Publications 2017-07-05T08:48:27+00:00

Here are some of the reports, publications and conference presentations that SMRU Consulting have produced.


Lonergan, ML., Sparling, CE. & McConnell, BJ. (in review). Behavioural changes among harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) around an operational tidal turbine. Submitted to International Journal of Marine Science.

Ainsworth, LM., Dean, CB. & Joy, R. (in press). Zero-inflated spatial models: application and interpretation. International Symposium in Statistics ISS-2015 Proceedings Volume on Advances and Challenges in Parametric and Non-parametric Analysis of Correlated Data. Springer New York, NY. 37 pp.

Robertson, FC., Koski, WR., Brandon, JR., Thomas T. & Trites AW. (in press). Correction factors account for the availability bias of bowhead whales exposed to seismic operations in the Beaufort Sea. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management.

Booth, CG., Harwood, J., Plunkett, R., Mendes, S. & Walker, R. (2017). Using the Interim PCoD framework to assess the potential impacts of offshore wind developments in Eastern English Waters on harbour porpoises in the North Sea. Natural England Joint Report, Number 024 York.

Thomas, L., Booth, CG., Rosel, PE., Hohn, A., Litz, J. & Schwacke, LH. (2017). Where were they from? Modelling the source stock of dolphins stranded after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using genetic and stable isotope data. Endangered Species Research Vol. 33: 253-264.


Band, B., Sparling, C., Thompson, D., Onoufriou, J., San Martin, E. & West, N. (2016). Refining Estimates of Collision Risk for Harbour Seals and Tidal Turbines. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 7 No 17.

Booth, C., Harwood, J., Walker, R. & Mendes, S. (2016). Using Interim Population Consequences of Disturbance to Explore Potential Cumulative Effects of Pile-Driving Disturbance on the North Sea Harbor Porpoise Population. The Effects Of Noise On Aquatic Life: 4th International Conference, Dublin, July 2016 (pg 18).

Booth, CG. (2016). Challenge of Using Passive Acoustic Monitoring in High-Energy Environments: UK Tidal Environments and Other Case Studies. In The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II (pp. 101-108). Springer New York.

Copping, A., Sather, N., Hanna, L., Whiting, J., Zydlewski, G., Staines, G., Gill, A., Hutchison, I., O’Hagan, A., Simas, T., Bald, J., Sparling, C., Wood, J. & Masden, E. (2016). Annex IV 2016 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World. pp 224.

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 The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II (pp. 231-237). Springer New York.

Gomez, C., Lawson, JW., Wright, AJ., Buren, A., Tollit, D. & Lesage, V. (2016). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Behavioral Responses of Wild Marine Mammals to Man-Made Sounds: Synthesis and Recommendations for the Future The effects of noise on aquatic life: 4th international conference, Dublin, July 2016 (pg 69).

Gomez, C., Lawson, JW., Wright, AJ., Buren, AD., Tollit, D. & Lesage, V. (2016). A systematic review on the behavioural responses of wild marine mammals to noise: the disparity between science and policy. Can. J. Zool. 94: 801-819.

Harwood, J., King, S., Booth, C., Donovan, C., Schick, R. S., Thomas, L. & New, L. (2016). Understanding the Population Consequences of Acoustic Disturbance for Marine Mammals. In The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II (pp. 417-423). Springer New York.

Joy, R., Wood, J., Miller, B., MacGillvray, A., Meier, S. & Tollit, D. (2016). Development of a simulation model for estimating behavioural responses to vessel noise: A case study with the Southern Resident killer whale. Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, Vancouver April 2016.

Plunkett, R., Gillespie, D. & MacAulay, A. (2016). The Maintenance of PAMGuard Software to Detect, Localize, and Classify Marine Mammals.  The effects of noise on aquatic life: 4th international conference, Dublin, July 2016 (pg 161).

Robertson, FC., Koski, WR. & Trites, AW. (2016). Behavioural responses affect distribution analyses of bowhead whales in the vicinity of seismic surveys. Marine Ecological Progress Series 549: 243-262 DOI: 10.3354/meps11665.

