorimetry seal tag to work autonomously in the CPR.
Collaborator Contribution SAHFOS deployed and tested these devices on a number of CPRs.
Impact This activity involves SMRU engineers and biologists and SAHFOS ocean modellers.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Effect of biotoxins on seal health 
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Toxins from harmful algae are now being found in top predators in Scotland where they may cause adverse health effects.
Collaborator Contribution Marine Scotland Science assisted with the laboratory analysis of samples from seals and fish for various toxins.
Impact This collaboration resulted in a PhD thesis which has just been submitted and which will give rise to three publications (one accepted for publication). This is a multi-disciplinary collaboraiton between chemists, algologists and marine mammal scientists.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Fluid dynamic modelling of drag on seals 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of seal morphometrics, seal swimming activity data and telemetry device design
Collaborator Contribution Fluid dynamic modelling of flow characteristics of tagged and untagged seals.
Impact This collaborations is multi-disciplinary. SMRU staff are biologists and engineers. Plymouth are fluid dynamics modellers.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Grey seal mortality and morbidity 
Organisation Moredun Research Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution An investigation of the pathogens and links with terrestrial to marine contamination in grey seal pups during the breeding season.
Collaborator Contribution The Moredun Research Institute is funded by Scottish Government as the main Animal Health Institute in Scotland. In this study it provided all the pathological and histological support for the study.
Impact This collaboration resulted in a PhD thesis which was successfully defended this year. One paper has been accepted for publication and two more are in preparation. This collaboration was multi-disciplinary involving veterinarians, veterinary pathologists and marine mammal scientists.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Harbour seal genomics 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Sample collection and next generation sequencing of the genome for individuals from contrasting populations and bioinformatic analysis of these data.
Collaborator Contribution Scottish Natural Heritage contributed funding support and Scottish Government harbour seal decline project facilitated sample collection.
Impact This multidisciplinary study involves geneticists, bioinformaticians, immunologists and ecologists. This study has only recently commenced and the genome sequences for 18 indviduals have been received and are being processed.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Harbour seal population structure 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This work has built on the early studies of genetic population structure in UK harbour seals. All samples collected have now been genotyped at 19 microsatellite loci.
Collaborator Contribution Financial support for this project has made the re-genotyping possible. Additional input from this stakeholder has been invaluable in the utlity of these data for determining harbour seal management regions in Scotland.
Impact A report has been submitted to SNH and further data analysis is being carried out before the results are submitted for peer reviewed publication.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Interaction with Met Office for animal-borne data collection 
Organisation Meteorological Office UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provided Met Office with sea temperature data obtained from telemetered seals in UK waters.
Collaborator Contribution Exploration of temperature data to determine if it was of sufficient quantity and quality for incorporation into short term weather forecasting.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary study, SMRU staff are biologists and oceanographers, Met Office staff are meterologists.
Start Year 2015
 
Description M2M communication channels for tagged seals 
Organisation Vodafone
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution SMRU's Instrumentation Group develops electronic tags that relay data via mobile phone technology (GSM). This collaboration permitted the use of more energy efficient M2M sims.
Collaborator Contribution Vodafone and Huawei have offered the use of their new NB-IoT Laboratory. This will accelerate tag development and will that will exploit the Narrow Band Internet of things Infrastructure. Also, Vodafone provided funds for the deployment of SMRU-IG tags in Orkney as part of the Scottish Government Harbour Seal Decline project.
Impact Ten Harbour seals were tagged in Orkney in April 2016. The data are still being analysed.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Marine vertebrates in high tidal areas 
Organisation University of the Highlands and Islands
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration involves investigating the movements of birds and seals in areas of high tidal regions where tidal energy developments are likely to occur. SMRU is providing information on the movements of marine mammals in these areas.
Collaborator Contribution The partners in this study are providing information on the movements of seabirds in the same high tidal regions as we have data for the seals.
Impact This collaboration has just commenced and there are no outputs at this time. It is also multi-disciplinary, SMRU staff are biologists and engineers, UHI staff are biologists.
Start Year 2015
 
