David Donnelly is a marine researcher with extensive experience in a range of scientific disciplines. His field experience ranges from fine scale monitoring of the intertidal zone to open ocean surveys. David’s area of expertise lies in marine mammal research where he has been involved in numerous research projects using a diverse range of methods from all field research platforms (aerial, vessel and land based as well as underwater). Field surveys have included visual and acoustic methods as well as close approach vessel work for the purpose of photo ID, tagging (D-Tag and satellite tag) blow sampling and biopsy sampling. Over the course of his 21 years of field experience, David has worked at a variety of field locations, including all around Australia, the South Pacific, New Zealand, the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic.
David holds a current AMSA Category 1 Coxswain certification and has logged over 900 sea days on large and small vessels working with universities, Australian State and Federal government, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, the military, NGOs, production companies, tourism and the oil and gas industry. As a small vessel operator he has accumulated over 2,500 logged hours of close approach time working with 12 large and small cetacean species without incident. Target species have included humpback whales, southern right whales, killer whales, beaked whales, sperm whales, blue whales plus a range of coastal dolphin species.