CSIP Project Manager
Project management
Contact details

Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park
United Kingdom

As project manager of the CSIP, Rob's responsibilities include overall management of the programme, liaison with funders, with/between partner organisations, other stakeholders and the UK public.

Rob manages the production of national summary reports for the government and he coordinates the national web-accessed database and national marine mammal tissue archive. He helps to conduct necropsies on UK stranded cetaceans, marine turtles, seals and sharks and he also helps facilitate the production of research generated through collaborations arising from the project.  

The UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) coordinates the investigation of stranded cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), marine turtles, seals and basking sharks around the UK coast. Systematic pathological investigations (necropsies) are conducted on a proportion of stranded animals each year, to establish causes of death and learn more about the drivers of mortality these species face in UK waters. The programme is jointly funded by Defra and the Devolved Governments of Scotland and Wales and the CSIP contract is administered by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. 

CSIP lab porpoise 1

Although most of the research of the CSIP is geared towards cetaceans, the investigations we conduct on UK stranded marine turtles is also of particular interest to me. The work of the CSIP supports a broad range of national and international scientific collaborations, research papers and Government reports and Rob has been a co-author on over 60 papers relating to the output of the CSIP and the lead author of the majority of recent reports to UK Government.

In 2013 he acted as a rapporteur for an international workshop of experts on euthanasia protocols to optimise welfare concerns for large live stranded cetaceans held at ZSL under the aegis of the International Whaling Commission. Rob also participated in the investigation of a mass mortality event of Caspian seals (Pusa caspica) in 2000 caused by canine distemper virus (CDV).

Rob Deaville headshot

Moving forwards, ZSL will continue to focus on research into drivers of mortality in cetaceans and other marine wildlife, particularly anthropogenic drivers such as by-catch (incidental entanglement in fishing gear), infectious disease mediated by marine contaminants, ship-strike and the impacts of marine debris and marine noise. 

Professional history

2006: Appointed CSIP Project Manager, Institute of Zoology
1998: CSIP Research Assistant, Institute of Zoology
1994: Technician, Institute of Zoology
1992: Clinical Scientist at the Department of Virology, University College of London School of Medicine

