Dr Sophie Nedelec (nee Holles )
Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow
Hatherly Building, University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PS, UK
Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday Except school holidays
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Except school holidays
I am a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow working on particle acceleration passive acoustic monitoring for mapping coral reefs. Broadly, I am interested in underwater sound, sensory ecology, human impacts on the environment and sustainability. Much of my work has focused on the impacts of anthropogenic noise on the reproduction and survival of fish. My current work is also focussing on engaging with policy-makers and translating research into behavioural change.
2011-15 PhD: Impacts of anthropogenic noise on behaviour, development and fitness of fishes and invertebrates (University of Bristol and the École Pratique des Hautes Études)
2009-10 MSc Bioacoustics and Behavioural Ecology (University of Bristol)
2006-09 BSc Hons Zoology (University of Durham)
2023-2031 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Biosciences, University of Exeter
2021-2023 Part-time Lecturer, Biosciences, University of Exeter
2022-2023 Part-time Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biosciences, University of Exeter, collaborating with Australian Institute of Marine Science
2020 April-July Research Fellow Evidence-Based Policymaking secondment, funded by Research England Strategic Priorities. University of Exeter.
2019-2021 Project Manager, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter. Best practice guide for the measurement of underwater particle motion measurement for biological applications.
2017-2021 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter. Investigating impacts of anthropogenic noise on reproduction and survival in fish. PI Steve Simpson, CoI Andy Radford (Bristol).
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter. Investigating nocturnality in the fauna of Britain. PI Kevin Gaston.
Research group links
- Behavioural ecology
- Anthropogenic impacts on the environment
- Conservation biology
- Behavioural change
- Evidence-based policy
- 'Snap maps' - mapping coral reefs using acoustic particle motion.
- Evidence-based policy making for 'quiet craft' and 'quiet parks'.
- Standardisation of underwater particle motion measurement for biological applications.
- Impacts of underwater noise on reproduction and survival of fish.
- Time partitioning of UK fauna - part of the Ecological effects of light pollution (ECOLIGHT) project.
- 2023 Royal Society
The bioacoustics of coral reef resilience Coral reefs are important ecosystems because they are home to 25% of all marine species, and hold socio-economic value such as nutrition and wave protection to at least 500 million people. However, coral reefs are threatened; half have already been lost to human impacts. Climate-induced perturbations such as bleaching and cyclone damage can push coral reefs over a tipping point into a degraded, algae-dominated state. Local threats such as fishing and pollution erode resilience to these perturbations. We need rapid, cost-effective methods for assessing coral reef resilience so that resources can be prioritised for conservation and restoration efforts. Acoustics offers a solution because healthy reefs are, like rainforests, full of soniferous animals. I plan to use the directional information available in sound to locate reef animals and thus improve rapid assessments of population estimates. To ‘buy time’ for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we need to improve local conditions by increasing protection and improving management for resilience. Traffic noise is a major pollutant causing stress for the inhabitants of coral reefs and affecting their survival. Altering marine traffic patterns around reefs can improve local conditions with immediate effect. Early evidence suggests that this can enhance the resilience of reefs by boosting fish reproductive success. I will test these two complementary solutions at increasing scales throughout my Fellowship, and work to integrate them into marine policy. My program of research offers unique opportunities for novel tools for rapid, remote assessment of coral reef resilience, and enhanced value of marine spatial planning.
Publications by category
Publications by year
External Engagement and Impact
♦ Organiser of Natural Systems and Processes Poster Session, University of Bristol 2013
♦ Bristol Alumni Foundation Student Award for Outstanding Contribution to Life of the University and the Wider Community 2015.
♦ Bourse d’Excellence Eiffel, Campus France 2012.
♦ University of Bristol Faculty of Science Commendation of Excellence in a Master’s Thesis 2010.
♦ University of Bristol Interdisciplinary Seminar First Prize Poster 2010.
Competitively funded studentships and postdoctoral fellowships
♦ EPSRC PhD studentship £26,000
♦ Bourse d’Excellence Eiffel, Campus France £5,900
Conferences and invited presentations
♦ Invited talk at Landscapes of Fear Symposium, Oikos, Sweden 2017.
♦ Invited talk at Bioacoustics Day Netherlands 2014.
♦ Invited to Workshop Requirements for the Underwater Measurement of Particle Motion, National Physics Laboratory 2014.
♦ Invited to Workshop Strategic Ocean Funding Initiative, Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange (NERC) and the Underwater Sound Forum on Effects of Marine Anthropogenic Noise, Bristol 2012.
♦ ISBE, NY, USA Conference talk: “Boat-noise playback impacts parental behaviour and reproductive output” 2014
♦ Effects of Underwater Noise on Marine Life, Budapest, Hungary Conference talk: “Effects of boat noise on fish and sea hares” 2013
♦ Behaviour, Newcastle, UK Conference talk: “Chronic noise affects predator avoidance behaviour via trade-offs in resource use” 2013
♦ European Conference on Underwater Acoustics, Edinburgh, UK Conference poster: “Effects of Boat Noise on Fish” 2012
♦ Reef Conservation UK conference, Zoological Society of London. Conference talk: “Boat Noise Affects Directional Swimming Behaviour and Recruitment in Larval Reef Fish” 2011
♦ Marine Biological Association conference, Glasgow Conference poster: “Improvements for playback experiments in tanks” 2010
♦ 2009–10 Author, AQA Biology A level teaching and revision material
International recognition, such as international research collaborations, visiting research posts in overseas institutions, involvement at senior levels in international research associations, acting as referee for national and international research councils.
♦ Suzanne Mills
♦ Ricardo Beldade
♦ Isabelle Côté
♦ Mark Meekan
♦ Mark McCormick
♦ The overlooked commotion of particle motion in the ocean http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_499149_en.html
♦ Soundscapes offer clues about coral reef communities http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cabot/news/2015/soundscapes-coral-reef.html
♦ Boat noise impacts development and survival of vital marine invertebrates http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_404983_en.html
♦ Boat noise stops fish finding home http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_299840_en.html