Rachael Sinclair

///Rachael Sinclair
Rachael Sinclair2019-01-10T12:24:55+00:00
Cormac Booth

Rachael Sinclair

(formerly Plunkett)

Senior Scientist (Europe)


Rachael  is a Senior Scientist at SMRU Consulting Europe. She has two years’ background conducting visual marine mammal surveys from land and boats and now has five years experience in marine mammal consultancy where she has participated in a wide range of project work including: visual surveys, PAM, data analysis and marine mammal impact assessment.

Degrees and Education

  • 2011 University of St Andrews, MRes Marine Mammal Science. Distinction for the dissertation: Habitat use of the South Abaco Island bottlenose dolphin community.
  • 2010 Aberdeen University BSc Hons Marine Biology (1st Class)


Rachael has been working in the field of marine mammal science for six years. She has two years’ experience conducting visual marine mammal surveys where she investigated the behavioural impacts of swim-with-dolphin tourism in New Zealand then worked as a research assistant at the University of Aberdeen on the long term bottlenose dolphin photo-identification project. Since then, Rachael has rapidly gained expertise in marine mammal consultancy with SMRU Consulting and has experienced a wide range of project work:

  • Lead author for the marine mammal ES chapter for a novel floating wind development.
  • Baseline characterisation reports for offshore wind farms, tidal and offshore infrastructure projects.
  • Input into noise impact assessments, ES chapters and marine mammal monitoring protocols for offshore wind farms.
  • Analytical work including population trajectory modelling using PCoD.
  • Seal count and telemetry data analysis.
  • Main GIS specialist at SMRU Consulting Europe.
  • Trained in spatial modelling methods for correlated data and distance sampling.
  • Visual marine mammal survey projects including designing surveys and protocols, acting as survey coordinator and analysing and reporting data.
  • Involved in designing and implementing a novel photographic geo-referencing technique to obtain more accurate sighting location data during land based vantage point surveys
  • Experienced in identifying marine mammal species from digital still images obtained during aerial surveys.
  • Experience on various PAM projects conducting analysis of data for baseline site characterisation and underwater noise monitoring during construction works.

Here are some example reports that Rachael has been involved in:


  • Plunkett, R. (2017). Seal Telemetry Data in Relation to the Hornsea 3 Project. Report Number SMRUC-RPS-2017-008, Submitted To RPS, March 2017 (Unpublished).
  • Sparling, C., Aonghais, C., Thompson, D., Smout, S., Tollit, D., Verfuss, U., Plunkett, R., Wood, J., Brookes, K., Bennet, F., Morris, C., Stringell, T. & Smith, K. (2017). Acceptable thresholds of change: how much is too much? A review of the population assessment of impacts on marine mammals. Submitted to NRW, April 2017.


  • Plunkett, R & Sparling, CE. Dounreay Trì Floating Wind Marine Mammal Environmental Statement. Report Number: SMRUC-HID-2016-003. Submitted To Hi-Def Aerial Surveying Limited, March 2016.
  • Sparling, C, E. & Plunkett, R. 2016. Appendix A To The Hornsea Project 1 MMMP: PTS Risk Assessment For Minke Whale And White-Beaked Dolphin. Report Number SMRUC-GOB-2016-002. February 2016.
  • Verfuss U. K., Aniceto, A. S., Biuw, M., Fielding, S. Gillespie, D., Harris, D., Jimenez, G., Johnston, P., Plunkett, R., Sivertsen, A., Solbø, A., Storvold, R. And Wyatt, R. 2016. Literature Review: Understanding The Current State Of Autonomous Technologies To Improve/Expand Observation And Detection Of Marine Species. Report Number SMRUC-OGP-2015-015 Provided To IOGP, February, 2016 (Unpublished).


  • Plunkett, R; Booth, CG. & Sparling, CE. (2015). Tidal Lagoon West Cumbria: Review Of Marine Mammal Baseline Information. SMRUC-TLP-2015-009, Submitted To Tidal Lagoon Power, December 2015 (Unpublished).
  • Plunkett, R., Booth, C., & Sparling, S. Tidal Lagoon West Cumbria: Recommendations For Marine Mammal Monitoring. SMRUC-TLP-2015-023, Submitted To Tidal Lagoon Power, December 2015 (Unpublished).
  • Verfuss UK, Gillespie D, Gordon J, Marques T, Miller B, Plunkett R, Theriault J, Tollit D, Zitterbart DP, Hubert P, & Thomas L. 2015. Low Visibility Real-Time Monitoring Techniques Review. Report Number SMRUM-OGP-2015-002 Provided To IOGP, November 2015 (Unpublished).
  • Sparling, C., Plunkett, R., Gordon, J. & Gotz, T. (2015). The Use Of Acoustic Deterrents For The Mitigation Of Injury To Marine Mammals During Pile Driving For Offshore Wind Farm Construction: Review And Gap Analysis. SMRUC-TCT-2015-006, Submitted To The Carbon Trust, June August 2015 (Unpublished).
  • Booth, C.G., Sparling, C.E., Plunkett, R., Scott-Hayward, L. & Rexstad, E. Collision Risk Simulation Modelling: Marine Mammals And Deep Green Device At Holyhead Deep. Report Number SMRUM-MIN-2015-005provided To Minesto UK Ltd, March 2015 (Unpublished).


  • Plunkett, R, Sparling, C. & Kidney, D. Anglesey Skerries Marine Mammal Monitoring: Land Based Vantage Point Survey trial. Report Number SMRUM-MCT-2014-012 Provided To MCT, November, 2014 (Unpublished).
  • Plunkett, R; Booth, C.G & Harwood, J. 2014. Summary Of The Round 1 Expert Elicitation Results. Report Code Smrum-Onr-2014-013, Submitted To The Office Of Naval Research – Marine Mammal & Biology Program, October 2014 (Unpublished).
  • Booth, C.G., Sparling, C.E., Scott-Hayward, L., Rexstad, E. & Plunkett, R. Collision Risk Simulation Modelling: Harbour Seals and Deep Green Device at Strangford Lough. Report number SMRUM-MIN-2014-011 provided to Minesto UK Ltd, September 2014 (unpublished).
  • Booth, C.G., Plunkett, R. & Verfuβ, U. K. Interim Marine Mammal And Noise Monitoring At Invergordon Report. Report Number SMRUL-AFF- 2014-003 Provided To Affric Ltd, May 2014 (Unpublished).


  • Plunkett, R. & Verfuss, U. South Stream Offshore Pipeline: Marine Mammal Monitoring Plan. Report Number 54.12.13.ERM Provided To ERM On Behalf Of South Stream Transport, December, 2013 (Unpublished).
  • The Carbon Trust (ORJIP ADD Phase 2)
  • Dudgeon Offshore Wind Ltd (ADD Mitigation & Pup Production)
  • Fugro Emu (Seal Telemetry and Count Data)
  • Marine Current Turbines (Skerries Vantage Point Surveys)
  • Minesto UK Ltd (Collision Risk Modelling)
  • Aquatera (Marine Energy Development Impact Assessment Tool)
  • Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (Noise Level Monitoring)
  • ERM (Marine Mammal Monitoring)
  • Geomarine (Marine Mammal Monitoring)
  • APEM Ltd (Species Sensitivity Assessment)
  • Affric Ltd (Invergordon Marine Mammal Monitoring and Mitigation)
  • IOGP (PAMGuard Maintenance)

01334 466012


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