Photo of Charlotte Findlay

Charlotte Findlay

PhD student

  • Scottish Marine Institute

    PA37 1QA Oban

    United Kingdom

  • 6 Citations
  • 1 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research expertise

I am a marine ecologist interested in understanding the impacts of man-made noise in the marine environment, and how this affects marine species at both individual and population levels.

My work focuses on the risks posed by Acoustic Deterrent Device noise to marine mammals on the west coast of Scotland.

PhD Project

Modelling underwater noise from acoustic deterrent devices to determine the extent of exposure and implications for the conservation of marine mammals

Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) or 'seal-scarers' produce intense and aversive noise within the hearing range of seals to deter them from approaching and damaging cages or finfish at aquaculture farms. The use of ADDs in Scotland is largely undocumented, however recent evidence suggests that the noise from these devices has become widespread across the west coast of Scotland, and represents a regionally important but overlooked source of underwater noise pollution.

This PhD aims to model the extent of underwater noise from acoustic deterrent devices (ADD) on the west coast of Scotland and assess risks for marine mammal populations. Specifically, the PhD will explore the risk for injury and potential of habitat displacement for harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and seal species (Phocidae spp.).

Results will be used to consider management options for the use of ADDs in Scotland and better inform legislation addressing underwater noise and species protection.


Professor Ben Wilson, SAMS

Dr Denise Risch, SAMS

Dr Nathan Merchant, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Services expertise

Training courses

2018 BioAcoustic Summer School (SeaBASS) at the University of New Hampshire, USA

Employment history

Since 2017 PhD student at SAMS UHI

2016-17 Underwater Noise Adviser. Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 1 Jan 2016

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 20 Jun 2015

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Research Output

  • 6 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 1 Poster
  • 1 Article
  • Mapping widespread and increasing underwater noise pollution from acoustic deterrent devices

    Findlay, C., Ripple, H., Coomber, F., Froud, K., Harries, O., van Geel, C. F., Calderan, S., Benjamins, S., Risch, D. & Wilson, B., Oct 2018, In : Marine Pollution Bulletin. 135, p. 1042-1050 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    14 Downloads (Pure)


    • 1 Oral presentation