Profile

Prof Patrick Miller

Prof Patrick Miller
Professor


 

My research focuses on social communication and behavioral ecology of marine mammals. I record and describe the behaviour patterns of marine mammals in order to elucidate their function, often using novel research tools. I seek to unravel how the marine environment and anthropogenic stressors such as sonar might influence foraging, social interactions, swimming behaviour, and body condition.

Current Projects

Novel methods to study body condition of cetaceans at sea

Body condition influences how animals trade-off foraging and anti-predator behaviors, and modulates responses to human disturbance. However, current methods for estimating lipid store body condition in cetaceans are descriptive or do not measure full-body fat stores. In this study, we are working to validate, establish and utilize a novel, non-invasive method to measure total body lipid-stores of free-ranging cetaceans by analysis of their underwater swimming pattern. The results of this study will establish and validate an innovative technique to measure body condition in cetaceans, and examine the interplay of body condition with foraging and anti-predator behaviors and reproductive status of females.

Killer whales in the North Atlantic

Killer whales are generalist predators as a species, but each population seems to be remarkably specialized on certain prey types. This project seeks to describe natural behaviour of killer whales in the North Atlantic, focusing upon interatctions between foraging behaviour, social interactions and acoustic communication of herring-feeding killer whales. Work in this area also seeks to explore interactions of killer whales with other speces, and how killer whales respond to underwater noise.

Effects of noise on cetaceans and other animals

The underwater environment is subject to the input of noise from human activities, but there are wide gaps in our understanding about how noise might affect marine mammals. My work within the international collaboration known as '3S' has focused on describing how several species of cetaceans respond to experimental presentation of sonar and various control sounds including killer whale sounds. To aid in management of this important problem, a key component of this work is to determine the levels of noise at which responses start I am using animal models ranging from the fruit fly D montana to long-finned pilot whale to explore how noise influences communication systems and how signallers might respond to noise within ecological and evolutionary time scales.

source: symbiosis

 

Recent publications listed in research@st-andrews
Harris, CM, Thomas, L, Falcone, E, Hildebrand, J, Houser, D, Kvadsheim, P, Lam, F-PA, Miller, P, Moretti, DJ, Read, A, Slabbekoorn, H, Southall, BL, Tyack, PL, Wartzok, D & Janik, VM 2017, 'Marine mammals and sonar: dose-response studies, the risk-disturbance hypothesis and the role of exposure context' Journal of Applied Ecology, vol Early view. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12955
Kvadsheim, PH, DeRuiter, S, Sivle, LD, Goldbogen, J, Roland-Hansen, R, Miller, PJO, Lam, F-PA, Calambokidis, J, Friedlaender, A, Visser, F, Tyack, PL, Kleivane, L & Southall, B 2017, 'Avoidance responses of minke whales to 1–4 kHz naval sonar' Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol In press. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.05.037
Filatova, OA, Samarra, FIP, Barrett-Lennard, LG, Miller, PJO, Ford, JKB, Yurk, H, Matkin, CO & Hoyt, E 2016, 'Physical constraints of cultural evolution of dialects in killer whales' Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 140, no. 5, pp. 3755-3764. DOI: 10.1121/1.4967369
Harris, CM, Thomas, L, Sadykova, D, De Ruiter, SL, Tyack, PL, Southall, BL, Read, AJ & Miller, P 2016, The challenges of analyzing behavioral response study data: an overview of the MOCHA (Multi-study OCean acoustics Human effects Analysis) project. in AN Popper & A Hawkins (eds), Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 875, Springer Science and Business Media, pp. 399-407, Third International Conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life, Budapest, Hungary, 11-16 August. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2981-8_47
Lam, FPA, Kvadsheim, PH, Miller, PJO, Tyack, PL, Ainslie, MA, Curé, C, Kleivane, L, Sivle, LD, Van Ijsselmuide, SP, Visser, F, Von Benda-Beckmann, AM, Wensveen, PJ & Dekeling, RPA 2016, Controlled sonar exposure experiments on cetaceans in norwegian waters: Overview of the 3s-project. in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. vol. 875, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 875, Springer, pp. 589-598. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2981-8_71
von Benda-Beckmann, AM, Wensveen, PJ, Kvadsheim, PH, Lam, FPA, Miller, PJO, Tyack, PL & Ainslie, MA 2016, Assessing the effectiveness of ramp-up during sonar operations using exposure models. in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. vol. 875, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 875, Springer, pp. 1197-1203. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2981-8_150
Nowacek, DP, Clark, CW, Mann, D, Miller, PJO, Rosenbaum, HC, Golden, JS, Jasny, M, Kraska, J & Southall, BL 2015, 'Marine seismic surveys and ocean noise: time for coordinated and prudent planning' Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol 13, no. 7, pp. 378-386. DOI: 10.1890/130286
Miller, P, Kvadsheim, PH, Lam, FPA, Tyack, PL, Curé, C, De Ruiter, SL, Kleivane, L, Sivle, LD, van IJsselmuide, SP, Visser, F, Wensveen, PJ, von Benda-Beckmann, AM, Martin Lopez, LM, Narazaki, T & Hooker, SK 2015, 'First indications that northern bottlenose whales are sensitive to behavioural disturbance from anthropogenic noise' Royal Society Open Science, vol 2, 140484. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140484
Rekdahl, M, Dunlop, R, Goldizen, A, Garland, EC, Biassoni, N, Miller, P & Noad, M 2015, 'Non-song social call bouts of migrating humpback whales' Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 137, no. 6, pp. 3042-3053. DOI: 10.1121/1.4921280

Contact

The Secretary
Scottish Oceans Institute
Institiud Chuantan na h-Alba
Gatty Marine Laboratory
East Sands St Andrews
KY16 8LB
Scotland
UK

tel: +44 (0) 1334 463472
fax: +44 (0) 1334 463443
email: soi@st-andrews.ac.uk

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