Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tag Tools Workshop, August 2017, CREEM, University of St Andrews


The first tag tools workshop was held at CREEM here at the University of St Andrews from the 7-9th August 2017. Around 30 researchers from around the globe attended the 3 day workshop organised by Calvin College, CREEM, and the Sound & Movement Tag Group at SMRU. Participants were given lectures on aspects of the analysis of high resolution data from animal borne tags by Stacy DeRuiter  & David Sweeney of Calvin College, Tiago Marques from University of St Andrews and Universidade de Lisboa and our very own Mark Johnson of the University of St Andrews.. Topics covered included:

  • The range and diversity of sensors and how they can be utilised effectively.
  • Reconstructing animal tracks from tag data.
  • Event detection.
  • Measuring animal movement.
  • Statistical analysis of tag data.

Practical sessions provided participants with the opportunity to apply what they had learned in lectures to real tag data and a toolbox of custom made tag tools for data analysis in MatLab, R and Octave was made available. On the final day participants had the opportunity to play with some of our own DTag-4Seal tags and collect and analyse their own data from free ranging Homo sapiens! Group members were ‘tagged’ and challenged with working out what activities other groups had performed based on the accelerometer and magnetometer data and using what they had learned during the workshop.  

This 3 day workshop was hugely informative and will no doubt benefit the future research of all who took part!

A one day version of the tag tools workshop is set to run at the 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday 28th October 2017. Places are still available so to be sure to secure your place for this valuable and informative workshop.

Visit for details of future courses and to access course materials and the new tag toolbox!




SMRU at Dundee Science Centre 2016

Members of the Sound and Movement Tags Lab participated in an outreach event at the Dundee Science Centre as part of their Animal Day on Saturday 13th February (it was World Whale Day).

“The Biggest Nose on Earth” saw lab members presenting information on the Sperm Whale, Echolocation, Tags as tools to study whale behaviour, and Conservation.  Members of the public were able to see if they could click as loud as a sperm whale, listen to sperm whales, age a sperm whale using the layers in its teeth, and hit a target at different distances using water jets with narrow and broad beam widths to explain why the nose of a sperm whale is so important for generating echolocation clicks and focussing sound.  We had a good foot fall and many budding young scientists and their parents enjoyed interacting with the display and lab members.

DTAG on the 29th ECS Conference in Malta (2015)

The SOUNDTAG lab member, Victoria Warren,  has presented her work on DTAG in the 29th ECS Conference in Malta (2015) under the title: “The short-term responses of sperm whales to the attachment of suction-cup tags“. Victoria gave a talk in which she explained  the impact of tag attachment on the animals. Tag attachment could be detected within dive parameters such as dive duration and foraging effort.
To see on what is Victoria working now click here

Viki ECS 2015