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Research at St Andrews

Douglas Michael Gillespie

Person

Douglas Michael Gillespie
Postal address:
School of Biology
Scottish Oceans Institute
St Andrews
Fife
United Kingdom

E-mail: dg50@st-andrews.ac.uk

Web address: http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/staffProfile.aspx?sunID=dg50

Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462663

Research overview

Passive Acoustics

Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an effective way of detecting many species of cetacean and has an important role in abundance surveys and in detecting cetaceans in the vicinity of certain human activities which may cause harm, such as seismic surveys, military sonar exercises and even shipping.

Passive acoustic detection of beaked whales

Beaked whales are one of the least known marine mammal species due to their offshore habitat and deep diving behaviour. We are investigating the use of passive acoustics as a means of detecting beaked whales using towed hydrophones close to the surface. Several beaked whale species are known to produce narrow band high frequency clicks during deep foraging dives. Many beaked whale species have not yet been recorded.

The four main focuses of our research are

  1. To assess how efficiently beaked whale can be detected.
  2. To develop software which can automatically detect beaked whale clicks and tell them apart from other species.
  3. To try to record the sounds of previously unrecorded beaked whale species.
  4. To test the effectiveness of passive acoustic monitoring in developing habitat use models for beaked whales.

PAMGUARD Software

PAMGUARD is open source software for the detection and localisation of marine mammal vocalisations. It is optimised for real time use in the field and has applications both in abundance survey and in mitigation monitoring.  I manage the PAMGUARD project and wrote both the core structure of the PAMGUARD and many of the detection, localisation and mapping modules within the software.

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