Dr Simon Ingram

Dr Simon Ingram

Associate Professor of Marine Conservation

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Dr Simon Ingram can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Marine mammal conservation
  • Dolphins
  • Marine mammal behaviour
  • Cetacean conservation
  • Cetacean ecology


  • Associate Professor of Marine Conservation
  • Programme Leader, BSc Ocean Science and Marine Conservation
  • Academic member, Marine Vertebrate Research Unit
  • Academic member Marine Conservation Research Group
Follow me on Twitter @DrSimonIngram


  • PhD, University College Cork 1996-2000. The ecology and conservation of bottlenose dolphins using the Shannon estuary, Ireland.
  • MSc Ecology (taught) University of Aberdeen 1992-1993
  • BSc University of Sheffield, Zoology 2 i (hons) Zoology, 1987-1990

Previous to my PhD I worked on various marine mammal projects including spending two years aboard IFAWs cetacean research vessel 'Song of the Whale'  conducting acoustic and visual scientific surveys of cetaceans in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean waters.  I have also worked at SMRU assisting with seal surveys and recently at the University of Aberdeen's Lighthouse Field Station where I managed a Scottish Government funded project examining the distribution abundance and ranging behaviour of coastal bottlenose dolphins. 

Professional membership

  • Member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM)
  • Member of the European Cetacean Society (ECS)
  • Associate editor for the journal Biodiversity and Conservation



Teaching interests

I teach marine biology and marine conservation to students enrolled in several degree programmes at Plymouth University. 

I deliver teaching to the following degree programmes

  • Undergraduate
  • Ocean Science and Marine Conservation
  • Oceanography and Coastal Processes
  • Ocean Exploration and Surveying
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Biology and Oceanography
  • Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Applied Marine Science
  • Marine Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Consultancy
I teach on the following modules (* = module leader);
  • Masters modules
  • MAR530 Managing Marine Ecosystems
  • MAR503 Coastal Impacts of Renewable Energy
  • ENV5113 Investigation and Assessment of Contaminated Environments
Undergraduate modules
  • OS103 Biological and Hydrography of the Ocean *
  • OS205 Managing Human Impacts in the Marine Environment
  • OS206 Researching the Marine Environment
  • OS304 Marine Ecosystem Conservation* 
  • MBIO339 Ecology and Conservation of Marine Vertebrates*
  • OS313 Ocean Science and Marine Conservation Field Course (Bahamas)
  • Research Project supervision



Research interests

I am a field scientist specialising in the conservation ecology of marine mammal populations. I am particularly interested in understanding cetacean abundance and habitat use, individual ranging patterns, stock structure and the influence of oceanography on animal distribution and habitat use.

I also work on cooperative foraging interactions between bottlenose dolphins and artisanal fishermen at Laguna in Southern Brazil.

Grants & contracts

  • 2014-2017 Developing a data-driven multi-agent model for studying humpback whale song; Leverhulme Trust
  • 2005-08 senior post-doctoral research fellow and coordinator of Scottish Government funded project examining distribution and abundance of bottlenose dolphins in Scottish coastal waters. 
  • Collaborator on an SFI (Science Foundation of Ireland) Research Frontiers funded project examining the population structure of bottlenose dolphins in Irish waters. This project is using molecular genetics and stable isotope signatures to investigate gene flow and reproductive and geographic isolation of sub-populations using coastal sites.
  • 2009 collaborator on a National Parks and Wildlife funded project estimating abundance and examining site fidelity of bottlenose dolphins using northwest Connemara in western Ireland.
  • 2008 managed an Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service funded project to assess the abundance and population viability of bottlenose dolphins using the Shannon Estuary SAC in western Ireland.
  • 2008 supervised a Heritage Council funded project examining bottlenose dolphin distribution and behaviour in northwest Mayo, western Ireland.



Cox, S.L. Embling, CB, Hosegood, PJ,and Votier, SC, Ingram, SN. 2018. Oceanographic drivers of marine mammal and seabird habitat-use across shelf-seas: A guide to key features and recommendations for future research and conservation management. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science .

