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Who's Involved?/Steve Dawson last updated 22 March 2002

MSc(Auck) PhD(Cant)

Steve Dawson is senior lecturer in Marine Sciences at the University of Otago. His research focusses on sonar and communication in dolphins and sperm whales, the ecology, habitat use and group dynamics in dolphins, and the distribution, abundance, population structure, and acoustic cencussing of sperm whales.

With his students Steve is working mainly on applied projects, looking at the development of affordable

line-transect surveys for small cetaceans, and investigating fine-scale habitat use of sperm whales at Kaikoura, the sounds of sperm whales, the habitat use and movement in Hector's dolphins, and estimating survival and reproductive rates in Hector's dolphin. A few examples of how these data are translated into management advice are given below.

1999: Invited to International Whaling Commission Scientific committee meetings, to contribute to the work of the small cetaceans subcommittee.

1997: Contracted by U.S. NMFS to participate in and train fieldworkers for an acoustic survey for sperm whales.

Invited to give keynote address on behavioural aspects of incidental capture in fishing gear at European Cetacean Society annual conference in Stralsund, Germany.

Nominated for Pew Fellowship for outstanding conservation scientists.

1996: Contracted by U.S. Marine Mammal Commission to prepare a working paper reviewing experiments designed to reduce entanglement of dolphins and porpoises in gillnets.

Invited to attend and present a working paper at a 1996 workshop of acoustic censusing of whales held in Hobart.

1995: Invited by U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to advise and participate in an acoustic survey for beaked whales.

1993: One of three experts from outside the U.S. invited by U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to a three-day workshop on modifying demersal gillnets to reduce bycatch of harbor porpoise.

1990: One of 50 experts invited to the International Whaling Commission symposium and workshop on "The Mortality of Cetaceans in Passive Fishing Nets and Traps", at La Jolla, California, October 1990.

Contact Details
c/- Department of Marine Science
University of Otago
304 Castle Street
New Zealand.

Phone: 64-03-479 7468. Fax: 64-03-479 8336.