We note upfront that while most of us are still working on the subject, DECAF officially ended on 28th February 2011.

What is DECAF?

DECAF was a 3.5 year (2007-2011) international research project, the key objective of which was to develop and implement statistical methods for estimating cetacean (whale and dolphin) population density by using underwater hydrophones to listen for the sounds they make.

The research was undertaken by an international team of leading statisticians, acousticians, cetacean survey specialists and biologists, led by members of the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

The majority of our work has now been completed (see “Project Outputs” for details), but we are still involved in a number of activities directly related to DECAF, in particular:

  1. Writing two review papers on the methods we’ve developed.  The first has now appeared; the second is in press (see Project Outputs).
  2. Taking to print the last primary research papers that out of DECAF efforts.
  3. Putting together some training courses on the methods, to help inform others of what is possible – see the Open Meetings tab for some info about this.
  4. Collaborating on different projects that are natural extensions of DECAF, addressing density estimation from passive acoustic data. An example is the SAMBAH project, which aims to estimate the abundance of harbour porpoise in the Baltic sea.
Below: The estimated detection probability of a beaked whale click as a function of distance and off axis angles. See Marques et al. (2009, Full text) for further details.


What is on these web pages?

These pages contain some detailed information about the project goals and technical approach, as well as information about research symposia organized or directly related to DECAFresearch outputs to date, and datasets generated during the project.   Please feel free to browse around, andcontact us with any questions, comments or suggestions.

This site also serves as a repository for working documents and other information for the research team – a login is required to access this information.