M. Nykänen, E. Dillane, A. Englund, A.D. Foote, S.N. Ingram, M. Louis, L.Mirimin, M. Oudejans and E. Rogan. 2018. Quantifying dispersal between marine protected areas by a highly mobile species, the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4343

Trigg LE, Chen F, Shapiro GI, Ingram SN, Embling CB. 2018 An adaptive grid to improve the efficiency and accuracy of modelling underwater noise from shipping. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 131:589-601

Mcloughlin M , Lamoni L. Garland EC, Ingram SN, Kirke A, Noad MJ, Rendell L,Miranda E. 2018. Using agent-based models to understand the role of individualsin the song evolution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) Music & Science, 1: 1–17. DOI: 10.1177/2059204318757021

Baker I, O'Brien J, McHugh K,  Ingram SNBerrow S. 2018. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) social structure in the Shannon Estuary, Ireland, is distinguished by age and area related associations. Marine Mammal Science https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12462 

Scales, KL, Alvarez-Berastegui, D. Embling,C. Ingram SN. 2017. Seascape ecology, spatial patterning in the sea. 2017. In: Pelagic seascapes, ed S.Pittman, Wiley.

Chen F, Shapiro GI, Bennett KA, Ingram SN, Thompson D, Vincent C, Russell DJF, Embling CB. 2016. Shipping noise in a dynamic sea: a case study of grey seals in the Celtic Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.09.054

Cox SL, Witt MJ, Embling CB, Godley BJ,Hosegood PJ, Miller PI, Votier SC, IngramSN. 2016. Temporal patterns in habitat use by small cetaceans at anoceanographically dynamic marine renewable energy test site in the Celtic Sea. DeepSea Research, Part II. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.07.001

Cox SL, Miller PI, Embling CB, ScalesKL, Bicknell AWJ, Hosegood PJ, Morgan G, IngramSN, Votier SC. 2016 Seabird diving behaviour reveals the functional significance of shelf-sea fronts as foraging hotspots. Royal Society Open Science http://dx.DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160317

Scales, KL, Miller PI, Ingram SN, Hazen EL,  Bograd SJ and Phillips RA. 2016. Identifying predictable foraging habitats for a wide-ranging marine predator using ensemble ecological niche models. Diversity and Distributions, DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12389 

Oudejans, M.G., Visser, F., Englund,A., Rogan, E., Ingram, S.N. 2015. Evidence for distinct coastal and offshore communities of bottlenose dolphins in the North East Atlantic. PLoSONE DOI:10.1371/0122668

Scales K.L., Miller P., IngramS.N., Southall, E.J. Sims, D.W. 2015. Basking sharks and oceanographicfronts: quantifying associations in the north-east Atlantic. Functional Biology: DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12423

Scales K.L, Miller P.I, Embling C.B, IngramS.N, Pirotta E, Votier S.C. 2014. Mesoscale fronts as foraging habitats: composite front mapping reveals oceanographic drivers of habitat use for a pelagics eabird. J. Royal. Soc. Interface 11: 20140679

Scales, K.L., Peter I. Miller, Lucy A. Hawkes, SimonN. Ingram, David W. Sims and Stephen C. Votier 2014 On the Front Line:frontal zones as priority at-sea conservation areas for mobile marinevertebrates Journal of Applied Ecology 2014 doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12330

Squires, N., Hodgson-Ball, K., Bennett, K., Votier, S. Ingram, S. 2014. Using passive acousticsand shore based surveys to investigate the occurrence of small odontocetes innearshore waters around Lundy. Journalof the Lundy Field Society, 4: 39-56.

Rees, S. E.,Fletcher, S., Glegg, G., Marshall, C., Rodwell, L., Jefferson, R., Campbell,M., Langmead, O., Ashley, M., Bloomfield, H., Brutto, D., Colenutt, A.,Conversi, A., Earll, B., Hamid, I. A., Hattam, C., Ingram, S., McKinley,E., Mee, L., Oates, J., Peckett, F., Portus, J., Reed, M., Rogers, S.,Saunders, J., Scales, K. & Wynn, R. 2013. Priority questions to shape the marineand coastal policy research agenda in the United Kingdom." Marine Policy 38: 531-537.

