Sofia Aniceto » Members

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Sofia Aniceto

Post-doctoral researcher UiT The Arctic University of NorwayArctic and Marine Biology
Work address Department for Arctic and Marine Biology Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics UiT the Arctuc University of Norway Tromsø 9037 Norway
Photo of Sofia Aniceto

Research interests:

  • marine wildlife monitoring
  • animal ecology and behavior
  • new survey technologies.

My main interest in research concerns marine wildlife monitoring, specifically the utility of new survey technologies and animal ecology and behavior. My goals are to provide insights into the understanding of interactions with and within ecosystems considering top-predators and related trophic levels.

Current projects:

  • Postoc – Spatial and temporal analyses of marine mammal vocalizations using unmanned systems.
  • PhD – Unmanned aerial vehicles for marine mammal surveys in arctic and sub-arctic regions.

Summary of PhD project
Whales travel between vast areas and therefore require effective monitoring schemes that can inform management and conservation decisions. For mitigation of offshore operations, drones are proving to be an efficient tool to understand, and possibly minimize, the potential impacts of these activities on marine resources. In such conditions, fixed-wing powered drones are the best option given their long operational range. Additionally, in the Arctic there are many areas of difficult access and the conditions can make it challenging to conduct surveys using traditional methods. Drones seem to be more cost-efficient and safer to operate than other methods, particularly for marine mammal surveys.To investigate how fixed-wing drones perform in different conditions, we conducted 12 field trials during summer and winter in Tromsø (Northern Norway). The drones followed pre-designed tracks and took consecutive photos throughout the entire duration of the flights. After the flights, images were classified for environmental conditions, animal presence, and presence/absence certainty. The results in this study highlight the need for scientists to investigate not only how the technology has an impact on how we gather data but also how the study subjects can affect the amount and quality of data that we collect.


  • Prof. JoLynn Carroll
  • Prof. Ulf Lindstrøm
  • Dr. Martin Biuw

Relevant scientific publications:

  1. Verfuss U.K., Aniceto A.S., Harris D., Gillespie D., Fielding S., Jiminez G., Johnston P., Plunkett R. (2018). A review of autonomous vehicles for the detection and monitoring of marine fauna. Marine Pollution Bulletin 140: 17-29
  2. Aniceto A.S., Biuw M., Lindstrøm U., Solbø S.A., Broms F., Carroll J. (2018). Monitoring marine mammals using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs): quantifying detection certainty. Ecosphere 9(3): e02122 doi:10.1002/ecs2.2122.
  3. Aune M., Aniceto A.S., Biuw M., Daase M., Falk-Petersen S., Leu E., Ottersen C.A.M., Sagerup K., Camus L. (2018). Seasonal ecology in ice covered Arctic seas – considerations for spill response decision making. Marine Environmental Research 141: 275-288.
  4. Stemland H.M., Johansen T.A., Ruud B.O., Aniceto A.S. (2018). Measured sound levels in ice covered shallow water caused by seismic shooting on top of and below floating ice, reviewed for possible impacts on true seals. First Break 37(1): 35-42. doi:10.3997/1365-2397.2018010.
  5. Aniceto A.S., Carroll J., Tetley M. & Van Oosterhout C. (2016). Position, swimming direction and group size of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the presence of a fast ferry in the Bay of Biscay. Oceanologia 58(3): 235-240.


  1. Verfuss U.K., Aniceto A.S., Biuw M., Fielding S., Gillespie D., Harris D., Jimenez G., Johnston P., Plunkett R., Sivertsen A., Solbø A., Storvold R., and Wyatt R. (2016). Understanding the current state of autonomous technologies to improve/expand observation and detection of marine species. Report number SMRUC-OGP2015-015 provided to IOGP, 17th February, 2016.
  2. Dahl-Hansen I., Aniceto A.S., Larsen L.-H. in cooperation with Ramboll (2012). Greenland (Baffin Bay) Environemntal Impact Assessment. Client: Shell. Confidential document and partners.
  3. Dahl-Hansen I., Andrade H., Aniceto A.S., Larsen L.-H., Isaksen O., Valeur J.R., Stenberg E.S. (2012). Konsekvensutredning Jan Mayen; Andre miljøkonsekvenser av planlagt virksomhet. Akvaplan-niva Report 5953-1. Client: Olje-og Energidepartementet.
  4. Dahl-Hansen I., Andrade H., Aniceto A.S., Larsen L.-H., Valeur J.R., Stenberg E.S. (2012).
  5. Konsekvensutredning Barentshavet sørøst; Andre miljøkonsekvenser av planlagt virksomhet.
  6. Akvaplan-niva Report 5953-2. Client: Olje-og Energidepartementet.

Popular science and outreach:

  • Forskningsdagene 2014-2015, Framdager 2017-2018, Science for Schools (Arctic Frontiers)