Philippa Dell

Philippa Dell, BSc(Hons), PGCE

Research Centre/Unit: Anthrozoology

Project Summary

Title: “Economy versus Ecology – a social-ecological approach to the study of anthropogenic noise disturbance of cetaceans in the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals”

Current scientific research on anthropogenic noise disturbance of cetaceans focuses almost exclusively on the quantitative impacts of underwater noise on behaviour, distribution and hearing capabilities of affected animals.  This interdisciplinary project seeks to answer repeated calls in the scientific literature for an anthropological perspective, to gain a greater understanding of the social and economic factors involved in this human-wildlife conflict.

To do this, the project involves two strands of research:

a)  A quantitative scientific analysis of acoustic data collected over a 7-year period in a 25000km2 study site in the Pelagos Sanctuary.

b) A qualitative investigation of the social and economic factors involved in the anthropogenic noise disturbance of cetaceans by maritime industries in the Pelagos Sanctuary.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr Samantha Hurn (University of Exeter)

Secondary Supervisor: Dr Tom Rice (University of Exeter)

External Supervisors: Dr Arianna Azzellino and Sabina Airoldi (Tethys Research Institute)

Wider Research Interests

Cetacean ecology and conservation

Anthropogenic noise disturbance and bioacoustics

Socio-economic barriers to wildlife conservation

Human-wildlife conflict