Description North sea grey seal genetic population structure 
Organisation University of Groningen
Department Faculty of Science and Engineering
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This study has been enhanced by the addition of DNA samples from grey seals in the North Sea at SMRU study sites.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed DNA genotyping using SNPs and an analysis of how UK grey seals compare with other population around the Northern North Sea.
Impact Data are currently being analysed.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Nutritional stress in harbour seals 
Organisation Government of Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The aim of this study was to investigate the evidence for nutritional stress among harbour seals from declining populations in Scotland. Samples were analysed for biomarkers of nutritional stress and changes in body condition during the period of decline continue to be investigated.
Collaborator Contribution In addition to financial contribution by the partners, discussions regarding the significance of the findings for the conservation and management of the species have been ongoing.
Impact Results are currently being analysed. This is not a muti-disciplinary study.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Putative foraging areas of harbour seals tagged in Scotland 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution A report analysing the long-term harbour seal telemetry data in order to identify foraging areas. This will assist SNH in their designation of offshore Special Areas of Conservation for harbour seals.
Collaborator Contribution The partners contributed financial support and outlined the policy context.
Impact This is not a multi-disciplinary project.
Start Year 2017
 
Description The effect of tagging on a large marine vertebrate 
Organisation University of Wageningen
Department Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaboration is co-fuding for a PhD studentship
Collaborator Contribution The partners contribute 50% funding and intellectual input in the form of student supervision
Impact This PhD thesis has been submitted and is a multi-disciplinary project investigating energetic studies on seals in our captive facility.
Start Year 2013
 
Description The energetic cost of human disturbance to harbour seals 
Organisation Edinburgh Napier University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaborative PhD project is co-supervised by SMRU which give access to the captive seal facility and associate laboratory support. In addition we supply field support.
Collaborator Contribution The University of Glasgow has supplied supervision and Edinburgh Napier University have contributed fluid dynamics modelling expertise and supervision. Scottish Natural Heritage have supplied funding.
Impact This collaboration is multi-disciplinary and involves comparative physiologists, animal behavourists and fluid dynamic modellers. A PhD thesis has been submitted.
Start Year 2012
 
Description The energetic cost of human disturbance to harbour seals 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This collaborative PhD project is co-supervised by SMRU which give access to the captive seal facility and associate laboratory support. In addition we supply field support.
Collaborator Contribution The University of Glasgow has supplied supervision and Edinburgh Napier University have contributed fluid dynamics modelling expertise and supervision. Scottish Natural Heritage have supplied funding.
Impact This collaboration is multi-disciplinary and involves comparative physiologists, animal behavourists and fluid dynamic modellers. A PhD thesis has been submitted.
Start Year 2012
 
Description The energetic cost of human disturbance to harbour seals 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaborative PhD project is co-supervised by SMRU which give access to the captive seal facility and associate laboratory support. In addition we supply field support.
Collaborator Contribution The University of Glasgow has supplied supervision and Edinburgh Napier University have contributed fluid dynamics modelling expertise and supervision. Scottish Natural Heritage have supplied funding.
Impact This collaboration is multi-disciplinary and involves comparative physiologists, animal behavourists and fluid dynamic modellers. A PhD thesis has been submitted.
Start Year 2012
 
Description The movement and foraging ecology of harbour seals and shags in high tidal energy environments 
Organisation Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution A PhD studentship is being supervised by the team members.
Collaborator Contribution The collaborators are funding this study.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary study which includes bird and seal ecologists and ocean modellers.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Unexplained seal deaths 
Organisation Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Investigation of factors causing spiral trauma deaths in seals and mitigation options
Collaborator Contribution Reporting of dead seals to SMRU.
Impact Bexton, S., Thompson, D., Brownlow, A., Barley, J., Milne, R., Bidewell, C., 2012. Unusual Mortality of Pinnipeds in the United Kingdom Associated with Helical (Corkscrew) Injuries of Anthropogenic Origin. Aquatic Mammals 38, 229-240. 10.1578/am.38.3.2012.229
Start Year 2013
 
Description Unexplained seal deaths - injury simulations 
Organisation Voith GmBH
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Simulation of mechanical injuries to model seals
Collaborator Contribution Voith GmBH provided the test facilities and engineering input to allow us to film the model seals as they passed through a ducted propeller at various speeds to see if we could replicate the trauma injuries observed on the seal carcasses
Impact Outcome of this collaboration was unequivocal evidence (video footage in slow motion and damaged model seals) that seals coming into contact with ducted propellers would sustain injuries. However, many of the co-called 'corkscrew' injuries reported by the public were attributable to grey seal predation.
Start Year 2013
 
