Cormac Booth

Alex Brown

Principal Scientist (Europe)


Alex is a Principal Scientist at SMRU Consulting Europe. He joined the team in October 2020 and is currently focused on supporting industry and government clients in relation to marine mammal conservation and the sustainable development of renewable energy projects.

His experience includes seven years of marine mammal research in Australia, spread among a variety of projects, with a focus on abundance estimation and population genetics of coastal dolphins. This combines with seven years of professional experience as an environmental consultant in the UK offshore energy industry

Degrees and Education

  • 2016 Murdoch University, PhD Marine Science. Thesis: The conservation biology of tropical inshore dolphins in north-western Australian waters.
  • 2006 University of Aberdeen, MRes Marine and Fisheries Science
  • 2004 Cardiff University, BSc (hons) Marine Geography


Alex’s background in consultancy provides him with expertise in Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment and other consenting support for offshore oil and gas, wind and other marine renewable energy.

While comfortable being described as a generalist, he has specific expertise in GIS, underwater noise, photo-identification data and mark-recapture abundance estimation, remote biopsy-sampling and population genetics, social structure analysis, image analysis, unmanned aerial survey techniques, fieldwork coordination and working with local stakeholders.

His main research interests include the responses of animals to anthropogenic activities and improving methods of baseline data collection to inform environmental impact assessment.


  • Beasley I & Brown AM (2018). Australian snubfin dolphin Orcaella heinsohni. In: Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals 3rd Edition (Würsig B, Thewissen JGM & Kovacs KM, eds.), Academic Press/Elsevier, pp.47-49.
  • Smith F, Allen SJ, Bejder L & Brown AM (2018). Shark bite injuries on three inshore dolphin species in tropical northwestern Australia. Marine Mammal Science 34: 87-99.
  • Allen SJ, King SL, Krützen M & Brown AM (2017). Multi-modal sexual displays in Australian humpback dolphins. Scientific Reports 7: 13644.
  • Brown AM, Bejder L, Pollock KH & Allen SJ (2016). Site-specific assessments of the abundance of three inshore dolphin species to inform conservation and management. Frontiers in Marine Science 3: 4.
  • Brown AM, Bejder L, Parra GJ, Cagnazzi D, Hunt T, Smith JL & Allen SJ (2016). Sexual dimorphism and geographic variation in dorsal fin features of Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis. Advances in Marine Biology 73: 273-314.
  • Brown AM, Kopps AM, Allen SJ, Bejder L, Littleford-Colquhoun B, Parra GJ, Cagnazzi D, Thiele D, Palmer C & Frère CH (2014). Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins in north-western Australia. PLoS ONE 9: e101427.
  • Brown AM, Bejder L, Cagnazzi D, Parra G & Allen SJ (2012). The North West Cape, Western Australia: a potential hotspot for Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis? Pacific Conservation Biology 18: 240-246.

Key Projects

Since joining SMRU Consulting in October 2020, Alex has been involved in projects including:

    • Consenting support to offshore wind, including EPS risk assessment
    • Developing post-consent monitoring programmes for offshore wind
    • Hornsea 4 offshore wind farm EIA
    • Review of noise mitigation measures for vessel operations and geophysical surveys in Antarctica

+44 (0)1334 466011

Scottish Oceans Institute
East Sands
University of St Andrews
KY16 8LB