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 Interests

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 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

Further Info

Lighthouse Field Station

Paul Thompson is currently Director of the Lighthouse Field Station, which provides a base for the University's research and teaching in the Moray Firth. Further details of the Field Station's staff, research and training programmes can be found be found at



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