Frances Robertson

Home/Frances Robertson

About Frances Robertson

Frances is a Research Scientist at SMRU Consulting North America. Check out her bio under the "About Us" tab.
18 12, 2017

Underwater noise and cetaceans in British Columbia and Washington State

By | 2017-12-18T09:21:58+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Categories: News, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Its been a busy year for the SMRU Consulting North America team. But, we are ending the year on a high with the publication of two recent reports and the preliminary results of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s vessel Slowdown trial. The preliminary results of the Slowdown trial and our reports on the effects of noise [...]

7 11, 2017

New insights using DNA to describe the diet of endangered Steller sea lions

By | 2017-11-07T19:54:31+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Categories: News, Publications, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

New publication now available: Tollit, D.J., L. Fritz, R. Joy, K. Miller, A. Schulze, J. Thomason, W. Walker, T. Zeppelin, T.S. Gelatt (2017). Diet of endangered Steller sea lions in the Aleutian Islands: New insights from DNA detections and bio-energetic reconstructions. Canadian Journal of Zoology 95(11): 853–868, year 2017, doi: 10.1139/cjz-2016-0253. The western stock of Steller [...]

8 09, 2017

Listening to Southern Resident killer whales

By | 2017-09-08T21:33:36+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Categories: News, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

On Monday morning 4 September, we got word that the Southern Resident killer whales were inbound from the Pacific Ocean. It had been over a month since members of this endangered killer whale population had been seen in the Salish Sea. […]

5 09, 2017

Haro Strait Vessel Slow Down Trial Update

By | 2017-09-05T22:43:50+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Categories: News, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

We are now half way through the vessel slow down trial in the Salish Sea. This study with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, aims to understand how slowing ocean-going vessels will reduce ship noise in Southern Resident killer whale habitat. This is the first study of its kind to take place and has huge potential as [...]

22 05, 2017

Moving slowly in all the right places – killer whales and reduction of noise effects

By | 2017-05-22T13:57:11+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Categories: News, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

This summer a voluntary commercial vessel slowdown trial is planned to take place in the core summer habitat of Southern Resident killer whales. SMRU Consulting North America have played a significant role in the development and implementation of this exciting noise mitigation focused trial which is being led by Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO Program. [...]

6 03, 2017

New Paper: Using acoustics to learn about harbour porpoise behaviour in tidal environments

By | 2017-03-06T18:44:19+00:00 March 6th, 2017|Categories: News, Publications, Renewables|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Last week our colleagues at SMRU and PAMGuard published a paper on an approach they developed to successfully find and track harbour porpoise in tidally active areas. Their paper entitled Passive acoustic methods for fine-scale tracking of harbour porpoise in tidal rapids was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. […]

9 11, 2016

Behavioural responses to noise: The disparity between science and North American policy

By | 2016-11-09T17:21:41+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Categories: Publications, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

One of the products of two international Fisheries and Oceans Canada-led workshops to develop “a risk-based framework for assessing cumulative impacts of marine development projects” has just been published. […]

7 11, 2016

Humpback whale calls light up the airwaves

By | 2016-11-07T03:47:26+00:00 November 7th, 2016|Categories: Research & Development, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

On Saturday night, the 5th November, people listening to the live streaming hydrophone deployed off Lime Kiln Point State Park were surprised and thrilled to hear the calls of a humpback drift out over the airwaves. But as I write this post I find myself listening to humpback calls again, this time live -perhaps it is [...]

11 10, 2016

SMRU Canada wins FORCE

By | 2016-10-11T15:05:04+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Categories: Renewables, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

  SMRU Consulting Canada and FORCE (The Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy) continue to work together on the potential effects of tidal turbines in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. FORCE is Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy, and acts as a host to technology developers, and oversees the independently reviewed environmental monitoring [...]

8 10, 2016

Friday night whale party in the Salish Sea!

By | 2016-10-08T21:54:33+00:00 October 8th, 2016|Categories: News, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

On Friday night it sounded like the Southern Resident killer whales were having a party in Haro Strait. Our live hydrophones at Lime Kiln Point State Park drew listeners from around the world as Southern Resident killer whales hung out off the Lighthouse. We listened long after dark as the whales continued to call and echolocate. [...]

10 09, 2016

A whale sized recovery for the humpback whale

By | 2016-09-10T17:17:46+00:00 September 10th, 2016|Categories: News, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

This week we saw some really uplifting news in the whale world. The US government announced that they were removing almost all of the world’s humpback whale populations from the endangered species list. To be precise NOAA Fisheries stated in a press release on September 6th that humpback whales in 9 of 14 newly identified distinct populations [...]

15 07, 2016

Watching polar bears watching you

By | 2016-07-15T16:10:18+00:00 July 15th, 2016|Categories: Oil and Gas, Publications, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

A new study is published on polar bear behaviour near ice breaker operations. Today is Arctic Sea Ice Day. When we think of the Arctic the polar bear is one of the first species we think of. It is an iconic Arctic species but one that is threatened by sea ice loss. The Arctic has experienced [...]

23 06, 2016

Eavesdropping on killer whales in the Salish Sea

By | 2017-09-07T23:29:25+00:00 June 23rd, 2016|Categories: News, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

We are thrilled to launch the first of our live passive acoustic monitoring systems, the upgraded Lime Kiln Hydrophone Station is now live streaming around the world!   […]

15 06, 2016

NOAA Releases Draft Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap

By | 2016-06-15T17:16:12+00:00 June 15th, 2016|Categories: News, PCoD, Research & Development|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

  This month we were really excited to see the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) release their draft Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap for public comment. This is the first coordinated initiative by the US regulator to address issues of man-made noise in the oceans. And, SMRU Consulting is already collaborating on this novel effort [...]

6 06, 2016

Marine Renewables Canada Open House

By | 2016-06-06T17:42:41+00:00 June 6th, 2016|Categories: Conference, News, Renewables, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|0 Comments

SMRU Consulting to participate in Marine Renewables Canada industry open house. On June 14 Dr. Ruth Joy will be attending Marine Renewables Canada (MRC) Marine Renewables Energy Industry Open House in Victoria, BC, Canada. […]

11 05, 2016

Effects of seismic on bowhead whales

By | 2016-05-11T18:24:19+00:00 May 11th, 2016|Categories: Oil and Gas, Publications, Research & Development, SMRUC North America|0 Comments

This week SMRU Consulting Research Scientist Frances Robertson published her work on the effects of seismic survey operations on bowhead whale behaviour and distribution in the Alaskan Arctic. Her paper, titled Behavioral responses affect distribution analyses of bowhead whales in the vicinity of seismic operations, is now available online. […]