Daura-Jorge, F. G., M. Cantor, S. N.Ingram, D. Lusseau, P. C. Simões-Lopes . 2012. The structure of a bottlenose dolphin society is coupled to a unique foraging cooperation with artisanal fishermen. Biology Letters, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0174

Cheney, B.,Thompson, P.M., Ingram, S.N. Hammond P.S., Stevick, P.T., Durban, J.W. Culloch, R.M. Elwen, S.H, Mandleberg, L. Janik,V.M.,Quick,N.J., Islas-villanueva, V., Robinson,K.P., Costa,M., Eisfeld, S.M.Walters, A., Phillips,C., Weir,C.R., Evans,P.G.H., Anderwald,P., Reid,R.J.Reid, J.B., Wilson,B. 2012. Integrating multiple data sources to assess the distribution and abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Scottish waters. Mammal Review doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2907.2011.00208.x

Daura-Jorge, F.G., Ingram, S. N. and Simões-Lopes, P.C. 2012. Seasonal abundance and adult survivalof bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in a community thatcooperatively forages with fishermen in Southern Brazil. Marine MammalScience

Mirimin, L., Miller, R.,Dillane, E., Berrow, S. D., Ingram, S., Cross, T. F., Rogan, E. 2011.Fine-scale population genetic structuring of bottlenose dolphins using Irish coastal waters. Animal Conservation,14:342-352.

Cronin, M.A., Zuur, A.F., Ingram, S. andRogan, E. 2010. A modelling framework to optimize timing of haul-out counts forestimating harbour seal abundance. NAMMCO Scientific Publications, 8:213-225.

Thompson, P., Ingram, S., Lonergan, M. Northridge,S. Hall, A. Wilson, B., 2007. Climate change causingstarvation in harbour porpoises? Biology Letters, 3: 533-534.

Ingram, S.N., Walshe, L., Johnston, D. and Rogan,E.  2007. Habitat partitioning and the influence of benthic topography and oceanography on the distribution of fin andminke whales in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Journal of the Marine Biological Association. 87:149-156.

Philpott E., A. Englund, A., Ingram, S. and Rogan, E.2007. Using T-pods to the echolocation of coastal bottlenose dolphins. Journal of the Marine Biological Association, 87;11-17.

Ingram, S.N. ,Walshe, L.,Johnson, D. and Rogan, E. 2003.  Thedistribution of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada: using a tour-boat as a platform of opportunity. SC/55/WW12  Report to the International Whaling commission.

Ingram,S.N. & Rogan, E. 2002.  Identifyingcritical habitat areas and habitat preferences of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiopstruncatus). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 244: 247-255.

Wilson, B., Arnold, H.,Bearzi, G., Fortuna, C., Gaspar, R., Ingram,S., Liret, C., Pribanic, S., Read, A., Ridoux, V., Schneider, K., Urian,K., Wells, R., Wood, W., Thompson, P.,M. and Hammond, P. 1999. Epidermal diseases in bottlenose dolphins: impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London B 266:1077-1083.

Gordon, J., Moscrop, A.,Carlson, C., Ingram, S., Leaper, R.,Mathews, J. and Young, K. 1998. Distribution, movements and residency of spermwhales off the Commonwealth of Dominica, Eastern Caribbean: implications forthe development and regulation of the local whalewatching industry. Reportto the International Whaling Commission:48: 551-557.

Quicke, D.L.J. Fitton,M.G., Tunstead, J. Ingram, S.N. and Gaitens, P.V. 1994. Ovipositor structure and relationships within the Hymenoptera with special reference to theIchneumonoidea. Journal of Natural History, 28: 635-682.

Quicke, D.L.J., & Ingram, S.N. 1993. Braconine Wasps of Australia.  Memoirs of the QueenslandMuseum.  33 (1): 299-336.

