University of St Andrews
Sea Mammal Research Unit

Dr Cormac Booth
Visiting Scholar



My interests include the distribution, ecology and acoustic behaviour of cetacean species and investigating anthropogenic impacts on marine mammals. I work for SMRU Ltd.

Cormac is currently Project Manager for the interim ‘Population Consequences of Disturbance’ Framework project and others at SMRU Ltd. Additionally, he has extensive experience modelling survey data from vessel, aerial and PAM surveys. In particular Cormac has analysed data from static Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) platforms at Strangford Lough to address questions relating to the impact of the SeaGen turbine installation and operation on harbour porpoise activity in the area.

  • Distribution and Ecology of Cetaceans: My PhD involved a range of habitat modelling and GIS techniques and conducting visual and towed-acoustic, line-transect and static PAM surveys to study habitat preferences and distribution of cetacean species. Modelling approaches including use of GLMs, GAMs and GEEs.
  • Assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine mammals: Investigating the extent of acoustic deterrent use on the West coast of Scotland, sound field assessment and impacts of such devices on harbour porpoise distribution.
  • Marine Mammal Monitoring: Prior to, and during his time with SMRU Ltd I have worked on several projects involving the use of passive acoustic monitoring methods to detect cetacean species. Scientist responsible for the delivery of several commercial projects involving the use of CPODs to monitor cetaceans. Also involved in boat based surveys for marine mammals using towed acoustic methods for offshore wind farm projects.  Also familiar with a range of field techniques including: photo-identification and biopsy sampling



King, SL, Schick, RS, Donovan, CR, Booth, CG, Burgman, M, Thomas, L & Harwood, J 2015, 'An interim framework for assessing the population consequences of disturbance' Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol 6, no. 10, pp. 1150-1158. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12411
Lepper, P, Gordon, JCD, Booth, CG, Theobald, P, Robinson, S, Northridge, S & Wang, L 2014, Establishing the sensitivity of cetaceans and seals to acoustic deterrent devices in Scotland. vol. Commissioned Report No. 517., Scottish Natural Heritage.
Booth, CG, Embling, CB, Gordon, J, Calderan, SV & Hammond, PS 2013, 'Habitat preferences and distribution of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) west of Scotland' Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol 478, pp. 273–285.
Booth, CG, Embling, C, Gordon, J, Calderan, SV & Hammond, PS 2013, 'Habitat preferences and distribution of the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena west of Scotland' Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol 478, pp. 273-285. DOI: 10.3354/meps10239
Northridge, S, Gordon, J, Booth, C, Calderan, S, Cargill, A, Coram, AJ, Gillespie, DM, Lonergan, M & Webb, A Assessment of the impacts and utility of acoustic deterrent devices.
Tel: 01334 479100
Room: SMRU Ltd - 11a New Technology Centre  (Other)

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