Bayworld Centre for Research & Education

Marine Biology

Research Associate:Dr Stephanie Plön (PhD)
PE Museum/Bayworld
Research Interests:
  • Marine mammal biology, movement and life history strategies.
Current Projects:
  • Temporal and spatial distribution of cetaceans in Algoa Bay.
  • Trophic ecology of common dolphins (Delphinus capensis)
  • The composition and function of pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) "ink"
  • The health status of cetaceans incidentally caught in anti-shark nets off KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Former Projects:
  • The status and natural history of pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm whales off South Africa
  • Population genetics of pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm whales in the Southern Hemisphere
  • The diet of bottlenose and humpback dolphins from KwaZulu-Natal
  • Organ weights of three dolphin species from South Africa
  • The Port Elizabeth Museum marine mammal collection- an indicator for climate change?
Collaborators:Chris Marshall (Associate Professor)
  - Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Texas, USA
 Dr Krystal Tolley (Researcher)
  - South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Claremont, South Africa
 Gillian McGregor (Lecturer)
  - Geography Department, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
 Greg Hofmeyr (Marine Mammal Scientist)
  - Port Elizabeth Museum/Bayworld, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
 Leszek Karczmarski (Associate Professor)
  - University of Hong Kong
 Pierre Pistorius (Lecturer)
  - Zoology Department, Nelson Mandela Metropole University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
 Stuart Parsons (Senior Lecturer)
  - School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
 Ursula Siebert (Researcher)
  - Research and Technology Centre Westcoast, Christion-Albrechts-Universitaet Kiel, Buesum, Germany
 Victoria Tornero (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  - University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
 William Froneman (Assosciate Professor)
  - Department of Zoology & Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Current Students:Graduated
 Bridget Melly
The biogeography of cetaceans in Algoa Bay
 Shan Ambrose
The trophic ecology of long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus capensis)
Former Students:Graduated
 Elodie Heyns
(BSc Honours - Zoology)
Ontogenetic changes in the diet of Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus)
 Kirsty Venter
(BSc Honours - Zoology)
The diet of humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) from KwaZulu-Natal
 Maryanne Roux
(BSc Honours - Zoology)
Prey-switching in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) from KawaZulu-Natal
 Sera Gibson
(MSc - Zoology)
Inking behaviour of pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps)