Prof Ailsa Hall

Prof Ailsa Hall
Research Professor

Research Interests include:

  • Factors affecting survival in marine mammals, particularly disease, exposure to toxins, contaminants and endocrine disrupters.
  • Epidemiology and risk assessment
  • Immune function and fitness.
  • Respiratory and endocrine physiology.
source: symbiosis

Research Overview:

My research interests are aimed at determining the effect that contaminant and pathogen exposure has on the risk of mortality and morbidity in marine mammals, both seals and cetaceans.  I am particularly interested in the role of these factors in determining an animals early survival and reproductive capability and in how they interact with the species immune and endocrine systems.  This interest has also led to more fundamental questions about how the immune system may be shaped by the life history strategy of marine mammals.  

I am also now very interested in the physiolgical adaptations of mammals to a marne existence, particularly at the molecular level; such as the respiratory adaptations and strategies that allow animals to forage at depth and their adaptations to cope with long periods of fasting.


20 (of 137 /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/status/published available) for ajh7 (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

A review of the toxicology of oil in vertebrates Ryan Takeshita, Steven J Bursian, Kathleen M Colegrove, Tracy K Collier, Kristina Deak, Karen M Dean, Sylvain De Guise, Lisa M DiPinto, Cornelis J Elferink, Andrew J Esbaugh, Robert J Griffitt, Martin Grosell, Kendal E Harr, John P Incardona, Richard K Kwok, Joshua Lipton, Carys L Mitchelmore, Jeffrey M Morris, Edward S Peters, Aaron P Roberts, Teresa K Rowles, Jennifer A Rusiecki, Lori H Schwacke, Cynthia R Smith, Dana L Wetzel, Michael H Ziccardi, Ailsa Jane Hall
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part B, Critical Reviews 2021 vol. 24 pp. 355-394
Aerial photogrammetry and tag-derived tissue density reveal patterns of lipid-store body condition of humpback whales on their feeding grounds Kagari Aoki, Saana Isojunno, Charlotte Bellot, takahashi Iwata, Joanna Louise Kershaw, Yu Akiyama, Lucía Martina Martín López, Christian Ramp, Martin Biuw, Paul Wensveen, Patrick Pomeroy, Tomoko Narazaki, Ailsa Jane Hall, Katsufumi Sato, Patrick James Miller
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 2021 vol. 288
Minding the data-gap trap Erin Ashe, Rob Williams, Christopher Clark, Christine Erbe, Leah R. Gerber, Ailsa Jane Hall, Philip Steven Hammond, Robert C. Lacy, Randall Reeves, Nicole L. Vollmer
Frontiers in Marine Science 2021 vol. 8
Partial pressure of oxygen in adipose tissue and its relationship with fatness in a natural animal model of extreme fat deposition, the grey seal Laura Oller, Kimberley A. Bennett, Chris McKnight, Simon E.W. Moss, Ryan Milne, Ailsa Jane Hall, Joel Rocha
Physiological Reports 2021 vol. 9
Predicting consequences of POP-induced disruption of blubber glucose uptake, mass gain rate and thyroid hormone levels for weaning mass in grey seal pups Kelly Robinson, Holly C. Armstrong, Simon E.W. Moss, Georges Scholl, Alexandra Tranganida, Gauthier Eppe, Jean-Pierre Thomé, Cathy Debier, Ailsa Jane Hall
Environment International 2021 vol. 152
Unlocking the role of a genital herpesvirus, otarine herpesvirus 1, in California sea lion cervical cancer Alissa C. Deming, James F. X. Wellehan, Kathleen M. Colegrove, Ailsa Jane Hall, Jennifer Luff, Linda Lowenstine, Pádraig Duignan, Galaxia Cortés-Hinojosa, Frances M. D. Gulland
Animals 2021 vol. 11
Determining pregnancy status in harbour seals using progesterone concentrations in blood and blubber Ailsa Jane Hall, Rebecca Hewitt, Monica Arso Civil
General and Comparative Endocrinology 2020 vol. 295
