Hilary Moors-Murphy

Image Melissa O'Hara
Research Scientist

Research in support of monitoring of whale distribution and threats off eastern Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Hilary Moors-Murphy joined the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 2010 as a biologist working on cetacean-related issues within the Maritimes. Since joining DFO, her work has focused on cetacean species at risk off Nova Scotia including co-authoring the Scotian Shelf northern bottlenose whale Action Plan, building a northern bottlenose whale multimedia digital database which houses all photo, video and acoustic data on the population and leading high priority research projects on northern bottlenose whales and other at-risk species.

Dr. Moors-Murphy’s primary research focus is passive acoustic monitoring of cetaceans and their habitat. More specifically, she aims to increase our understanding of when and how cetaceans are using different areas of the Scotian Shelf by monitoring their underwater vocalizations over various spatial and temporal scales. Characterization of ambient and anthropogenic noise levels within these areas is another important component of her work that will increase our understanding of the potential impacts of man-made sounds on cetaceans. Her research is done in collaboration with researchers from Dalhousie University, industry partners, and others at DFO.

Dr. Moors-Murphy’s work contributes to the development of new technologies for acoustic monitoring and plays an important role in the conservation and protection of whales in eastern Canada. She is a member of the National Marine Mammal Peer-Review Committee.

Education and awards

B.Sc. Marine Biology (University of New Brunswick Saint John)M.Sc. Biology(University of New Brunswick Saint John)Ph.D. Biology(Dalhousie University)