Profile

Dr Saana Isojunno
Research Fellow


source: symbiosis

Research Overview:

I’m a behavioural ecologist with a keen interest in energetics and exercise. I use on-animal sensors and time series models to quantify activity states, time budgets and proxy locomotion costs of free-ranging animals. I’m particularly interested in the drivers of individual responsiveness and vulnerability to environmental uncertainty and anthropogenic disturbance (conservation behaviour).

For my PhD and postdoctoral research so far I’ve focused on how and why cetaceans respond to whale-watching and navy sonar, using bioacoustics and biologging as tools. I’m currently working in Prof Patrick Miller’s lab as the named postdoc under two projects:

"Interpreting the biological significance of behavior associated with 3S experimental sonar exposures". For this project, I estimated activity-time budgets to contrast the magnitude of foraging time trade-offs under simulated predation risk (playback of mammal-eating killer whale sounds) and exposure to anthropogenic noise (1-2kHz navy sonar) in a comparative study across four different cetacean species. The state-switching model development was funded by the Mocha project (PIs Catriona Harris and Len Thomas) which aimed to showcase hidden Markov models as a method to integrate multiple streams of sparse time series data in behavioural response studies. I’m also investigating whether respiratory behaviour detected from onboard tag sensors can be linked to diving behaviour and indicate any energetic or physiological cost of behavioural responses to sound exposures.

"3S3 – Behavioural responses of sperm whales to naval sonar – Comparing responses to continuous active sonar (CAS) and pulsed active sonar (PAS), and disentangling received level from range as the response driver". I will lead two core deliverables for this project: contrast activity time trade-offs and response duration to CAS vs PAS exposures, and test hypotheses about masking of terminal echolocation sounds (buzzes).

On the field, I have worked with a range of cetacean species (harbour porpoise, sperm whale, pilot whale, northern bottlenose and humpback whale). My roles have included survey design, tagging (ARTS and cantilever pole), and working as a DTAG and acoustic technician.

In the future, I hope to integrate more individual-level traits (e.g. age-sex) and ecophysiology in my research to better understand individual and species behavioural plasticity to cope with anthropogenic stressors. For example, I was very excited to be a part of a team to estimate body density as a proxy for body condition from accelerometer data of  gliding beaked whales. I developed models in a hierarchical Bayesian framework to simultaneously estimate tissue vs. air density using expected hydrodynamic relationships between acceleration, drag and buoyancy forces (Miller et al., 2016).

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch  – I would be especially interested in ideas for collaborations across disciplines.

 

11 (of 11 published available) for si66 with keyword Foraging clear keyword filter. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

Predicting acoustic dose associated with marine mammal behavioural responses to sound as detected with fixed acoustic recorders and satellite tags A.M. von Benda-Beckmann, Paul Wensveen, M. Prior, M.A. Ainslie, R. R. Hansen, Saana Isojunno, F.P.A. Lam, P.H. Kvadsheim, Patrick Miller
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 2019 vol.145 pp.1401-1416
Breathing patterns indicate cost of exercise during diving and response to experimental sound exposures in long-finned pilot whales Saana Isojunno, Kagari Aoki, Charlotte Curé, Peter Kvadsheim, Patrick Miller
Frontiers in Physiology 2018 vol.9
Hidden Markov models reveal complexity in the diving behaviour of short-finned pilot whales Saana Isojunno, Dina Sadykova, Matthew Bowers, Douglas P. Nowacek, Andrew J Read
Scientific Reports 2017 vol.7
High diving metabolic rate indicated by high-speed transit to depth in negatively buoyant long-finned pilot whales Kagari Aoki, Katsufumi Sato, Saana Isojunno, Tomoko Narazaki, Patrick Miller
Journal of Experimental Biology 2017 vol.220 pp.3802-3811
Individual, ecological, and anthropogenic influences on activity budgets of long-finned pilot whales Saana Isojunno, Dinara Sadykova, Stacy Lynn De Ruiter, Charlotte Curé, Fleur Visser, Len Thomas, Patrick Miller, Catriona M Harris
Ecosphere 2017 vol.8
Vocal foragers and silent crowds Fleur Visser, Annebelle C.M. Kok, Machiel G. Oudejans, Lindesay Alexandra Sarah Scott-Hayward, Stacy Lynn De Ruiter, Ana Catarina De Carvalho Alves, Ricardo Nuno Antunes, Saana Isojunno, Graham J. Pierce, Hans Slabbekoorn, Jef Huisman, Patrick Miller
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 2017 vol.71
Biological significance of sperm whale responses to sonar: comparison with anti-predator responses Charlotte Curé, Saana Isojunno, Fleur Visser, Paul Wensveen, Lise D. Sivle, Petter H. Kvadsheim, Frans-Peter A. Lam, Patrick Miller
Endangered Species Research 2016 vol.31 pp.89-102
Sperm whales reduce foraging effort during exposure to 1-2 kH z sonar and killer whale sounds Saana Isojunno, Charlotte Cure, Petter Helgevold Kvadsheim, Frans Peter Alexander Lam, Peter Lloyd Tyack, Paul Wensveen, Patrick Miller
Ecological Applications 2016 vol.26 pp.77-93
Sperm whale response to tag boat presence Saana Isojunno, Patrick Miller
Ecosphere 2015 vol.6
Harbour porpoise habitat preferences Saana Isojunno, Jason Matthiopoulos,
Marine Ecology Progress Series 2012 vol.448 pp.155-170

Contact Details:

Dr Saana Isojunno
Scottish Oceans Institute
East Sands
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 8LB
Fife
UK

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email: si66@st-andrews.ac.uk

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research@st-andrews

Sea Mammal Research Unit
School of Biology
Scottish Oceans Institute

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