3rd July 2019

Former Animal Science student Laura Roberts, who now leads ‘Operation Cetacean’, has been working with our Animal Science team to study and protect Harbour Porpoise within the Torbay Marine Conservation Zone.


We are delighted to announce that their findings have been published in a very prestigious peer-reviewed journal, ‘Ocean and Coastal Management’. This journal has an Impact Factor of 3.043, and is in the top quartile of all the journal publishing in the categories of Aquatic Science, Oceanography and Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law.

The research investigated the impact of marine vessels on the presence and behaviour of Harbour Porpoise off Berry Head, Brixham and highlights the vulnerability of the species.

Harbour Porpoise are the UK’s smallest cetacean and live in a constant struggle to feed. Unlike dolphins, the species is shy and any disturbance can affect their behaviour and ultimately survival. The authors call on all marine users to be mindful of this and respect these animals from a distance of at least 200m, it is also important to remember that any pursuit or harassment is against the law.

Stu Collier, lecturer in Animal Science stated “It is fantastic to be involved in research which has the potential to make a real difference to a species living on our doorstep. We have been working with a range of stakeholders to raise awareness about Harbour Porpoise and their conservation. We look forward to continuing the research with Laura and the next intake of Animal Science students.”

Access the article here (free access until 20/08/19).

For more information about our Animal Science degree, click here or you can call our Helpzone team on 08000 380 123 or email enquiries@southdevon.ac.uk for any questions you have.

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