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Contact details

Office 310 Castle Street, room 209
Tel+64 3 479 7468

Academic qualifications

BSc (Environmental Biology) – Universidad Complutense de Madrid
PGDip (Wildlife Management) – University of Otago
MSc Thesis (Marine Science) – University of Otago
PhD (Marine Science) – University of Otago

Research interests

  • Ecology, conservation biology and behaviour of marine mammals
  • Species-habitat relationships
  • Food webs

Postgraduate students

  • Stella Simpson, MSc: Investigating the effects of oceanic conditions on sperm whales and their prey at Kaikōura


Guerra, M., Sabadel, A., Rayment, W., Dawson, S., & Wing, L. (2023). Seasonal variation in the use of food resources by sperm whales in a submarine canyon. Deep Sea Research Part I, 200, 104149. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr.2023.104149

Bennington, S., Guerra, M., Johnston, D., Currey, R., Brough, T., Corne, C., … Slooten, E., Dawson, S., & Rayment, W. (2023). Decadal stability in the distribution of bottlenose dolphins in Dusky Sound/Tamatea, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 57(3), 411-424. doi: 10.1080/00288330.2022.2038214

Dickson, T., Guerra, M., Rayment, W., & Dawson, S. (2023). Multi-decadal observations of the size structure of sperm whales at Kaikōura, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 57(1), 63-74. doi: 10.1080/00288330.2021.1960570

Hersh, T. A., Gero, S., Rendell, L., Cantor, M., Weilgart, L., Amano, M., Dawson, S. M., Slooten, E., … Guerra, M., … Whitehead, H. (2022). Evidence from sperm whale clans of symbolic marking in non-human cultures. PNAS, 119(37), e2201692119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2201692119

Palmer, E., Alexander, A., Liggins, L., Guerra, M., Bury, S. J., Hendriks, H., … Peters, K. J. (2022). A piece of the puzzle: Analyses of recent strandings and historical records reveal new genetic and ecological insights on New Zealand sperm whales. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 690, 201-217. Retrieved from

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