Title Electronic tags to relay inter-haulout movements in seals 
Description This involves the modification of consumer-grade 'pet-trackers' which are pressure proofed and programmed to attempt a GPS location every seven hours. Thus, the gross movement of seals over a period of months can be determined. The niche for these tags is high volume (and thus cheap) tagging of shallow-diving seals where information on at-sea movements is not essential. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact currently under beta test 
 
Title Feeding Detection 
Description The use of accelerometry in electronic tags to detect feeding attempts in seals. This involves the construction of fast and energy-efficient algorithms to detect and store the body jerk signals associated with feeding. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact currently in beta test. 
 
Title Mapping tool for visualising contaminants in marine mammals 
Description This webtool displays interactively, the trends over decades in persistent organic pollutants in selected marine mammal species. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact This is work undertaken through the IWC Environmental Concerns Sub Committe and will be openly available shortly. It will enable conservation managers to determine the true impact of regulations to control exposure to chemicals in top predators. 
 
Title SMRUDAS 
Description SMRU DAS is the Data Management System developed to accomodate all SMRU data in accordance with the NERC data policy 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact There have been no impacts as yet but we are interfacing this internal system with BODC as our NOC Delivery Partner NC data centre 
 
Title Seal telemetry tags enabled to detect tagged fish 
Description SMRU Instrumentation Group in conjunction with Vemco (Canada) have developed a seal-bonre tag which can detect and relay encounters with fish fitted with Vemco acoustic tags. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact In addition to a publication on the technology, this development opens up the possibility of modelling the interactions of top marine predators and their prey. 
 
Description 'Tweeting' seals chart the world's oceans 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact An article on the BBC website on the impact that animal based sensors have on our ability to understand many aspects of the oceans.
A decade of information about the world's harshest seas has been gathered together from specially tagged wandering seals. The data, transmitted from remote and icy locations, is now available online to academics around the world. Seals wearing sensors built at the University of St Andrews have produced nearly 400,000 environmental profiles of the Southern Ocean.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Acoustic startle sound system to be tested on Scottish fish farms 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article published in Fish Farmer about the SalmonSafe System being tested at Scottish fish farms to protect them from predation by seals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Aerial surveys of Scotland's grey seal population 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Landward tomorrow morning, to talk about breeding grey seals and the aerial surveys that SMRU carries out to monitor Scotland's grey seal population
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Antarctic whaling, whale science and sustainability 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 1/2 day workshop with children from Crail Primary School visiting the Scottish Fisheries Museum's exhibition "Poles apart", talking to the children about antarctic whaling, whale science and sustainability.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BBC Scotland's Landward piece on conflict of interests between salmon netsmen and seals on the east coast, in particular at Crovie and at the Ythan Estuary 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The TV broadcast focussed on increased grey seal numbers at the Ythan Estuary and the possible effects on local salmon and sea trout populations and on the fairly tense interactions between salmon netsmen at Crovie protecting their catch, conservationists protecting local seals and scientists trying to quantify the problem, opening a lively debate between the interested parties and the public.

Airing conflicting views helped to move the overall discussion forwards and led to an increase in requests for further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Bottlenose dolphin siganture whistles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The request for interview to be included in a television presentation was triggered by publication of a paper in PNAS. The audience were extrememly engaged with the subject matter and asked a huge number of questions both on and off camera.

The subject matter of the intial interview led to more than 30 other requests for interviews, articles and other uses of the information from the media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Bottlenose dolphin siganture whistles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The intial press piece resulted in an increase in requests for information about dolphin communications and social strucutres.

The most notable impacts from this activity was an increase in the number of requests for information on dolphin communications and social strucutres and also on sea mammals in general. These requests came from multiple sectors including the media and educational institutions, who wanted to present the information and it's wider context of marine conservation to their psecific audiences, and also individual members of the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Britain's Whale Hunters: The Untold Story 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The TV broadcast resulted in an increased public interest in the history of whaling and the research carried out to assess the recovery of whale populations since industrial whaling ceased

Several enquiries were made by members of the public regarding research to assess the recovery of whale populations since industrial whaling ceased.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival: Whales and Dolphins -Their Social Lives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Despite their underwater habitat, in some ways whales and dolphins are so much like us. They socialise; they chat; they play. Spy in the Pod producer Rob Pilley and biologist and co-author of The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins Luke Rendell, SMRU, joined The One Show's Miranda Krestovnikoff to explore the social lives of the nation's favourite sea creatures.
There was a great response from the public with lots of interesting questions asked.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Culture in animals 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The interveiw with the journalist helped them to understand how culture in animals can be defined and studied.

