Cormac Booth

Naomi Brannan

Research Scientist (Hong Kong)


Naomi Brannan is a Research Scientist at SMRU Consulting (Asia-Pacific). She has a varied background in marine mammal science, ranging from pinniped behavioural ecology to cetacean population dynamics. She received her MRes from Durham University, which focused on assessing pinniped behavioural and physiological responses to stressors using non-invasive telemetry. Since joining SMRU Consulting, her main research interests are in understanding the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on vulnerable coastal cetacean populations in Asia.

Degrees and Education

  • 2017    Durham University MRes in Behavioural Ecology
  • 2013    Durham University BSc (Hons) in Zoology

Skills and Expertise

Behavioural data analysis; Biotelemetry data analysis; PAM data collection and processing (PAMGuard, Raven); Statistical analysis (R); Spatial mapping (QGIS); Database management (SQLite, Access); Photo-identification.


Naomi has extensive experience conducting remote fieldwork under a wide variety of challenging conditions, ranging from sub-polar (Iceland) and temperate (Scotland, South Africa) to sub-tropical (Hong Kong) and tropical (Malaysia) climates. She has collected behavioural, physiological and acoustic data in the field for both research and consultancy projects using various techniques, including non-invasive biotelemetry, in-situ observation, static PAM, visual and towed PAM line-transect surveys and aerial drone surveys. Naomi is also an experienced marine mammal observer (MMO) and a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver.

Her expertise and experience span:

  • Assessing the anthropogenic impacts on marine mammals
  • Assessing the abundance and distribution of marine mammals
  • Conducting marine mammal impact monitoring for large-scale marine construction projects
  • Twiss, S.D., Shuert C.R., Brannan, N., Bishop, A.M. and Pomeroy, P.P. (2020) Reactive stress-coping styles show more variable reproductive expenditure and fitness outcomesScientific Reports, 10: 9550.
  • Brannan, N., Porter, L. and Yeung, N. (2019) Assessment of online information as a tool to improve the documentation of aquatic wildmeat in Asia. Presented at the Society for Marine Mammalogy World Marine Mammal Conference (WMMC) in Barcelona, Span.
  • Bertulli, C.G., Guéry, L., McGinty N., Suzuki, A., Brannan, N., Marques, T., Rasmussen, M.H. and Gimenez, O. (2018) Capture-recapture abundance and survival estimates of three cetacean species in Icelandic coastal waters using trained scientist-volunteers. Journal of Sea Research, 131: 22-31.
  • Porter, L., Yao, M., Lee, A. and Brannan, N. (2018) Investigating preferred prey and habitat use of blue whales from Sri Lanka. Presented at the Society for Conservation Biology’s International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
  • Porter, P., Brannan, N. and Yeung, N. (2018) The Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Hong Kong waters: Changes in habitat use and distribution in relation to large scale marine construction activities. Presented at the Asian-Pacific Conference of Endangered Marine Species Research and Conservation (APCEMSRC) and Conference of Cetacean Research and Conservation in Research and Conservation in Chinese Waters (CCRCCW) in Shantou, Guangdong, China.
  • Brannan, N., Porter, L. and Channa, P. (2017) Skin disorders in critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) in the Mekong River, Cambodia. Presented at the Society for Marine Mammalogy Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Key Projects

  • Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund (MEEF) Contributing to marine spatial planning: Working with fishing communities to map areas of dolphin and active fishing gear overlap (2017-2018)
  • International Whaling Commission (IWC) Assessment of online information as a tool to improve the documentation of the availability of marine mammals for consumption in China (2018)
  • Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund (MEEF) What do dolphins do at night? Filling knowledge gaps in night-time range and behaviour activities of Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong (2018-2019)
  • Integrated Waste Management Facilities (IWMF) Phase I: Construction Period Marine Mammal Impact Monitoring (2018-2020)
  • WWF Hong Kong Blue Ocean Initiative (BOI) Working with local fishing communities to map and fish for litter (2019-2020)

+852 3428 3873

1802, 18/F, One Midtown

11 Hoi Shing Road

Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong