University of St Andrews
Sea Mammal Research Unit

The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) provides impartial, independent and innovative science that has high relevance to society.

We carry out interdisciplinary research into the biology of marine mammals, train marine mammal scientists through undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and advise governments, non-governmental organizations and industry on conservation issues.


  • CBD Seminar: Getting the most impact out of your research
    speaker: Peter Tyack (St Andrews University)

    building: Dyers Brae
    room: Seminar Room
    see also: additional details

    What academic would be happy to think of their research as having little impact?

    The scoring of impact outside of academia in the REF adds even more impetus to this topic. Impact has such a broad definition in the REF - ‘an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’ – that nearly everyone’s research should have a pathway to impact. But we are not always trained how to find and develop this path.

    I will start the seminar by describing how my curiosity-driven research on acoustic communication in marine mammals led to impact for understanding the effects of anthropogenic noise. The critical pathway to impact was a willingness (I felt it an obligation) to get involved where one’s science is relevant for political issues, legal disputes, or conflicts between regulators and stakeholder, even if these are controversial.

    Interacting with the critical players in the decision-making process was essential for obtaining convincing evidence of impact from convincing sources. Committing to this process can take a lot of time, but is necessary for creating the link between our research and decision-making outside of academia.

    I would like for most of the seminar to involve a brainstorming discussion about pathways to impact for some of the varied CBD research areas

    refID: 1855

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  • TBC
    speaker: Matt Carter (University of Plymouth)

    building: SOI
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details

    refID: 1853

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  • Marine microplastics
    speaker: Dr Erik van Sebille (Imperial)

    building: SOI
    room: LT
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Prof Andrew Brierley

    refID: 1832

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