Sinéad Murphy

Sinéad Murphy
Atlantic Technological University · Marine and Freshwater Research Centre

PhD

About

72
Publications
25,515
Reads
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1,285
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - April 2022
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (72)
Article
Full-text available
The ubiquitous nature of microplastics in aquatic ecosystems may have serious implications for aquatic biota. While microplastic research in freshwater ecosystems is increasing, very few studies have assessed the physical presence of microplastics among top predators. The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), a top predator of aquatic ecosystems, is one of...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Service summary: This review has been carried out as part of a special advice request to ICES from DGENV with the aim to evaluate appropriate bycatch monitoring systems at Member State level and on regional coordination to comply with obligations under the Birds, Habitats and Marine Strategy Framework Directives. Three independent reviewers met onl...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of population biological parameters can contribute to assessing the resilience of a population in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures. Southern Hemisphere long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas edwardii) are susceptible to high rates of live stranding-related mortality. However, the biological parameters of this populatio...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics are a pervasive pollutant of aquatic ecosystems and are reported to interact with a wide range of aquatic biota. The complexities of natural food webs means that the transfer and accumulation of microplastics is difficult to assess, and only a handful of studies have attempted to quantify trophic transfer in freshwater biota. Bioaccum...
Poster
Full-text available
Overfishing has massively depleted several target species in European waters, altering marine food webs and impacting populations of top predators. The common dolphin is one of the most abundant cetaceans in the North-east Atlantic, playing a key functional role as a top predator. Large-scale movements in recent years have resulted in increased num...
Article
Seabird eggs are considered a favourable matrix for monitoring marine pollutants and are widely used as higher trophic level indicators. Concentrations of Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Σ15PAH) were determined in the eggs of four piscivorous seabirds in Ireland from multiple colonies for the first time, Common Guillemot Uria aalge, Northern Gann...
Article
Higher levels of persistent pollutants (Σ16PCB, Σ6PBDE, ΣHCH, ΣDDT, ΣCHL) were detected in fresh eggs of Common Terns Sterna hirundo from Rockabill Island near Dublin (Ireland's industrialised capital city) compared to Common and Arctic Terns S. paradisaea from Ireland's west coast. Intra-clutch variation of pollutant levels in Common Terns was sho...
Article
Full-text available
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), bioaccumulate in marine ecosystems. Top predators contain high levels of POPs in their lipid-rich tissues, which may result in adverse effects on their reproductive, immune and endocrine functions. Har...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation and management of protected species, particularly of elusive species such as pinnipeds, is hampered by knowledge gaps. In the case of studies using genetic data these are often attributed to a lack of representative samples. Therefore, there is a pressing need for the development of minimally invasive sampling protocols suitable for ge...
Article
Guillemot eggs from multiple Irish colonies and one Welsh colony were analysed for legacy pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other organochlorine compounds (OCs), as well as metals. Stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) were measured in eggs to understand the influenc...
Article
Full-text available
Preservation of endangered species is now recognized as a relevant component of regional and global conservation actions achieved through the maintenance of the remaining populations in a favourable conservation status. The Mediterranean common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) is listed as an Endangered subpopulation in the International Union for Conse...
Article
Full-text available
Harbor porpoises exhibit early maturation, relatively short gestation/lactation periods and a faster rate of reproduction as compared to other cetacean species. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors can influence both population vital rates and population structure, which ultimately cause changes in dynamics within and between populations. Here, we under...
Article
Seabird eggs are considered a favourable matrix for monitoring marine pollutants and are widely used as higher trophic level indicators. Persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other organochlorine compounds (OCs) as well as metals have been shown to have deleterious impacts...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers play an important role in the overall transport of microplastic pollution (1 μm to 5 mm), with fluvial dynamics expected to influence biotic interactions, particularly for fish. So far, there have been few assessments of microplastics in freshwater salmonids. The prevalence (i.e. percentage occurrence) and burden (i.e. abundance per fish) of...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation monitoring of highly mobile species in relatively inaccessible habitats presents a considerable challenge to wildlife biologists. Effective conservation strategies require knowledge of cetacean ecology that is often challenging and expensive to obtain. Despite their caveats, stranding data represent an underused resource to study the l...
