Marine Mammal Event – May 31st

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The harmful effects of underwater noise on marine mammals, and what we can do to prevent them.

A talk by Professor John Harwood 

Wednesday 31st May, 2017 at 7pm

Jurys Inn, Western Way, Exeter EX1 2DB


John Harwood is a semi-retired Professor of Biology at the University of St Andrews, UK. He was Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit, from 1978-1996, and Director of the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling from 2004-2009. Before moving to Devon in 2016, he was a member of the Council of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and vice-chair of the Trust’s Conservation Committee.  At the moment, his main interest is in developing methods for assessing and mitigating the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on marine life.


Most marine mammals rely on sound to find their food and navigate, but the amount of noise humans are making in the marine environment has been increasing steadily over the last 100 years.  This noise can cause hearing damage and may disorientate whales in ways that can result in their death if they flee into unfamiliar waters. Lower levels of noise may prevent animals from feeding or finding a mate.  He will review some recent cases where noise associated with navy exercises may have caused mass strandings of whales and dolphins, and discuss the potential effects of offshore wind farm construction on seals and porpoises.  He will then describe work that he and his colleagues at the University of St Andrews have been doing to try to avoid these harmful effects.


Members:  £1.50

Non-Members £3.00

To book please contact the Secretary – Joanne Gilbert or call 07990 664062.

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