Grant Ellis


I am a conservation ecologist, with a research focus on coastal endangered and protected cetaceans. Following a bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology at University of Exeter, I relocated to New Zealand and worked on several projects on dusky and Hector’s dolphins’ ecology and tourism pressure. This research developed into an MSc by Research at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), University of St Andrews. Since 2021 I have been working as an RA at SMRU leading fieldwork on the population monitoring project for east coast bottlenose dolphins and assisting Indian Ocean Humpback dolphin baseline surveys in Tanzania.

Towards improved conservation of the east coast of Scotland bottlenose dolphin population: quantifying and understanding a major range expansion into northeast England

PI and Institution:
Carol Sparling, University of St Andrews

PhD aim:
To produce baseline data on bottlenose dolphin in northeast England and investigate the evidence and drivers of a population range expansion from Scotland as well as its impact on policy.

PhD objectives:

  • Quantify abundance and distribution of bottlenose dolphins in NE England.
  • Assess quantitative evidence for a population range expansion.
  • Determine levels of connectivity between NE England and Scotland study sites.
  • Investigate the role of meta-population dynamics and prey in the range expansion.
  • Assess implementation of policy related to the protected east coast bottlenose dolphin population.

Contact details:
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Grant__Ellis
University profile: Grant Ellis

Outreach activities:
Explorathon (2023) Outreach Event. Aberdeen Music Hall.
I Want To Be A… Marine Biologist (2023) Outreach Event. Wardlaw Museum University of St Andrews.
BBC Landward (2023) BBC Scotland – Landward, 2023, Episode 12.