Smultea, MA., Brueggeman, J., Robertson, FC., Fertl, D., Bacon, C., Rowlett RA. & Green GA. (2016). Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) behaviour near icebreaker operations in the Chukchi Sea, 1991, Arctic. 69(2): 177-184.

Sparling, C., Gillespie, D., Hastie, H., Gordon, J., Macaulay, J., Malinka, C., Wu, M. & McConnell, B. (2016). Scottish Government Demonstration Strategy: Trialing Methods for Tracking the Fine Scale Underwater Movements of Marine Mammals in Areas of Marine Renewable Energy Development. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 7 No 14.

Verfuss, UK., Sparling, CE., Arnot, C., Judd, A. & Coyle, M. (2016). Review of Offshore Wind Farm Impact Monitoring and Mitigation with Regard to Marine Mammals. In The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II (pp. 1175-1182). Springer New York.

Verfuss, U., Aniceto, AS., Biuw, M., Fielding, S., Gillespie, D., Harris, D., Jimenez, G., Johnston, P., Plunkett, R., Sivertsen, A., Solbø, SA. & Storvold, R. (2016). Current Status of Autonomous Vehicles for Marine Animal Detection and Monitoring. The Effects Of Noise On Aquatic Life: 4th International Conference, Dublin, July 2016 (pg 207).

Verfuss, U., Gillespie, D., Gordon, J., Marques, T., Miller, B., Plunkett, R., Theriault, J., Tollit, D., Zitterbart, D., Hurbert, P. & Thomas, L. (2016). Low- Visibility Real-Time Monitoring Techniques Review. Report Number SMRUM-OGP2015-002. Provided to IOGP, June 2016.

Verfuss, UK., Plunkett, R., Booth, CG. & Harwood, J. (2016). Assessing The Benefit Of Noise Reduction Measures During Offshore Wind Farm Construction On Harbour Porpoises. Report Number SMRUC-WWF-2016-008.

Viers, S., Viers, V. & Wood, JD. (2016) Ship noise extends to frequencies used for echolocation by endangered killer whales. PeerJ, 4:e1657; DOI 10.7717/peerj.1657.

Wood, J. (2016). Evaluating Noise Metrics to Predict Masking in Killer Whales. The effects of noise on aquatic life: 4th international conference, Dublin, July 2016 (pg 221)

Wood, J. (2016). Measuring noise in biologically meaningful ways. Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, Vancouver April 2016.

Wood, J., Joy, R. & Sparling, C. (2016). Harbor Seal – Tidal Turbine Collision Risk Models. An Assessment of Sensitivities. Report by SMRU Consulting. pp 57.


Booth, CG., Harwood, J., King, S., Schick, R. & Donovan, C. (2015). Forecasting winners and losers of the Arctic environment: the potential Population Consequences of Disturbance (PCoD) for marine mammals. Arctic Frontiers Conference, Tromso, January 2015.

Fritz, L., Tollit, D., Laman, E., Miller, K., Schulze, A., Thomason, J., Walker W., Zeppelin, T. & Gelatt T. (2015). Steller sea lion diet and population trends in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska, January 2015.

Joy, R., Dowd MG., Battaile BC., Lestenkof PM., Sterling JT., Trites AW. & Routledge RD. (2015). Linking northern fur seal dive behavior to environmental variables in the eastern Bering Sea. Ecosphere. 6(5): 75. DOI 10.1890/ES 14-00314.1.

Muir, JE., Ainsworth, L.,  Joy R.,  Racca R.,  Bychkov Y., Gailey G.,  VLadimirov V.,  Starodymov S. & Bröker K. (2015). Distance from shore of gray whales during a seismic survey off Sakhalin Island, Russia. Endangered Species Research. DOI: 10.3354/esr00701.

Muir, JE., Joy R., Bychkov Y., Bröker K., Gailey G.,  VLadimirov V., Starodymov S. &  Gailey G. (2015). Delineation of a coastal gray whale feeding area using opportunistic and systematic survey effort. Endangered Species Research. 29(2): 147-160.

