Stephen D. Simpson

Stephen D. Simpson
University of Bristol | UB · School of Biological Sciences

BSc MRes PhD

About

162
Publications
68,571
Reads
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6,570
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - present
University of Exeter
Position
  • Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology & Global Change

Publications

Publications (162)
Article
Full-text available
Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise...
Article
Full-text available
European continental shelf seas have experienced intense warming over the past 30 years1. In the North Sea, fish have been comprehensively monitored throughout this period and resulting data provide a unique record of changes in distribution and abundance in response to climate change2, 3. We use these data to demonstrate the remarkable power of ge...
Article
Increases in noise-generating human activities since the Industrial Revolution have changed the acoustic landscape of many terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Anthropogenic noise is now recognized as a major pollutant of international concern, and recent studies have demonstrated impacts on, for instance, hearing thresholds, communication, movement...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change affects marine biological processes from genetic to ecosystem levels [1-3]. Recent warming in the northeast Atlantic [4, 5] has caused distributional shifts in some fish species along latitudinal and depth gradients [6, 7], but such changes, as predicted by climate envelope models [8], may often be prevented because population moveme...
Article
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Ocean acidification is predicted to affect marine ecosystems in many ways, including modification of fish behaviour. Previous studies have identified effects of CO(2)-enriched conditions on the sensory behaviour of fishes, including the loss of natural responses to odours resulting in ecologically deleterious decisions. Many fishes also rely on hea...
Article
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Historically, ecological monitoring of marine habitats has primarily relied on labour-intensive, non-automated survey methods. The field of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) has demonstrated the potential of this practice to automate surveying in marine habitats. This has primarily been through the use of ‘ecoacoustic indices’ to quantify attribute...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic noise impacts are pervasive across taxa, ecosystems and the world. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that protecting vulnerable habitats from noise pollution can improve animal reproductive success. Using a season-long field manipulation with an established model system on the Great Barrier Reef, we demonstrate that limiting...
Article
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Microplastics (<1 mm) are ubiquitous in our oceans and widely acknowledged as concerning contaminants due to the multi-faceted threats they exert on marine organisms and ecosystems. Anthozoans, including sea anemones and corals, are particularly at risk of microplastic uptake due to their proximity to the coastline, non-selective feeding mechanisms...
Article
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Fish in coastal ecosystems can be exposed to acute variations in CO2 of between 0.2-1 kPa CO2 (2,000 - 10,000 µatm). Coping with this environmental challenge will depend on the ability to rapidly compensate the internal acid-base disturbance caused by sudden exposure to high environmental CO2 (blood and tissue acidosis); however, studies about the...
Article
Full-text available
Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) involves recording the sounds of animals and environments for research and conservation. PAM is used in a range of contexts across terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments. However, financial constraints limit applications within aquatic environments; these costs include the high cost of submersible acoustic...
Article
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Pantropical degradation of coral reefs is prompting considerable investment in their active restoration. However, current measures of restoration success are based largely on coral cover, which does not fully reflect ecosystem function or reef health. Soundscapes are an important aspect of reef health; loud and diverse soundscapes guide the recruit...
Article
Determining influences of predation and competition on community dynamics is particularly challenging in coral reef systems where interspecific interactions between many predator and prey species play out in patchy landscapes. We used ~1000 stereo-baited remote underwater video deployments (stereo-BRUVs) to assess the relative abundance and analyse...
Article
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Underwater passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is of growing importance for monitoring the health of aquatic environments. Standard practices use expensive hydrophones to sample soundscapes. They must either be linked to surface recording rigs or use autonomous instrumentation which comes at a premium cost. Although citizen science projects could be...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Best Practice Guide for Underwater Particle Motion Measurement for Biological Applications
Article
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Inshore fisheries are an important source of employment and income across Europe. However, their sustainability and management efficacy are relatively understudied, particularly in a multispecies context. Management of these data-limited fisheries can be informed by assessments of standardized catch and landings per unit effort (CPUE and LPUE) data...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fish in coastal ecosystems can be exposed to acute variations in CO 2 that can approach 1 kPa CO 2 (10,000 μatm). Coping with this environmental challenge will depend on the ability to rapidly compensate the internal acid-base disturbance caused by sudden exposure to high environmental CO 2 (blood and tissue acidosis); however, studies about the sp...
