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Professor Steve Dawson

Contact DetailsSteveDawson

Office: 310 Castle Street, room 143
Tel: 64 3 479 7468
Cell: 021 276 4110
Email: steve.dawson@otago.ac.nz

Academic Qualifications

MSc, University of Auckland
PhD, University of Canterbury

Research Interests

  • Conservation biology of marine mammals, especially Hector's dolphin
  • Incidental catch of marine mammals in fisheries
  • Acoustic behaviour and communication in cetaceans
  • Line-transect surveys for inshore cetaceans

Courses

  • MARI 302 Marine Vertebrates
  • MARI 427 Marine Conservation Biology
  • MARI 480 Research Report
  • MARI 490 Research Project
  • MARI 495 Research Proposal

Research Projects

  • Conservation biology and Ecology of Hector's dolphin
  • Conservation biology of Fiordland Bottlenose dolphins
  • Ecology and acoustic behaviour of sperm whales

More info: http://www.whaledolphintrust.org.nz

Postgraduate Students

Tom Brough - Thesis Title (PhD):Next steps for management: population and spatial ecology of Hector's dolphins at Banks Peninsula.

Marta Guerra - Thesis Title (PhD):Habitat use and foraging ecology of a declining population of sperm whales at Kaikoura, New Zealand

David Johnston - Thesis Title (MSc):Social aspects of demographic stochasticity in an endangered population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Eva Leunissen - Thesis Title (MSc): Acoustic Impact of Lyttelton Port Reconstruction

Rob Lewis - Thesis Title (MSc): Population demographics of sevengill sharks (Notorynchus cepedianus) in Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island.

Tiffany Plencner - Thesis Title (PGDipSci): Does age influence odontocete hearing ability?: A preliminary investigation of the tympanoperiotic complex in the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

Tamlyn Somerford - Thesis Title (MSc):Sperm whale population dynamics and social structure

María Valdés Hernández - Thesis Title (PhD): Effect of mussel farms on Hector’s dolphin, Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori, at Banks Peninsula, New Zealand: an ecosystem perspective

Lindsay Wickman - Thesis Title (MSc):The effects of a decreasing mark rate on precision of estimates of survival rate of Hector’s dolphins

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Publications

Gormley, A. M., Slooten, E., Dawson, S., Barker, R. J., Rayment, W., du Fresne, S., & Bräger, S. (2012). First evidence that marine protected areas can work for marine mammals. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49(2), 474-480. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02121.x

Dawson, S. M., Northridge, S., Waples, D., & Read, A. J. (2013). To ping or not to ping: The use of active acoustic devices in mitigating interactions between small cetaceans and gillnet fisheries. Endangered Species Research, 19(3), 201-221. doi: 10.3354/esr00464

Dawson, S., Fletcher, D., & Slooten, E. (2013). Habitat use and conservation of an endangered dolphin. Endangered Species Research, 21, 45-54. doi: 10.3354/esr00508

Rayment, W., Dawson, S., & Webster, T. (2015). Breeding status affects fine-scale habitat selection of southern right whales on their wintering grounds. Journal of Biogeography, 42(3), 463-474. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12443

Henderson, S. D., Dawson, S. M., Currey, R. J. C., Lusseau, D., & Schneider, K. (2014). Reproduction, birth seasonality, and calf survival of bottlenose dolphins in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Marine Mammal Science, 30(3), 1067-1080. doi: 10.1111/mms.12109

Authored Book - Research

Slooten, L., & Dawson, S. (2013). Dolphins down under: Understanding the New Zealand dolphin. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press, 96p.