Sparling, C. (2015). Marine Mammals and renewable energy projects: challenges and progress. MAMBO 2 Conference Measuring and Monitoring Biodiversity Offshore. Bangor, March 2015.

Sparling, C., Smith K., Benjamins S., Wilson B., Gordon J., Stringell T., Morris C., Hastie G., Thompson D. & Pomeroy P. (2015). Guidance to inform marine mammal site characterisation requirements at wave and tidal stream energy sites in Wales. No. 82. NRW Evidence Report, 2015.

Stricker, CA., Christ, AM., Wunder, MB., Doll, AC., Farley, SD., Rea, LD., Rosen, DAS. & Tollit, DJ. (2015). Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope trophic enrichment factors for Steller sea lion vibrissae relative to milk and fish/invertebrate diets. Marine Ecological Progress Series. 523: 255-266 DOI: 10.3354/meps11205.

Tollit, DJ. et al. (2015). Proposed Environmental Effects Monitoring Programs 2015-2020 Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE). pp184.

Tollit, DJ., Wong, MA., & Trites, AW. (2015). Diet composition of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Frederick Sound, southeast Alaska: a comparison of quantification methods using scats to describe temporal and spatial variabilities. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 93(999), 361-376.

Verfuss, UK., Sparling, CE. & Booth, CG. (2015). Does noise mitigation matter? Population consequences of piling noise on marine mammals with and without the application of noise reduction methods. Conference on Wind energy and Wildlife impacts, Berlin, March 2015.

Wright, AJ. &  Robertson, FC. (eds). (2015). New mitigation methods and evolving acoustics exposure guidelines. Report from the European Cetacean Society Conference Workshop, St. Julian, Malta, European Cetacean Society Special Publication Series No. 59, 76 p.


Harwood, J., King, S., Schick, R., Donovan, C. & Booth, C. (2014). A protocol for implementing the Interim Population Consequences of Disturbance (PCoD) Approach: quantifying and assessing the effects of UK offshore renewable energy developments on marine mammal populations. Report Number SMRUL-TCE-2013-014. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science, 5(2).

Hastie, GD., Donovan, C., Götz, T., & Janik, VM. (2014). Behavioral responses by grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) to high frequency sonar. Marine pollution bulletin79(1), 205-210.

Hastie, GD., Gillespie, DM., Gordon, JC., Macaulay, JD., McConnell, BJ., & Sparling, CE. (2014). Tracking Technologies for Quantifying Marine Mammal Interactions with Tidal Turbines: Pitfalls and Possibilities. In Marine Renewable Energy Technology and Environmental Interactions (pp. 127-139). Springer Netherlands.

Maclean, I., Inger, R., Benson, D., Booth, CG., Embling, CB., Grecian, WJ. … & Bearhop, S. (2014). Resolving issues with environmental impact assessment of marine renewable energy installations. Frontiers in Marine Science1, 75.

MMO. (2014). Review of post-consent offshore wind farm monitoring data associated with licence conditions. A report produced for the Marine Management Organisation, pp 194. MMO Project No: 1031. ISBN: 978-1-909452-24-4.

Savidge, G., Ainsworth, D., Bearhop, S., Christen, N., Elsaesser, B., Fortune, F., Inger, R., Kennedy, R., McRobert, A., Plummer, KE., Pritchard, D., Sparling, CE. & Whittaker, T. (2014). Strangford Lough and the SeaGen Tidal Turbine. Marine Renewable Energy Technology and Environmental Interactions. ed. / M.A. Shields; Andrew Payne.

Sparling, C., Lonergan, M., Mackey, B., Booth, C., Hastie, G., Gillespie, D. & MacAulay, J. (2014). Marine Mammals and Tidal Turbines: Understanding True Collision Risk. International Conference on the Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewables Conference, Stornoway, May 2014.

