Sound conservation and management relies on solid evidence, and the best way to select evidence is through scientific peer-review. Please see a recent list of publications below.

The PDFs found on the journal’s hosted sites are the definitive versions, but please find the author versions (proofs) below for your personal research and study.



Peer-reviewed Publications

Vollmer, N. L., Ashe, E. , Brownell, R. L., Cipriano, F. , Mead, J. G., Reeves, R. R., Soldevilla, M. S. and Williams, R. 2019. Taxonomic revision of the dolphin genus Lagenorhynchus. Marine Mammal Science. 

Erbe, C., Williams, R,. Parsons, M., Parsons, S.K., Hendrawan, I.G., Dewantama, I.M.I., 2018. Underwater noise from airplanes: An overlooked source of ocean noise. Marine Pollution Bulletin137:656-661.

Williams, R., Veirs, S., Veirs, V., Ashe, E., Mastick, N. 2018. Approaches to reduce noise from ships operating in important killer whale habitats. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Williams, R., Erbe, C., Dewantama, I.M.I., Hendrawan, I.G. 2018. Effect on ocean noise: Nyepi, a Balinese day of silence. Oceanography, 31(2),

Hall, A.J., McConnell, B.J., Schwacke, L.H., Ylitalo, G.M., Williams, R., Rowles, T.K. 2018. Predicting the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on cetacean populations through impacts on immunity and calf survival. Environmental Pollution, 233:4-7-418.

Veirs, S., Veirs, V., Williams, R., Jasny, M., Wood, J. 2018. A key to quieter seas: half of ship noise comes from 15% of the fleet. PeerJ Preprints 6:e26525v1

Lacy, R. C., Williams, R., Ashe, E., Balcomb III, K.C., Brent, L.J.N., Clark, C.W., Croft, D.P., Giles, D.A., MacDuffee, M., Paquet, P.C. 2017. Evaluating anthropogenic threats to endangered killer whales to inform effective recovery plans. Nature. Scientific Reports 7, Article: 14119.

Williams, R., Ashe, E., Gaut, K., Gryba, R., Moore, J.E., Rexstad, E., Sandilands, D., Steventon, J., Reeves, R.R. 2017. Animal Counting Toolkit: a practical guide to small-boat surveys for estimating abundance of coastal marine mammals. Endang Species Res 34:149-165.

Pettorelli, N., Nagendra, H., Rocchini, D., Rowcliffe, M., Williams, R., and others. 2017. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation: three years on. Remote Sens. Ecol. Conserv.

Williams, R., Lacy, R., Ashe, E., Hall, A., Lehoux, C., Lesage, V., McQuinn, I., Plourde, S. 2017. Predicting responses of St. Lawrence beluga to environmental change and anthropogenic threats to orient effective management actions. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS). 2017. 44.

Donovan, C.R., Harris, C.M., Milazzo, L., Harwood, J., Marshall, L. and Williams, R. 2017. A simulation approach to assessing environmental risk of sound exposure to marine mammals. Ecology and evolution, 7:2101-2111.

Fox, C.H., Huettmann, F., Harvey, G.K.A., Morgan, K.H., Robinson, J.,Williams, R., Paquet, P.C. 2017. Predictions from machine learning ensembles: marine bird density and distribution on Canada’s Pacific coast. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 566: 199-216.

Rob Williams, Matthew G. Burgess, Erin Ashe, Stephen D. Gaines, Randall. R. Reeves. 2016c. US seafood import restriction presents opportunity and risk. Science 354.6318: 1372-1374.





Rob Williams, Jeff Moore, Catalina Gomez-Salazar, Fernando Trujillo, Louise Burt. 2016a. Searching for trends in river dolphin abundance: Designing surveys for looming threats, and evidence for opposing trends of two species in the Colombian Amazon. Biological Conservation 195, 136-145.

Williams, R., Thomas, L., Ashe, E., Clark, C.W., Hammond, P.S., 2016b. Gauging allowable harm limits to cumulative, sub-lethal effects of human activities on wildlife: A case-study approach using two whale populations. Marine Policy 70, 58-64.

