Director, Dolphin Research Australia
Elizabeth Hawkins, PhD Since 2000, Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins has been researching the intricate and fascinating lives of dolphins. Elizabeth’s research focuses on the behaviour, social dynamics and communication of dolphins. Her honours research, which was completed in 2002, examined the behaviour and acoustics of a group of provisioned dolphins at Tangalooma, Moreton Island, Australia. In 2007, Elizabeth completed her PhD research with the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre. Her thesis examined the population dynamics, ecology, acoustic communication and the influence of human activities on coastal dolphins in the Byron Bay region of New South Wales, Australia. This research has only increased Elizabeths fascination of these animals, particularly how aspects of their acoustic communication system facilitates the complexities of their social living. Her intrigue towards dolphins and whales began early in life when she would spend many hours observing them from the headlands of her island home, North Stradbroke Island, Australia. In 2000, Elizabeth completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Coastal Management at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia. During her degree, Elizabeth was volunteered with the Cape Byron Whale Research Project and undertook a small research project on the migratory patterns of humpback whales. Following the completion of her degree, Elizabeth was a research assistant at the C.S.I.R.O. Marine Research Station, Queensland where she had the opportunity to work with a team of inspirational environmental scientists. With the encouragement of her work colleagues and academic staff at Southern Cross University, Elizabeth began what was to be the start of an incredible journey into the world of dolphins. Elizabeth also has a passion for educating the general public and community groups about the biology of cetaceans and marine conservation issues. She has made many public presentations on both her research and marine conservation issues to a variety of community groups and developed education materials for education. Elizabeth is one of the lecturers for the Southern Cross University undergraduate subject Biology of Marine Mammals. She is also an education officer and scientific advisor for Whales Alive, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting the conservation of cetaceans throughout the South Pacific. Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre, Elizabeth is continuing her research into the communication faculty and behavioural ecology of coastal dolphins. In 2008, Dr. Hawkins and DCP joined forces in a collaboration that will surely result in uncovering some more mysteries of the dolphin world.