Welcome to MVRG
We are a group of scientists, based in the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre (MBERC) and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, who are interested in the ecology, physiology and behaviour of vertebrate predators in the world’s oceans. Our research covers a wide range of topics that link foraging behaviour of fish, birds and mammals with their physical environment, individual success and population dynamics; explore their interactions with human activities that impact on the marine environment, such as fisheries, renewables and pollution; and investigate how their physiology provides opportunities or places constraints on their ability to survive and thrive. We have close links with other themes within MBERC, other research centres in the Marine Institute, such as the Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research (MarCoPol) and the Marine Physics Research Group (MPRG), and with external research groups including Exeter University, the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews, University of Southampton, Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS), and the University of Delaware, USA.
We have expertise in satellite tracking, passive acoustic monitoring, physical oceanography, Earth observation from satellite, and photo-ID as well as leading edge biochemical and molecular tools.
Current recent research areas include investigating the co-operative interactions between bottlenose dolphins and fishermen in Brazil; population structure and conservation management of coastal bottlenose dolphins; identifying oceanographic features (e.g. oceanic fronts and eddies) associated with foraging behaviour in marine mammals and birds; using satellite telemetry to determine how grey seal pups learn how to forage; developing noise propagation models to examine impact of shipping noise on marine mammals; investigating the distribution and abundance of harbour porpoises and sperm whales around the UK; mapping growth dynamics of young fishes to identify key nursery habitats; and understanding the causes of cellular stress in grey seals and the subsequent consequences for tissue function and whole animal health.