Professor Lars Bejder

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Research Leader - MUCRU

My research interests fall into three categories: analysing and developing quantitative methods to evaluate complex animal social structures; evaluating impacts of human activity (coastal development, tourism, habitat degradation) on cetaceans; and fundamental biology and ecology, including assessing abundance and habitat use of marine wildlife. I work closely with wildlife management agencies to optimise the conservation- and management outcomes of my research.

2014 – ongoing: Professor, Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University, AUS.

2013 – ongoing: Adjunct Associate Professor, Duke University, USA

2012 – 2014: Associate Professor, Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University, AUS.

2011 – 2014: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Duke University, USA.

2011: Recipient of Murdoch University’s 2011 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research.

2006 – 2011: Research Leadership Fellow, Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University, AUS.

2005: Doctor of Philosophy. Dalhousie University, Canada.

1997: Master of Science in Marine Science. University of Otago, New Zealand.

1994: Bachelor of Science in Biology. University of Odense, Denmark.



  • Heenehan, H.L., Van Parijs, S.M. Bejder, L.Tyne, J. and Johnston, D.W. 2017. Using acoustics to prioritize management decisions to protect coastal dolphins: a case study using Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Marine Policy 75: 84-90.
  • Hunt, T., Bejder, L.Allen, S.J., Rankin, R.W., Hanf, D. and Parra, G. J.  In press. Demographic characteristics of Australian humpback dolphins reveal important habitat toward the south-western limit of their range. Endangered Species Research.
  • Tyne, J., Johnston, D., Christiansen, F. and Bejder, L. In press. Temporally and spatially partitioned behaviours of spinner dolphins: Implications for resilience to human disturbance. Royal Society of Open Science.
  • Videsen, S., Bejder, L.Johnston, M. and Madsen, P. In press. High suckling rates and acoustic crypsis of humpback whale neonates maximize potential for mother-calf energy transfer. Functional Ecology.


  • Bejder, M., Johnston, D., Smith, J.N., Freidlaender, A. and Bejder L. 2016. Embracing conservation success of recovering humpback whale populations: evaluating the case for downlisting the conservation status in Australia. Marine Policy. 66: 137-141. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.05.007
  • Bossley, M., Steiner, A., Rankin, R.W. and Bejder, L. 2016. A long-term study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in an Australian industrial estuary: increased sightings associated with environmental improvements. Marine Mammal Science. doi: 10.1111/mms.12368 
  • Brown , A.M., Bejder, L., Pollock, K.H. and Allen, S.J. 2016. Site-specific assessments of the abundance of three inshore dolphin species to inform conservation and management. Frontiers in Marine Science. 3:4. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00004
  • Brown, A.M., Bejder, L., Parra, G.J., Cagnazzi, D., Hunt, T., Smith, J.L. and Allen, S.J. 2015. Sexual dimorphism and geographic variation in dorsal fin features of Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis. Advances in Marine Biology 73: 273-314. doi: 10.1016/bs.amb.2015.08.002
  • Christiansen, F., McHugh, K.A, Bejder, L., Siegal, E.M., Lusseau, D., McCabe, E.B., Lovewell, G and Wells, R.S. 2016. Food provisioning increases the risk of injury and mortality in a long-lived marine top predator. Royal Society Open Science 3: 160560.
  • Christiansen, F., Rojano-Donate, Madsen, P.T. and Bejder, L. 2016. Noise levels of multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicles with implications for potential underwater impacts on marine mammals. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00277
  • Christiansen, F., Dujon, A.M., Sprogis, K.R., Arnould, J.P.Y. and Bejder, L. 2016. Non-invasive Unmanned Aerial Vehicle provides estimates of the energetic cost of reproduction in humpback whales. Ecosphere 7(10). doi:10.1002/ecs2.1468
  • Heenehan, H.L., Tyne, J.A., Bejder, L., Van Parijs, S.M. and Johnston, D.W. 2016. Passive acoustic monitoring of coastally associated Hawaiian spinner dolphins, Stenella longirostris, ground-truthed through visual surveys. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 140: 206-215.
  • Higham, J., Bejder L., Allen S., Corkeron, P. and Lusseau, D. 2016. Regulating whalewatching as a consumptive activity. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 24(1): 73-90 doi10.1080/09669582.2015.1062020
  • Manlik, O., McDonlad, J.A. Mann, J., Raudino, H.C., Bejder, L., Krützen, K., Connor, R.R., Heithaus, M.R., Lacy, R.C. and Sherwin, W.B. 2016.  The relative importance of reproduction and survival for the conservation of two dolphin populations. Ecology and Evolution 6: 3496-3512. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2130
  • McCluskey, S.M., Bejder, L. and Loneragan, N.R. 2016. Dolphin prey availability and calorific value in an estuarine and coastal environment. Frontiers in Marine Science. 3:30. doi 10.3389/fmars.2016.00030
  • Nowacek, D.P., Christiansen, F., Bejder, L., Goldbogen, J.A. and Friedlaender, A. 2016. Studying cetacean behavior: new technological approaches and conservation implications. Animal Behaviour 120: 235-244 doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.07.019
  • Rankin, R.W., Mann, J., Singh, L., Patterson, E. , Krzyszczyk, E., and Bejder, L. 2016. The role of weighted and topological network information to understand animal social networks: a null-model approach. Animal Behaviour. 113: 215-228. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.12.015
  • Rankin, R.W. Nicholson, K.E., Allen, S.J. Krutzen, M., Bejder, L. and Pollock, K.H. 2016.  A full-capture Hierarchical Bayesian model of Pollock’s Closed Robust Design and application to dolphins. Frontiers in Marine Science. 3:25. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00025
  • Senigaglia V., Christiansen F., Bejder L., Gendron D., Lundquist D., Noren D.P., Schaffar A., Smith J.C., Williams R., Martinez E., Stockin K., Lusseau D. 2016. Meta-analyses of whalewatching impact studies. Comparisons of cetacean responses to disturbance. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 542:251-263.
  • Smith, H., Frere, C., Kobryn, H. and Bejder, L. 2016. Dolphin sociality, distribution and calving as important behavioural patterns informing management. Animal Conservation 19:462-471  doi: 10.1111/acv.12263
  • Sprogis, K., Smith, H., Rankin R., MacLeod, C. and Bejder, L. 2016. Home range size of adult Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in a coastal and estuarine system is habitat and sex-specific. Marine Mammal Science32(1): 287–308. doi: 10.1111/mms.12260
  • Sprogis, K., Pollock, K.H., Raudino, H.R., Allen, S.J., Kopps, A.M., Manlik, O., Tyne, J.A. and Bejder, L. 2016. Sex-specific patterns in abundance, temporary emigration and survival of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in coastal and estuarine waters. Frontiers in Marine Science 3:12. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00012
  • Tyne, J.A., Loneragan, N.R., Johnston, D.W., Pollock, K.H., Williams, R. and Bejder, L. 2016. Evaluating monitoring methods for cetaceans. Biological Conservation. 201:252-260.