Senigaglia, V., Christiansen, F., Bejder, L., Gendron, D., Lundquist, D., Noren, D.P., Schaffar, A., Smith, J.C., Williams, R., Martinez, E., Stockin, K., Lusseau, D., 2016. Meta-analyses of whale-watching impact studies: comparisons of cetacean responses to disturbance. Marine Ecology Progress Series 542, 251-263.

Tyne, J.A., Loneragan, N.R., Johnston, D.W., Pollock, K.H., Williams, R., Bejder, L., 2016. Evaluating monitoring methods for cetaceans. Biological Conservation 201, 252-260.

Williams, R., Erbe, C., Ashe, E., Clark, C.W., 2015a. Quiet(er) marine protected areas. Marine Pollution Bulletin 100, 154-161.





Williams, R., Wright, A.J., Ashe, E., Blight, L.K., Bruintjes, R., Canessa, R., Clark, C.W., Cullis-Suzuki, S., Dakin, D.T., Erbe, C., 2015b. Impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine life: Publication patterns, new discoveries, and future directions in research and management. Ocean & Coastal Management 115, 17-24.

Beerman, A., Ashe, E., Preedy, K., Williams, R., 2015. Sexual segregation when foraging in an extremely social killer whale population. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70, 189-198.

Best, B.D., Fox, C.D., Williams, R., Halpin, P., Paquet, P.C., 2015. Updated marine mammal distribution and abundance estimates in British Columbia. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 15, 9-26.

Browne, M.A., Underwood, A.J., Chapman, M.G., Williams, R., Thompson, R.C., van Franeker, J.A., 2015. Linking effects of anthropogenic debris to ecological impacts. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282, 20142929.

Scott-Hayward, L.A.S., Mackenzie, M.L., Ashe, E., Williams, R., 2015. Modelling Killer Whale Feeding Behaviour Using a Spatially Adaptive Complex Region Spatial Smoother (CReSS) and Generalised Estimating Equations (GEEs). Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics 20, 305-322.

Williams, R., Ashe, E., Blight, L., Jasny, M., Nowlan, L., 2014a. Marine mammals and ocean noise: Future directions and information needs with respect to science, policy and law in Canada. Marine Pollution Bulletin 86, 29-38.

Williams, R., Clark, C.W., Ponirakis, D., Ashe, E., 2014b. Acoustic quality of critical habitats for three threatened whale populations. Animal Conservation 17, 174-185.





Williams, R., Erbe, C., Ashe, E., Beerman, A., Smith, J., 2014c. Severity of killer whale behavioral responses to ship noise: A dose-response study. Marine Pollution Bulletin 79, 254-260.

Williams, R., Grand, J., Hooker, S.K., Buckland, S.T., Reeves, R.R., Rojas‐Bracho, L., Sandilands, D., Kaschner, K., 2014d. Prioritizing global marine mammal habitats using density maps in place of range maps. Ecography 37, 212-220.

Williams, R., Kelly, N., Boebel, O., Friedlaender, A.S., Herr, H., Kock, K.H., Lehnert, L.S., Maksym, T., Roberts, J., Scheidat, M., Siebert, U., Brierley, A.S., 2014e. Counting whales in a challenging, changing environment. Sci. Rep. 4.

Erbe, C., Williams, R., Sandilands, D., Ashe, E., 2014. Identifying modeled ship noise hotspots for marine mammals of Canada’s Pacific Region. PLoS ONE 9, e89820.

Higham, J., Bejder, L., Williams, R., 2014. Whale-watching: sustainable tourism and ecological management. Cambridge University Press.

Pettorelli, N., Nagendra, H., Williams, R., Rocchini, D., Fleishman, E., 2014. A new platform to support research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.

Williams, R., Vikingsson, G.A., Gislason, A., Lockyer, C., New, L., Thomas, L., Hammond, P.S., 2013. Evidence for density-dependent changes in body condition and pregnancy rate of North Atlantic fin whales over four decades of varying environmental conditions. ICES Journal of Marine Science 70, 1273-1280.

