Tracking Nemo: finding out how marine animals move.

Dr Mark Johnson –  26 June, 2017 


How and why animals move and how much does it cost them to do so: these are central questions in ecology and conservation but are difficult to measure for many marine animals. Biologging tags are increasingly used to track the movements and behaviour of marine animals using a variety of positioning techniques from geolocation to dead-reckoning. The choice of sensor and data delivery method are largely dictated by the behaviour of the study species as well as the spatial/temporal scales of interest but trade-offs between accuracy, resolution, tag size and longevity are inevitable. In this talk, I will discuss the use of fast-acquisition GPS and dead-reckoning to study foraging behaviour, energetics, and impacts of human disturbance on marine mammals. I will also show how sounds can be used to track the relative movements of animals in groups. A major challenge is to integrate the measurements from these different sensor modalities, taking advantage of the strengths of each method.