Article
Full-text available
Acoustic pollution in aquatic environments has increased with adverse effects on many aquatic organisms. However, little work has been done considering the effects of the vibratory component of acoustic stimuli, which can be transmitted in the substrate and propagated into the aquatic medium. Benthic marine organisms, including many invertebrates,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change causes warming, decreased O 2 , and increased CO 2 in marine systems and responses of organisms will depend on interactive effects between these factors. We provide the first experimental assessment of the interactive effects of warming (14 to 22°C), reduced O 2 (~3 – 21 kPa O 2 ), and increased CO 2 (~400 or ~1000 μatm ambient CO 2...
Article
Climate change-driven alterations in storm frequency and intensity threaten the wellbeing of billions of people who depend on fisheries for food security and livelihoods. Weather conditions shape vulnerability to both loss of life and reduced fishing opportunities through their influence on fishers' daily participation decisions. The trade-off betw...
Article
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Oceans have become substantially noisier since the Industrial Revolution. Shipping, resource exploration, and infrastructure development have increased the anthrophony (sounds generated by human activities), whereas the biophony (sounds of biological origin) has been reduced by hunting, fishing, and habitat degradation. Climate change is affecting...
Article
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Abstract The idea that the presence of sharks impacts the behavior of mesopredatory reef fishes is controversial and lacks clear evidence at reef‐wide scales. We compared the abundance and behavior of these reef fishes in response to the presence of reef sharks using Baited Remote Underwater Video System (BRUVS) deployments in two adjacent reef sys...
Article
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Climate change is impacting fisheries globally, posing both risks and opportunities to those dependent on marine resources. Understanding how fishers perceive climate change, and what factors shape these perceptions, can provide insights into behavioural intentions and support required for climate change focused strategies and management. This stud...
Article
Anthropogenic noise is a pollutant of global concern that has been shown to have a wide range of detrimental effects on multiple taxa. However, most noise studies to-date consider only overall population means, ignoring the potential for intraspecific variation in responses. Here, we used field experiments on Australia's Great Barrier Reef to asses...
Article
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Collective movement is critical to the survival of some animals. Despite substantial progress in understanding animal collectives such as fish shoals and bird flocks, it is unknown how collective behaviour is affected by changes in multiple environmental conditions that can interact as stressors. Using a fully factorial repeated-measures design, we...
Article
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Projecting the future effects of climate change on marine fished populations can help prepare the fishing industry and management systems for resulting ecological, social and economic changes. Generating projections using multiple climate scenarios can provide valuable insights for fisheries stakeholders regarding uncertainty arising from future cl...
Article
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Motorboats are a pervasive, growing source of anthropogenic noise in marine environments, with known impacts on fish physiology and behaviour. However, empirical evidence for the disruption of parental care remains scarce and stems predominantly from playback studies. Additionally, there is a paucity of experimental studies examining noise-mitigati...
Article
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Large‐scale and long‐term changes in fish abundance and distribution in response to climate change have been simulated using both statistical and process‐based models. However, national and regional fisheries management requires also shorter term projections on smaller spatial scales, and these need to be validated against fisheries data. A 26‐year...
Article
Marine environments have increased in temperature by an average of 1°C since pre-industrial (1850) times [1]. Given that species ranges are closely allied to physiological thermal tolerances in marine organisms [2], it may therefore be expected that ocean warming would lead to abundance increases at poleward side of ranges and abundance declines to...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic noise is an emergent ecological pollutant in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Human population growth, urbanisation, resource extraction, transport and motorised recreation lead to elevated noise that affects animal behaviour and physiology, impacting individual fitness. Currently, we have a poor mechanistic understanding of the...
Article
Predators can exert strong ecological effects on their prey either via consumption or by altering their behaviour and morphology. In marine systems, predators and their prey co‐occur in a three‐dimensional environment, but to date predator‐prey studies have largely focussed on behaviours of prey on horizontal (distance from shelter) rather than ver...
Article
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Coral reefs worldwide are increasingly damaged by anthropogenic stressors, necessitating novel approaches for their management. Maintaining healthy fish communities counteracts reef degradation, but degraded reefs smell and sound less attractive to settlement-stage fishes than their healthy states. Here, using a six-week field experiment, we demons...
Article