The journalist was better informed on how to approach the subject of culture in animals and said that they had passed this on to other colleagues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Dolphin Breaching 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Involvement in a documentary on how dolphins breach and what purpose this behaviour could be serving.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Dolphin Science - BBC media enquiry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Media enquiry for BBC Scotland to participate in a programme about the dolphins, photo-ID work in conservation, and "dolphin science" in the context of a programme for the World Service.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2015
 
Description Dolphin Welfare 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact -
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Dolphin communication 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The article in the National Geopgraphic led to further requests for interviews on the subject of dolphin communication from other press and television organizations from countries outside the UK.

The subject of dolphin communication was picked up by a number of media outlets, including press and television, bringing the information to a much wider audience than the original article, especially as some of the resulting articles and tv interviews were done in laguages other than English, eg French and German.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Dolphin congnition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The interview with the journalist led to a full article in the Sunday Times which was taken up by many other newspapers

There were many requests for information from other journalists and the public about dolphin intelligence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Dolphin intelligence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The interview was made to gather information for part of a project on animal intelligence and was incorporated into the broadcasted programme.

More requests were made for information on dolphin intelligence and the intelligence of other sea mammals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Dundee Science Centre October exhibition 'Our Amazing Oceans' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk provoked lengthy question and answer session

High level of interest in ocean sciences expressed by young (8-12 yo) participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Effects of off-shore renewable energy installations on seal hearing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The interviewer was able to create a cohesive press piece about the current state of research into offshore renewable energy installations and their effects on seal hearing.

Exposure of the this information to the general public led to an increase in requests for information on offshore renewable energy installations and their effects on seal hearing and also for information on such effects on other sea mammals. The requests came from other media organizations and from the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Elephant seals are revealing a new threat caused by melting Antarctic ice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over the summer, colleagues in SMRU updated the MEOP website, the portal sharing ocean data collected by SMRU's Ocean profiling tags. The new database, administered by Fabien Roquet of the University of Stockholm, is a major release with more and better data, including some new and exciting high-resolution hydrographic profiles and the publicity generated by the original article led to further coverage, for example in The Washington Post, showcasing the impact of the data, a result of SMRU instrumentation work, on the global ocean science community. Other press coverage was also generated, reaching a wider public audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/08/23/how-elephant-seals-in-antarctic...
 
Description European Researchers Night at St Andrews University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Particpation in explaining research, it's wider interest and impact, to the general public - topics covered by SMRU affiliated reserachers included "How to survive in a polar ecosystem" and "Hunt and Communicate like a sperm whale" .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Evolution of social learning in whales and dolphins 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Particpation in the programme "Start the week" - talking about the evolution of social learning in whales and dolphins, discussing their culture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05r0b31
 
Description Farne Islands Management Group workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk was followed by extensive question and answer session from members of the management group and the public that were also present.

Members of the Farne Islands Management Group asked if they could visit SMRU.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2013
 
Description Fife Science Fair event at the Anstruther Fisheries Musuem 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact There was a substantial increase in attendance of the museum on the day of the event with people traveling from throughout Fife to attend. Visitors asked many questions on whales and the marine environment.

Members of the group who set up the event were inspired by this by the experience, especially in terms of the interaction with and feedback from the public, to perform more public outreach activities. Demonstration equipment, posters and artwork created for the event are now being used in these other activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Figures reveal salmon farms that shot seals 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Request for input into article for BBC website on howthe number of individual seals that can be removed from the population without causing a decline in the population is calculated and how this is used to determine how many licences may be issued each year, and how many seals may be legally shot.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Film on Animal Mothers for Oxford Scientific Films & ITV 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Request for participation in a new series called Animal Mums for ITV focusing on work on dolphins mimicking the signature whistles of close relatives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Fish Tags create dinner bell effect for seals 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact published paper resulted in over 10 requests for further information, press articles, radio and tv interveiws

initial public broadcast sparked more than 10 requests for further information, press articles, radio and tv interveiws
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Grey seal physiology - BBC Countryfile 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact BBC One's Countryfile programme from the Farne Islands talking about adaptations of grey seal physiology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Imagination - Scotland's Festival of Ideas: CULTURE WAVES: HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, WHALES AND DOLPHINS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lively public debate on how people define intelligence and the impact that humans have on whales and dolphins; how much do they understand us?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.imaginationfestival.co.uk/
 
