University of St Andrews
 
 
Sea Mammal Research Unit

SMRU News Centre

item 1359
[25-09-2012 to 31-03-2013]


News Item:
Monitoring marine mammals

A new instrument to detect whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, and provide immediate alerts during the development of offshore wind, wave and tidal installations, will be showcased to an international audience at the University of St Andrews on Thursday 27 September.

PAMBuoy™ was developed by SMRU Limited, a marine mammal consultancy which is a commercial spin out from the world renowned Sea Mammal Research Unit at the university. PAMBuoy™ is a cutting edge autonomous passive acoustic monitoring system for marine mammals. It operates 24/7 to automatically detect and classify vocalising marine mammals – whales, dolphins and porpoises, providing high resolution data that can be used to identify species present and determine temporal patterns in use.

“PAMBuoy™ “listens” for marine life, then delivers information about what’s swimming beneath, in real time back to a customer’s desk top, mobile phone or other hand held device, and if mounted in a buoy, derives its power from the sun via solar panels. Data is checked automatically for quality, and made available to clients immediately through secured parts of the PAMBuoy™ website.”

SMRU Ltd returns all its profits back to the University via Gift Aid, to fund further research in the academic departments whose expertise is used during project work. The company uses the wealth of scientific expertise available in the University through the Scottish Oceans Institute making this easy to access by the industrial world.

see here for further details


 

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  • CBD Seminar Series: Social and antisocial behaviour in parasitic wasps
    speaker: Dr Ian Hardy (University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences)

    building: Bute
    room: Lecture Theatre D
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Maria Dornelas

    After introducing parasitic, or ‘parasitoid’, wasps  of which there are many thousands of species worldwide, Dr Hardy will discuss species in which adult wasps fight each other directly for vital resources and outline what determines which contestant wins. He will then discuss some very unusual parasitoids that do not fight, but several mothers look after broods of offspring communally (termed quasi-sociality). He will offer an explanation for this behaviour.  Both fighting and non-fighting wasps tend to produce mainly females in their offspring groups. The reasons for biased sex ratios in fighting wasps are well understood but the sex ratios of quasi-social wasps require explanations that are novel among parasitoids.


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  • SOI seminar: Ecosystem approach to fisheries
    speaker: Prof Simon Jennings (Chief Science Advisor at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Lowestoft)

    building: SOI
    room: Gatty Lecture theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Dave Ferrier

    Simon Jennings is a Chief Science Advisor at the Centre for 
    Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Lowestoft. Through Cefas, he advises national and international bodies on marine environmental management, with a focus on issues relating to biodiversity and fishery-environment interactions. He is a former Chair of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Advisory Committee on Ecosystems. Simon is also active as a research scientist, and works with colleagues to understand the structure and function of marine systems, to assess human and environmental impacts on populations, communities and ecosystems and to develop and apply tools to support marine environmental and fisheries management. This research is not strongly tied to specific approaches, scales or systems and spans the continuum from fundamental to applied. Research outputs have led to new methods of marine monitoring, assessment and management. Simon also holds a Chair of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, where he works for one day each week to develop and facilitate research collaborations between the University of East Anglia and Cefas; a contribution to the strategic alliance signed by these institutions in 2008.


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  • SOI seminar: What have we learnt about ocean acidification and what is the way forward?
    speaker: Prof Jean-Pierre Gattuso (Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, France)

    building: SOI
    room: Gatty Lecture theatre
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    host/contact: Dr Dave Ferrier

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  • BSRC Seminar Series: High-throughput decoding of drug-resistance and virulence mechanisms in African trypanosomes
    speaker: Prof. David Horn (College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee)

    building: BMS
    room: Lecture Theatre
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    host/contact: Prof Terry Smith

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