Wood, J., Redden, A., Tollit, D., Broome, J. & Booth, CG. (2014). Listening for canaries in a tornado: Acoustic monitoring for harbour porpoise at the FORCE site. International Conference on the Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewables Conference, Stornoway, May 2014.


Booth, CG. & Lacey, C. (2013). Static acoustic monitoring for harbour porpoise and dolphins in and around the proposed Navitus Bay offshore wind park using C-PODs. SMRU Ltd report number SMRUL-ENO-2013-015. April, 2013 (unpublished).

Gillespie, D., Castellote, M., Maginnis, A., Garner, CD. & RJ Small. (2013). Real time monitoring for beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the Eagle River, Alaska using a PAMBuoy® detection system. Final Contract Report by SMRU, LLC and Marine Instruments Ltd. 19p.

Herschel, A., Stephenson, S., Sparling, C., Sams, C. & Monnington, J. (2013). ORJIP Project 4, Phase 1: Use of deterrent devices and improvements to standard mitigation during piling. Report submitted to the Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme.

Hiscock, K., Bayley, D., Pade, N., Lacey, C., Cox, E. & Enever, R. (2013). Prioritizing action for recovery and conservation of marine species: a case study based on species of conservation importance around England. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems23(1), 88-110.

Jones, E., McConnell, B., Sparling, CE. & Matthiopoulos, J. (2013). Grey and harbour seal usage maps. Marine Mammal Scientific Support Research Programme MMSS/001/11. Task MR 5 (part), Sea Mammal Research Unit Report to Scottish Government 28/08/2013 Version 2150.

New, LF., Harwood, J., Thomas, L., Donovan, C., Clark, JS., Hastie, G., Thompson, PM., Cheney, B. & Lusseau, D. (2013). Modelling the biological significance of behavioural change in coastal bottlenose dolphins in response to disturbance. Functional Ecology27(2), 314-322.

Sayigh, L., Quick, N., Hastie, G. & Tyack, P. (2013). Repeated call types in short‐finned pilot whales, Globicephala macrorhynchusMarine Mammal Science29(2), 312-324.

Sparling CE., Coram, AJ., McConnell, B., Thompson, D., Hawkins, K. & Northridge, SP. (2013). Wave and Tidal consenting Position paper Series: Marine Mammal Impacts. Renewable UK, Scottish Renewables and Natural Environment Research Council publication.

Thompson, PM., Hastie, GD., Nedwell, J., Barham, R., Brookes, KL., Cordes, LS., Bailey, H. & McLean, N. (2013). Framework for assessing impacts of pile-driving noise from offshore wind farm construction on a harbour seal population. Environmental Impact Assessment Review43, 73-85.

Wood, J., Tollit, DJ., Redden A., Porskamp, P., Broome, J., Fogarty, L., Booth, C. & Karsten, R. (2013). Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Cetacean Activity Patterns and Movements in Minas Passage: Pre-Turbine Baseline Conditions (2011-2012). Final Report for OERA and FORCE. SMRU Ltd Report number NA0713Acadia pp71.


Collar, C., Spahr, J., Polagye, B., Thomson, J., Bassett, C., Graber, J., Cavagnaro, R., Talbert, J., de Klerk, A., Reay-Ellers, A., Tollit, D., Wood, J., Copping, A., Carlson, T. & Halvorsen, M. (2012). Study of the Acoustic Effects of Hydrokinetic Tidal Turbine in Admiralty Inlet, Puget Sound. Report by Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), SMRU Consulting, and Snohomish County PUD. pp 80.

Hastie, GD. (2012). Tracking marine mammals around marine renewable energy devices using active sonar. SMRU Ltd report URN: 12D/328 to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. September 2012 (unpublished).

Kaschner, K., Quick, NJ., Jewell, R., Williams, R. & Harris, CM. (2012). Global coverage of cetacean line-transect surveys: status quo, data gaps and future challenges. PloS one7(9), e44075.

Pirotta, E., Milor, R., Quick, N., Moretti, D., Di Marzio, N. et al. (2012). Vessel Noise Affects Beaked Whale Behavior: Results of a Dedicated Acoustic Response Study. PLoS ONE 7(8):e42535. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042535.

