Research Scientist

I have joined the research team at Phillip Island Nature Parks to continue my research into marine predator demography and ecology. I have spent the last 12 years working on various species of seals in Australian waters, including Macquarie Island in the sub-Antarctic and the islands of South Australia. Recent roles have included being a research consultant and a Senior Research Scientist at South Australian Research and Development Institute – Aquatic Sciences, South Australia. Much of my work has involved studying the life history and demography of the Australian sea lion. My areas of interest also extend into marine protected species management, conservation and avian biology.

At Phillip Island, my research focusses on Australian fur seals and Little penguins. For the Australian fur seal I am monitoring population trends, entanglement rates in marine debris and diet. Using the Little penguin, I am exploring novel approaches to cleaning seabirds that have been impacted by oil spilt at sea. An extension of my research will involve ecosystem trophodynamics and food web analysis.

I am an Honorary Associate of La Trobe University and a member of the Australian Marine Science Association and the Society for Marine Mammalogy.


       Phone: + 61 (3) 59512844

       Mail:     Phillip Island Nature Parks, PO Box 97, Cowes Vic. 3922, Australia

Professional Area

Population and foraging ecology and protected species management

Current projects

  • Diet of Australian fur seals
  • Entanglement rates in marine debris of Australian fur seals at Seal Rocks
  • Monitoring pup production and population estimates for Australian fur seals
  • Oil pollution responses for seals and seabirds
  • Satellite tracking of Little penguins

Selected recent publications (see full in Research Gate)

McIntosh, R. R., Arthur, T., Dennis, T., Berris, M., Goldsworthy, S. D., Shaughnessy, P. D. and Teixeira, C. E. P. (2013). Survival estimates for the Australian sea lion: Negative correlation of sea surface temperature with cohort survival to weaning. Marine Mammal Science 29, 84-108.

McIntosh, R. R. and Kennedy, C. W. (2013). Morphology, sex ratio and cause of death in Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) pups. Australian Mammalogy 35, 93-100.

McIntosh, R. R., Kennedy, C. W., Shaughnessy, P. D., Goldsworthy, S. D. (2012). Estimating pup production in a mammal with an extended and aseasonal breeding season, the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea). Wildlife Research 39, 137-148.

Dennis, T. E., McIntosh, R. R. and Shaughnessy, P. D. (2011). Effects of human disturbance on productivity of White-bellied Sea-Eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster). Emu 111, 1-7.

Shaughnessy, P. D., Goldsworthy, S. D., Hamer, D. J., Page, B. and McIntosh, R. R. (2011). Australian sea lions Neophoca cinerea at colonies in South Australia: distribution and abundance, 2004 to 2008. Endangered Species Research 13, 87-98.

Shaughnessy, P.D., Dennis, T. E., Dowie, D., McKenzie, J. and McIntosh, R. R. (2009). Status of small colonies of the Australian sea lion Neophoca cinerea on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Australian Zoologist 35, 82-89.

Goldsworthy, S. D., McKenzie, J., Page, B. C., Lancaster, M. L., Shaughnessy, P. D., Wynen, L. P., Robinson, S. A., Peters, K. J., Baylis, A. M. M., and McIntosh, R. R. (2009). Post-sealing colonisation and status of three fur seal species at Macquarie Island. Polar Biology 32, 1473-1486.

McIntosh, R. R. and Murray, M. D. (2007). Louse infestations of the Australian sea lion Neophoca cinerea. Australian Mammalogy 29, 103-106.

McIntosh, R. R., Page, B. and Goldsworthy, S. D. (2006). Dietary analysis of regurgitates and stomach samples from free-living Australian sea lions. Wildlife Research 33(8) 661– 669.

McIntosh, R. R., Shaughnessy, P. D. and Goldsworthy, S. D. (2006). Mark-Recapture estimates of pup production for the Australian Sea Lion, Neophoca cinerea, at Seal Bay Conservation Park, South Australia. In Sea Lions of the World: 353-367. Trites, A. W., Atkinson, S. K., DeMaster, D. P., Fritz, L. W., Gelatt, T. S., Rea, L. D. and Wynne, K. M. (Eds.). Fairbanks: Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska.

Shaughnessy, P. D., McIntosh, R. R., Goldsworthy, S. D., Dennis, T. E. and Berris, M. (2006). Trends in abundance of Australian sea lions, Neophoca cinerea, at Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. In Sea Lions of the World: 37-63. Trites, A. W., Atkinson, S. K., DeMaster, D. P., Fritz, L. W., Gelatt, T. S., Rea, L. D. and Wynne, K. M. (Eds.). Fairbanks: Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska.

Baylis, A.M.M, Page, B., Peters, K., McIntosh, R., McKenzie, J., and Goldsworthy, S.D. (2005). The ontogeny of dive behaviour in New Zealand fur seal pups (Arctocephalus forsteri). Canadian Journal of Zoology 83, 1149-1161.

Page, B., McKenzie, J., McIntosh, R., Baylis, A., Morrissey, A., Calvert, N., Haase, T., Berris, M., Dowie, D., Shaughnessy P.D. and Goldsworthy, S. (2004). Entanglement of Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals in lost fishing gear and other marine debris before and after Government and industry attempts to reduce the problem. Marine Pollution Bulletin 49, 33-42.

Weston, M. A., Kraaijeveld-Smit, F. J. L., McIntosh, R., Sofronidis, G. and Elgar, M.A. (2004). A male-biased sex-ratio in non-breeding Hooded Plovers on a salt-lake in Western Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology 9, 273-277.

McIntosh, R. R., Kats, R., Berg, M., Komdeur, J. and Elgar, M. A. (2003). Breeding ecology and bias in offspring sex ratio in little grassbirds (Megalurus gramineus). Australian Journal of Zoology 51, 505-514.