Research Scientist (NA)
Frances has 15 years’ experience studying the impacts of coastal and offshore industries on cetacean populations in Canada, the US and Scotland. Her research has focused on assessing the effects of vessel traffic, oil and gas exploration and fish farm activities on cetacean behaviour, habitat use and distribution. She completed her Masters of Research in marine and fisheries biology at the University of Aberdeen in 2004 and prior to starting her PhD in 2008 worked as a marine mammal observer in the seismic survey industry. Her doctoral work focused on the effects of seismic survey operations on bowhead whale behaviour and distribution in the Western Arctic. Frances is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University where in collaboration with SMRU Consulting she is studying marine mammal behavioural responses to tidal turbines. In addition to her research work Frances has been a member of the Marine Mammal Observer Association (MMOA) for 6 years, serving as Chair of the Executive Committee from 2015-2016 and has participated in reviews of mitigation regulations for both the JNCC and New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. She has worked with members of the Iñupiat community in Alaska on monitoring and mitigation projects, and has worked for the Quileute Indian Tribe and Quinault Indian Nation in Washington State. In her spare time, Frances studies the foraging ecology of minke whales in the coastal waters of Washington State and is a member of the organizing committee for Coastal Connection Vancouver, a group that aims to unite professionals working in research, management and conservation of aquatic environments.