  • de Freitas. M., Jensen,F., Tyne J.A., Bejder L., and Madsen, P. 2015. Echolocation parameters of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the wild. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 137(6):3033-3041.
  • Heenehan, H., Basurto, X., Bejder, L., Tyne, J.A., Higham, J. and Johnston, D.W. 2015. Using Ostrom’s common pool research theory to build and integrate ecosystem-based sustainable cetacean tourism systems in Hawaii. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 23(4): 536-556
  • Tyne J.A., Johnston, D.W., Rankin, R., Loneragan N.R. and Bejder, L. 2015. The importance of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat: Implications for management. Journal of Applied Ecology 52:612-630


  • Allen, S., Tyne, J., Kobryn, H., Bejder, L, Pollock, K.H. and Loneragan, N. 2014. Patterns of dolphin bycatch in a North-Western Australian trawl fishery. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93178.
  • Anderson, D., Kobryn, H., Norman, B., Bejder, L., Tyne, J. and Loneragan, L.  2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of nature-based tourism interactions with whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 148: 109-119.
  • Beasley, I., Bejder, L. and Marsh, H. 2014. Concerns about cetacean-watching in developing countries: a case study from the Mekong River. In: J. Higham, L. Bejder and R. Williams (Eds.). Whaling-watching, sustainable tourism and ecological management. Cambridge University Press. 2014. Pages: 242-262.
  • Brown, A., Kopps, A., Allen, S.J., Bejder, L., Littleford-Colquhoun, B., Parra, G.J., Cagnazzi, D., Thiele, D., Palmer, C. and Frère, C.H. In press. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins in north-western Australia. PLoS One.
  • Higham, J., Bejder, L. and Williams, R. 2014. Tourism, cetaceans and sustainable development: Moving beyond simple binaries and intuitive assumptions. Pages: 1-18. In: J. Higham, D., L. Bejder and R. Williams (Eds.). Whaling-watching, sustainable tourism and ecological management. Cambridge University Press.  Pages: 1-18.
  • Higham, J., Bejder, L. and Williams, R. 2014. Time to rethink: Fostering the nascent ‘sustainability paradigm’.  In: J. Higham, L. Bejder and R. Williams (Eds.). Whaling-watching, sustainable tourism and ecological management. Cambridge University Press.  Pages: 365-378.
  • Kopps, A.M., Ackermann, C., Sherwin, W.B., Allen, S.J., Bejder, L. and Krützen. M. 2014. Cultural transmission of tool use combined with habitat specialisations leads to fine-scale genetic structure in bottlenose dolphins. Proceedings of the Royal Society B doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3245
  • Stephens, N., Duignan, P.J., Wang, J., Bingham, J., Finn, H., Bejder, L., Patterson, I.A.P., and Holyoake, C. 2014. First report of mortality in coastal Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) from Western Australia associated with a divergent cetacean morbillivirus. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 20(4): 672-676.
  • Tyne, J., Pollock, K.H., Johnston, D. and Bejder, L. 2014. Abundance and survival rates of the Hawai’i Island associated spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) stock. PLoS One. 9(1): e86132. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086132.
  • Tyne, J., Loneragan, N., and Bejder, L. 2014. The use of spatial-temporal closures as a tool to manage cetacean-watch tourism. In: J. Higham, L. Bejder and R. Williams (Eds.). Whaling-watching, sustainable tourism and ecological management. Cambridge University Press. Pgs 242-62.