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Global environmental change is increasing hypoxia in aquatic ecosystems. During hypoxic events, bacterial respiration causes an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) while oxygen (O2) declines. This is rarely accounted for when assessing hypoxia tolerances of aquatic organisms. We investigated the impact of environmentally realistic increases in CO2 on...
Article
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Coral reefs are exceptionally biodiverse and human dependence on their ecosystem services is high. Reefs experience significant direct and indirect anthropogenic pressures, and provide a sensitive indicator of coastal ocean health, climate change, and ocean acidification, with associated implications for society. Monitoring coral reef status and tr...
Article
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Anthropogenic noise is a recognized global pollutant, affecting a wide range of nonhuman animals. However, most research considers only whether noise pollution has an impact, ignoring that individuals within a species or population exhibit substantial variation in responses to stress. Here, we first outline how intrinsic characteristics (e.g., body...
Article
Harmful algae can cause death in fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and humans, via their toxins or from effects associated with their sheer quantity. There are many species, which cause a variety of problems around north-west Europe, and the frequency and distribution of algal blooms have altered in the recent past. Species distribution modelling wa...
Article
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Anthropogenic noise can negatively impact many taxa worldwide. It is possible that in noisy, high-disturbance environments, the range and severity of impacts could diminish over time, but the influence of previous disturbance remains untested in natural conditions. This study demonstrates the effects of motorboat noise on the physiology of an endem...
Article
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Although the behavior of most organisms evolves in response to harvest, teleost fishes in marine systems have remained susceptible to the same basic fishing techniques of hook and lines and nets for millennia. We argue that this has occurred because these techniques circumvent the evolutionary arms race that exists between all other non-human marin...
Article
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Coral reefs are increasingly degraded by climate-induced bleaching and storm damage. Reef recovery relies on recruitment of young fishes for the replenishment of functionally important taxa. Acoustic cues guide the orientation, habitat selection, and settlement of many fishes, but these processes may be impaired if degradation alters reef soundscap...
Article
Oceans of the future are predicted to be more acidic and noisier, particularly along the productive coastal fringe. This study examined the independent and combined effects of short-term exposure to elevated CO2and boat noise on the predator-prey interactions of a pair of common coral reef fishes (Pomacentrus wardiand its predator,Pseudochromis fus...
Article
Full-text available
Human generated noise is changing the natural underwater soundscapes worldwide. The most pervasive sources of underwater anthropogenic noise are motorboats, which have been found to negatively affect several aspects of fish biology. However, few studies have examined the effects of noise on early life stages, especially the embryonic stage, despite...
Article
Full-text available
Human noise pollution has increased markedly since the start of industrialization and there is international concern about how this may impact wildlife. Here we determined whether real motorboat noise affected the behavior, space use and escape response of a juvenile damselfish (Pomacentrus wardi) in the wild, and explored whether fish respond effe...
Article
Full-text available
Populations of fishes provide valuable services for billions of people, but face diverse and interacting threats that jeopardize their sustainability. Human population growth and intensifying resource use for food, water, energy and goods are compromising fish populations through a variety of mechanisms, including overfishing, habitat degradation a...
Article
Noise produced by anthropogenic activities is increasing in many marine ecosystems. We investigated the effect of playback of boat noise on fish cognition. We focused on noise from small motorboats, since its occurrence can dominate soundscapes in coastal communities, the number of noise-producing vessels is increasing rapidly and their proximity t...
Article
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Severe declines of endangered Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) across The Bahamas and Caribbean have spurred efforts to improve their fisheries management and population conservation. The Bahamas is reported to hold the majority of fish spawning aggregations for Nassau grouper, however, the status and genetic population structure of fish withi...
Article
Full-text available
Human-made noise is contributing increasingly to ocean soundscapes. Its physical, physiological and behavioural effects on marine organisms are potentially widespread, but our understanding remains largely limited to intraspecific impacts. Here, we examine how motorboats affect an interspecific cleaning mutualism critical for coral reef fish health...
Article
Full-text available
Oxygen availability is key in determining habitat suitability for marine fish. As a result of climate change, low oxygen conditions are predicted to occur more frequently and over a greater geographic extent. Studies assessing the long-term chronic effects and impacts for commercially important fish are rare. To assess the potential effects of clim...
Article
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Empirical investigations of the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on marine organisms are typically performed under controlled laboratory conditions, onshore mesocosms, or via offshore experiments with realistic (but uncontrolled) environmental variation. These approaches have merits, but onshore setups are generally small sized and fail to recrea...