My research area is conservation and management of marine mega-fauna populations. The research includes all fields of basic biology and ecology of marine mammals and elasmobranchs, and applied science where I develop and test new methods to address anthropogenic threats such as fisheries bycatch. The aim is to find practical solutions to marine mega-fauna conservation problems. My research focuses on populations of harbour porpoises, dolphin species, humpback whales, grey seals and several species of elasmobranchs.
Associate Professor, Marine Ecology, Stockholm University, 2002-2010.
PhD, Stockholm University, 1995. Dissertation: Stocks, status and survival of harbour porpoises in Swedish waters.
BSc, Honours degree in Marine Biology, Stockholm University, 1989.
Head of the Marine Mammal Research Group
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Examples of research activities:
1. Field and laboratory analyses to monitor marine mega-fauna populations
I am involved in developing and using line transect and photographic identification methodology to study distribution, abundance and population size of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales). I conduct research to determine population structure using both biological and ecological markers (skull morphometrics, DNA analyses and pollutants). I also investigate the growth, reproduction and ecology of small cetaceans using biological data and stomach contents analyses. I am further involved in research studying behaviour of dolphins.
2. Develop methods to assess and mitigate anthtropogenic effects from fisheries and tourism activities on marine mega-fauna populations (incorporating socio-economic issues).
The research involves both to identify the scale and impact of bycatch and to develop mitigation measures to solve the bycatch problem (e.g. by testing acoustic alarms on gillnets). The research is focussed on harbour porpoises in European waters, and several dolphin species, humpback whales and elasmobranchs in East Africa. I also study the potential effects from dolphin tourism activities on local populations of Indo-Pacfic bottlenose and humpback dolphins off Zanzibar and work on creating a sustainable dolphin tourism activity in this area.
1. Conservation biology and ecology of the harbour porpoise and other marine mammals in the North Sea and adjacent waters.
2. Conservation biology and ecology of marine mega-fauna populations (Indo-Pacfic bottlenose, humpback and spinner dolphin, and humpback whales) off Zanzibar, East Africa.
3. Conservation biology and ecology of sharks and other elasmobranchs off Zanzibar, East Africa.
Member IUCN Species Survival Commission, Cetacean Specialist Group 2004-present.
Scientific advisor Marine Mammal Education and Research Programme at the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar 1998-present.
Editorial board member International Journal of Oceans and Oceanography 2006-2007.
Chair of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Sub-Committee on Bycatch and other human induced mortalities to cetaceans 2001-2006.
Head of Swedish Delegation, IWC, Scientific Committee, 1997-2006.
Government appointed delegate Swedish Scientific Council for Biodiversity, 2000-2004.
Stage 1 Coordinator
MST3102 Advanced Marine Zoology
MST1102 Diversity and Behaviour of Marine Animals
MST1104 Marine Study Skills
MST2102 Physiology, Reproduction and Adaptation of Marine Animals
MST3104/05 Research Project: Marine biology/Zoology
MST3107 Research Project Overseas
Current postgraduate students
Andrew Temple, PhD
Reconciling food security with elasmobranch conservation in the Western Indian Ocean
Robert Hunt, MPhil
Abiotic and biotic factors affecting grey seal population dynamics on the Farne Islands, UK
Matt Sharpe, MPhil
Megafauna bycatch mitigation in the Western Indian Ocean
Liangliang Yang (visiting PhD student, Xiamen University)
Bio-acoustic research of marine mammals
Dr Ben Burville
Behavioural ecology of white-beaked dolphins and greys seals
Past postgraduate students
William, Jolly, MPhil
Occurrence and ecology of sharks in Zanzibar, Tanzania
Andrew Temple, MPhil
Temporal variations in the distribution and behaviour of Menai Bay Conservation Area dolphins, Zanzibar, East Africa
Contact me to discuss potential undergraduate, MSc and PhD projects.