Helen Hiley

I have a BSc in Marine Biology and an MRes in Marine Mammal Science from the University of St Andrews. My main research interests concern the behavioural ecology of cetaceans, how they can be affected by anthropogenic activity and ways in which can work to mitigate those affects. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked as a research assistant on two different projects at the Sea Mammal Research Unit.

Unlocking the enigma of Scottish harbour porpoise fine-scale habitat use

PhD Aims:

  • To gain a greater understanding of harbour porpoise habitat use in Scotland and to gain further insights into the acoustic methods used for monitoring them

PhD Objectives:

  • Spatiotemporal variation in harbour porpoise detections across Scotland
  • Fine scale movement of harbour porpoises and the effects on CPOD detections
  • How varying the configuration and placement of autonomous click detectors affects detections

Contact Details:


  • Hiley, H.M., Janik, V.M., Götz, T. (2021) Behavioural reactions of harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena to startle-eliciting stimuli: movement responses and practical applications. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 672:223-241. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13757
  • Hiley, H.M., Perry, S., Hartley, S., King, S.L. (2017) What’s occurring? Ultrasonic signature whistle use in Welsh bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Bioacoustics, 26:1, 25-35. https://doi.org/10.1080/09524622.2016.1174885