Cormac Booth

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Cormac Booth 2017-05-18T12:35:37+00:00
Cormac Booth

Cormac Booth

Principal Scientist & Director of Business Development (Europe)

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Lead scientist and project manager for multiple projects involving investigating the potential impacts of marine renewable energy development on marine mammal species. Provide specialist advice on Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM), statistical modelling, analysis into EIA’s (noise and marine mammals) and provide advice for mitigation studies relating to impacts on cetaceans.

Degrees and Education

  • 2010 University of St Andrews PhD Biology: Variation in distribution and habitat preference of harbour porpoises west of Scotland
  • 2003 University of Aberdeen MSc Marine and Fisheries Science
  • 2001 University of Wales, Aberystwyth BSc: Marine and Freshwater Biology

Skills and Expertise

Statistical analysis (R – GEEs, GAMs, GLMs), PAM monitoring (PAMBuoy, PAMGUARD, CPODs, TPODs), Databases (MS Access); Word processing (MS Word); Spreadsheets (MS Excel), MMO, GIS (Manifold & ArcGIS), Acoustic analysis (MATLAB), Photo Identification projects.

Speciality

Cormac Booth has been working in the field of marine mammal biology since 2000, both in the UK and abroad, in the laboratory and in the field. He has extensive experience in marine mammal biology, statistics and acoustics (in particular static and towed passive acoustic monitoring techniques and robust modelling approaches). Cormac has developed unique PAM mitigation approaches used on UK marine development sites and analysed extensive acoustic datasets. He has been the Principal Investigator and/or Project Manager for the interim Population Consequences of Disturbance (PCoD) framework project, and numerous PCoD projects for the UK, Canadian, Dutch & USA regulatory bodies and the Office of Naval Research. He has also managed projects spanning a range of sectors and expertise and coordinated teams of diverse expertise to complete objectives. His expertise and experience span:

  • Assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine mammals: Via working on the initial development, application and evolution of the interim PCOD framework – investigating how the potential impacts of disturbance can be robustly assessed.
  • Distribution and Ecology of Cetaceans: A range of habitat modelling and GIS techniques and conducting visual and towed-acoustic, line-transect surveys to study habitat preferences and distribution of harbour porpoise.
  • Marine Mammal Monitoring & Mitigation: Prior to, and during his time with SMRU Consulting, Cormac has worked on several projects developing suitable monitoring and mitigation methods to meet regulatory standards and enabling industry to develop sustainably. He is the scientist responsible for the delivery of several commercial projects involving the use of PAM to monitor cetaceans. Also has extensive experience of conducting and analysing the data generated from different marine mammal monitoring and survey approaches.

Population Consequences of Disturbance & Statistical Modelling 

  • Booth, C.G, Donovan, C., Plunkett, R & Harwood, J. 2016. Using an interim PCoD protocol to assess the effects of disturbance associated with us navy exercises on marine mammal populations: Final Report. Report code SMRUC-ONR-2016-004, submitted to the Office of Naval Research – Marine Mammal & Biology program, February 2016 (unpublished).
  • Harwood, J. & Booth, C.G. 2016. The application of an interim PCoD (PCoD Lite) protocol and its extension to other marine mammal populations and sites. Final Report. Report code SMRUC-ONR-2016-004, submitted to the Office of Naval Research – Marine Mammal & Biology program, February 2016 (unpublished).
  • Donovan, C., Harwood, J, King, S., Booth, C., Caneco, B., & Walker, C. (2016). Expert elicitation methods in quantifying the consequences of acoustic disturbance from offshore renewable energy developments.  In: Popper A.N., Hawkins A.D. (eds) Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 875, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-2981-8_27. Springer, New York
  • King, S. L., Schick, R. S., Donovan, C., Booth, C. G., Burgman, M., Thomas, L., & Harwood, J. (2015). An interim framework for assessing the population consequences of disturbance. Methods in Ecology and Evolution doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12411
  • Thomas, L., Booth, C.G., Rosel, P., Hohn, P.E., Litz, J. & Schwacke, L. (submitted). Where were they from?  Modelling the Source Stock of Dolphins Stranded after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill using Genetic and Stable Isotope Data.
  • Harwood, J.S., S. King, C. Donovan, L. Thomas, R. Schick, C. Booth, D. Costa, E. Fleishman, S. Kraus, D. Lusseau, L. New, and L. Schwarz. (2006) Understanding the population- level consequences of acoustic disturbance (PCAD) for marine mammals. In: Popper A.N., Hawkins A.D. (eds) Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 875, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-2981-8_27. Springer, New York
  • Booth, C.G., Harwood, J., Plunkett, R, Mendes, S, & Walker, R. Using the interim PCoD framework to assess the cumulative impacts of planned offshore wind developments in eastern English waters on harbour porpoises in the North Sea – final report. Report number smruc-nen-2016-005. Provided to Natural England and Joint Nature Conservation Committee. April 2016 (unpublished).

Surveying, Monitoring & Mitigation

  • Booth, C.G. (2016). The Challenge of Using Passive Acoustic Monitoring in High Energy Environments: UK Tidal Environments and Other Case Studies. Popper, A.N. and A. Hawkins. (Eds), The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II. Springer, New York
  • Booth C.G., Embling C., Gordon J., Calderan S.V., Hammond P.S. 2013. Habitat preferences and distribution of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) west of Scotland. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 478:273-285.
  • Booth, C.G., Lacey, C., Hastie, G.D. 2011. Interim Report – July 2011 – Static acoustic monitoring of harbour porpoise and dolphins at the proposed jetty construction site – Hinkley. SMRU Ltd Interim Report to CEFAS. July 2011.
  • Booth, C. G. Impacts of Commercial Aquaculture Acoustic Devices on harbour porpoises west of Scotland. Chapter of PhD Thesis. Department of Biology. Scottish Oceans Institute. University of St Andrews.

Key Projects

  • Population Consequences of Disturbance models – Project manager and PI/Co-PI for a series of projects involving the development of PCoD models (clients include: UK regulators and SNCBs; Office of Naval Research; Netherlands Min. Environment & NOAA.)
  • Queensferry Crossing Monitoring & Mitigation – Delivered marine mammal mitigation and 3 years of continuous underwater noise monitoring and mitigation during the construction of the Forth Replacement (Queensferry) Crossing using a novel PAMBuouy (now Decimus) system.
  • Invergordon Real Time PAM Monitoring & Mitigation – Developed and delivered a new real-time live PAM system to provide bearings to cetaceans from a remote buoy to a mitigation station. This system allowed the developer to proceed with the development with confidence of minimising environmental impact.
  • Strangford Lough monitoring – Processed and analysed a six year PAM dataset and conducted GAM GEE model analyses to determine patterns of harbour porpoise vocalisation on the site.

Project list also includes:

  • PCoD East of England CIA
  • PCoD Netherlands CIA
  • PCoD Lite ONR
  • Aquatera Impact Tool
  • Suffolk Nuclear Power Station
  • Minesto Holyhead Deep EIA
  • Minesto Strangford Lough Demonstration Site
  • Invergordon PAM Monitoring

01334 479 100

cgb@smruconsulting.com

New Technology Bldg
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9SR
Scotland