Description Interactions between seal and man-made structures 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The initial contact with the media resulted in several magazine and press articles

The initial contact with the media resulted in several magazine and press articles in publications which reached a larger section of the public than the initial article. This in turn led to further enquiries from other media representative and the public for more information on interactions between seal and man-made structures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Interview for an influencer vlog. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact SMRU researchers were interviewed about the work carried out with new technology tracking seals, providing vital information about their lives and the oceans that they live in. The vlog generated interest and follow on articles from the BBC and other new outlets, enabling the results of the work to reach an even wider audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.caseforchange.com/saving-oceans-starts-seals/
 
Description Interview for national newspaper. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact SMRU researchers engaged with the discussion about calls from fishermen to cull UK seals, leading to the conclusion that such a cull would not be an effective measure for preserving fish stocks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for radio 4 programme. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview broadcast on the Radio 4 "Today" programme, concerning the effects of disturbance on grey seals during the breeding season.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Isle of May Seals open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was at an Open Day on the Isle of May. It sparked many questions from and discussion with members of the public.

We were asked to participate next year; we were asked for more information from members of the public, the feedback indicated an increase of knowledge and change of views with regard to seals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
URL http://isleofmaynnr.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/a-special-day-to-end-the-season/
 
Description Isle of May grey seal long term study using photo-identification 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Countrywise ITV documentary broadcast on December the 2th5 2015, featuring a interview with P Pomeroy on Isle of May grey seal long term study, using photo-identification.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.itv.com/presscentre/ep1week52/countrywise
 
Description Marine Mammal interactions with tidal turbines 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An interview with CNBC London as they're in the process of making a series of 5 short films on the tidal turbine industry. This led to other articles being published on the same topic in the popular press, reaching an even wider public audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Marine Mammals of the world - presentation for schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact TOur talk sparked an interesting discussion about the application of marine mammal science outside of academia and what attracted us this field of study. The discussion progressed to a wider discussion of ecology and the increasing concern surrounding climate change, human population increase and species decline.

In a letter sent by the class teacher, children where reported to have acquired greater appreciation of the potential impacts of human activities in the worlds oceans; and how apex predators, such as marine mammals, provide potential indicator species for these activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Media interview on noise in oceans and its effects on seals. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview for national news programme on the potential effects of ocean noise on hearing loss in UK seals. Publicity of the interview led to several requests for more information, at least 3 further articles in the public press, reaching even wider audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-39786059
 
Description Mud to mammals: the University of St Andrews at Dundee Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The Dundee Science Festival was an exciting opportunity to talk to the public about current research carried out the University of St Andrews. SMRU used lard to show how blubber keeps dolphins warm, how researchers identify the bottlenose dolphins living in the Tay using their fins and how to tell the difference between sea mammals and fish.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Options for filming breeding grey seals 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The questioner was better informed about possible options for filming breeding grey seals after speaking to us.

If any filming was undertaken then the process would have been undertaken in the best possible conditions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Organization of public festival. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact At the St Andrews Science Discovery Day 2017, SMRU presented two activities, titled 'Who are you and what have you been eating?'. One activity focused on the use of photo-identification to study populations of marine mammals. We had an explanatory poster on how and why we identify individuals of cetacean and seal species using natural markings. The kids & adults could choose to play one or more matching games with sperm whale flukes, killer whale dorsal fins, bottlenose dolphin dorsal fins and harbour or grey seal pelage photographs. The second activity focused on how and why we study seal diet. A series of fake seal scats, made out of play-doh were filled with different grains and seeds, and lab coats and tweezers were provided to each children. After they had found all the fake otoliths in the scat, we could discuss what kind of and how much fish that seal might have been eating. Real otoliths were available to look through a magnifying lens.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Our story - Salmon Netting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The radio broadcast increased public interest in the research carried out on the impact of seal predation on salmon populations.