Article
Full-text available
The short‐beaked common dolphin is one of the most numerous cetacean species in the North‐East Atlantic and plays a key functional role within the ecosystem as a top predator. However, in 2013, its conservation status for the European Marine Atlantic, under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive, was assessed as ‘Unfavourable‐Inadequate’. Of key conc...
Article
Male reproductive biology is described for the Southern Hemisphere long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas edwardii), a subspecies that regularly mass strands along the New Zealand coastline. Ten mass stranding events sampled over a 7-year period enabled assessments of key life history parameters. Sexual maturation in immature, maturing, and ma...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater systems provide key pathways for microplastic (MP) pollution, and although existing studies have demonstrated the susceptibility of freshwater biota to ingestion, translocation, and trophic transfer, specific challenges pertaining to methodological standardization remain largely unresolved, particularly with respect to isolating, charact...
Chapter
Full-text available
Organochlorines, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), are persistent organic pollutants that both bioaccumulate and biomagnify within marine food webs. These legacy pollutants are known endocrine disruptors and have been reported to have adverse effects on endocrine, reproductive, and immune functions...
Poster
Full-text available
Microplastic (MP) polymers, 0.1 µm - 5 mm in size, are ubiquitous within aquatic environments. Due to their small size there is a risk that they may infiltrate and transfer within aquatic food webs. Though a limited number of laboratory studies can facilitate our understanding of species susceptibility, the lack of field data from freshwater enviro...
Poster
The poster provides a general introduction to background, aims and methodology of this project followed by progress and future work under the project.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Oceanomare Delphis Onlus (Italy), BICREF (Malta) and OceanCare (Switzerland), jointly organized the 1st International Workshop on short‐beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis, Linneaus 1758), which took place in Ischia, between the 13th and the 15th of April, in order to assess the status of the Mediterranean population, understand the major thre...
Article
Full-text available
Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PC...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In relation to species, descriptor 1 (biodiversity) of the MSFD refers to three criteria: abundance, distribution and population condition. For marine mammals, indicator development has focused on the former two criteria, along with measuring bycatch mortality, based on large-scale surveys and on-board observers on fishing vessels. Strandings monit...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive failure in mammals due to exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can occur either through endocrine disrupting effects or via immunosuppression and increased disease risk. To investigate further, full necropsies and determination of summed 25 poly-chlorinated biphenyls congeners (∑PCBs lipid weight) in blubber were undertaken on...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge about the maturity status of specimens included in evolutionary, taxonomic or life history investigations is fundamentally important. This study investigated the use of the degree of cranial suture fusion, the developmental status of cranial bones, and the degree of tooth wear as indicators for cranial maturity status in Delphinus sp. fro...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of age structure and longevity (maximum age) are essential for modelling marine mammal population dynamics. Estimation of age in common dolphins (Delphinus spp.) is primarily based on counting Growth Layer Groups (GLGs) in the dentine of thin, decalcified and stained sections of teeth. An annual incremental deposition rate was validated f...
Article
Full-text available
Life history parameters were determined for stranded and bycaught harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from Scottish (UK) waters (1992–2005). Fetal growth rate was 84.4 mm/mo and mean size at birth was 76.4 cm (range 65–88 cm). Males and females had a similar range of body lengths (65–170 cm and 66–173 cm, respectively), although asymptotic lengths...
Article
Full-text available
On 9 June 2008, the UK’s largest mass stranding event (MSE) of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) occurred in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall. At least 26 dolphins died, and a similar number was refloated/herded back to sea. On necropsy, all dolphins were in good nutritive status with empty stomachs and no evidence of known infectious disease...