Selected publications
  • Peltier H., Authier, M., Deaville, R., Dabin, W., Jepson, P.D., van Canneyt, O., Daniel, P., Ridoux, V. (2016) Small cetacean bycatch as estimated from stranding schemes: the common dolphin case in the northeast Atlantic. Environmental Science and Policy pp7-18.  doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.05.004
  • Unger, B., Bravo Rebelledo, E.L., Deaville, R., Grone, A., Ijsseldijk, L.L., Leopold, M.F., Siebert, U., Spitz, J., Wohlsein, P. and Herr, H. (2016) Large amount of marine debris found in sperm whales stranded along the North Sea coast in early 2016. Marine Pollution Bulletin. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.08.027 
  • Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R., Barber, J. L., Aguilar À., Borrell A., et al.  (2016) PCB pollution still impacts populations of orca and other dolphins in European waters.  Sci. Rep. 6, 18573; doi: 10.1038/srep18573
  • IJsseldijk, L.L., Leopold. M.F., Rebolledo, R.B., Deaville, R., Haelters, J., IJzer, J., Jepson, P.D., Gröne, A. (2015) Fatal Asphyxiation in Two Long-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas) Caused by Common Soles (Solea soleaPLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141951 
  • Bertulli, C.G., Galatius, A., Kinze, C.C., Rasmussen, M.H., Deaville, R., Jepson, P., Vedder, E.J., Sánchez Contreras, G.J., Sabin, R.C. and Watson, W. (2015) Vertebral column deformities in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 116: 59–67
  • Brownlow, A., Baily, J., Dagleish, M., Deaville, R., Foster, G., Jensen, S-K., Krupp, E., Law, R., Penrose, R., Perkins, M., Read, F. and Jepson, P.D. (2015) Investigation into the long-finned pilot whale mass stranding event, Kyle of Durness, 22nd July 2011. Report to Defra and Marine Scotland. 
  • Deaville, R. (compiler) (2015) UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme annual report, 2014
  • Barnett, J., Dastjerdi, A., Davison, N., Deaville, R., Everest, D., Peake, J., Finnegan, C., Jepson, P., Steinbach, F. (2015) Identification of Novel Cetacean Poxviruses in Cetaceans Stranded in South West England. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0124315.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124315
  • Murphy, S., Barber, JL, Learmonth, JA, Read, FL, Deaville, R., Perkins MW, Brownlow A, Davison, N, Penrose, R, Pierce, GP, Law RL and Jepson, PD (2015) Reproductive failure in UK harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena: legacy of pollutant exposure? PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131085. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131085
  • Foster, G., Whatmore, A.M., Dagleish, M.P., Baily, J.L. Deaville, R., Davison, N.J., Koylass, M.S., Perrett, L.L., Stubberfield, E.J., Reid, R.J. and Brownlow, A.C. (2015) Isolation of Brucella ceti from a long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) and a Sowerby’s beaked whale (Mesoploden bidensJournal of Wildlife Diseases51(4). DOI: 10.7589/2014-04-112
  • Papachlimitzou A., Losada S., Barber J.L., Bersuder P., Deaville R., Brownlow A, Penrose R., Jepson P.D. and Law R.J.  (2015) Organophosphorus flame retardants (PFRs) and plasticisers in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranded or bycaught in the UK during 2012. Marine Pollution Bulletin Available online 19 June 2015, ISSN 0025-326X.
  • Villar, D., Berthelot, C., Aldridge, S., Rayner, T., Lukk, M., Muffato, M., Park, T., Deaville, R., Erichsen, J., Murchison, E.P., Jasinska, A.J., Turner, J.M.A., Limb, A., Flicek, P. and Odom, D.T. (2015) Enhancer evolution across twenty mammals. Cell160, 554-566 
  • Lambert, E., Pierce, G.J., Hall, K., Brerton, T., Dunn, T.E., Wall, D., Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R. and MacLeod, C. (2014) Cetacean range and climate in the eastern North Atlantic: future predictions and implications for conservation. Global Change Biology DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12560
  • Louis, M., Fontaine, M.C., Spitz, J., Schlund, E., Dabin, W., Deaville, R., Caurant, F., Cherel, Y., Guinet, C. and Benoit, S.B. (2014) Ecological opportunities and specializations shaped genetic divergence in a highly mobile marine top predator. Proc. Roy, Soc. B 281, 20141558.
  • Peltier H., Dabin, W., Jepson P.D., Deaville, R., Van Canneyt, O., Daniel, P. and Ridoux, V. (2014) The contribution of stranding data to monitoring and conservation strategies for cetaceans: developing spatially explicit mortality indicators for common dolphins in the eastern North Atlantic. Ecological Indicators 39; 203– 214.
  • Bogich, T.L., Funk, S., Malcolm, T.R., Chhun, N., Epstein, J.H., Chmura, A.A., Kilpatrick, A.M., Brownstein, J.S., Hutchison, O.C., Doyle-Capitman, C., Deaville, R., Morse, S.S., Cunningham, A.A. and Daszak, P (2013) Using network theory for identifying disease outbreaks of unknown origin. J R Soc Interface doi: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0904
  • Jepson P.D., Deaville, R., Acevedo-Whitehouse K., Barnett, J., Brownlow A., Brownell Jr, R.L., Clare F.C, Davison N.C., Law R.J., Loveridge J., Macgregor S.K., Morris S., Murphy S., Penrose R., Perkins M.W., Pinn E., Seibel, H., Siebert, U., Sierra E., Simpson V., Tasker M.L., Tregenza N., Cunningham A.A. and Fernández A. (2013) What caused the UK’s largest common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) mass stranding event? PLoS ONE 8(4): e60953. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060953