  • Holyoake, C., Holley, D., Spencer, P.B.S., Salgado-Kent, C, Coughran, D. and Bejder, L. 2013. Northernmost record of Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi) – a morphological and genetic description from a stranding from Shark Bay, Western Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology. 19(2): 169-174.
  • Smith, H.C., Pollock, K., Waples, K., Bradley, S. and Bejder, L. 2013. Use of the Robust Design to estimate abundance and demographic parameters for a coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population. PLoS One 8(10): e76574.


  • Allen, S., Cagnazzi, D., Hodgson, A., Loneragan, N. and Bejder, L. 2012. Tropical inshore dolphins of north-western Australia: Unknown populations in a rapidly changing region. Pacific Conservation Biology. 18(1):56-66.
  • Bejder, L., Hodgson, A., Loneragan, N. and Allen, S. 2012. The need for re-evaluation of species listings and short-comings in the Environmental Impact Assessment process. Pacific Conservation Biology. 18(1):22-25.
  • Brown, A., Bejder, L., Cagnazzi, D., Parra, G. and Allen, S. The North West Cape, Western Australia: A Potential hotspot for Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis? Pacific Conservation Biology. 18(4): 240-246.
  • Chabanne, D., Finn, H., Salgado-Kent, C. and Bejder, L. 2012. Identification of a resident community of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) in the Swan-Canning Estuary, Western Australian, using behavioural information. Pacific Conservation Biology. 18(4): 247-262.
  • Donaldson, R., Finn, H., Bejder, L., Lusseau, D. and Calver, M. 2012. The social side of human-wildlife interaction: wildlife can learn harmful behaviours from each other. Animal Conservation. 15: 427–435
  • Donaldson, R., Finn, H., Bejder, L., Lusseau, D. and Calver, M. 2012. Response: Social learning of risky behaviour: importance for impact assessments, conservation and management of human–wildlife interactions. Animal Conservation. 15:442–444.
  • Nicholson, K., Bejder, L., Allen, S., Krützen, K. and Pollock, K. 2012.Abundance, survival and temporary emigration of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) off Useless Loop in the western gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research. 63: 1059-68.
  • Thorne, L. H., Johnston, D.J., Urban, D.L., Tyne, J., Bejder, L., Baird, R.W., Yin, S., Rickards, S.H., Deakos, M., Mobley, J.R. Jr., Pack, A.A. and, Chapla-Hill, M. 2012. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. PLoS ONE. 7(8): e43167.
  • Jensen, F. H., Beedholm, K., Wahlberg, M., Bejder, L., and Madsen, P. T. 2012. Estimated communication range and energetic cost of bottlenose dolphin whistles in a tropical habitat. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 131: 582-592.
  • Tyne, J., Loneragan, L., Kopps, A., Allen, S., Krützen, M. and Bejder, L. 2012. Ecological characteristics contribute to sponge distribution and tool use in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). Marine Ecology Progress Series 444: 143-153.


