Dr Brian Miller, BA, BSc, PhD


Australian Marine Mammal Centre, Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 (0)3 6232 3153

email: brian.miller@aad.gov.au

Personal Webpage

Research Interests

I am a marine mammal acoustician who is especially interested in passive acoustic population surveys, localisation, and tracking, as well as the effects of man-made noise on marine mammals. I have much experience analyzing marine mammal vocalisations and have developed passive acoustic instrumentation and software as part of the Otago University Marine Mammal Lab. I have also conducted research at Boston University's Hearing Research Center investigating the mechanics of cetacean hearing. This research involved measurement of physical properties of the ears of stranded cetaceans in order to predict the hearing abilities for species that are otherwise difficult to measure by traditional means. For my PhD, I conducted research on sperm whales in Kaikoura, New Zealand, and as a part of that I developed passive acoustic software for measuring individual growth in sperm whales. I have considerable involvement designing and building portable passive acoustic arrays (hardware and software) which have been used successfully to track diving sperm whales in 3D.

I am interested in the Southern Ocean and understanding the role and recovery of large whales within the region. My research is a part of the Southern Ocean Research Partnership, and our main research tools are sonobuoys and autonomous moored-acoustic recording devices (whale recorders). Work with sonobuoys will focus on real-time localisation and tracking of blue whales during vessel based surveys. Real-time acoustic tracking provides a reliable and efficient way to find extremely rare Antarctic blue whales, and the application of this technique will not only allow for more detailed investigation of their role in the Antarctic ecosystem, but also provides a means to monitor their putative recovery after their near-miss with exctinction during 19th century industrial whaling. Sonobuoy surveys may also provide an important link between visually observed behaviour and acoustic behaviour. Work with acoustic loggers involves collecting year-round recordings from areas that may otherwise be inaccessible to regular survey. Recordings from loggers can give insight into seasonal trends in vocal behaviour and could potentially provide information on migration, abundance, and habitat usage of acoustically active dolphins and whales.

Selected Publications

BS Miller, Miller EJ (2018). The seasonal occupancy and diel behaviour of Antarctic sperm whales revealed by acoustic monitoring. Sci. Rep. 8: 5429. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-23752-1

BS Miller, Calderan S, Gillespie D et al (2016) Software for real-time localization of baleen whale calls using directional sonobuoys: A case study on Antarctic blue whales. JASA-EL 139(3): EL83-EL89.

Miller BS, Barlow J, Calderan S, Collins K et al (2015) Validating the reliability of passive acoustic localisation: a novel method for encountering rare and remote Antarctic blue whales. Endang Species Res 26: 257-269.

Calderan S, Miller B, Collins K, Ensor P et al (2014) Low-frequency vocalizations of sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) in the Southern Ocean. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 136(6): EL418-EL423.

Peel D, Miller BS, Kelly N, Dawson S, Slooten E, Double MC (2014) A simulation study of acoustic-assisted tracking of whales for mark-recapture surveys. PloS one 9:e95602

Miller BS, Collins K, Barlow J, Calderan S et al (2014) Blue whale vocalizations recorded around New Zealand: 1964-2013. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 135: 1616–23.

Miller BS, Leaper R, Calderan S, Gedamke J (2014) Red shift, blue shift: Investigating Doppler shifts, blubber thickness, and migration as explanations of seasonal variation in the tonality of Antarctic blue whale song. PLoS ONE 9(9):e107740. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0107740.

Van Opzeeland IC, Samaran F, Stafford KM, Findlay K, Gedamke J, Harris D, Miller BS (2013) The Southern Ocean Hydrophone Network (SOHN): Circum-Antarctic passive acoustic monitoring of Antarctic blue and fin whales. Polarforschung 83(2):47-61. hdl:10013/epic.44470.d001.

Miller BS, Dawson SM, Vennell R (2013) Underwater behavior of sperm whales off Kaikoura, New Zealand, as revealed by a three-dimensional hydrophone array. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 134: 2690–2700.

Miller BS, Growcott A, Slooten E, Dawson SM (2013) Acoustically derived growth rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in Kaikoura, New Zealand. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 134: 2438–45.

Miller BS (2012) Real-time tracking of blue whales using DIFAR sonobuoys. Proceedings of Acoustics 2012. Fremantle, Western Australia.

This page was last updated on 18 February 2022