Dr Douglas Gillespie


tel. 01334 462663

Back in the 1980’s available computers were not powerful enough to process acoustic data in real time. However, with the increased power available since the mid 90’s, it is now possible to develop software that will detect and classify sounds in real time on affordable PC’s.

As computers become ever more powerful, we have been able to develop more sophisticated detectors for more and more species, increasing the range of frequencies we can work at and the number of channels of data that can be processed. Now that we no longer hunger for more processing power, the trend in affordable computing has been for smaller and lower power devices. Indeed, most of us carry a mobile phone containing a processor that is more than capable of carrying out serious amounts of real-time data processing. Much of my current research therefore involves the development of detection systems that can run on low power devices mounted on moored buoys and autonomous vehicles such as submarine gliders. As well as the challenge of making useful detections on a limited power budget, we are also addressing the problem of how to interpret this type of data: for instance, if I hear 10,000 echolocation clicks from my glider, how many animals are there ?



Sparling, CE, Gillespie, DM, Hastie, GD, Gordon, JCD, MacAulay, JDJ, Malinka, CE, Wu, G-M & McConnell, BJ 2016, Scottish Government Demonstration Strategy: Trialing methods for tracking the fine scale underwater movements of marine mammals in areas of marine renewable energy development. vol. 7, 14 edn, Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science.
MacAulay, JDJ, Gordon, JCD, Gillespie, DM, Malinka, CE, Johnson, M & Northridge, SP 2015, Tracking harbor porpoises in tidal rapids:: A low cost autonomous platform to track the movement of harbor porpoises in tidal rapids. NERC.
Gillespie, DM PAMGuard Beta release 1.14.00.
Stevenson, BC, Borchers, DL, Altwegg, R, Swift, RJ, Gillespie, DM & Measey, GJ 2015, 'A general framework for animal density estimation from acoustic detections across a fixed microphone array' Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol 6, no. 1, pp. 38-48. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12291
Suberg, L, Wynn, RB, Kooij, JVD, Fernand, L, Fielding, S, Guihen, D, Gillespie, D, Johnson, M, Gkikopoulou, KC, Allan, IJ, Vrana, B, Miller, PI, Smeed, D & Jones, AR 2014, 'Assessing the potential of autonomous submarine gliders for ecosystem monitoring across multiple trophic levels (plankton to cetaceans) and pollutants in shallow shelf seas' Methods in Oceanography, vol 10, pp. 70-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.mio.2014.06.002
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Dr Douglas Gillespie Scottish Oceans Institute
East Sands
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 8LB

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