This website as a repository of 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. The website was updated to become the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Network with a dynamic database in 2019.Overall maintenance of the site is now carried out by GreyCoconut Designs and OchreRevival. Scientific content is co-managed by Dipani Sutaria, Shaunak Modi, Isha Bopardikar, Mahi Mankeshwar and Kumaran Sathasivam along with National and International Marine mammal scientists. We are thankful to our interns Vidisha Bansal, Bryan Miranda, 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, Frances Gulland, John Wang, Robin Baird, Tim Collins, Gianna Minton and Andrew Wilson 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 with Habitat Trust, India as Deputy Manager of the Marine Program. He initiated inter-tidal walks in Goa and Mumbai and 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 the marine program at WCS, Bangalore interested in exploring fisheries-cetacean interactions.
Email : email@example.com
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.
Email : Coralie.firstname.lastname@example.org
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, PhD : Divya’s Phd thesis focused on the influence 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 with the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore and her work on dugongs and sea grass habitats continues on the islands. Elrika is also a member of the Education Committee of the SMM.
Email : Elrikad@gmail.com
Isha Bopardikar : Isha is a PhD candidate at IISER, Tirupati, in collaboration with the K. Lisa Yang Centre for Bioacoustics, Cornell University, USA. Her PhD focusses on applying acoustic techniques 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.
Email : Isha.Bopardikar@gmail.com
Imran Samad : Imran is interested in understanding cetacean ecology and cetacean-human interactions. His PhD work at CES, IISc, aims to uncover the patterns of mega-fauna, including small cetacean bycatch and whether such patterns can be explained by studying cetacean – fisheries interactions. Previously, he has studied the impact of barrages on river dolphins. In the future he aims to continue applying new technology and creative techniques in the field of cetacean research in India.
Email : email@example.com, Website: https://imransamad.
Kavya Ramesh : Kavya has been working with marine mammals since 2019. She completed an International Master’s in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea) with a specialization in Applied Ecology and Conservation. Her master’s thesis focused on the effects of shipping noise on blue whales, fin whales, and sperm whales in the Irish offshore waters. Kavya’s main area of interest is in using visual and bioacoustic techniques to study habitat use, distribution and the impacts of anthropogenic threats on cetaceans. Currently, she is working with the Nature Conservation Foundation in the Andaman Islands, where she’s researching the impact of boat traffic on the local dugong populations. Email : Kavya.firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 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. In 2016-2018 Mahi studied cetaceans of Andaman and Nicobar islands. For her PhD, Mahi is interested in studying the importance of complex oceanographic factors influencing diversity and richness of marine species. She is currently at the Goes-Gomes Lab at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.
Email : Mahi.Mankeshwar@gmail.com
Madhu Magesh, Phd : Dr Madhu Magesh is currently working on Marine Mammal Research for the Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), MoES, Kochi. Before CMLRE, Madhu was with Wildlife Institute of India’s Dugong and seagrass conservation project, in the Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu.
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.
Maia Lisa D’Souza : Maia holds an MS from IISER Mohali, where she worked on dolphin acoustic communication around mass stranding events at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, USA for her thesis. She is based in Goa and is interested in mammalian behavioral ecology, communication, and anthropogenic impacts in marine environments.
Email : email@example.com
Mihir Sule : Mihir is a marine biologist by training and 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.
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 with the Riverine Ecosystems and Livelihoods (REAL) programme at WCT. He is also a member of the IUCN cetacean specialist group and the International Whaling Commission’s South Asian river dolphin Task Team.
Prachi Hatkar : Prachi Hatkar is a MSc in Zoology (Oceanography and fishery science). Currenly a Ph.D. candidate at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Vadodara, Prachi is working at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun for their Dugong conservation project. Her current research studies Dugong habitat assessment in the Gulf Of Kutch, Gujarat. Her research interests include understanding the ecology of endangered species, diversity assessment of marine life, and connections between conservation, ecosystem benefits and livelihoods. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prem Jothi : Prem is a marine biologist who is working at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals – KFUPM . Before this he was with the Wildlife Institute of India’s Dugongs and seagrass conservation project. He has also worked on the WTI whale shark conservation and recovery program in Gujarat for several years.
Rahul Muralidharan, PhD : Rahul is a political ecologist based in Tamil Nadu researching marine governance and transformations, and its influence on human-animal relations in coastal environments. He has been studying marine mammals with the support of artisanal fishers since 2009.
Email : email@example.com
Sameeha Pathan PhD : Sameeha studied the extent-estimation, monitoring and mapping of seagrasses, and identifying marine megafuanal hotspots in the Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat for her PhD from WII. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Sri Chakra Pranav : Sri Chakra Pranav is a marine biologist and conservationist, leading East Coast Conservation Team (ECCT), aiming to create a Marine Conservation Network for Andhra Pradesh and to collaborate with various stakeholders to study and conserve the least studied marine species, including cetaceans off Andhra Pradesh. Website: eccteam.org Email: eastcoastconservationtrust@
Shaunak Modi: Shaunak is a founding member of Coastal Conservation Foundation, Maharashtra. He runs intertidal walks and is an excellent nature communicator. Along with the team at CCF and current funding from The Mangrove Foundation, he is studying the near shore cetaceans of central and north Maharashtra.
Email : 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 2018 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
- WII – Dr J. A Johnson leading Project Dolphin and the ASHW recovery program. Team: Chinmaya Ghanekar and Research Assistants
- WII – Rukmini Shekar, Sohini Dudhat – both worked under the Dugong recovery Program and are now PhD candidates
- CMFRI, Kochi and Fisheries Survey of India – Dr R. Jeybaskaran
- CMLRE, Kochi – Dr Saravanea, Dr Sherine Sonia, Dr Senthil Kumar. Team: Dr Madhu Magesh, Dr. K. Chandrasekar and Dr. Kuberan Ganesan.
- Fisheries Survey of India: Under the leadership of Dr Jeyabhaskaran carries out periodic marine mammal distribution and density surveys in the Indian EEZ.
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