This website as a repository of historical data on marine mammals was first created in 2008 by Kumaran Sathasivam and K.S.Natarajan, with financial support from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, UK and strong encouragement from Nicola Hodgins. Over-time it added new aspects and in 2019 it was updated to become the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Network with a dynamic database.
Overall maintenance of the site is now carried out by GreyCoconut Designs and OchreRevival.
Scientific content is co-managed by Dipani Sutaria and Kumaran Sathasivam along with National and International Marine mammal scientists. We are thankful to our interns Pranay Bhatnagar and Eklavya Tiwari for helping us keep the database updated. We are specially thankful to Thomas Jefferson, Robert Brownell, Robert Pitman, Robert Baldwin, Anouk Ilangakoon and Robin Baird for their technical support. For photographs of different species from India we thank Vardhan Patankar, Divya Panicker, Abhishek Jamalabad, Dipani Sutaria, Ketki Jog, Mihir Sule, Rahul Muralidharan, Saagar Rajpurkar, Udayan Borthakur, Akshay Malawi, Omkar Dharwadker, Rohan Arthur, Mahi Mankeshwar, members of fishing communities and the Indian Coast Guard.
Marine Mammal Research in India – who, where and what..
Abhishek Jamalabad : Abhishek is a MSc in marine biology, who studied marine mammal – fisheries interactions in 2015-16. He is now with the Coastal Conservation Foundation, Mumbai and initiated inter-tidal walks in Goa and Mumbai. He is one of the Founding members of Marine Life of Mumbai.
Email : Abhishek.Jamalabad@gmail.com
Avik Bannerjee : Avik is a MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. For his MSc thesis he studied interactions between humpback dolphins and fisheries in Kochi harbor, Kerala. He is at Wildlife Conservation Society, Bangalore.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Coralie D’Lima, PhD : Coralie is an ecologist who studied Irrawaddy dolphin conservation for her PhD, titled ‘Striking a balance between fishing, tourism and dolphin conservation at Chilika Lagoon’. India.
Dipani Sutaria, PhD : Dipani is an environmentalist and an ecologist interested in biogeography, behavioural ecology and urban ecology. She is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at JCU, Australia; Visiting Faculty at CEPT, Ahmedabad; and a member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group, Marine Mammal Protected Areas Taskforce, and the International Relations Committee of the SMM. She curates this website.
Email : Dipani.Sutaria@gmail.com
Divya Panicker : Divya is a PhD student in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on the role of oceanographic features on cetacean diversity and distribution patterns using passive acoustic monitoring and visual survey techniques. She first studied humpback dolphins in Kerala in 2012 and has since been working on oceanic cetaceans in Lakshadweep waters.
Email : Divya145@gmail.com
Elrika D’Souza, PhD : Elrika is a marine biologist and has been studying Dugongs in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for more than a decade. She is affiliated to Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore and her work on dugongs and sea grass habitats continues on the islands. Elrika is a member of the Education Committee of the SMM.
Email : Elrikad@gmail.com
Isha Bopardikar : Isha is a MSc in Oceanography and has been studying cetaceans in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra since 2014. Isha is interested in applying acoustic techniques in conservation research. She is studying cetacean vocalisations, and the use of passive acoustics to monitor habitat use and occurrence patterns of coastal cetaceans. She is also interested in understanding the role of ambient noise and changing soundscapes on communication behaviour of cetaceans. Isha is affiliated to IISER-Tirupati and works in collaboration with the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University, USA.
Email : Isha.Bopardikar@gmail.com
Ketki Jog : Ketki is a PhD candidate at the James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. She has been studying cetaceans in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra since 2012. Ketki is interested in studying cetacean behaviour, particularly foraging and social behaviours. She is studying the socio-ecology of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins and their interactions with the local fishery operations in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra.
Email : Ketki.Jog@gmail.com
Mahi Mankeshwar : Mahi Mankeshwar studied the intricate phylum of Bryozoans from the Ratnagiri coastline for her Masters by Research in Zoology and has been involved in marine biology ever since. In 2016 she started her research on cetaceans present in the waters of Andaman and Nicobar islands and is interested in studying the importance of complex oceanographic factors influencing diversity and richness of marine species.
