Profile

Dr Douglas Gillespie
Researcher


Back in the 1980’s available computers were not powerful enough to process acoustic data in real time. However, with the increased power available since the mid 90’s, it is now possible to develop software that will detect and classify sounds in real time on affordable PC’s.

As computers become ever more powerful, we have been able to develop more sophisticated detectors for more and more species, increasing the range of frequencies we can work at and the number of channels of data that can be processed. Now that we no longer hunger for more processing power, the trend in affordable computing has been for smaller and lower power devices. Indeed, most of us carry a mobile phone containing a processor that is more than capable of carrying out serious amounts of real-time data processing. Much of my current research therefore involves the development of detection systems that can run on low power devices mounted on moored buoys and autonomous vehicles such as submarine gliders. As well as the challenge of making useful detections on a limited power budget, we are also addressing the problem of how to interpret this type of data: for instance, if I hear 10,000 echolocation clicks from my glider, how many animals are there ?

source: symbiosis

Research Overview:

Passive Acoustics

Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an effective way of detecting many species of cetacean and has an important role in abundance surveys and in detecting cetaceans in the vicinity of certain human activities which may cause harm, such as seismic surveys, military sonar exercises and even shipping.

Passive acoustic detection of beaked whales

Beaked whales are one of the least known marine mammal species due to their offshore habitat and deep diving behaviour. We are investigating the use of passive acoustics as a means of detecting beaked whales using towed hydrophones close to the surface. Several beaked whale species are known to produce narrow band high frequency clicks during deep foraging dives. Many beaked whale species have not yet been recorded.

The four main focuses of our research are

  1. To assess how efficiently beaked whale can be detected.
  2. To develop software which can automatically detect beaked whale clicks and tell them apart from other species.
  3. To try to record the sounds of previously unrecorded beaked whale species.
  4. To test the effectiveness of passive acoustic monitoring in developing habitat use models for beaked whales.

PAMGUARD Software

PAMGUARD is open source software for the detection and localisation of marine mammal vocalisations. It is optimised for real time use in the field and has applications both in abundance survey and in mitigation monitoring.  I manage the PAMGUARD project and wrote both the core structure of the PAMGUARD and many of the detection, localisation and mapping modules within the software.

 

Recent publications


5  (of 5 published available) for dg50 with keyword NDAS clear keyword filter. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details.

2018
Journal of Cetacean Research and Management
vol.18 pp.103-117
(Article)
Abundance estimates for sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea from acoustic line-transect survey
Tim Lewis, Oliver Boisseau, Magnus Danbolt, Douglas Michael Gillespie, Claire Lacey, Russell Leaper, Justin Matthews, Richard McLanaghan, Anna Moscrop 
Keywords: Sperm whale, Mediterranean sea, Abundance estimate, Distribution, Acoustics, Vocalisation, Conservation, Survey - acoustic, Survey - vessel
2018 (2)
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
vol.28 pp.216-230
(Article)
Cetacean rapid assessment: an approach to fill knowledge gaps and target conservation across large data deficient areas
Gillian Tracey Braulik, Magreth Kasuga, Anja Wittich, Jeremy J Kiszka, Jamie Donald John MacAulay, Douglas Michael Gillespie, Jonathan Charles David Gordon, Said Shaib Said, Philip Steven Hammond 
Keywords: Cetaceans, Distribution, Environmental impact assessement, Management, Marine spatial planning, Rapid assessment, Tanzania
2018 (12/3)
Marine Ecology Progress Series
vol.590 pp.247-266
(Article)
2017 (15/12)
Marine Pollution Bulletin
vol.125 pp.360-366
(Article)
Acoustic monitoring to document the spatial distribution and hotspots of blast fishing in Tanzania
Gillian Tracey Braulik, Anja Wittich, Jamie Donald John MacAulay, Magreth Kasuga, Jonathan Charles David Gordon, Tim Davenport, Douglas Michael Gillespie 
Keywords: Explosives, Destructive fishing, Acoustic monitoring, Tanzania, Resource management, Fisheries managementEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
2017 (2)
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
vol.141 pp.1120-1132
(Article)
Passive acoustic methods for fine-scale tracking of harbour porpoises in tidal rapids
Jamie Donald John MacAulay, Jonathan Charles David Gordon, Douglas Michael Gillespie, Chloe Elizabeth Malinka, Simon Northridge 

Contact Details:

Dr Douglas Gillespie
Scottish Oceans Institute
East Sands
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 8LB
Fife
UK

tel: 01334 462663
fax:
room:
email: dg50@st-andrews.ac.uk

Related:

research@st-andrews
PAMGuard Software
Sea Mammal Research Unit
School of Biology
Scottish Oceans Institute

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