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Marine Ecology Research Centre

Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins

PhD, Southern Cross University, 2008
Bachelor of Applied Science (Coastal Management) (Hons), Southern Cross University, 2003

Founding Director Dolphin Research Australia Inc: liz@dolphinresearchaustralia.com

Research Summary

Dr Elizabeth Hawkins Dr Hawkins is the founding director and Executive Officer of marine conservation, education and research charity, Dolphin Research Australia Inc (www.dolphinresearchaustralia.com). Dr Hawkins has over twelve years' experience researching the ecology of dolphins and whales in Australia. Her research has primarily focused on aspects of the ecology of coastal dolphins in Queensland and New South Wales. Dr Hawkins has been the leader of a number of research projects that investigate the population abundance, health, habitat use, social and communication patterns of coastal dolphins. Her work has a strong focus on management and conservation priorisation to address key threatening processes to dolphins and the marine environment and she works closely with government agencies in an advisory capacity. She has developed specialist training packages for indigenous rangers and environmental managers in marine fauna incident responses, biocultural monitoring and marine guiding.

Dr Hawkins has published her research in a number of scientific journals, a book chapter and made many public presentations on both her research and marine conservation issues to a variety of community groups and developed a variety of education materials. She has managed many research teams in the field and supervised numerous undergraduate and postgraduate university students. Dr Hawkins has also written and presented numerous education programs and popular media articles. She is also an education officer and scientific advisor for government agencies and organisations as a cetacean expert.

Grants

  • Seaworld Research & Rescue Foundation, $29,473, Urban Waterways and Coastal Dolphins: Health and Status of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in Moreton Bay, Queensland, 2014/15
  • Australian Marine Mammal Centre Grant, $99,332.00, Urban Waterways and Coastal Dolphins: Health and Status of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in Moreton Bay, Queensland, 2013 (in collaboration with the Department of Environment & Heritage)
  • Norman Wettenhall Foundation, $9000; Indigenous dolphin cultural and training project, 2013.
  • Marine Ecology Research Centre, $9,996, Developing a regional risk assessment framework for water-based cetacean tourism industries, 2013.
  • Indigenous Protected Area Management, $10,000 (commitment for two years); Cultural, ecological and management perspectives for the protection of coastal dolphins in Nambucca Heads, NSW, 2012.
  • Cape Byron Marine Park Authority, $5,000; Impacts of marine tourism and recreational activities on dolphins, 2009, 2010, 2011.
  • STHM International Research Grant, $5000; Australia's Whale and Dolphin Watching Industry: Developing an understanding of scope and capacity, 2011.
  • Australian Geographic, $1,000, Geographic variation in Australia's wild dolphin bottlenose dolphin populations, 2009.
  • Project Aware, $2,500, Establishing a Community-based Dolphin Sighting Network, 2010.
  • Australian Marine Mammal Centre Grant, $75,000, Modelling the abundance and habitat use of coastal dolphins in the Gold Coast/Tweed Region, 2010.
  • Sustainable Tourism CRC, $55,000, Impacts of tourism activities on the behaviour and acoustics of bottlenose dolphins, 2003.
  • Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort, $5,000, communication of bottlenose dolphins, 2001 and 2009.

Research Interests

Ecology and conservation of marine mammals

Development of management tools for risk and environmental impact assessments

Human-Wildlife tourism interactions

Communication faculty and function of marine mammals

Publications

Peer Reviewed

Dimmock, K., Hawkins, E. & Tiyce, M. (2014) 'Stakeholders, industry knowledge and adaptive management in the Australian whale-watching industry', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, available online http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2013.879311

Gridley, T., Cockcroft, V., Hawkins, E., Lemon Blewitt, M., Morisaka, T. & Janik, V. (2013) 'Signature whistles in free-ranging populations of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops aduncus, Marine Mammal Science

Walker, K. & Hawkins, E. (2013) Watching and Swimming with Marine Mammals: factors influencing best practice in cetacean ecotourism, International Handbook on Ecotourism, Ballantyne, R. & Packer, J. (eds), Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK

Hawkins, E.R. (2013) 'Feasibility of increasing commercial dolphin-watching tours in a critical habitat for dolphins in Byron Bay, Australia' unpublished report prepared for Cape Byron Marine Parks

Hawkins, E. R. (2011) 'Dolphin-Human encounters & usage patterns - Implications for Management', unpublished report prepared for Cape Byron Marine Parks

Hawkins, E. (2010) 'Geographic variations in the whistles of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) along the east and west coasts of Australia', Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-496

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. (2010) 'Whistle emissions of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) differ with group composition and surface behaviours', Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127 (4), 2652-2663, ISSN 0001-4966

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. (2009) 'Patterns of Whistles Emitted by Wild Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) during a Provisioning Program', Aquatic Mammals, 35 (2), 171-186, ISSN 0167-5427

