Nicola Ransome

Nicola Ransome
Murdoch University · Aquatic Megafauna Research Unit

Master of Science


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PhD student at the Aquatic Megafauna Research Unit of Murdoch University, Western Australia. My main focus is into anthropogenic impacts to large whales in the Eastern Tropical Pacific
Additional affiliations
June 2017 - December 2020
Murdoch University
  • PhD Student


Publications (8)
Full-text available
Vessel strike is recognized as a major modern threat to the recovery of large whale populations globally, but the issue is notoriously difficult to assess. Vessel strikes by large ships frequently go unnoticed, and those involving smaller vessels are rarely reported. Interpreting global patterns of vessel strikes is further hindered by underlying r...
Documented cases of cetacean births in the wild are rare. While there are currently no direct observations of a complete humpback whale birth, they are one of the few large whale species where observers have been present during a birthing event. We compiled eye-witnessed accounts of all known humpback whale birthing events and found nine well-docum...
The mainland Mexico state of Nayarit is an important breeding/calving area for the ‘Threatened’ Mexican humpback whale population and acts as a migratory corridor to the ‘Endangered’ Central American humpback whale population. However, knowledge of the species’ seasonal distribution and habitat use throughout the state is limited. Without a major c...
Full-text available
Banderas Bay, located in the Mexican Pacific, is a breeding/calving ground for the North Pacific stock of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) during the winter. While sporadic registers of humpback whales feeding on their mating grounds exist, this is the first occasion where feeding activity was observed intensively and extensively on a breed...


Cited By


Projects (2)
Whilst cetacean research grew worldwide, El Salvador was in the midst of civil war, and still little is known of cetacean presence. Coastal populations are likely threatened by intense anthropogenic activities of fisheries, shipping and uncontrolled tourism. Fundamental information on cetacean abundance and distribution is critical for effective management. We will undertake the first dedicated cetacean surveying along the entire Salvadorian coastline, train local students in cetacean research, and run “ethical whale- watch conduct” workshops. This will provide vital baseline data on cetacean presence for efficient population management and threat mitigation, whilst simultaneously building local capacity to ensure continued research.
The Mexican state of Nayarit is an important wintering area for a “Threatened” humpback whale population, with migratory connections to an “Endangered” population. Little is known of the species’ seasonal habitat use, abundance and distribution within most of the state, and it is an area undergoing dramatic coastal modifications and is targeted for regional port expansions. We aim to identify the main areas of risk of vessel collision with humpback whales in Nayarit, Mexico. This project can help inform planners during port expansions to minimise ship strike risk, and provide data of humpback whale habitat use for the regional protection of the species from the growing whale watching industries along the coast.