Sparling, CE., Russell, DF., Lane, E., Grellier, K., Lonergan, ME., McConnell, BJ., Matthiopoulous, J. & Thompson, D. (2012). Baseline Seal Information for the FTWODG Area.SMRUL-FDG-2012-0 to FTOWDG. May 2012 (unpublished).

Wood, J., Southall, BL. & Tollit, DJ. (2012) PG&E offshore 3‐D Seismic Survey Project EIR –Marine Mammal Technical Draft Report. SMRU Ltd. pp124.


Frère, CH., Seddon, J., Palmer, C., Porter, L. & Parra, GJ. (2011). Multiple lines of evidence for an Australasian geographic boundary in the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis): population or species divergence? Conservation Genetics12(6), 1633-1638.

Gillespie, D., Maginnis, A. & Hastie, G. (2011). Long term remote monitoring of cetacean calls using a solar powered autonomous detector. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America130(4), 2500-2500.

Keenan, G., Sparling, C., Williams, H. & Fortune, F. (2011). SeaGen Environmental Monitoring Programme Final Report. Submitted to Marine Current Turbines ref: 9S8562/R/303719/Edin.

Macleod, K., Lacey, C., Quick, N., Hastie, G. & Wilson J. (2011). Guidance on survey and monitoring in relation to marine renewables deployments in Scotland. Volume 2. Cetaceans and Basking Sharks. Unpublished draft report to Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland.

Polagye, B., Cavagnero, R., Bassett, C., Wood, J. & Tollit, D. (2011) Estimating marine mammal response to noise from a tidal energy project. DOE MHK Acoustic Webinar, December 2011.

Polagye, B., Wood, J., Bassett, C., Tollit, D. & Thomson, J. (2011) Behavioral response of harbor porpoise to vessel noise in a tidal strait. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 129, 2368 (2011);

Sparling, C., Grellier, K., Philpott, E., Macleod, K. & Wilson, J. (2011). Guidance on survey and monitoring in relation to marine renewables deployments in Scotland. Volume 3. Seals. Unpublished draft report to Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland.

Tollit, D., Wood, J., Broomw, J. & Redden, A. (2011). Detection of marine mammals and effects of monitoring at the NSPI (OpenHydro) turbine site in the Minas Passage during 2010. Prepared for Fundy Ocean Research Centre (FORCE), February 2011.

Tollit, D., Wood, J., Polagye, B., Thomson, J. & Redden, A. (2011). Marine mammals, noise and tidal turbine demonstration sites. American Fisheries Society 141st Annual Meeting, Seattle, September 2011.

Walker, CG., MacKenzie, ML., Donovan, CR., Kidney, D., Quick, NJ. & Hastie, GD. (2011). Classification of animal dive tracks via automatic landmarking, principal components analysis and clustering. Ecosphere 2:art92.

Wood, JD., Foreman, P., Veirs, V. & Veirs, S. (2011). Shipping noise and vocal compensation by Southern Resident killer whales: Haro Strait as a study case. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America129(4), 2607-2607.


Faustino, CES., Silva, MA. Marques, TA. & Thomas, L. (2010). Designing a shipboard line transect survey to estimate cetacean abundance off the Azores archipelago. Arquipelago. Life and Marine Sciences 27: 49-58.

Duck, C., Black, A., Lonergan, M. & Mackey, B. (2006). The number and distribution of marine mammals in the Fall of Warness, Orkney July 2005-July 2006. SMRU Ltd Report for Aurora Environmental, August 2006.

Philpott, E., Tollit, D. & Mackey, B. (2009). Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Marine Mammals. Report by Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU). pp 45.

Thompson, P., Tollit, D., Wood, D., Corpe, H., Hammond, P. & Mackay, A. (1997). Estimating Harbour Seal Abundance and Status in an Estuarine Habitat in North-East Scotland. Journal of Applied Ecology, 34(1), 43-52.