december, 2016

06dec1:00 pm2:00 pmGetting the most impact out of your researchProfessor Peter Tyack


Event Details



What academic would be happy to think of their research as having little impact? The scoring of impact outside of academia in the REF adds even more impetus to this topic. Impact has such a broad definition in the REF – ‘an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’ – that nearly everyone’s research should have a pathway to impact. But we are not always trained how to find and develop this path. I will start the seminar by describing how my curiosity-driven research on acoustic communication in marine mammals led to impact for understanding the effects of anthropogenic noise. The critical pathway to impact was a willingness (I felt it an obligation) to get involved where one’s science is relevant for political issues, legal disputes, or conflicts between regulators and stakeholder, even if these are controversial. Interacting with the critical players in the decision-making process was essential for obtaining convincing evidence of impact from convincing sources. Committing to this process can take a lot of time, but is necessary for creating the link between our research and decision-making outside of academia. I would like for most of the seminar to involve a brainstorming discussion about pathways to impact for some of the varied CBD research areas.

Peter Tyack is a Professor in the School of Biology and at the Scottish Oceans Institute here at the University of St Andrews. His research focuses on the evolution of vocal learning in mammals and what effects this has on social behavior, especially mediating indvidual-specific relationships. My lab primarily studies cetaceans in the field, and we have developed new methods to sample behavior continuously from individuals. I am also concerned about the effects of anthropogenic sound on wildlife, and have studied effects of sounds such as naval sonar and airguns used for seismic survey on cetaceans.

Peter Tyack’s website


(Tuesday) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Dyer's Brae Seminar Room

Dyers Brae, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Greenside Place, Fife, KY16 9TH, UK


Ellen Garland & Christian, Dyers Brae, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TH, UK