Museum Victoria

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Kate Charlton-Robb

Growing up on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, I always had a love of the water. My interest grew even more when I started diving. I loved diving but I wanted to know more about the species that live in this environment, their interactions with other animals and the effects of environmental change. I followed this passion and started a Science degree at Monash University, majoring in marine and freshwater biology and zoology. During my degree my interest was fine tuned and began working with marine mammals, this is now not only my passion but my career. Another pivotal moment was a lecture I attended on conservation and population genetics of cryptic species. I was amazed at how much we could find out about animals from DNA, and so started my path in genetics of dolphins which was the focus of my PhD studies. I have now been working with cetaceans, in particular dolphins in southern Australia, for over 13 years. I have biopsy sampled over 130 dolphins, attended over 40 cetacean strandings and have conducted over 30 necropsies. My current research involves species status, distribution, migration pathways, habitat preference and potential ‘hot spots’ of Tursiops species across southern Australia. However, my general interest covers with all cetaceans! As a Research Associate with Museums Victoria, I have been active in the research and the collection of marine mammal specimens across coastal Victoria.

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