Dr Laura Williamson

Dr Laura Williamson

- Head of Projects

I’ve been on the ocean since I was a week old. From sailing around the Channel Islands in California to poking around in tide pools, I have always been fascinated by marine critters. During my BSc, I used photo ID to investigate rates of injury in grey whales from their feeding grounds off Vancouver Island, Canada, to their breeding lagoons in Mexico. I then moved to the UK where I completed an MRes and PhD at the University of Aberdeen. My PhD research focused on modelling the spatial distribution of harbor porpoise around Scotland using data collected by an array of echolocation-click detectors (C-PODs) within the Moray Firth, and aerial video surveys along the entire east coast.

Since joining Ocean Science Consulting Limited (OSC) as a Research Analyst in August 2018, I have worked on a variety of commercial and research projects including modelling porpoise detections, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) imagery surveys, rigs-to-reefs, underwater noise propagation modelling, and even bat ecology. In my current role as Head of Projects, I am responsible for project management, business strategy, tendering and grant writing, quality assurance of reports and publications, as well as staff and student supervision and mentoring.

Dr Laura Williamson
Head of Projects


Nicolette, J., Nelson, N. Rockel, M. Rockel, M. Testoff, A. Johnson, L., Williamson, L. D. & Todd, V. L. G. (2023) A framework for a Net Environmental Benefit Analysis-Based Comparative Assessment of decommissioning options for anthropogenic subsea structures: A North Sea case study. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9:1020334

Todd, V.L.G., Williamson, L.D., Couto, A., Todd, I.B., and Clapham, P.J. (2022): New offshore gas platform has no long-term effect on porpoises. Marine Mammal Science 38, 1609-1622.

Williamson, L.D., Scott, B.E., Laxton, M., Bachl, F., Illian, J., Brookes, K., and Thompson, P. (2022): Spatio-temporal variation in harbor porpoise distribution and foraging across a landscape of fear. Marine Mammal Science 38, 42-57.

Williamson, L.D., B.E., Scott, Laxton, M., Illian, J., Todd, V.L.G., Miller, P., and Brookes, K. (2022): Comparing the distribution of harbor porpoise using generalized additive models and hierarchical Bayesian models with integrated nested Laplace approximation. Ecological Modelling 470, 110011.

Todd, V.L.G., and Williamson, L.D. Cetacean distribution in relation to oceanographic features at the Kerguelen Plateau. Polar Biology 45, 113-126.

Todd, V.L.G., Williamson, L.D., Jiang, J., Cox, S.E., Todd, I.B., and Ruffert, M. (2021): Prediction of marine mammal auditory-impact risk from Acoustic Deterrent Devices used in Scottish aquaculture. Marine Pollution Bulletin 165, 112171.

Williamson, B.J., Blondel, P., Williamson, L.D., and Scott, B.E. (2021): Application of a multibeam echosounder to document changes in animal movement and behaviour around a tidal turbine structure. ICES Journal of Marine Science Fsab017.

Todd, V.L.G., Susini, I., Williamson, L.D., Cox, S.E., Todd, I.B., McLean, D.L., and Macreadie, P.I. (2021): Characterising the second wave of fish and invertebrate colonisation and production potential of an offshore petroleum platform. ICES Journal of Marine Science Fsaa245.

Todd, V.L.G., Lazar, L., Williamson, L.D., Peters, I., Cox, S.E., Todd, I.B., Macreadie, P.I., and McLean, D.L. (2020): Underwater visual records of marine megafauna around offshore anthropogenic structures. Frontiers in Marine Science 7, 230.

Todd, V.L.G., Williamson, L.D., Cox, S.E., Todd, I.B., and Macreadie, P.I. (2020): Characterising the first wave of fish and invertebrate colonisation on a new offshore petroleum platform. ICES Journal of Marine Science 77, 1127-1136.

Todd, V.L.G., Williamson, L.D., Jiang, J., Cox, S.E., Todd, I.B., and Ruffert, M. (2020): Proximate underwater soundscape of a North Sea offshore petroleum-exploration jack-up drilling-rig in the Dogger Bank. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 148, 3971-3979.

Williamson, B., Fraser, S., Williamson, L.D., Nikora, V., and Scott, B. (2019): Predictable changes in fish school characteristics due to a tidal turbine support structure. Renewable Energy 141, 1092-1102.

Todd, V.L.G., and Williamson, L.D. (2019): Habitat usage of Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii), common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), and soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) in a North Wales upland river catchment. Ecology and Evolution 9, 4853-4863.

Lucke, K., Clement, D., Todd, V.L.G., Williamson, L., Johnston, O., Floerl, L., Cox, S., Todd, I.B., and McPherson, C. (2019): Potential impacts of petroleum and mineral exploration and production on Hector’s and Māui dolphins: A literature review. Document 01725. JASCO Applied Sciences (Australia) Pty Ltd, Capalaba, Queensland 148 pp.

Williamson, L.D. (2018): Spatio-temporal variation in harbour porpoise distribution and activity: School of Biological Sciences, PhD. University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, pp. 265.
Williamson, L.D., Brookes, K.L., Scott, B.E., Graham, I.M., and Thompson, P.M. (2017): Diurnal variation in harbour porpoise detection - potential implications for management. Marine Ecology Progress Series 570, 223-232.
Williamson, L.D., Brookes, K.L., Scott, B.E., Graham, I.M., Bradbury, G., Hammond, P.S., and Thompson, P.M. (2016): Echolocation detections and digital video surveys provide reliable estimates of the relative density of harbour porpoises. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8.
Williamson, L.D., Hudson, M., O’Connell, M., Davidson, N., Young, R., Amano, T., and Székely, T. (2013): Areas of high diversity for the world’s inland-breeding waterbirds. Biodiversity and Conservation 22, 1501-1512.
Hillman, E.N., and Conner, L.D. (2010): Photo-identification of gray whales in Bahía Magdalena, Baja California Sur: The use of a student-based photographic archive. Revista de Zoología, 15-22.
error: Content is protected !!