Principal Research Fellow, Deputy Director of CREEM, Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM)


My research in on the effect of anthropogenic activities on individual marine mammals, and the consequences for populations. I work at the interface between ecology and statistics, linking biological insights and statistical/mathematical modelling to provide an integrated assessment of the effect of human-caused disturbance on animals from behavioural and physiological response through to population consequence. The primary focus of my research has been on the impacts of navy sonar as the source of disturbance, however current projects include other forms of disturbance such as seismic prospecting and renewable energy installation.

I am currently Deputy Director of CREEM, an inter-disciplinary research centre at the University of St Andrews, linking researchers from the Schools of Mathematics and Statistics, Biology, Computer Science and Geography and Sustainable Development. The remit of CREEM is to develop and apply advanced mathematical and statistical methods to practical problems in biology, ecology and geography.

Selected publications

Dunlop, R. A., Braithwaite, J., Mortensen, L. O., & Harris, C. M. (2021). Assessing population-level effects of anthropogenic disturbance on a marine mammal population. Frontiers in Marine Science8, [624981].

Wilson, L. J., Harwood, J., Booth, C. G., Joy, R. & Harris, CM (2019). A decision framework to identify populations that are most vulnerable to the population level effects of disturbance. Conservation Science and Practice, e149.

Harris, C. M., L. Thomas, E. A. Falcone, J. Hildebrand, D. Houser, P. H. Kvadsheim, F. P. A. Lam, P. J.O. Miller, D. J. Moretti, A. J. Read, H. Slabbekoorn, B. L. Southall, P. L. Tyack, D. Wartzok, & V. M. Janik. (2018). Marine mammals and sonar: dose-response studies, the risk-disturbance hypothesis and the role of exposure context. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55, 396-404.

Donovan, C. R., Harris, C. M., Milazzo, L., Harwood, J., Marshall, L. H. & Williams, R. (2017). A simulation approach to assessing environmental risk of sound exposure to marine mammals. Ecology and Evolution, 7, 2101-2111