The Namibian Dolphin Project | Morgan Martin

Student Profiles

Morgan Martin, PhD Candidate: Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria

PhD title: Cetacean abundance and distribution in the Namibian Islands Marine Protected Area using visual and acoustic surveys.

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I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. and a Master of Marine Science degree from the University of San Diego, California, U.S.A. working with Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA) on a California sea lion diet research project. My focus was fish otolith and squid beak identification used to recreate a picture of sea lion diet. I studied Pacific sardine and northern anchovy fluctuations due to macro and mesoscale climate fluctuations over a 30-year times series based on California sea lion scat samples. My current doctoral research is under the supervision of Drs. Simon Elwen and Tess Gridley. My focus is to describe the first vocal repertoire of Heaviside’s dolphins through recording and analysing the sounds these dolphins make underwater. In addition, I am analysing ship survey line-transect data collected from sea surveys of the Namibian Islands’ Marine Protected Area in order to create baseline abundance estimates for Heaviside’s and dusky dolphins in Namibia.