Dr Kerstin Bilgmann

I have a particular interest in understanding the ecology of cetaceans, and how their dispersal and genetic connectivity relates to oceanographic features and prey availability. One of my main research interests focuses on the interactions of dolphins with the fishing industry and aquaculture for finfish with the aim to minimise by-catch. The research has a strong conservation focus using molecular tools and aerial surveys to enhance the assessment, reduction and mitigation of fishery operational interactions. 

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Career History

I completed my PhD at Macquarie University in 2008 supervised by Dr Luciana Moller, Prof Luciano Beheregaray and Prof Rob Harcourt.

Over the past years I have worked on research projects on bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, snubfin dolphins, humpback whales, sperm whales, southern right whales, blue whales, Australian sea lions, harbour seals, grey seals, harp seals and Baikal seals.

I have 11 years of experience biopsy sampling whales and dolphins. Currently I undertake boat based field trips for biopsy sampling in southern Australia and am the survey leader for aerial surveys for abundance estimates of dolphins in central South Australia.

For futher information please check my CV here.


– Zanardo N, Bilgmann K, Parra GJ, Möller LM (2016) Socio-genetic structure of short-beaked common dolphins in Southern Australia. Journal of Zoology In press

– Bilgmann K, Parra GJ, Zanardo N, Beheregaray LB, Möller LM (2014) Multiple management units of short-beaked common dolphins subject to fisheries by-catch off southern and southeastern Australia.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 500, 265-279.

– Amaral AR, Beheregaray LB, Bilgmann K, Freitas L, Robertson KM, Sequeira M, Stockin KA, Coelho MM, Möller LM (2012) Influences of past climatic changes on historical population structure and demography of a cosmopolitan marine predator, the common dolphin (genus Delphinus). Molecular Ecology 21, 4854-4871.

– Amaral AR, Beheregaray LB, Bilgmann K, Boutov D, Freitas L, Robertson KM, Sequeira M, Stockin KA, Coelho MM, Möller LM (2012) Seascape genetics of a globally distributed, highly mobile marine mammal: the short-beaked common dolphin (genus Delphinus). PLoS ONE 7(2): e31482.

– Bilgmann K, Möller LM, Harcourt RG, Kemper CM, Beheregaray LB (2011) The use of carcasses for the analysis of cetacean population genetic structure: a comparative study in two dolphin species. PLoS ONE  6(5): e20103. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020103.

– Möller LM, Pedoni F, Allen S, Bilgmann K, Corrigan S, Beheregaray LB (2011) Reduced genetic connectivity in short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) along the East Australian Current. Marine Biology 158, 113-126.

– Bilgmann K, Möller LM, Harcourt RG, Gales R, Beheregaray LB (2009) Reply to “Clarifying the interpretation of Hamer et al. (2008) by Bilgmann et al. (2008). Animal Conservation 12, 289-290.

– Bilgmann K, Möller LM, Harcourt RG, Gales R, Beheregaray LB (2008) Common dolphins subject to fisheries impacts in Southern Australia are genetically differentiated: implications for conservation. Animal Conservation 11, 518-528.

– Möller LM, Bilgmann K, Charlton-Robb K, Beheregaray LB (2008) Multi-gene evidence for a new bottlenose dolphin species in southern Australia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49, 674-681.

– Bilgmann K, Griffiths OJ, Allen SJ, Möller LM (2007) A biopsy pole system for bow-riding dolphins: sampling success, behavioral responses and test for sampling bias. Marine Mammal Science 23, 218-225.

– Bilgmann K, Möller LM, Harcourt RG, Gibbs SE, Beheregaray LB (2007) Genetic differentiation in bottlenose dolphins from South Australia: association with local oceanography and coastal geography. Marine Ecology Progress Series 341, 265-276.

– Mauck B, Bilgmann K, Jones DD, Eysel U, Dehnhardt G (2003) Thermal windows on the trunk of hauled-out seals: hot spots for thermoregulatory evaporation? Journal of Experimental Biology 206, 1727-1738.