Ashe, E., Wray, J., Picard, C.R., Williams, R., 2013. Abundance and Survival of Pacific Humpback Whales in a Proposed Critical Habitat Area. PLoS ONE 8, e75228.

Kyhn, L.A., Tougaard, J., Beedholm, K., Jensen, F.H., Ashe, E., Williams, R., Madsen, P.T., 2013. Clicking in killer whale country: Narrow-band, high-frequency biosonar clicks of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli). PLoS ONE 8, e63763.

Thys, T., Williams, R., 2013. Ocean sunfish in Canadian Pacific waters: Summer hotspot for a jelly-eating giant? Oceans – San Diego, 2013, 1 – 5.

Christine Erbe, Alexander MacGillivray & Rob Williams.  2012.  Mapping cumulative noise from shipping to inform marine spatial planning.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Express Letters 132(5), EL423-EL428.

Kristin Kaschner, Nicola Quick, Becci Jewell, Rob Williams & Catriona Harris.  2012.  Global coverage of cetacean line-transect surveys: status quo, data gaps and future challenges. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044075

Meike Scheidat, Ari Friedlaender, Karl-Hermann Kock, Linn Lehnert, Olaf Boebel, Jason Roberts & Rob Williams. 2011. Cetacean surveys in the Southern Ocean using icebreaker-supported helicopters scheidat polar biology 2011. Polar Biology 34:1513-1522.

Rob Williams, Martin Krkošek, Erin Ashe, Trevor A. Branch, Steve Clark, Philip S. Hammond, Erich Hoyt, Dawn P. Noren, David Rosen & Arliss Winship. 2011.  Competing Conservation Objectives for Predators and Prey: Estimating Killer Whale Prey Requirements for Chinook Salmon.  PLoS ONE 6(11): e26738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026738

Rob Williams, Sharon L. Hedley, Trevor A. Branch, Mark V. Bravington,  Alexander N. Zerbini, & Ken P. Findlay. 2011. Chilean Blue Whales as a Case Study to Illustrate Methods to Estimate Abundance and Evaluate Conservation Status of Rare Species . Conservation Biology 25:526-535.

Rob Williams, Shane S. Gero, Lars Bejder, John Calambokidis, Scott D. Kraus, David Lusseau, Andy J. Read & Jooke Robbins. 2011. Underestimating the Damage: Interpreting Cetacean Carcass Recoveries in the Context of the Deepwater Horizon/BP Incident. Conservation Letters4:228-233.

Rob Williams, ErinAshe & Patrick D. O’Hara. 2011.  Marine mammals and debris in coastal waters of British Columbia, Canada.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 62:1303-1316.

Erin Ashe, Dawn Noren & Rob Williams. 2010. Animal behaviour and marine protected areas: incorporating behavioural data into the selection of marine protected areas for an endangered killer whale population. Animal Conservation 13:196-203.

Rob Williams & Patrick O’Hara. 2010. Modelling ship strike risk to fin, humpback and killer whales in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 11:1-8.

Rob Williams, Tom Okey, Scott Wallace & Vince Gallucci. 2010. Shark aggregation in coastal waters of British Columbia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 414:249-256.

Rob Williams & Len Thomas. 2009. Cost-effective abundance estimation of rare animals: Testing performance of small-boat surveys for killer whales in British Columbia. Biological Conservation 142:1542-1547.

Rob Williams& Dawn Noren. 2009. Swimming speed, respiration rate and estimated cost of transport in killer whales. Marine Mammal Science 25:327-350.

Rob Williams, David Lusseau & Phil Hammond. 2009. The role of social aggregations and protected areas in killer whale conservation: the mixed blessing of critical habitat. Biological Conservation 142:709-719.

Rob Williams*, David Bain, David Lusseau & Jodi Smith. 2009. Effects of vessel traffic on behaviour patterns of individual southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca). Endangered Species Research 6:199-209. (* – Joint first-authorship.)

David Lusseau, David Bain, Rob Williams & Jodi Smith. 2009. Vessel traffic disrupts foraging behaviour of southern resident killer whales. Endangered Species Research 6:211-221.