Broadcaster wishes to pursue a follow-up programme focussing more on SMRU's research on the diet of seals, the impact on seal predation on fish stocks, and vice versa.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Outreach activities at 2016 Dundee Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dundee Science Festival 2016 took place between 29 October and 13 November, with a key objective to increase science in the community and to widen access to science. SMRU scientists took part, showcasing the work that they do and demonstrating that everyone can engage with, understand and enjoy science. More than 800 people attended the event over two days and we received some excellent feedback implicating us as 'the best thing about this event'. Many requests were made for participation in other events involving the public and schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk/dundee-science-festival/dsf-home/
 
Description Participation in radio programme. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A radio programme was recorded where Charlotte Marshall and Nicholas Tucker met SMRU experts who presented at the 2017 Mammal Society Autumn symposium, and talked about the present and future problems of marine conservation, as well as how events like the symposium would benefit young researchers and other participants. The programme was turned into podacsts and made available on the internet, reaching a far wider audience than the original broadcast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Participation of SMRU reserachers in public engagement programme "Cell Block Science". 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Ground-breaking public engagement programme Cell Block Science, including participation of led SMRU researchers, delivered informal science learning to prisoners, The programme was successful and will be continued past the initial trial period.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Polar Explorers - Ocean Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Summer is usually quiet news time and a break from teaching. Not so for Biology staff at St Andrews and the good folks of the Cupar Churches Holiday Club. The latter organised a polar explorer week for kids, and Dr Sonja Heinrich, one of St Andrews' regular polar explorers stepped up to the mark to share some stories of the Great White and its amazing inhabitants with around 40 well-behaved and very enthusiastic 9 to 12 year olds.
An extra session was needed to answer the future explorers' diverse and well-informed questions, and both older and younger participants seemed to very much enjoy the stories from the frozen South, and the insights that polar explorers come in all shapes and sizes, and many are flippered, with blubber or fur.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Population control of seals in the UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Participation in radio debate about how decisions are made on seal populations levels and any control methods necessary.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pl22c
 
Description Presentation of talk entitled "Seals in Scotland" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation entitled "Seals in Scotland" given to Fife outdoor activities organization to promote better understanding of the ecology of seals in Scotland, the laws surrounding seals and the current threats to seal populations and what local communities in Scotland could do to improve the situation. There was lots of interest from the audience as to ways to improve interactions with local wildlife and several requests were made for future presentations and more information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Public information exercise about Seal Corkscrew deaths 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We had many interested parties who reported a much better understanding of seal ecology after attending the open-day. Often people were extremely interested in the problems which the local populations face and it gave us a deeper insight into how much more must be done with regards to public awareness.

As a direct result of the event and handing out leaflets which had contact information for strandings reporting, two seal strandings were reported which turned out to be a very important data points; the seals both had lesions typical of interaction with boat traffic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Public outreach - Bioblitz 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact St Andrews BioBlitz took place in June. This is the third year of BioBlitz in St Andrews. This years' event was attended by children from Crail and Greyfriars schools, home schoolers, volunteers from postgraduate and undergraduate courses, University staff, visiting specialists, and many enthusiastic members of the public. The event was well attended and sparked a huge amount of interest in the research undertaken at SMRU and also resulted in requests for our participation in other similar outreach activities in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/biooutreach/2016/06/06/bioblitz-2016/
 
Description Rockpool visit for Greyfriars Primary School P2, June and May 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Participated at a leader in a rockppol visit for children to explore and understand life at the sea edge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description School visit (Cupar) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 2 staff members and a 5 student volunteers delivered a Polar Explorer workshop to St Columba's Roman Catholic Primary School in Cupar.During the preparations for the project the University staff members (Dr Rebecca Kinnear and Dr Sonja Heinrich) worked with the primary school principal teachers to deliver activities that fit within the School curriculum and supported their 'STEM learning Polar Explorer Programme' activities (https://www.stem.org.uk/welcome-polar-explorer-programme).

