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MMOA Executive Committee

The MMOA Executive Committee works to represent the Association's members. Under the clear mandate of the MMOA membership, the committee will form policy true to the stated aims and conduct day-to-day affairs. The MMOA Executive Committee is made up of the following experienced MMOs:

Neil Niru Dorrian, Patrick Lyne, Dr. Carolyn Barton, Aoife Foley, Juliet Vines, Ed Oliver, Gareth MacGlennon, Wanda BodnarHeather Fowle, Monica Arancibia and Mike Ambler.

Current Committee Members

 Niru Dorrian


Neil Niru Dorrian (Chair)
Neil is a marine mammal biologist and a Co-Founding Director at Whalefish - an international non-profit marine conservation and research organisation. Neil has over 10 years experience specialising in marine mammal fieldwork, conservation and media. Neil is experienced in cetacean survey methods, including PAM and photo ID. The past 8 years has seen Neil work on over 30 offshore projects around the world. He also has extensive experience in marine mammal stranding research, rescue and rehabilitation of delphinid and pinniped species and works regularly with international stranding organisations in Europe and the United States. His professional interests include: marine mammal stranding research, aquatic pathology, anthropogenic impacts on marine mammal health and animal rescue.

 Patrick Lyne



Patrick Lyne (Vice-Chair)
Patrick has been involved with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) and recording marine mammal sightings around Ireland since 2005. He has worked as a MMO in the seismic industry since 2008. Currently working for the IWDG as their MMO Coordinator he is aiming to place suitably qualified MMOs for work in Irish waters whilst also creating a small profit to support the group’s efforts. He is committed to better understanding cetaceans and geophysical survey and has been fortunate to work with cetaceans in various locations around the world.


 Carolyn Barton



Dr. Carolyn Barton
Following a PhD on barnacles Carolyn spent 5 years with the JNCC's Seabirds at Sea Team, but has spent the last 20 years working in MMO-related areas. She has substantial experience working as an MMO covering seismic surveys, drilling, dredging and pile-driving operations. She has been an accredited MMO trainer since 1996 and has trained over 2000 MMOs. She has been involved with the development of the JNCC guidelines for seismic surveys and designed the JNCC Marine Mammal Recording Forms. She has created and analysed JNCC's database of MMO data from UK waters, most recently using a 15 year dataset to examine the effects of seismic airguns on marine mammals and compliance with the JNCC guidelines.

 Aoife Foley



Aoife Foley (Secretary)
Aoife is a marine mammal researcher from Ireland. After completing her undergraduate degree in Galway she went on to volunteer with the BRAHSS (Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback Whales to Seismic Surveys) project 2010-2011. She continued with the project in 2013 and 2014 where she coordinated the land based observations for the final field season of the BRHASS project. Aoife is currently a researcher officer at the Cetacean Ecology and Acoustic Lab (CEAL), University of Queensland. She has been a MMO and PAM operator since 2011, working in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Makassar Straits.



Juliet Vines (Treasurer)
Having spent several years volunteering and working for the RSPB, Juliet started working offshore undertaking bird and cetacean surveys on prospective wind farm sites. This led to working as a MMO and eight enjoyable years working all over the world. She was involved several times in the training of local MMOs on board ship, thanks to an abilility to speak French fluently.  She is now retired from the industry but keen to remain involved and contribute to the association.  Lucky to live on the Isle of Mull, recently voted 4th out of the top 10 places to watch cetaceans in Europe, she is a volunteer at the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.




Ed Oliver (Tech Admin)
Ed has a marine biology background and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since 2009 on numerous projects around the world in the oil and gas exploration and renewable sectors. Specialising in PAM and bioacousics, Ed has gained a wealth of experience as a contractor and working for Seiche where he was involved in a wide range of projects from tech support to testing emerging technology systems and writing and delivering training courses. Ed has been involved in conservation from a young age and has volunteered as a marine mammal surveyor for MARINElife.





Gareth MacGlennon
Gareth is a marine environmental consultant with a number of years' experience providing advice and services to a variety of industries including offshore energy, fisheries and academia. Gareth has worked on numerous offshore windfarms and seismic surveys around the world, and has specialized knowledge of the UK, Antarctic and Arabian Gulf regions, where he currently works as an environmental supervisor overseeing numerous seismic survey projects. In addition to field based ecology his specific areas of interest include environmental management and EIA.




Wanda Bodnar
Wanda is a marine scientist with a wide range of experience working in both academic and industrial environments. She holds a master's degree in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Wanda has been involved in offshore and coastal surveys of marine mammals and seabirds, shorebirds and benthic invertebrates and plankton. She has experience in developing and implementing marine mammal mititgation plan according to government and industrial regulations: deployment of acoustic deterrence devices, visual (MMO) and passive acoustic (PAM) monitoring of marine mammal activity and real-time underwater noise monitoring during the construction of offshore windfarms. In addition to her professional work, she dedicates her free time to Thames Estuary Partnership, Thames21, and Whalesfish - an international non-profit marine conservation and research organization, where she holds the Communications Officer position. She is also involved in the work of the Hungarian Marine Biology Society.

 Heather Fowle 


Heather Fowle
Heather is a passionate marine biologist and ecologist who has been extensively involved with conservation, environmental protection and biodiversity enhancement in marine, riparian and terrestrial environments. Heather was Research Assistant for the NGO CMMR Leviathan in Chile focusing on cetacean conservation and the analysis of vocalizations of Pseudorca crassidens; a Marine Mammal Medic with BDLMR and a volunteer MMO with Marine Life. Heather also worked to protect coral reef habitat in the Red Sea for the NGO HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection Conservation Association). Heather began working as an MMO/PSO in 2011 after working as a Technical Officer Biodiversity with the Environment Agency. She has been fortunate to work all around the world and strives to learn more about issues facing the marine habitat, its fauna and its conservation.



Monica Arancibia
Monica has worked as a MMO and PAM Operator since 2012, leading a team of observers in the Gulf of Mexico and Falkland Islands. She has continued to work and volunter in various roles to study the health and behaviour of various terrestial and marine species for over 15 years. She has travelled extensively in various roles, which has given her insight into different approaches to understanding ecology, conservation and managment. Most recently she helped with collecting marine mammal data in the south of Chile and parts of Patagonia.


Mike Ambler
Mike is originally from Yorkshire but has been based in Wales for most of his adult life. Mike completed an undergraduate degree in Aquatic Biology at the University of Aberystwyth and then went on to earn an MSc in Applied Hydrobiology at Cardiff University where he studied the importance of terrestial invertebrates as a food source to wild native salmon and trout populations. After a spell as a biologist with the Environment Agency Wales, Mike trained to become a teacher and taught secondary school science for almost a decade before moving into the offshore consultancy business in 2010. Mike is an experienced MMO, PAM Operator and Environmental Scientist, and has undertaken many offshore projects around Africa and Europe. Mike has conducted marine mammal surveys in the Bay of Biscay and devotes a lot of spare time to conservation work with the Wildlife Trusts.


We would also like to thank everyone else who has contributed valuable assistance and advice in the development of the MMOA either as previous committee members or experts in the industry, namely Sarah Dolman, Mark Simmonds, Zoe Crutchfield, Craig Bloomer, Chris Pierpoint, Richard Woodcock, Michael Unwin, Caroline Weir, Jacklyn Barrs, Juliet Shrimpton, Alison Gill, Claire Lacey, Heather McRae, Sarah Barry, Phil Johnston, Simon Mustoe, Els Vermeulen, Ruth Esteban, Urslua Pena, Frances Robertson and Diana Antochiw.