Passive Acoustics

Marine mammals often use sounds to navigate, find food or attract mates. This allows researchers to use underwater recordings to detect different species of marine mammals, or use multiple hydrophones to locate individuals.

Recovering a T-POD from a mooring at the SutorsSome of our earliest work using these passive acoustic techniques involved investigation of the male harbour seal's aquatic mating behaviour.

More recently, we have conducted large-scale studies of harbour porpoise and dolphin distribution using T-PODs and C-PODs; devices that can be left moored for several months to detect echolocation clicks from passing cetaceans.

Example studies

Bailey, H., Clay, G., Coates, E.A., Lusseau, D., Senior, B. & Thompson, P.M. (2010) Using T-PODS to assess variations in the occurrence of coastal bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 20: 150-158.

Van Parijs, S.M., Hastie, G.D. & Thompson, P.M. (2000) Individual and geographic variation in display behaviour of male harbour seals, Phoca vitulina, in Scotland. Animal Behaviour, 59: 559-568.