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Ian Boyd


Professor and Director
NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit
Gatty Marine Laboratory
University of St Andrews

Ph.D., Cambridge University (St John’s College)
Zoology, 1982

Research Expertise

Behavioral Biology
Ecological Modeling
Marine Biology
Population Biology
Marine Mammals
Ecological Economics




Dr. Ian Boyd is Professor of Biology at the University of St Andrews, and Director of its Sea Mammal Research Unit and the Scottish Oceans Institute. He was acting Director of The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland, an initiative to create a single overarching organizational focus for marine science in Scotland consisting of 9 institutional partners and 700 researchers. Until 2001, he led a research program on ecosystem management with the British Antarctic Survey and has spent 14 years studying the ecosystem of the Scotia Sea. He was a member of the Scottish Governments enquiry into the future of the EU Common Fisheries Policy and is a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council. Dr. Boyd's major research interests are behavioral dynamics of marine predators, marine ecosystem management, and ecological economics.

His biological research focuses on how predator fitness is related to the distribution and abundance of food, and how this fitness is affected by environmental variability. Dr. Boyd is also researching marine ecosystem management, by examining the interface between ecology, modeling, and economics. Much of his research is applied to the interface between marine mammals and offshore development associated with renewable energy, offshore oil and gas exploration and defense. His work in these fields means that he has a formal advisory role to the UK Government on the management of marine mammals. He has also recently been Chief Scientists in an international team investigating the effects of underwater noise on beaked whales.

Dr. Boyd has authored over 200 scientific publications. He sits on the Board of Reviewing Editors od Science and and recently stood down as Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Zoology. Until early 2009, he was Chief Executive of SMRU Ltd.


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Recent Selected Publcations

Cury,P.M., Boyd,I.L., Bonhommeau, S., Anker-Nilssen, T., Crawford, R.J.M., Furness, R.W., Mills, J.A., Murphy, E.J., Österblom, H., Paleczny, M., Piatt, J.F., Roux, J-P, Shannon, L. and Sydeman, W.J. (2011) Global seabird response to forage fish depletion – one-third for the birds. Science 334(6063): 1703–1706.

Boyd, I.L., Frisk, G., Urban, E., Tyack, P., Ausubel, J., Seeyave, S., Cato, D., Southall, B., Weise, M., Andrew, R., Akamatsu, T., Dekeling, R., Erbe, C.,  Farmer, D., Gentry, R., Gross, T., Hawkins, A., Li, F., Metcalf, K., Miller, J.H., David Moretti, Rodrigo, C. and Shinke, T. (2011). An International Quiet Oceans Experiment. Oceanography 24: 78-85. http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/24-2_boyd_il.pdf

Boyd, I.L. (2010) Assessing the effectiveness of conservation measures: Resolving the ‘‘wicked” problem of the Steller sea lion. Biological Conservation 134, 1664-1674.

Sutherland, W.J., Albon, S.D., Allison, H., Armstrong-Brown, S., Bailey, M.J., Battersby, J., Bereton, T., Brotherton, P., Boyd, I.L., Carey, P., Cooke, R., Edwards, J., Gill, M., Hill, D., Hodge, I.,  Hunt, A.J., Le Quesne, W.J.F., Macdonald, D.W., Mee, L.D., Mitchell, R., Norman, T., Owen, R.P., Parker, D., Prior, S.V.,  Pullin, A.S., Rands, M.R.W., Redpath, S., Spencer, J., Spray, C.J., Thomas, C.D., Tucker, G.M., Watkinson, A.R. and Clements, A. (2010). The identification of priority policy options for UK nature conservation. Journal of Applied Ecology 47, 955-965.

Boyd, I.L., Campbell, A., Hoydal, K., Russell, J., Symes, D. & West, S. (2010) The future of fisheries management in Scotland. The Scottish Government, Edinburgh. Pp 149.

Mostman-Liwanag, H.E., Williams, T.M., Costa, D.P. Kanatous, S., Davis, R.W. & Boyd, I.L. (2009) The effects of water temperature on the energetic costs of juvenile and adult California sea lions (Zalophus californianus): The importance of recycling endogenous heat during activity. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212, 3977-3984.

Green J.A., Wilson, R.P., Boyd, I.L., Woakes, A.J., Green, C.J., Butler, P.J. (2009) Tracking macaroni penguins during long foraging trips using 'behavioural geolocation'. Polar Biology, 32, 645-653.

Hanson N., Wurster, C., Bird, M., Reid, K. & Boyd, I.L. (2009) Intrinsic and extrinsic forcing in life histories: patterns of growth and stable isotopes in male Antarctic fur seal teeth.  Marine Ecology – Progress Series. 388, 263-272