Working with IWDG Consulting gives you access to Ireland’s most qualified and experienced team of researchers, surveyors and analysts.
We also partner with leading third level institutions, provide training and experience in cetacean survey techniques and best practice to their research staff and students. Those partnerships mean that, alongside our core team of consultants, we have access to a pool of highly qualified resources on demand, allowing us to scale our team at short notice to accommodate any cetacean monitoring project.
Working closely with you we’ll tailor a team to your specific project requirements, and where relevant will choose team members based on their proximity to the project location, reducing mobilisation time and lowering travel and subsistence costs. With highly qualified surveyors based at strategic locations around the Irish coast we offer an efficient, effective and affordable solution, whatever your cetacean monitoring project.
The core IWDG Consulting team
Dr Simon Berrow as founder and current Chief Executive Officer of the IWDG, Simon brings over 25 years of experience in marine mammal surveying and management to IWDG Consulting. Simon not only co-ordinates the activities of the consulting wing, but also carries out fieldwork and desktop assessments.
Dr Joanne O’Brien is a lecturer at GMIT and has worked with the IWDG since 2004. Joanne was work-package leader on the PReCAST project and ObSERVE Acoustic, responsible for developing acoustic monitoring techniques for cetaceans in Irish Atlantic waters. Joanne has carried out both passive and static acoustic monitoring of cetaceans around the Irish coast since 2004. She has managed a number of IWDG projects such as harbour porpoise SAC surveys and ocean noise monitoring and leads acoustic aspects of IWDG Consulting.
Dave Wall is based in Co. Down and is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He is an experienced marine mammal surveyor and has conducted numerous ship-based marine mammal surveys on Irish and EU commercial and research vessels and has logged in excess of two thousand hours of survey experience at sea. Dave is experienced in project management, survey team management, data collection, data analysis, report writing and mapping. Dave manages the IWDG ship survey database and surveys and is currently IWDG Conservation Officer.
Stephanie Levesque gained a masters degree in wild animal biology in London focusing on marine mammal strandings. After working for SeaWatch Foundation in Wales in 2012, where she participated in land and boat based surveys of bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises and grey seals she joined the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation (now IWDG). Here she carried out bottlenose dolphin surveys in the Shannon Estuary and worked as a deck hand and tour guide on a dolphin tour boat. Since 2013 she has been working with the IWDG carrying out land and ship-based MMO work, as well as assisting with observations and PAM during harbour porpoise surveys. She managed the Necropsy Project which the IWDG were contracted by the Marine Institute and is currently IWDG Strandings Officer.
Clowie Russell is the IWDG Marine Mammal Ecologist working on the Alexandra Basin Re-development project on behalf of Dublin Port. She completed a BSc (hons) in Marine Science in NUIG and has been a member of the IWDG since 2012. She is a qualified JNCC Marine Mammal Observer with experience inshore, offshore and land based monitoring for both research and mitigation purposes.
Patrick Lyne is based in West Cork and is a highly experienced marine mammal observer and PAM operator. He has observed cetaceans in numerous locations worldwide, in temperate and tropical waters from New Zealand, to Africa, Ireland and Canada and is experienced with AMS, Mseis, Seiche, Vanishing Point as well as other bespoke PAM systems.
Hannah Keogh graduated from the Institute of Technology Sligo with an honours degree in Environmental Science. Hannah is a JNCC accredited Marine Mammal Observer, and has been involved in cetacean research since 2010 in temperate and tropical waters. She has been involved with the IWDG since 2013 where she has worked as an MMO on various inshore, offshore and land-based research surveys. She also has gained experience in the implementation of mitigation measures during construction and development projects.
Justin Judge is a postgraduate ecologist at Queens University, Belfast with strong interests in environmental mitigation, conservation biology, conservation management and MPAs. He has extensive experience of offshore and land-based marine mammal and seabird surveys and was a volunteer observer on Oceans Research. He currently works for CEDaR as the Marine Biodiversity Officer for National Museums NI.
Laura Kavanagh graduated from Galway – Mayo Institute with a BSc Hons in Applied Aquatic Ecology and is an accredited JNCC Marine Mammal Observer and Seabird surveyor. Laura has 10 years experience in marine wildlife surveying and was involved in the PReCAST (IWDG), BRAHHS (University of Queensland) and SCANS III (SMRU) projects, as well as working worldwide in both the oil & gas and renewable industries, with extensive experience working in north Atlantic waters.
Andrew Shine graduated from NUI Galway with a BScHons in Marine Science, during which he first became involved in the IWDG, after volunteering in the Shannon Dolphin Centre, Kilrush. He has joined a number of international surveys at sea, focusing on a wide variety of research topics including marine mammals, fisheries, oceanography, geology and deep-sea mapping and exploration. He is interested in research on the effects we have on our environment and marine ecosystem conservation. He is a JNCC accredited MMO and doesn’t leave home without his binoculars. Andrew is currently IWDG Celtic Mist Officer.
Mags Daly graduated from Galway – Mayo Institute with a BSc. in applied freshwater and marine biology. She has specialised in bottlenose dolphin photo-id and currently manages the Shannon Dolphin Project on behalf of the IWDG. She has also spent over two years working as the marine mammal biologist on the small cetacean necropsy project and now works on the deep-diving and rare cetacean investigation project, where she assists the veterinary pathologist with the post mortem and writes the case history reports.
Finn Vanderaar (Ní Fhaoláin) graduated from the National University of Galway with a BSc Hons in Earth & Ocean Science and with an MSc Hons in Marine Biology from University College Cork. She is an accredited JNCC Marine Mammal Observer who also has extensive interdisciplinary experience – both land based and offshore – in biological sampling, chemical oceanography and sediment core sampling and previously specialised in deep water cold water corals. She also writes and speaks about sustainable living for national press and television.
John Collins is an experienced naturalist and ecologist with excellent observational skills working with cetaceans and birds. A graduate with a Bsc hons degree in Freshwater and Marine Biology at GMIT. He is JNCC certified and has worked on dredging and wind farm projects. John has spent several months at sea surveying coastal and offshore environments around Ireland, Cabo Verde, From the Canary Islands to Gabon and British Columbia.
Gráinne Kane is currently working with IWDG Consulting on the ABR Dublin Port project. Although a native of the east coast, she completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the GMIT in Galway. Gráinne’s research to date has focused on the effects of recreational anthropogenic activity on marine mammals. This was done predominantly through an in-depth analysis of behaviour. Working with the Atlantic Whale and Dolphin foundation in Tenerife, she studied the effects of whale watching tourism on short-finned pilot whale populations for her undergrad thesis. This led to her completing her masters in Conservation Behaviour, which analysed the impacts of local interference on resident harbour seals at the Bull Island UNESCO Biosphere, North Dublin City.