  • Peltier, H., Dabin, W., Daniel, P., Deaville, R., Haelters, J., Jensen, L.F., Jepson P.D., Keijl, G.O., Siebert U., Van Canneyt, O., Ridoux, V. (2013) The null hypothesis and the analysis of stranding anomalies of harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, in the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay PLOS ONE 8(4): e62180. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062180
  • Ryan, C., McHugh, B., Trueman, C.N., Sabin, R., Deaville, R., Harrod, C., Berrow, S.D., and O'Connor, I. (2013) Stable isotope analysis of baleen reveals resource partitioning among four sympatric species of rorqual and population structure in fin whales in the Northeast Atlantic. Marine Environmental Progress Series 479:251-261. doi:10.3354/meps10231
  • Law, R.J, Barry, J., Barber, J.L., Bersuder, P., Deaville, R., Reid, R.J., Brownlow, A., Penrose, R., Barnett, J., Loveridge, J., Smith, B. and Jepson, P.D. (2012) Contaminants in cetaceans from UK waters: status as assessed within the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme from 1990 to 2008. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64: 1485-1494.
  • Law R.J., Bolam T., James D, Barry J, Deaville, R., Reid RJ, Penrose R and Jepson PD. (2012) Butyltin compounds in liver of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from the UK prior to and following the ban on the use of tributyltin in antifouling paints (1992-2005 & 2009) Marine Pollution Bulletin 64(11): 2576-2580
  • Deaville, R. and Jepson, P.D. (compilers) (2011) UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme Final report for the period 1st January 2005-31st December 2010.
  • Davison, N.J., Perrett, L.L., Law, R.J., Dawson, C.E., Stubberfield, E.J., Monies, R.J., Deaville, R. and Jepson, P.D.  (2011)  Infection with Brucella ceti and high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded in southwest England.  Veterinary Record doi: 10.1136/vr.d2714
  • Foote, A.D., Vilstrup, J.T., De Stephanis, R., Verborgh, P., Abel Nielsen, S.C., Deaville, R., Kleivane, L., Martin, V., Miller, P.J.O., Oien, N., Perez-Gil, M., Rasmussen, M., Reid, R.J., Robertson, K.M., Rogan, E., Simila, T., Tejedor, M.L., Vester, H., Vikingsson, G.A., Willerslev, E., Gilbert, M.T.P. and Piertney, S.B. (2011) Genetic differentiation among North Atlantic killer whale populations. Mol. Ecol. 20(3):629-641
  • Lambert E, MacLeod CD, Hall K, Brereton T, Dunn, T.E., Wall, D., Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R., Pierce, G.J. (2011) Quantifying likely cetacean range shifts in response to global climatic change: implications for conservation strategies in a changing world. Endang Species Res 15: 205–222.
  • Law, R.J., Barry, J., Bersuder, P., Barber, J., Deaville, R., Reid, R.J. and Jepson, P.D.  (2010) Levels and trends of BDEs in blubber of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from the UK, 1992 – 2008 Environmental Science & Technology 44, 4447–4451.
  • Racey, P.A., Barratt, E.M., Burland, T.M., Deaville, R., Gottelli, D., Jones, G. and Piertney, S.B. (2007) Microsatellite DNA polymorphism confirms reproductive isolation and reveals differences in population genetic structure of cryptic pipistrelle bat species. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 90: 539-550.
  • Dukes, J.P., Deaville, R., Gottelli, D., Neigel, J.E., Bruford, M.W. and Jordan, W.C. (2006) Isolation and characterisation of main olfactory and vomeronasal receptor gene families from the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Gene 371: 257-267.
  • Hall, A.J., Hugunin, K., Deaville, R., Law, R.J., Allchin, C.R., Jepson, P.D.  (2006)  The risk of infection from polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) – A case-control approach.  Environmental Health Perspectives 114, 704-711
  • Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R., Patterson, I.A.R., Pocknell, Ross, H.M., Baker, J.R., Howie, F.E., Reid, R.J., Colloff, A. and Cunningham, A.A. (2005) Acute and chronic gas bubble lesions in cetaceans stranded in the United Kingdom. Veterinary Pathology 42: 291-305.
  • Jepson, P.D., Bennett, P.M., Deaville, R., Allchin, C.R., Baker J.R. & Law, R.J.  (2005) Relationships between PCBs and health status in UK-stranded harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 24, 238–248
  • Fernandez, A.,  Arbelo, M., Deaville, R., Patterson, I.A.P., Castro, P., Baker, J.R., Degollada, E., Ross, H.M., Herráez, P., Pocknell, A.M., Rodriguez, E., Howie, F.E., Espinosa, A., Reid, R.J., Jaber, J.R., Martin, V., Cunningham, A.A., and Jepson, P.D. (2004) Whales, sonar and decompression sickness (reply). Nature, doi:10.1038/nature02528
  • Dukes, J.P., Deaville, R., Bruford, M.W., Youngson, A.F. and Jordan, W.C. (2004) Odorant receptor gene expression changes during the parr-smolt transformation in Atlantic salmon. Molecular Ecology 13:9, 2851-2857
  • Jepson, P.D.,  Arbelo, M., Deaville, R., Patterson, I.A.R., Castro, P., Baker, J.R., Degollada, E., Ross, H.M., Herráez, P., Pocknell, A.M., Rodriguez, E., Howie, F.E., Espinosa, A., Reid, R.J., Jaber, J.R., Martin, V., Cunningham, A.A., and Fernandez, A. (2003) Gas-bubble lesions in stranded cetaceans. Nature425, 575-576
  • Kennedy, S., Kuiken, T., Jepson, P.D., Deaville, R., Forsyth, M., Barrett, T., van de Bildt, M.W.G., Osterhaus, A.D.M.E., Eybatov, T., Duck, C., Kydyrmanov, A. Mitrofanov, Igor and Wilson, S.  (2000)  Mass die-off of Caspian seals caused by canine distemper virus. Emerging Infectious Diseases 6, 637-639.
  • Barratt, E.M., Deaville, R., Burland, T.M., Bruford, M.W., Jones, G., Racey, P.A. and Wayne, R.K. (1997) DNA answers the call of pipistrelle bat species.  Nature327, 139-139.