Charlotte Findlay


I am a marine ecologist interested in understanding and assessing the impacts of human made underwater noise on marine soundscapes and wildlife.

My current postdoctoral research focuses on the potential for underwater radiated noise from commercial shipping to degrade marine soundscapes and assessing the effects of this noise source on marine mammal behaviour, acoustics and energetics as part of the EU Horizon 2020 SATURN and TANGO projects. In particular, I aim to determine the effectiveness of different vessel noise mitigation strategies (i.e., slowdowns, technological modifications, and re-routing) at reducing impacts to these species.

Prior to my postdoctoral position, I completed a PhD at the Scottish Association from Marine Science (SAMS) and University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) where I predicted the spatial extent and determined the potential risks of large-scale Acoustic Deterrent/Harassment Device use at aquaculture sites across Scotland on harbour porpoises and harbour seals. This work was instrumental in the subsequent licensing of these devices in Scottish waters from August 2022. In 2017, I was a lead adviser on impulsive underwater noise in UK waters at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), tasked with maintaining the UK Marine Noise Registry and providing scientific advice on impulsive underwater noise to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). During this time I was also a member of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Technical Group on Noise and OSPAR Intersessional Correspondences Group on Noise.

Selected publications:

  1. Findlay CR, Hastie GD, Farcas A, Merchant ND, Risch D, and Wilson B (2022). Exposure of individual harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) and waters surrounding protected habitats to acoustic deterrent noise from aquaculture. Aquatic Conservation Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 32(5): 766-780. (doi:
  2. Findlay CR, Aleynik D, Farcas A, Merchant ND, Risch D, and Wilson B (2021). Auditory impairment from acoustic seal deterrents predicted for harbour porpoises in a marine protected area. Journal of Applied Ecology, 58(8): 1631-1642. (doi:
  3. Findlay CR*, Ripple HD*, Coomber F, Froud K, Harries O, van Geel NCF, Calderan SV, Benjamins S, Risch D, and Wilson B (2018). Mapping widespread and increasing underwater noise pollution from acoustic deterrent devices. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 135: 1042-1050. (doi:
  4. Kerswell-Box T, Mendes S, Hawkridge J, Patel R, Findlay CR, Gilbertson P, Wilson U, Debont M, and Tasker M (2020). The spatial and temporal distribution of loud impulsive noise in UK waters (2015-2018). Proceedings of Meeting of Acoustics: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 37, 040001. (doi:

Contact information:


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