Email : Mahi.Mankeshwar@gmail.com
Mahua Roy Chowdhury, PhD : Mahua is a marine biologist and has been assessing wetland ecosystems with special reference to mangroves and dolphins in West Bengal since 2011. She has also worked for WWF-India on their south Asian river dolphin conservation project where she assessed sustainable livelihood strategies for fisherman communities in West Bengal. She is broadly interested on marine and estuarine biodiversity as well as conservation related issues.
Mayukh Dey : Mayukh is an ecologist and a field recordist with the Nature Conservation Foundation. His past project involved studying the effects of underwater anthropogenic noise on communication and acoustic behaviour of Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica) in Bihar. Currently, his research focuses on using acoustics to study behaviour of aquatic animals such as dugongs, cetaceans and fish along the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
Email : email@example.com
Mihir Sule : Mihir is currently working on the taxonomy of humpback dolphins (Genus Sousa) across the peninsular Indian coast. A marine biologist by training, he has been studying coastal systems since 2012 and has focussed mainly on small cetaceans in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra as a part of the KCRT. Mihir is broadly interested in cetacean habitat ecology and its role in population structuring and speciation.
Email : Mihir.Sule@gmail.com
Nachiket Kelkar, PhD: Nachiket Kelkar studies river-floodplains, river dolphins, fisheries, and fishing communities, and is keenly interested in the ecology and conservation of the rivers of the Indian subcontinent. He is also a member of the IUCN cetacean specialist group and the International Whaling Commission’s South Asian river dolphin Task Team.
Prem Jothi : Prem is a marine biologist who was working with the Wildlife Institute of India’s Dugongs and seagrass conservation project, in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu. He has also worked on the WTI whale shark conservation and recovery program in Gujarat for several years. He is currently teaching in Abu Dhabi.
Rahul Muralidharan, PhD : Rahul studied dolphins off the coast of Tamil Nadu with the help of artisanal fishers since 2009. His PhD explored the effect of the state’s conservation/ development policies on fishing communities and coastal dolphins.
Email : Rahul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sameeha Pathan : Sameeha is a PhD student at WII and her current research involves the extent-estimation, monitoring and mapping of seagrasses, and identifying marine megafuanal hotspots in the Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat. She is working with the Wildlife Institute of India’s Dugongs and seagrass conservation project, in the Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat.
Samir Sinha : Samir Kumar Sinha heads the Species Recovery Division of Wildlife Trust of India. With over 20 years of experience working on aquatic and forest ecosystems, Samir has worked on population assessment and diving behaviour of the Ganges River Dolphin in the Ganga and its tributaries. He is a member of IUCN’s World commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), and member of State Board for Wildlife, Bihar.
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Swapnali Gole : Swapnali is a PhD candidate at WII, looking at the macrobenthic assemblages associated with seagrass habitats in the Andaman Islands. She has worked on marine invertebrates along the west coast and Andaman-Nicobar Islands before joining the Dugong project in the Wildlife Institute of India.
Email : email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
Swapnil Tandel : Swapnil is a Masters in Oceanography and Fisheries from Mumbai University, and belongs to the fishing community in Maharashtra. From 2013 to 2018 in association with CMFRI he studied taxonomy and biology of fin fish & shellfish of the Arabian sea and monitored fish landings in Maharashtra. From 2018 till date, he is studying marine mammal and sea turtle-fisheries interactions in small scale fisheries in south Maharashtra as an independent researcher, supported by The Wildlife Trust of India and CMFRI. He engages with fishers & other stakeholders for the conservation of Whale shark and other protected marine mega fauna in Ratnagiri & Sindhudurg districts, Maharashtra.
Email : email@example.com
Other groups working on oceanic marine mammals
- CMFRI,Kochi – Dr R. Jeybaskaran
- CMLRE, Kochi – Dr Sherine Sonia and Dr K Chandrasekar
Other groups working on south Asian river dolphins:
- Dr Sunil Choudhary and Subhasis Dey – Vikramshila Biodiversity Research and Education Centre (VBREC)- TM Bhagalpur University
- Dr Abdul Wakid, Dr Qamar Qureshi – Wildlife Institute of India
- Geetanjali Kanwar – WWF-India
- Dr RK Sinha – Patna University
- Dr Gopal Sharma – ZSI-Patna
- WWF-West Bengal
- Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh forest departments – National Chambal Sanctuary
- Dr Shailendra Singh – Turtle Survival Alliance
- Dr M. Khairuzzaman – Silchar University