The entire school was present during the assembly and during the carousel sessions 21 females and 27 males (ages between 6-10) were present.
The activity lasted from 9am-12pm and consisted of the following timetable:
9.10-9.40am Assembly: Polar explorer experience -2 Marine Mammal Science MSc students talk about their Antarctic trip and answer questions from the school during morning assembly.
9.40am- 10.40am Carousel session in the hall: Class 1
11am-12pm Carousel session in the hall: Class 2
During the carousel sessions students were split into groups of no more than 8. Each group spent 10- 15 minutes at each work station. There were 4 workstations in total:
•Size and morphology - pupils were given the opportunity to see how large organisms in the Antarctic are by observing life size cloth replicas. Topics of discussion included why it is good to be big, streamlining, and the reasons behind colorations.
•Feeding Specialists - pupils were provided the opportunity to handle replica skulls of 3 species of seal and observe the dental adaptations of each, and the importance of food choice/nutrition
•Keeping warm - pupils manipulated feathers to understand the importance of layers (waterproof/guard and down) and discussed the need for insulation for human polar explorers. Pupils also got the opportunity too experience how marine mammals keep warm by placing their hands in an ice bucket (one with and one without a 'trex glove').
•Sounds - How animals communicate in the Antarctic. Pupils were asked to listen to recordings and guess what animal was making the noise by pointing to a photograph of the animal. Pupils were asked to suggest reasons why the animals may make these sounds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit (Girvan) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Girvan primary school, south Ayrshire, organized a "World wildlife day" and several SMRU researcher talked about the work carried out by the unit. The school reported that the presentations and activities had inspired the audience of about 1500 children, describing it as "the magical world and findings of Sea Mammal research unit".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit to talk about Marine Mammals for P1 and P2, Greyfriars Primary School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Organized a school visit to engage young children in the science of marine mammals, helping them to understand the huge diversity of life in out oceans and need to protect it. Lots of questions were asked by the children, sparking requests for more information and more eventsin the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Scottish dolphins 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The interview with the journalist produced a full article in the Scotsman and on social media platforms.

The initial articles were picked up by other media outlets and increased the number of requests for information and interviews on the subject.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Sea Mammals and Climate Change 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The presentation(s) on sea mammals and how their lives are affected by climate change sparked lively questions from the audience of school pupils.

The hosts of the presentation requested that more talks aimed at engaging school pupils could be done in the future on this and other linked subjects. The hosts also reported very positive feedback from the schools involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Seal interactions with windfarms 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Articles covering the paper published on seal interactions with wind farms.
http://www.donsidepiper.co.uk/news/scottish-headlines/seals-affected-by-turbine-builds-1-3777656
http://www.forfardispatch.co.uk/news/scottish-news/seals-affected-by-turbine-builds-1-3777656
http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/pipe/news/scotland/seals-affected-by-turbine-builds/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519210202.htm
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3088618/Wind-turbines-deafen-seals-say-ecologists-new-study.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Seal interactions with windfarms and how this might affect their hearing - TV and radio interviews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Television and radio interviews conducted after publication by SMRU of paper on seal interactions with windfarms.
http://news.stv.tv/tayside/1321019-offshore-turbine-construction-noise-may-damage-seals-hearing/
http://www.capitalbay.com/news/815962-offshore-wind-turbine-construction-damages-animals-hearing.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Seals avoid wind farms during the noisiest phase of construction 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The European Commission published a publically-accessible article about a SMRU research paper "Avoidance of wind farms by harbour seals is limited to pile driving activities" in Science for Environment Policy, a news service published by the European Commission's Environment Directorate-General. The publication of the report led to several requests for follow-up interviews and publication of other articles in the wider press, reaching an even wider public audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Signature Whistles 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview for radio programme for Radio Scotland's "Out of Doors" on signature whistles and dolphin communication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Signature Whistles and Dolphin Communication 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Leading on from other radio presentations on the same subject, there was a request for participation in the BBC World Service science documentary slot, Discovery, talking about dolphin communication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description TV documentary on sea mammal communications 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A television documentary production company approached us to make a documentary featuring research about dolphin social behaviour and communication. This documentary led to several requests for more information, at least 7 further articles in the public press, participation in a 1 hour radio documentary about the effects of ocean noise on cetacean communication for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and requests for future participation in outreach events, reaching even wider audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk to members of the North East Kayak Club 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited talk to members of the North East Kayak Club, entitled "Monitoring populations of bottlenose dolphins, harbour seals and grey seals in Scotland: what have we learned so far." The audience were very interested in the methods used and asked for more information, with the potential for other invitations to give talks to the group in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Teaching at a wildlife interactions training course 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Wildlife Safe (WISE) schele aims to promote responsible wildlife-watching through training accreditation and awareness-raising (www.wisescheme.org/about/). We participate in the training offered to professional tourguides and others involved in bringing the public into potential proximatey to wildelife around the UK coast, in particular with seals. The information imparted at this activity has a trickle down effect of reaching the public as it is passed on to them through the workshop participants and has led to requests for more information from both participants and the general public (directly).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The One Show: seals and windfarms. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Particpation in the programme looking at seal behaviour around windfarms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The effects of noise on shellfish 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A press release made in support of a research publication resulted in two members of the SMRU Bioacoustics Group being interviewed by regional radio and newspaper reporters, which in turn led to a live interview broadcast on BBC Scotland.Whilst the initial reach of the activity was Scotland via regional newspaper and BBC Scotland, international exposure was achieved through internet articles and blogs.