Quicke,D.L.J., Ingram, S.N., Baillie, H. &Gaitens, P.V. 1992. Sperm structure and ultrastructure in the Hymenoptera. Zoologica Scipta, 21: 381-402.

Quicke, D.L.J., Ingram, S.N., Procter, J. &Huddlestone, T. 1992. Batesian & Mullerian mimicry between species with connected life histories with a new example involving braconid wasp parasites of Phoracantha beetles.Journal of Natural History 26: 1013-1034.

Quicke, D.L.J., Fitton,M.G. & Ingram, S.N. 1992.Phylogenetic implications of the structure and distribution of ovipositor valvilli in the Hymenoptera (Insecta). Journal of Natural History. 26:1013-1034.



Ingram,S.N., Kavanagh, A.,Englund, A. and  Rogan, E. 2009. Siteassessment of the waters of northwest Connemara.A survey of bottlenose dolphins(Tursiops truncatus). Reportto the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service 33pp.

Englund, A., Ingram,S.N., Rogan, E. (2007) Population Status report for bottlenose dolphinsusing the Shannon Estuary 2006-7. Report to the National Parks and WildlifeService, 35pp.

Roycroft, D., Cronin, M., Mackey, M., IngramS.N. and Ó Cadhla, O., (2007), Risk Assessment for Marine Mammal andSeabird Populations in South-Western Irish Waters (RAMSSI). Report to theHigher Education Authority, 198pp.

Ingram, S.N., O’Donovan, M.,Englund, A., Walshe, L. and Rogan., E. (2005). A review of marine naturetourism in Ireland and an assessment of the potential for boat-based marineeco- tourism in Tralee Bay and adjacent waters. Report to Tuatha ChiarraíTeo. University College Cork, 26pp.

Ingram, S.N., Englund, A.,O’Donovan, M., Walshe, L. and Rogan., E. (2005). A survey of marine wildlife inTralee Bay and adjacent waters. Report to Tuatha Chiarraí Teo.University College Cork, 20pp.

Ingram, S.N., O’Donovan, M.,Englund, A., Walshe, L. and Rogan., E. (2005). An assessment of the potentialfor shore-based marine nature tourism on the Kerry shore of the outer Shannonestuary. Report to Tuatha Chiarraí Teo. University College Cork, 23pp.

Ingram, S.N.,Englund, A., O’Donovan, M., Walshe, L. and Rogan., E. (2005). An assessment of the potential for dolphin-listeningecotourism at sites on the Kerry shore of the outer Shannon estuary. Report to Tuatha Chiarraí Teo. University College Cork, 15pp.

Ingram,S.N.and Englund, A. and Rogan, E. 2004. Methods of best practice for the use of T-PoD passive acoustic detectorsfor marine mammal research in Irish waters. Report to the Irish HeritageCouncil, 23pp.

Ingram, S.N., Englund, A. and Rogan, E.2003.  Habitat use,abundance and site-fidelity of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)in Connemara coastal waters, Co. Galway. Heritage Council Report no.12314, 27pp.

Ingram, S.N., and Rogan, E. 2003. Estimating abundance, sitefidelity and ranging patterns of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)in the Shannon Estuary and selected areas of the west-coast of Ireland. Reportto the National Parks and Wildlife Service, 28pp.

Rogan, E., Kelly, T., Ingram, S.N.,and Roycroft, D. 2003. The ecology of seabirds and marine mammals in afluctuating marine environment. Report to the Higher Education Authority,207pp.

OCadhla, O., Englund, A., Philpott, E., Mackey, M. and Ingram, S.N. 2003.Marine mammal monitoring in the waters of Broadhaven Bay and Northwest Mayo:2001-2002. Report to Enterprise Energy, Ireland Ltd, 74pp.

Ingram, S.N., Englund, A. and Rogan, E. 2001. An extensivesurvey of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) on the west coast ofIreland. Heritage Council Report no. WLD/2001/42 17pp.

Rogan,E., Ingram, S., Holmes, B and O’Flanagan, C. 2000.  A survey of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Shannonestuary. Marine Institute, MarineResource Series No. 9, 46pp.