Researcher biography

Barry graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2007 with a BSc in animal biology, his honours thesis looked at aggressive interactions in captive Chilean flamingos during the breeding season. He then went on to do his MRes in marine mammal science at St. Andrews University in 2010 where his thesis explored spatio-temporal trends in Irish cetacean strandings.

After his studies he joined the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology where he was involved in passive acoustic monitoring of cetaceans in Ireland. He then headed back to Scotland to take up the position of Scottish cetacean strandings co-ordinator at the Scottish Rural Agricultural College. Continuing the pattern, he once again returned to Ireland to take up a role with the University College Cork on a marine mammal monitoring project on the West coast. He then headed to Namibia where he took over the running of the Namibian Dolphin Project and stayed there for two years until March of 2017.

He joined the CEAL team in June 2017 where his PhD will be looking at motivational cues in social sounds produced by wild bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay.



McGovern, B., Gridley, T., James, B.S. and Elwen, S. (2020) Risky business? A note on repeated live strandings of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) while foraging in a shallow water environment. Marine Mammal Science, 36(1), pp.305-314.

Culloch, R.M., Foley, A., Haberlin, D., McGovern, B., Pinfield, R., Jessopp, M. and Cronin, M. (2020) Occurrence, site-fidelity and abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Broadhaven bay, northwest Ireland during long-term construction of a gas pipeline. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 34, p.100983.

Foster, G., Nymo, I.H., Kovacs, K.M., Beckmen, K.B., Brownlow, A.C., Baily, J.L., Dagleish, M.P., Muchowski, J., Perrett, L.L., Tryland, M., Lydersen, C., Godfroid, J., McGovern, B. and Whatmore, A.M. (2018) First isolation of Brucella pinnipedialis and detection of Brucella antibodies from bearded seals Erignathus barbatus. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 128(1), pp.13-20.

Morell M., Brownlow, A., McGovern, B., Raverty, S., Shadwick, R.E. and André, M. (2017) Implementation of a method to visualize noise-induced hearing loss in mass stranded cetaceans. Scientific Reports. 7:41848. DOI: 10.1038/srep41848

McGovern, B., Culloch, R.M., O’Connell, M & Berrow S. (2016). Temporal and spatial trends in strandings records of cetaceans on the Irish coast, 2002-2014. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. DOI:

Culloch, R.M., Anderwald, P., Brandecker, A., Haberlin, D., McGovern, B., Pinfield, R., Visser, F., Jessopp, M. and Cronin, M. (2016) Effect of construction-related activities and vessel traffic on marine mammals. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 549 231-242

Davison, N., Brownlow, A., McGovern, B., Dagleish, M., Perrett, L., Dale, E., Koylass, M. and Foster G. (2015) The first report of Brucella ceti associated meningoencephalitis in a long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 116(3):237-241



McGovern, B., Noad, M., Ovsyanikova, E. and Dunlop, R. (2019) What’s in a name? Motivational information within signature whistles of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Poster presentation, World Marine Mammal Conference, Barcelona, Spain

McGovern, B., Culloch, R., O’Connell, M. and Berrow, S. (2015) Irish cetacean strandings; exploring patterns in a decade of data. Oral presentation, 29th annual European Cetacean Society conference, Malta.

McGovern, B., Culloch, R., Brandecker, A., Kreugal, K. and Cronin, M. (2014) Potential species bias in marine mammal monitoring programmes and implications for long-term monitoring studies. Poster presentation, 28th annual European Cetacean Society conference, Belgium.

McGovern, B., O’Brien, J., Beck, S. and Berrow, S. (2012) Determining habitat use by harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphins off the west coast of Ireland using static acoustic monitoring. Poster presentation, 26th annual European Cetacean Society conference, Ireland.