New publication: Evidence for distinct social communities of coastal and offshore bottlenose dolphins in the North East Atlantic

We have published a new publication on the social community structure of bottlenose dolphins in Irish waters. In collaboration with the University College Cork and Plymouth University, the study identified that two distinct bottlenose dolphin communities inhabit the coastal and offshore waters, west of Ireland. Both communities showed differences in distribution and scarification pattern: Bottlenose dolphins that inhabits the coastal waters within 3km from shore belong to a single fission-fusion community. The offshore community occurs further from shore (>4km) and is characterised by more heavily marked individuals, including a typical damage to the tip of the dorsal fin. Our results suggest the presence of two ecotypes in the North East Atlantic Ocean. Read More..

New publication: Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale

Together with a number of research institutions, KMR has published a new paper on the effect of predator (killer whale) sound playbacks on the behaviour of the humpback whale. The new study shows the initial stage of anti-predator responses of humpback whales include "flight" behavioural elements including cessation of feeding, change in the diving pattern and a clear directional and rapid horizontal avoidance away from the speaker. Read More..

Risso's dolphin in the Cosmos

Our research on the Risso’s dolphin in the Azores has been featured in the latest edition of the online  Cosmos Magazine . This summer, independent writer & scientist Eric Wagner joined our research team to experience and explore the Risso’s dolphin in the Azores. Check out his great short story on the Risso's dolphin social network online at  Cosmos Magazine   Read More..

New publication: The social context of individual foraging behaviour in long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas)

KMR in collaboration with a number of research institutes, has published a study on the social context of the long-finned pilot whales. The study describes a new protocol for social group behaviour, that is centred around a single individual in a group. The results show Long-finned pilot whales synchronize their timing of foraging behaviour. Read More..

Artikel Volkskrant: Walvissen en onderwatergeluid

Ter gelegenheid van de promotie van Fleur Visser, is er een artikel in de Volkskrant verschenen over haar promotie onderzoek met hierin onder andere het effect van onderwatergeluid op walvissen en dolfijnen. Read More..

New publication: Social diving behaviour of long-finned pilot whales

Combined methodology of the group behaviour research of KMR and advanced tagging technology of the University of Tokyo and the University of St Andrews have revealed highly synchronous diving behaviour of pairs of closely associated long-finned pilot whales. Read More..

New publication: Displacement responses of a mysticete, an odontocete, and a phocid seal to construction-related vessel traffic

A 3-year study on the effects of the construction of a gas-pipe line in the Irish Broadhaven Bay has revealed the displacement of at least two of the eleven marine mammal species that frequent the area. Read More..

First Risso tag on of 2013

On the 25 th of July we were met with very good conditions at sea and were able to target Sowerby’s beaked whales for tagging for the first time this year. Thus far, beaked whale sightings appear to be less frequent than in 2011 and 2012, particularly for the Sowerby’s beaked whales. The group was first spotted from land, which guided both our research vessels to the location of the sighting. Read More..

July 24 - Kick-off Azores-Baseline 2013

Following two days of preparations and testing our equipment, we have started the project with two very productive days with Risso’s dolphins. We are working with an international team, with researchers, students, volunteers and skippers joining us from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal and the Azores. Our base on Terceira is situated in Sao Carlos, between our look out and the harbour of Angra do Heroismo. It is the home of the very hospitable Lima family, and of the latest addition to our team, (field)dog Gabi.  Read More..

3S² 2013 cruise: behavioural response to sonar of the northern bottlenose whale and minke whale

With three weeks already at sea aboard the Norwegian research vessel, H.U. Sverdrup, we are heading into the last week of our 2013 Arctic cruise. Since 15 June, we have been surveying the coastal waters of Vestfjord, Lofoten, Norway, and the offshore waters near the Island of Jan Mayen located on the mid-Atlantic ridge... Read More..


The Fieldwork season 2013 has kicked of with Machiel Oudejans and Fleur Visser both travelling to the Arctic region for another research cruise on cetaceans in the Arctic waters of Norway. They join scientists from St Andrews, FFI, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, TNO and LK-Arts on the 3S 2 Behavioural Response Study, leaving from Tromsø for a 4-week cruise to the Lofoten and Jan Mayen Island in June and July. Working in the Arctic circle is a special experience: under the midnight sun. the day become night and night become the day. The 24-hour daylight allows the experiments to continue day and night, confusing our biological clock.... Read More..

Sowerby Beaked Whale tagged for the first time

Our team efforts paid off: today we deployed the first tag on a Sowerby's beaked whale! With a very calm sea and an overcast sky, our working conditions were very good, if not perfect. Groups of dolphins were plentiful this morning, and soon  the first group of Sowerby's beaked whales was seen surfacing in the distance.... Read More..

New publication: Whale Migration and climate change

"Timing of migratory baleen whales at the Azores in relation to the North Atlantic spring bloom" is the title of the new publication in Marine Ecology Progress Series of Fleur Visser and colleagues describing how baleen whales use the waters around the Azores as a drive through snack bar when migrating north towards their summer feeding grounds... Read More..