Article
Full-text available
The common dolphin is the second most abundant cetacean species in the North-east Atlantic, with a wide-ranging distribution and is, potentially, impacted by a wide variety of pressures and threats. To assess the conservation status of common dolphins in this region, it is essential to understand population structure, key drivers of population dyna...
Article
Full-text available
Mediterranean monk seals Monachus monachus are classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with <600 individuals split into 3 isolated sub-populations, the largest in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Canine teeth collected during the last 2 decades from 45 dead monk seals inhabiting Greek waters were processed for age estimation. Ages w...
Conference Paper
Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management will require monitoring of the status and trends in populations of top predators such as dolphins and porpoises. Existing monitoring, as required under (for example) the Habitats Directive typically involves collection of information on distribution, abundance, health status and speci...
Article
An immature unilateral hermaphrodite common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) was found stranded on the southwest coast of the UK. The external phenotype was that of a female, but internally there was one ovotestis, containing both ovarian follicles and testicular tubular elements, and a contralateral ovary. Ovarian portions of the ovotestis appeared nor...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the effect of persistent organic pollutants on reproductive activity in common dolphins and harbour porpoises. Abstract As top predators, marine mammals can provide information on the accumulation of anthropogenic toxins which present the greatest risk to consumers. We assessed the impacts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on two ce...
Article
Full-text available
Short-beaked common dolphins Delphinus delphis in the eastern North Atlantic (ENA) Eire subject to mortality due to entanglement in various types of fishing gear. However, for this region, there is no population-level information available on trends in abundance, (incidental) mortality rates or even the actual distributional range. Working under th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Short-beaked common dolphins ( Delphinus delphis ) are widespread in the North-east Atlantic, and have been regularly reported as bycatch in commercial fisheries. In this region, seasonal changes in abundance suggest movements on a regional scale and a high potential for dispersal. A number of studies have shown population segregation at a moderate...
Article
Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in blubber of female common dolphins and harbour porpoises from the Atlantic coast of Europe were frequently above the threshold at which effects on reproduction could be expected, in 40% and 47% of cases respectively. This rose to 74% for porpoises from the southern North Sea. PCB concentrations w...
Article
Full-text available
Concentrations and enantiomeric profiles for a range of organochlorine compounds are reported in blubber samples from a number of individual killer whales (Orcinus orca) from British and Irish waters. Elevated contaminant levels and enriched isotopic ratios were determined in one individual whale sampled in the Scottish Western Isles compared to th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In project NECESSITY (contract 501605) twenty three institutes and their respective sub-contractors were working together in two Task Groups, i.e. Nephrops and Cetaceans to develop alternative gear modifications and fishing tactics in collaboration with the fishing industry to reduce by-catches in the relevant Nephrops and pelagic fisheries, withou...
Article
Full-text available
Growth, allometric relationships and sexual dimorphism are described from measurements of 105 male, 149 female and 38 unsexed specimens of short-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus delphis, stranded along the Irish coastline (53.8% of the sample) or by-caught in fisheries (46.2% of the sample), from 1990 to 2003. For each dolphin, 24 external body len...
Article
Full-text available
The common dolphin has a widespread distribution and is relatively abundant in the temperate to subtropical waters of the eastern North Atlantic. However, it is not known whether different species, subspecies, or populations occur in this region. We examined 393 common dolphin skulls obtained from both stranded and bycaught individuals collected be...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual dimorphism was investigated in a sample of 78 skulls obtained from common dolphins that stranded along the English and Welsh coastline between 1990 and 2001. Sexual dimorphism in absolute size was found in total body length, condylobasal length and 21 other skull characters, with males being significantly larger than females. Sexual dimorphi...
Article
Full-text available
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Article
Full-text available
AC) Gonadal development in immature, pubertal, young mature, and sexually mature male common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) was assessed for 212 dolphins collected between 1991 and 2003. The sample consisted of animals stranded along the Irish and French coasts, and also bycatch samples from Irish and French observer programs. Through histological an...
Data
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. .