Harbour Seal Decline – vital rates and drivers Monica Arso Civil, Izzy Langley, Andy Law, Emily Hague, Eiren Kate Jacobson, Len Thomas, Sophie Caroline Smout, Rebecca Hewitt, Callan David Duck, Chris Morris, Andrew Brownlow, Nicolas Davison, Mariel Doeschate, Bernie J McConnell, Ailsa Jane Hall
Persistent contaminants and herpesvirus OtHV1 are positively associated with cancer in wild California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) Frances M. D. Gulland, Ailsa Jane Hall, Gina M. Ylitalo, Kathleen M. Colegrove, Tenaya Norris, Pádraig J. Duignan, Barbie Halaska, Karina Acevedo Whitehouse, Linda J. Lowenstine, Alissa C. Deming, Teresa K. Rowles
Frontiers in Marine Science 2020 vol. 7
Perturbation drives changing metapopulation dynamics in a top marine predator Emma Louise Carroll, Ailsa Jane Hall, Morten Tange Olsen, Aubrie Onoufriou, Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti, Debbie JF Russell
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 2020 vol. 287
Age–length relationships in UK harbour seals during a period of population decline Ailsa Jane Hall, Beth Mackey, Joanna Louise Kershaw, Paul Thompson
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 2019 vol. 29 pp. 61-70
Assessing cetacean body condition Joanna Louise Kershaw, Andrew Brownlow, Christian Ramp, Patrick James Miller, Ailsa Jane Hall
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 2019 vol. 29 pp. 271-282
Investigating decadal changes in persistent organic pollutants in Scottish grey seal pups Kelly Robinson, Ailsa Jane Hall, Georges Scholl, Cathy Debier, Jean-Pierre Thomé, Gauthier Eppe, Catherine Adam,
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 2019 vol. 29 pp. 86-100
Mercury in cetaceans Joanna Louise Kershaw, Ailsa Jane Hall
Science of the Total Environment 2019 vol. 694 pp. 1-11
Phylogenomic insights to the origin and spread of phocine distemper virus in European harbour seals in 1988 and 2002 Iben Stokholm, Tero Härkönen, Karin C. Harding, U. Siebert, Kristina Lehnert, Rune Dietz, Jonas Teilmann, Anders Galatius, Linnea Worsøe Havmøller, Emma Louise Carroll, Ailsa Jane Hall, Morten Tange Olsen
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 2019 vol. 133 pp. 47-56
Response to L. Witting Jean Pierre Desforges, Ailsa Jane Hall, Bernie J McConnell, A. Rosing-Asvid, Jonathan L. Barber, A. Brownlow, S. de Guise, Igor Eulaers, P.D. Jepson, Robert J. Letcher, Milton Levin, Peter S. Ross, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz
Marine Mammal Science 2019 vol. 35 pp. 1201-1206
Shining new light on mammalian diving physiology using wearable near-infrared spectroscopy Chris McKnight, Kimberley Bennett, Mathijs Bronkhorst, Debbie JF Russell, Steven Thomas Balfour, Ryan Milne, Matt Bivins, Simon E. W. Moss, Willy Colier, Ailsa Jane Hall, David Thompson
PLoS Biology 2019 vol. 17
Viral emergence in marine mammals in the North Pacific may be linked to Arctic sea ice reduction E. VanWormer, J. A. K. Mazet, Ailsa Jane Hall, V. A. Gill, P. L. Boveng, J. M. London, T. Gelatt, B. S. Fadely, M. E. Lander, J. Sterling, V. N. Burkanov, R. R. Ream, P. M. Brock, L. D. Rea, B. R. Smith, A. Jeffers, M. Henstock, M. J. Rehberg, K. A. Burek-Huntington, S. L. Cosby, John Anthony Hammond, T. Goldstein
Scientific Reports 2019 vol. 9
Widespread neonatal infection with phocid herpesvirus 1 in free-ranging and stranded grey seals Halichoerus grypus K. Willoughby, Madeleine Maley, Jacob Chapman, Romain Pizzi, Ailsa Jane Hall, M.P. Dagleish
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 2019 vol. 133 pp. 181-187
Gray Seal, Halichoerus grypus Ailsa Jane Hall, Debbie JF Russell

Contact Details:

Prof Ailsa Hall
Scottish Oceans Institute
East Sands
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: 01334 462634


Personal Website
Sea Mammal Research Unit
School of Biology
Centre for Biological Diversity
Scottish Oceans Institute

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