Other Scientists

PhD Student
Principal Investigator
Other Scientist

Project Overview

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are charismatic yet vulnerable marine animals that play a vital ecological role in our ocean.

Many whale populations are still recovering from historic whaling and cetaceans worldwide are threatened by fishery bycatch, ship strikes and increasing noise pollution. Cetaceans are highly mobile and tend to travel huge distances. Their movements are often determined by changing oceanography, the distribution and concentration of their prey, and by the life cycle such as seasonal breeding migrations. Successful management, particularly in the face of impacts such as bycatch, is dependent on a proper biological understanding.

The Central Indian Ocean may be one of the last tropical refuges where cetaceans remain protected from human impacts, yet unfortunately we know very little of their diversity, distribution, and abundance. This project is surveying cetaceans in this poorly-studied region, with a focus on the Chagos Archipelago, using sightings and acoustic surveys and closely linked with regional capacity building.