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Journal - Research Article

Rayment, W., Dawson, S., & Webster, T. (2015). Breeding status affects fine-scale habitat selection of southern right whales on their wintering grounds. Journal of Biogeography, 42(3), 463-474. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12443

Brough, T. E., Guerra, M., & Dawson, S. M. (2015). Photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins in the far south of New Zealand indicates a 'new', previously unstudied population. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 49(1), 150-158. doi: 10.1080/00288330.2014.984728

Henderson, S. D., Dawson, S. M., Currey, R. J. C., Lusseau, D., & Schneider, K. (2014). Reproduction, birth seasonality, and calf survival of bottlenose dolphins in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Marine Mammal Science, 30(3), 1067-1080. doi: 10.1111/mms.12109

Peel, D., Miller, B. S., Kelly, N., Dawson, S., Slooten, E., & Double, M. C. (2014). A simulation study of acoustic-assisted tracking of whales for mark-recapture surveys. PLoS ONE, 9(5), e95602. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095602

Guerra, M., Dawson, S. M., Brough, T. E., & Rayment, W. J. (2014). Effects of boats on the surface and acoustic behaviour of an endangered population of bottlenose dolphin. Endangered Species Research, 24(3), 221-236. doi: 10.3354/esr00598

Miller, E., Lalas, C., Dawson, S., Ratz, H., & Slooten, E. (2013). Hector's dolphin diet: The species, sizes and relative importance of prey eaten by Cephalorhynchus hectori, investigated using stomach content analysis. Marine Mammal Science, 29(4), 606-628. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00594.x

Dawson, S. M., Northridge, S., Waples, D., & Read, A. J. (2013). To ping or not to ping: The use of active acoustic devices in mitigating interactions between small cetaceans and gillnet fisheries. Endangered Species Research, 19(3), 201-221. doi: 10.3354/esr00464

Henderson, S. D., Dawson, S. M., Rayment, W., & Currey, R. J. C. (2013). Are the 'resident' dolphins of Doubtful Sound becoming less resident? Endangered Species Research, 20(2), 99-107. doi: 10.3354/esr00484

Agnew, P., Lalas, C., Wright, J., & Dawson, S. (2013). Effects of attached data-logging devices on little penguins (Eudyptula minor). Marine Biology, 160(9), 2375-2382. doi: 10.1007/s00227-013-2231-7

Turek, J., Slooten, E., Dawson, S., Rayment, W., & Turek, D. (2013). Distribution and abundance of Hector's dolphins off Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 47(2), 181-191. doi: 10.1080/00288330.2013.771687

Dawson, S., Fletcher, D., & Slooten, E. (2013). Habitat use and conservation of an endangered dolphin. Endangered Species Research, 21, 45-54. doi: 10.3354/esr00508

Miller, B. S., Growcott, A., Slooten, E., & Dawson, S. M. (2013). Acoustically derived growth rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in Kaikoura, New Zealand. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 134(3), 2438-2445. doi: 10.1121/1.4816564

Miller, B., Dawson, S., & Vennell, R. (2013). Underwater behavior of sperm whales off Kaikoura, New Zealand, as revealed by a three-dimensional hydrophone array. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 134(4), 2690-2700. doi: 10.1121/1.4818896

Fletcher, D., Lebreton, J.-D., Marescot, L., Schaub, M., Gimenez, O., Dawson, S., & Slooten, E. (2012). Bias in estimation of adult survival and asymptotic population growth rate caused by undetected capture heterogeneity. Methods in Ecology & Evolution, 3, 206-216. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00137.x

Elliott, R. G., Dawson, S. M., & Rayment, W. J. (2012). Optimizing T-pod settings and testing range of detection for bottlenose dolphins in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 92(8), 1901-1907. doi: 10.1017/s002531541100035x

Rayment, W., Davidson, A., Dawson, S., Slooten, E., & Webster, T. (2012). Distribution of southern right whales on the Auckland Islands calving grounds. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 46(3), 431-436. doi: 10.1080/00288330.2012.697072

Growcott, A., Sirguey, P., & Dawson, S. M. (2012). Development and assessment of a digital stereo photogrammetric system to measure cetaceans at sea. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 78(3), 237-246.

Gormley, A. M., Slooten, E., Dawson, S., Barker, R. J., Rayment, W., du Fresne, S., & Bräger, S. (2012). First evidence that marine protected areas can work for marine mammals. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49(2), 474-480. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02121.x

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Journal - Research Other

Dawson, S. M., & Lusseau, D. M. (2013). Pseudo-replication confounds the assessment of long-distance detection of gillnets by porpoises: Comment on Nielsen et al. (2012). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 478, 301-302. doi: 10.3354/meps10337

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