Rob Williams, Anna Hall & Arliss Winship. 2008. Potential limits to anthropogenic mortality of small cetaceans in coastal waters of British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65(9):1867-1878.

Rob Williams & Len Thomas. 2007. Distribution and abundance of marine mammals in the coastal waters of BC, Canada. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 9(1):15-28.

Len Thomas, Rob Williams & Doug Sandilands. 2007. Designing line transect surveys for complex survey regions. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 9(1):1-13.

Williams, R., Leaper, R., Zerbini, A. & Hammond, P.S. 2007. Methods for investigating measurement error in cetacean line transect surveys. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom87:  313-320.

Rob Williams& Erin Ashe. 2007. Killer whale evasive tactics vary with boat number. Journal of Zoology (London) 272(4):390-397.

Rob Williams& Kim Crosbie. 2007. Antarctic whales and Antarctic tourism. Tourism in Marine Environments (Special Issue on Polar Tourism).

Rob Williams& David Lusseau. 2006. A killer whale social network is vulnerable to targeted removals. Biology Letters 2(4):497-500.

Rob Williams, Sharon Hedley & Phil Hammond. 2006. Modelling distribution and abundance of Antarctic baleen whales using ships of opportunity.Ecology and Society11(1).

Rob Williams, David Lusseau & Phil Hammond. 2006. Estimating relative energetic costs of human disturbance to killer whales (Orcinus orca). Biological Conservation 133(3):  301-311.

Alexandra Morton & Rob Williams. 2006. Response of Sea Lice infestation on wild Pink and Chum Salmon smolts to arrival of parasitized wild adult salmon. Canadian Field-Naturalist 120(2):  199-204.

Alexandra Morton, Rick Routledge & Rob Williams. 2005. Temporal patterns of sea louse infestation on wild Pacific salmon in relation to the fallowing of Atlantic salmon farms. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 25: 811-821.

David Lusseau, Rob Williams, Ben Wilson, Kate Grellier, Tim Barton, Phil Hammond & Paul Thompson. 2004. Parallel influence of climate on the behaviour of Pacific killer whales and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Ecology Letters 7: 1068-1076.

Meike Scheidat, Cristina Castro, Janira Gonzalez & Rob Williams. 2004. Behavioural responses of humpback whales to whalewatching boats near Isla de la Plata, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management6(1): 63-68.

Alexandra Morton & Rob Williams. 2003. First report of the sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, infestation on juvenile Pink Salmon, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, in nearshore habitat.  Canadian Field-Naturalist 117: 634-641.

Rob Williams, David Bain, John Ford & Andrew Trites. 2002. Behavioural responses of male killer whales to a ‘leapfrogging’ vessel. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management4(3): 305-310.

Rob Williams, Andrew Trites & David Bain. 2002. Behavioural responses of killer whales to whale-watching traffic: opportunistic observations and experimental approaches. Journal of Zoology (London) 256: 255-270.

Editorials and Encyclopedia Entries


Rob Williams.2011.  Establishing general principles from little truths: lessons from marine mammal research. Journal of Zoology 283:1-2.

Linnell, J.D.C., Rondeau, D., Reed, D.H., Rob Williams, Altwegg, R., Raxworthy, C.J., Austin, J.D., Hanley, N., Fritz, H., Evans, D.M., Gordon, I.J., Reyers, B., Redpath, S. & Pettorelli, N. 2010. Confronting the costs and conflicts associated with biodiversity. Animal Conservation 13:429-431.

Rob Williams & Greg Donovan. 2006.  Blue whales. In:  Riffenburgh, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Antarctic (v. 1 & v. 2), Routledge, New York, 1248 pp.

Rob Williams& Greg Donovan. 2006.  Fin whales. In:  Riffenburgh, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Antarctic (v. 1 & v. 2), Routledge, New York, 1248 pp.

Rob Williams & Greg Donovan. 2006.  Sei whales. In:  Riffenburgh, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Antarctic (v. 1 & v. 2), Routledge, New York, 1248 pp.