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Personal profile

Research Interests:

My main research and teaching interests are in the ecology and conservation of marine systems, with a particular focus on marine top predators. For over twenty years, my group’s research has focused on understanding how natural and anthropogenic environmental change influences the behaviour and dynamics of marine mammals and seabirds. This work has been underpinned by the development and maintenance of long-term individual based studies of harbour seal, bottlenose dolphin and fulmar populations in the North of Scotland, with comparative studies conducted at a range of overseas sites across the North Atlantic, North Pacific and South America. A key aim of the work has been to directly support regional conservation and management programmes, and through this to develop generic understanding and best practice case studies that provide insights into marine resource management issues elsewhere in the world.

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Research Output

Breeding status influences timing but not duration of moult in the Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis

Grissot, A., Graham, I. M., Quinn, L., Brathen, V. S. & Thompson, P. M., Apr 2020, In : Ibis. 162, 2, p. 446-459 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)

    Distribution maps of cetacean and seabird populations in the North-East Atlantic

    Waggitt, J. J., Evans, P. G. H., Andrade, J., Banks, A. N., Boisseau, O., Bolton, M., Bradbury, G., Brereton, T., Camphuysen, C. J., Durinck, J., Felce, T., Fijn, R. C., Garcia-Baron, I., Garthe, S., Geelhoed, S. C. V., Gilles, A., Goodhall, M., Haelters, J., Hamilton, S., Hartny-Mills, L. & 26 others, Hodgins, N., James, K., Jessopp, M., Kavanagh, A. S., Leopold, M., Lohrengel, K., Louzao, M., Markones, N., Martinez-Cediera, J., O'Cadhla, O., Perry, S. L., Pierce, G. J., Ridoux, V., Robinson, K. P., Santos, M. B., Saavedra, C., Skov, H., Stienen, E. W. M., Sveegaard, S., Thompson, P., Vanermen, N., Wall, D., Webb, A., Wilson, J., Wanless, S. & Hiddink, J. G., Feb 2020, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 57, 2, p. 253-269 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Age-length relationships in UK harbour seals during a period of population decline

    Hall, A. J., Mackey, B., Kershaw, J. L. & Thompson, P., Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 61-70 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Changing distribution of the east coast of Scotland bottlenose dolphin population and the challenges of area‐based management

    Arso Civil, M., Quick, N. J., Cheney, B., Pirotta, E., Thompson, P. M. & Hammond, P. S., Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 178-196 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    Effects of impulsive noise on marine mammals: investigating range-dependent risk

    Hastie, G., Merchant, N. D., Götz, T., Russell, D. J. F., Thompson, P. & Janik, V. M., 1 Jul 2019, In : Ecological Applications. 29, 5, 10 p., e01906.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    7 Downloads (Pure)


    Harbour porpoise responses to pile-driving diminish over time

    Graham, I. (Creator), Merchant, N. D. (Creator), Farcas, A. (Creator), Barton, T. R. (Creator), Cheney, B. (Creator), Awang Bono, S. B. (Creator) & Thompson, P. (Creator), Dryad Digital Repository, 4 Jun 2019


    Variations in age- and sex-specific survival rates help explain population trend in a discrete marine mammal population

    Arso Civil, M. (Creator), Cheney, B. (Creator), Quick, N. J. (Creator), Islas-Villanueva, V. (Creator), Graves, J. A. (Creator), Janik, V. M. (Creator), Thompson, P. (Creator) & Hammond, P. S. (Creator), Dryad Digital Repository, 19 Dec 2018


    Integrating passive acoustic and visual data to model spatial patterns of occurrence in coastal dolphins

    Thompson, P. (Creator), Brookes, K. L. (Creator) & Cordes, L. (Creator), Dryad Digital Repository, 11 Jul 2014


    Acoustic and visual data of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) foraging vocalizations, boat presence and noise levels in the Moray Firth in 2012-2013

    Pirotta, E. (Contributor), Merchant, N. D. (Contributor), Thompson, P. (Contributor), Barton, T. R. (Contributor) & Lusseau, D. (Contributor), PANGAEA: Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science, 2015



    Marsh Award for Marine and Freshwater Conservation

    Thompson, Paul (Recipient), 22 Jun 2016

    Prize: Awards, Medals, Prizes and Distinctions

  • Impacts

    Impacts of offshore energy developments

    Paul Thompson (Coordinator), Philip S. Hammond (Coordinator), David Lusseau (Coordinator), D L Borchers (Coordinator) & Gordon Hastie (Coordinator)

    Impact: Quality of life Impacts