Dr Joanne O’Brien

Lecturer and Researcher in marine mammal ecology and bioacoustics

I graduated with an Honours degree in Marine Science from NUIG and with a PhD from GMIT. Since 2004, I have carried out numerous offshore and inshore marine mammal visual and acoustic surveys onboard the state research vessels. I was work-package leader on the PReCAST project, responsible for Static and Passive acoustic monitoring 2009-2011 and principal investigator on an EPA funded project assessing Ocean Noise in Irish waters 2011-2013 and the ObSERVE Acoustic project (2015-2018). My research interests are marine mammals, bioacoustics, and effects of anthropogenic noise, soundscapes and habitat modelling but am also actively involved in acoustic research across a range of freshwater and terrestrial species.


Humpback, Dingle Bay Nick Massett
Humpback whales in Irish waters: a partnership with the IWDG
Simon Berrow IWDG
The aim of this project is to investigate the influence of environmental and observational effects on Harbour Porpoise survey counts from the NPWS monitoring programme conducted across three spatial areas of conservation in 2007, 2008, 2013-2016 and 2018.
Randal Counihan IWDG
GMIT are working in collaboration with Dublin Port and RPS Consulting Engineers to assess the use of Dublin Bay by harbour porpoise and impact s of anthropogenic noise.
This research aims to improve corncrake conservation status in Ireland by enhancing the SPA network and surrounding farmland.
SeaMonitor is a novel and comprehensive project, the first of its kind in Europe, which will establish a number of large scale marine telemetry arrays to track mobile marine fauna in the seas around Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the west of Scotland.
GMIT are working in collaboration with Woodside PLC, an Australian Oil and Gas company, using an acoustic dataset to model sperm whale and long-finned pilot whale occurrence in the Porcupine SeaBight.
This project assessed the conservation status of the white-clawed crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes, in all fifteen Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in Ireland
This three year project (2015-2018), aimed to provide robust scientific knowledge with respect to protected species occurrence and ecology along the Irish Atlantic Margin.