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. (2009) 'Interactive behaviours of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) during encounters with vessels', Aquatic Mammals, 35 (2), 259-268, ISSN 0167-5427

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. (2008) 'Social and Behavioural Characteristics of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in northern New South Wales, Australia' Journal of Australian Mammalogy, 30, 71-82. ISSN 0310 0049

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. (2008) 'Dolphin Tourism: Impacts of Vessels on the Behaviour & Acoustics of Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).' Final report for Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, Gold Coast, Australia

Reports

Hawkins, E. R. (2014) 'Sydney/Central Coast Area Sociable Solitary Dolphin Assessment of Risks & Management Options', unpublished report prepared for the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Premier and Cabinet, New South Wales, Australia

Hawkins, E.R. (2013) 'Feasibility of increasing commercial dolphin-watching tours in a critical habitat for dolphins in Byron Bay, Australia' unpublished report prepared for Cape Byron Marine Parks

Hawkins, E. R. (2011) 'Dolphin-Human encounters & usage patterns - Implications for Management', unpublished report prepared for Cape Byron Marine Parks

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. (2008) 'Dolphin Tourism: Impacts of Vessels on the Behaviour & Acoustics of Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).' Final report for Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, Gold Coast, Australia

Conference Presentations

J. Ryan & E. Hawkins (2013) 'Whistle production of a female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) before, during and after giving birth', 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand, 9-13th December 2013

I. Keski-Frantti, Hawkins, E. & Marshall, C. (2013) 'Indigenising Management Frameworks for Coastal Dolphins in Australia', 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand, 9-13th December 2013

E. Hawkins (2013) 'Identifying critical habitat areas and developing decision making tools for the management and conservation of coastal dolphins', 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand, 9-13th December 2013

E. Hawkins, L. Brooks & A. Peterson (2013) 'Structure of female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Southern Moreton Bay-Tweed Region, Australia', Australian Marine Science Association Golden Jubilee Conference, Gold Coast, Australia, 7-11th July 2013

E. Hawkins, K. Dimmock, K. Brown, J. Jenkins & T. Dick,2011. Tourism driving environmental change: Can we manage whales?, International Sustainable Tourism Conference, Balaclava Fort, Mauritius, 21st-24th September 2011

B. Farr-Wharton, T. Dick, K. Brown, E. Hawkins & K. Dimmock, 2011. Bundling activities around anchors to create sustainable destinations, Sustainable Tourism Conference, Savonlinna, Finland, 19th-21stOctober 2011

E. Hawkins, L. Brooks, & A. Peterson, Coastal Dolphin Populations of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland - Research Information Management, NSW Coastal Conference, Tweed Heads, NSW, 8th - 11th November 2011

E. Hawkins, 2011. the Role of Island Communities in facilitating the management of sustainable cetacean tourism practices, International Small Island Cultures Conference, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, QLD, 12th-16th June 2011

Hawkins, E. 2009. Geographic Variations in the Whistles of Bottlenose Dolphins along the east & west coasts of Australia, 16th Biennial Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference, Quebec, Canada Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. 2009. Social and Behavioural Characteristics of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in northern New South Wales, Australia, Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Auckland, New Zealand

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. 2007.Variation in the Acoustic & Behaviour Responses of Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) to Different Vessel Types, 5th Congress of Marine Tourism, Auckland, New Zealand

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. 2007.'Contextual Use of Whistles by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins', 16th Biennial Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference, Cape Town, South Africa

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. 2006. 'Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) Behaviour & Acosutic Patterns During Interactions with Vessels in Byron Bay, NSW, Australia, Department of Environment & Heritage Marine Mammal Workshop, Adelaide, SA, 2006

Hawkins, E. & Gartside, D. 2005. 'Association of acoustics and behaviour of provisioned Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) at Tangalooma, Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia. 15th Biennial Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference, San Diego, USA.

Student Thesis

Pogson-Manning, L. 2014. 'Social systems and core area of use of Australian humpback dolphins Sousa sahulensis within Moreton Bay, Australia, unpubished Honours thesis, Southern Cross University, Australia.

Peterson, A. 2012. 'Population Ecology and Social Systems of Sousa chinensis and Tursiops aduncus on Queensland's Gold Coast', unpublished Masters thesis, Southern Cross University, Australia

Ryan, J. 2012. 'Whistle production of a female bottlenose dolphin before, during and after birthing', unpublished Masters thesis, Southern Cross University, Australia

Reiner, E. 2012. 'Social Structure and residency patterns of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (T. aduncus) in the Cape Byron Marine Park: Implications for cohesive management, unpublished Masters thesis, Southern Cross University, Australia.

Goodwin-Brickhill, L. 2010. 'Interactions between kayaks and bottlenose dolphins in Byron Bay, NSW', unpublished Integrated Project report, Southern Cross University, Australia

Lewis, B.2004. 'Behavioural interactions of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) feeding from Ballina prawn trawlers, NSW,' unpublished Honours thesis, Southern Cross University, Australia