Several direct enquiries were made by members of the public for reprints of the paper and other papers published by the same team. There was an increased public awareness and discussion of the potential impacts of underwater noise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description The rights and wrongs of culling seals 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Participation in a radio debate about if seals should be culled in some areas around the British coast and how such a decision oculd be made.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description These Animals Use Personal Names, But Never Gossip 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Input into news item for online magazine article looking at communication in animals - specific input was on dolphins.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Whale faeces and their association in reducing CO2 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The information provided was used in conjunction with other sources to inform the debate about whales' contribution to recovery of oceans through their waste projects.

The reporter involved indicated that this information was extremely useful and they will consider us as experts for future articles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Whales 'adapt to sea warming' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Sunday Times article reviewing looking PLoS-ONE paper published by SMRU personnel, on how whales have dramatically changed their feeding habits in response to global warming,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Whales 'adapt to sea warming' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Regional press article on how whales adapt to changing climate, especially with regard to warming sea temperatures. This spraked requests from other print media for further information and with the subsequent publiching of other articles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Workshop for renewable energy industry on predator-prey interactions of grey seals. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A workshop was held to explore the predator-prey interactions of grey seals in UK waters. Monitoring these and other behaviours are important during the development of offshore energy projects and there were lively discussions around the behaviours and their outcomes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description World Mobile Congress 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This was a stand at the World Mobile Congress within the area sponsored by the GSMA entitled Innovation City. Our stand was visited by hundreds of people within the four days of the congress (108,000 attendees) with numerous media interactions, television interviews and vists by VIPs (including the King of Spain!). We showcased the 'connected seals' technology how innovations in the technology will lead to smaller tags and enable us to answer questions such as what is causing the decline in some Scottish harbour seal populations. Interest in our stand was huge and the message was clearly well received, being highlighted on numerous mobile technology websites, including being listed as one of the 'top best things to see at the World Mobile Congress 2017'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.mobileworldcongress.com/
 
Description participation in Radio 4 programme "Shared Planet" for episode on "Ocean Pollutants" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The Radio 4 programme looked at the effects of world population growth and demands on agriculture increase, and how can we control the amount of damaging chemicals entering rivers and then being taken into the sea. Many of these agricultural and industrial chemicals are long lasting and highly toxic and, although officially banned, substances like DDT and PCBs are still in use in some areas. As pressure grows to control diseases in order to feed a growing world, solutions have to be found to stop these harmful chemicals damaging wildlife. Tackling how the problems of keeping our coastal waters free of toxins while still protecting wildlife exposed the public to research carried out by SMRU and led to increased requests for further information from schools, NGOs and other organizations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03jznqc
 
Description participation in radio programme "Darkwave" for the Canadian Broadcasting Company 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The programme was an hour long presentation and discussion on how whales are currently threatened by human activity, and how their language is eroding through the effects of noise and climate change and a SMRU scientist participated as one of the invited experts in this area. The episode originally aired September 28, 2016, and led to several requests for interviews and publication of popular press articles, leading to wider exposure of the public to this important area of research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/darkwave-underwater-languages-at-the-brink-of-extinction-1.3780863
 
Description radio interviews based on Interactions between seal and man-made structures 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The discussion part of the radio presentations was very lively as the audience were clearly very interested in the subject matter.

The radio presentations were of such interest to the public that we have now had requests to present our information on interactions between seal and man-made structures on television early next year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014