Dr Monica Arso Civil:
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Research Overview:
Dr Monica Arso Civil

Dr Monica Arso Civil
Scottish Oceans Institute
East Sands
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: 01334 472629
room: 2.12

Related Content:

Harbour Seal Decline Project Blog

Sea Mammal Research Unit
School of Biology
Scottish Oceans Institute

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My research interests focus on marine mammal population dynamics and how these can inform on the conservation status of wild populations. 

My PhD thesis focused on the ecology of bottlenose dolphins off the East coast of Scotland, in which I estimated population parameters (survival and fecundity rates) for this resident population and looked at the use of the area of St Andrews Bay and the Firth of Tay.

Current projects

Harbour seal decline project

Populations of harbour seals have been declining around the east and north coast of Scotland and in the Northern Islands since around 2000, while populations on the West Coast and in the Western Islands have been stable or increasing. My research aims to estimate vital rates for harbour seals in areas of contrasting trajectories to inform population dynamics models and ultimately get a better understanding of the main (potential) drivers for the decline.

Check more information at

Bottlenose dolphins in St Andrews Bay and the Tay

Research on bottlenose dolphins conducted in St Andrews Bay and the Tayside since 2003 has shown how this area is used every summer by half of the estimated total population that ranges between the Moray Firth and the Firth of Forth. The entrance to the Firth of Tay has been identified as a high use area for at least part of the population. We are continuing monitoring the use of this area outside the Moray Firth SAC, conducting photo-ID surveys during the summer months.


Recent publications

5  (of 6 published available) for mac64. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details.


(Other report)
Harbour Seal Decline – vital rates and drivers.
Monica Arso Civil, Sophie Caroline Smout, David Thompson, Andrew Brownlow, Nicolas Davison, Mariel Doeschate, Callan David Duck, Chris Morris, Caroline Cummings, Bernie J McConnell, Ailsa Jane Hall 
Keywords: Scottish Government
2016 (6)

(Commissioned report)
Harbour Seal Decline - vital rates and drivers
Monica Arso Civil, Sophie Caroline Smout, Callan David Duck, Chris Morris, Joseph Onoufriou, David Thompson, Andrew Brownlow, Nicholas Davison, Caroline Cummings, Patrick Pomeroy, Bernie J McConnell, Ailsa Jane Hall 
Keywords: Harbour seal, Population Dynamics, Population decline, Bayesian approach, Photo-identification, TelemetryGE Environmental Sciences, QA Mathematics, QH301 BiologyScottish Government

(Commissioned report)
Strategic Regional Pre-construction Marine Mammal Monitoring Programme Annual Report 2016
Isla Graham, Barbara Cheney, Rebecca Hewitt, Line Cordes, Gordon Drummond Hastie, Debbie JF Russell, Monica Arso Civil, Philip Steven Hammond, Paul Thompson 
2015 (11)
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences