Professor Paul Thompson

Professor Paul Thompson

Chair in Zoology

Professor Paul Thompson
Professor Paul Thompson

Contact Details

fax 01381 600841
The University of Aberdeen Lighthouse Field Station, George Street, Cromarty, Ross-shire, IV11 8YJ


1982, B.Sc. Biology, University of York

1987, PhD Zoology, University of Aberdeen

1990, Established the University’s Lighthouse Field Station

2005, Appointed to a Personal Chair in Zoology

2011, Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE)


Research Overview

Current research aims to assess how natural and anthropogenic environmental variations influence the behaviour, physiology and dynamics of marine mammal and seabird populations. These questions have been approached by conducting long-term and comparative studies of key populations; primarily in Scottish waters but including some work overseas. These studies have been used to address a range of applied and theoretical questions, often requiring an inter-disciplinary approach and regularly involving collaboration with other research groups both in the UK and abroad. Topics of particular interest have included interactions between wildlife populations and fisheries, the impact of anthropogenic noise on marine mammal biology, seal foraging and breeding strategies, and effects of changing prey stocks and climate change on the population dynamics of marine top predators.  

Research Funding and Grants

2014-2019, Beatrice Offshore Wind Ltd, Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd, Marine Scotland, The Crown Estate, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Marine Mammal Monitoring Programme for Moray Firth windfarm developments 

2015-2016, DECC, Assessing cetacean responses to pile driving noise

2012-2018, Scottish Natural Heritage, Site condition monitoring for the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation

2011-2012, Marine Scotland, Assessment of methods for monitoring marine mammals at marine renewable energy developments 

2010-2012, Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd & Beatrice Offshore Wind Ltd, Development of a framework for assessing the impact of windfarm construction marine mammal populations.  

2009-2013, DECC, Assessing the impact of seismic survey noise on cetaceans



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  • The summer distribution, habitat associations and abundance of seabirds in the sub-polar frontal zone of the Northwest Atlantic

    Wakefield, E. D., Miller, D. L., Bond, S. L., le Bouard, F., Carvalho, P. C., Catry, P., Dilley, B. J., Fifield, D. A., Gjerdrum, C., Gonzalez-Solis, J., Hogan, H., Laptikhovsky, V. V., Merkel, B., Miller, J. A. O., Miller, P. I., Pinder, S. J., Pipa, T., Peterson, R. M., Thompson, L. A., Thompson, P., Matthiopoulos, J.

    Progress in Oceanography

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • The year-round distribution of Northeast Atlantic seabird populations: Applications for population management and marine spatial planning

    Fauchald, P., Tarroux, A., Amélineau, F., Bråthen, V. S., Descamps, S., Ekker, M., Helgason, H. H., Johansen, M. K., Merkel, B., Moe, B., Åström, J., Anker-Nilssen, T., Bjørnstad, O., Chastel, O., Christensen Dalsgaard, S., Danielsen, J., Daunt, F., Dehnhard, N., Erikstad, K. E., Ezhov, A., Gavrilo, M., Hallgrimsson, G. T., Hansen, E. S., Harris, M., Helberg, M., Jónsson, J. E., Kolbeinsson, Y., Krasnov, Y., Langset, M., Lorentsen, S., Lorentzen, E., Newell, M., Olsen, B., Kristin Reiertsen, T., Systad, G. H., Thompson, P., Thórarinsson, T. L., Wanless, S., Wojczulanis-Jakubas, K., Strøm, H.

    Marine Ecology Progress Series

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Multispecies tracking reveals a major seabird hotspot in the North Atlantic

    Davies, T. E., Carneiro, A. P., Tarzia, M., Wakefield, E. D., Hennicke, J., Frederiksen, M., Hansen, E. S., Campos, B., Hazin, C., Lascelles, B., Anker-Nilssen, T., Arnardóttir, H., Barrett, R. T., Biscoito, M. J., Bollache, L., Boulinier, T., Catry, P., Ceia, F. R., Chastel, O., Christensen Dalsgaard, S., Cruz-Flores, M., Danielsen, J., Daunt, F., Dunn, E., Egevang, C., Fagundes, A. I., Fayet, A. L., Fort, J., Furness, R. W., Gilg, O., Gonzalez-Solis, J., Granadeiro, J. P., Grémillet, D., Guilford, T., Hanssen, S. A., Harris, M. P., Hedd, A., Per Huffeldt, N., Jessopp, M. J., Kolbeinsson, Y., Krietsch, J., Lang, J., Linnebjerg, J. F., Lorentsen, S., Madeiros, J., Magnusdottir, E., Mallory, M. L., McFarlane Tranquilla, L., Merkel, F. R., Militão, T., Moe, B., Montevecchi, W. A., Morera-Pujo, V., Mosbech, A., Neves, V., Newell, M. A., Olsen, B., Paiva, V. H., Peter, H., Petersen, A., Phillips, R. A., Ramírez, I., Ramos, J. A., Ramos, R., Ronconi, R. A., Ryan, P. G., Schmidt, N. M., Sigurðsson, I. A., Sittler, B., Steen, H., Stenhouse, I. J., Strøm, H., Systad, G. H. R., Thompson, P., Thórarinsson, T. L., van Bemmelen, R. S., Wanless, S., Zino, F., Dias, M. P.

    Conservation Letters, 12824

    Contributions to Journals: Letters

  • Spatiotemporal variation in harbor porpoise distribution and foraging across a landscape of fear

    Williamson, L. D., Scott, B., Laxton, M. R., Bachl, F. E., Illian, J., Kate L., B., Thompson, P.

    Marine Mammal Science

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Inter-annual variation in winter distribution impacts individual seabird contamination with mercury

    Albert, C., Bråthen, V. S., Descamps, S., Anker-Nilssen, T., Cherenkov, A., Christensen Dalsgaard, S., Danielsen, J., Erikstad, K. E., Gavrilo, M., Hanssen, S. A., Helgason, H. H., Jónsson, J. E., Kolbeinsson, Y., Krasnov, Y., Langset, M., Lorentzen, E., Olsen, B., Kristin Reiertsen, T., Strøm, H., Systad, G. H., Tertitsk, G., Thompson, P., Thórarinsson, T. L., Bustamante, P., Moe, B., Fort, J.

    Marine Ecology Progress Series

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Light-level geolocators reveal spatial variations in interactions between northern fulmars and fisheries.

    Dupuis, B., Amélineau, F., Tarroux, A., Bjørnstad, O., Bråthen, V. S., Danielsen, J., Descamps, S., Fauchald, P., Hallgrimsson, G. T., Hansen, E. S., Helberg, M., Helgason, H. H., Jónsson, J. E., Kolbeinsson, Y., Lorentzen, E., Thompson, P., Thórarinsson, T. L., Strøm, H.

    Marine Ecology Progress Series

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Counterintuitive active directional swimming behaviour by Atlantic salmon during seaward migration in the coastal zone

    Newton, M., Barry, J., Lothian, A., Main, R. A., Honkanen, H., McKelvey, S. A., Thompson, P., Davies, I., Brockie, N., Stephen, A., O'Hara Murray, R., Gardiner, R., Campbell, L., Stainer, P., Adams, C.

    ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsab024

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

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