Josh Smith PhD

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Postdoctoral Researcher

My main interests focus on the social and acoustic behaviour and habitat use of marine mammals. My recent research focuses on passive acoustic monitoring of coastal dolphins and the behavioural ecology of humpback whales in the Great Barrier Reef.

My previous research focused on the function of song in humpback whales by looking at the social interactions of singing and non-singing whales during their southward migration off the east coast of Australia.

2012 – present: Postdoctoral researcher, Murdoch University, Passive acoustics of coastal dolphins: developing passive acoustic methodology for monitoring Australian snub-fin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins

2011 – 2013: Postdoctoral researcher, Murdoch University, Identification of humpback whale breeding areas in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: validation of a spatial habitat model.

2010: Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland, Song function in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): the use of song in the social interactions of singers on migration.

2009 – 2010: Research, The University of Queensland, Spatial habitat modelling of the humpback whale breeding grounds in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

2000: Honours degree, James Cook University, Assessing the potential for using humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) vocalisations for estimating relative abundance.

1996 – 1998: Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, James Cook University

Marine Conservation Officer: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Prepare background scientific information on dugongs in Australia to inform the Marine Bioregional Planning process.

Research Associate: James Cook University, Dugong aerial survey observer, Queensland, Western Australia, Torres Strait.

Environmental consultant: Australian Antarctic Division, Observer for Minke whales in Antarctica; Blue Planet Marine, Marine mammal observer for 3D seismic surveys, Victoria, Western Australia, Indonesia; Sinclair Knight and Mertz, Dugong aerial survey observer in Western Australia; RPS, Humpback whale and dugong aerial survey observer.

Survey Co-ordinator: The University of Queensland, Land-based surveys of Western Australian humpback whales; Macquarie University, Sperm whale aerial surveys off Albany Western Australia.

Peer Reviewed

  • Dunlop, R.,  Noad, M.J., Cato, D.H., Kniest, E., Miller, P.J.O., Smith, J.N. and M. Stokes. (2013). Multivariate analysis of behavioural response experiments in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Journal of Experimental Biology. 216:759-770.
  • Smith, J. N., Grantham, H.S., Gales, N., Double, M.C., Noad, M.J., Paton, D. (2012) Identification of humpback whale breeding habitat in the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 447:259-272.
  • Smith, J. N., Goldizen, A. W., Dunlop, R. A. & Noad, M. J. (2008) Songs of male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are involved in intersexual interactions. Animal Behaviour. 76, 467-477
  • Cato, D.H., Noad, M.J., Stokes, D., Dunlop, R.A., Smith, J. N., Miller, P.J.O., Biassoni, N., Kniest, E., Noad, J., Thode, A.M. & Deane, G.B. (2006) The Humpback Whale Acoustic Research Collaboration studies on the use of sound by humpback whales. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 119 (5) 3373
  • Van Parijs, S., Smith, J. & Corkeron, P. (2002) Using calls to estimate the abundance of inshore dolphins: a case study with Pacific humpback dolphins, Sousa chinensis. Journal of Applied Ecology 39: 853-864

Non Peer Review

  • Smith, J. N. (2010) Humpback love songs. Australasian Science 31: 28-30
  • Smith, J. N., Noad, M.J., Grantham, H.S. and Paton, D. (2010) Spatial habitat modelling of the humpback whale breeding grounds in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Final AMMC report
Dr Christine Erbe

Dr Sharon Hedley

Professor Ken Pollock

Dr Michael Noad

Mr David Paton

Dr Hedley Grantham

Joshua Smith PhD
Postdoctoral researcher
Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU)
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Murdoch University
South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150
Ph: +61 (0)8 9360 2524
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