School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Per Berggren

Senior Lecturer



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.

Previous Positions

  • Associate Professor
  • Head of the Marine Mammal Research Group
  • Department of Zoology, Stockholm University
  • SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden


Research Leader Marine MEGAfauna Lab

Overall research theme:
  • Development of low-cost methods for assessment of marine megafauna populations and to mitigate anthropogenic mortality of marine megafauna.

Ongoing research:
  • NOAA Fisheries US. and US Marine Mammal Commission (2019-2021). Low-cost solutions to cetacean bycatch in small scale fisheries and potential fisher-level barriers to implementation.
  • NERC (2018-2019). Novel low-cost acoustically networked recorders for marine mammal and environmental monitoring.
  • WIOMSA/MASMA (2015-2019). Bycatch assessment and mitigation in the western Indian Ocean (BYCAM).
  • EDF-Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Project (2015-2019). Assessment of harbour porpoise and dolphin occurrence using passive acoustic monitoring before, during and after construction of a windfarm off Blyth, Northumberland, UK.
  • Conservation biology and ecology of marine mega-fauna populations (bottlenose dolphin, humpback dolphin and spinner dolphin, humpback whales, and elasmobranchs) off Zanzibar, East Africa.
  • Assessment of megafauna catch in small scale fisheries in Thailand.
  • Conservation ecology of marine mammals in Liaodong Bay, Bohai Sea, NE coast of China.
  • Conservation ecology of white-beaked dolphins off NE England.
  • Conservation ecology of grey seals off Holy and Farne Islands, Northumberland UK.

Esteem Indicators:
  • Associate Editor for Journal of Ocean and Climate 2018 -
  • Invited Expert FAO Workshop on Means and Methods for Reducing Marine Mammal Mortality, Rome Italy 20-23 March 2018.
  • International Whaling Commission Bycatch Expert Panel Delegate 2018-2022.
  • 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.


Undergraduate Teaching

  • Module Leader
  • MST1102 Diversity and Behaviour of Marine Animals
  • Contributor
  •  MST1104 Marine Study Skills
  •  MST2102 Physiology, Reproduction and Adaptation of Marine Animals
  •  MST3102 Advanced Marine Zoology          
  •  MST3104/05 Research Project: Marine biology/Zoology
  •  MST3107 Research Project Overseas 

Current Post Graduate Research students

  • Matt Sharpe, PhD - Population ecology of white-beaked dolphins dolphins off Northumberland, UK
  • Thevarit Svarachorn, PhD - Assessment of mega-fauna catch in small scale fisheries in Thailand
  • Daniel Moore (PhD, Durham University, with Professor Rus Hoelzel) - The role of habitat boundaries in the evolution of connectivity in marine predator populations
  • Cameron Trotter (PhD, Newcastle U. School of Engineering, with Professor Nick Wright) - Development of methods for marine mammal image analyses.
  • Georgia Atkinson (PhD, Newcastle U. School of Engineering, with Professor Nick Wright) - Development of methods for marine mammal sound analyses.
  • Ellen Barrowclift-Mahon, MPhil - Lifehistory and foraging ecology of elasmobranchs off Zanzibar, East Africa
  • Robert Hunt, MPhil - Abiotic and biotic factors affecting grey seal population dynamics on the Farne Islands, UK
  • Charles McGibney, MPhil - Assessment of marine traffic potential impact on bottlenose dolphin behaviour off Montenegro
  • Kelsey Potlock, MPhil - Behavioural ecology of harbour porpoise (harbour porpoise), white-beaked (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and common bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins based on passive acoustic monitoring in a windfarm development site off Blyth, Northumberland
  • Sara Kenney, MPhil - Environmental and anthropogenic drivers to odontocete temporal and spatial occurrence off Blyth, Northumberland
  • Bethany Cowan, MPhil - Population ecology of grey seals in Northumberland, UK

Current Postdocs

  • Dr Liangliang Yang (NERC nanoPAM Project) - Development of algorithms for species identification of porpoise and dolphin echolocation clicks
  • Mr Richie Burnett (NERC nanoPAM Project, with Mr Jeff Neasham) - Hard- and software development for passive acoustic monitoring
  • Andrew Temple (NOAA/Marine Mammal Commission) - Low-cost solutions to cetacean bycatch in gillnet fisheries.

Visiting Researcher

Dr Ben Burville, Behavioural ecology of white-beaked dolphins and greys seals

Past Post Graduate Research students

  • Andrew Temple, PhD - Reconciling food security with elasmobranch conservation in the Western Indian Ocean
  • Matt Sharpe, MPhil - Population dynamics of dolphins off Zanzibar, East Africa
  • 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

Prospective students

Contact me to discuss potential undergraduate, MPhil/MSc and PhD projects.