  • Wahlberg, M., Jensen, F.H., Aguilar-Soto, N., Beedholm, K., Bejder, L. Oliveria, C., Rasmussen, M., Simon, M., Villadsgaard, A. and Madsen, P.T. 2011. Source parameters of echolocation clicks from wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops adnucus and Tursiops truncatus). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 130(4):2263-2274.
  • Frère, C.H., Mann, J., Krützen, M., Connor, R., Bejder, L and Sherwin W.B. 2011. Nature and nurture: a step towards investigating their interactions in the wild. Communicative & Integrative Biology 4(2):192-193
  • Allen, S.J., Bejder, L. and Krützen, M. 2011. Why do Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) carry conch shells (Turbinella sp.) in Shark Bay, Western Australia? Marine Mammal Science. 27(2):449-454
  • Deakos, M.H., Baker, J.D. and Bejder, L. 2011. Characteristics of a manta ray (Manta alfredi) population off Maui, Hawaii, and implications for management. Marine Ecological Progress Series. 429:245-260
  • Williams, R., Gero, S., Bejder, L., Calambokidis, J., Scott D. Kraus, S.D., Lusseau, D., Read, A. and Robbins, J. 2011. Underestimating the Damage: interpreting cetacean carcass recoveries in the context of the Deepwater Horizon/BP incident. Conservation Letters. 4: 228–233


  • Bacher, K., Allen, S.J., Lindholm, A., Bejder, L. and Krützen, M. 2010. Genes or culture – Are mitochondrial genes associated with tool use in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.)? Behaviour and Genetics. 40: 706-714
  • Frère, C.H., Krützen, M., Mann, J., Connor, R., Bejder, L. and Sherwin W.B. 2010. Social and genetic interactions drive fitness variation in a free-living dolphin population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 107 (46): 19949-19954.
  • Frère, C.H., Krützen, M., Mann, J., Connor, R., Bejder, L. and Sherwin W.B. 2010. Home range overlap, matrilineal, and biparental kinship drive female associations in East Shark Bay bottlenose dolphins. Animal Behaviour. 80: 481-486
  • Tyne, J.A., Loneragan, N., Krützen, M., Allen, S., and Bejder, L. 2010. An integrated data management and video system to sample aquatic benthos. Marine and Freshwater Research. 61: 1023-1028


  • Bejder, L., Samuels, A., Whitehead, H., Finn, H. and Allen, S. 2009. Impact assessment research: use and misuse of habituation, sensitisation and tolerance to describe wildlife responses to anthropogenic stimuli. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 395: 177-185
  • Jensen, F.H., Bejder, L., Wahlberg, M. and Madsen, P.T. 2009. Biosonar adjustments to target range of echolocating bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp) in the wild. Journal of Experimental Biology: 212: 1078-1086.
  • Jensen, F.H., Bejder, L., Wahlberg, M., Johnson, M., Aguilar Soto, N. and Madsen, P.T. 2009. Vessel noise effects on delphinid communication. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 395: 161-175


  • Higham J.E.S., Bejder, L. and Lusseau D. 2008. An integrated and adaptive management model to address the long term sustainability of tourist interactions with cetaceans. Environmental Conservation.35 (4):294-302
  • Bejder, L. and Lusseau, D. 2008. Valuable lessons from studies evaluating impacts of cetacean watch tourism. Bioacoustics (Special Issue) 17: 158-161.
  • Wahlberg, M., Schack, H.B., Wilson, M., Bejder, L. and Madsen, P.T. 2008. Particle acceleration noise generated by boats. Bioacoustics (Special Issue). 17: 148-150.
  • Jensen, F.H., Wahlberg, M., Bejder, L. and Madsen, P. 2008. Noise levels and masking potential of small whale watching and research vessel around two delphinid species. Bioacoustics (Special Issue) 17: 166-168.
  • Higham, J. and Bejder, L. 2008. Managing wildlife-based tourism: Edging slowly towards sustainability? Current Issues in Tourism 11(1): 75-83.


  • Lusseau D. and Bejder, L. 2007. The long-term consequences of short-term responses to disturbance: Experiences from whalewatching impact assessment. International Journal of Comparative Psychology (Special Issue) 20: 228-236.
  • Constantine, R. and Bejder, L. 2007. Managing the whale-and dolphin watch industry: Time for a paradigm shift. In: J. Higham and M. Lück (Eds). Marine Wildlife and Tourism Management. CABI Publishing.
  • Heithaus, M., Frid, A., Wirsing, A., Dill, L.M., Fourqurean, J. and Bejder, L. 2007. Tiger shark predation risk drives condition-dependent habitat use in green sea turtles. Journal of Animal Ecology: 76(5): 837 – 844


  • Bejder, L., Samuels, A., Whitehead, H., Gales, N., Mann, J., Connor, R., Heithaus, M., Watson-Capps, J., Flaherty, C and Krützen, M. 2006. Decline in relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp) exposed to long-term disturbance. Conservation Biology. 20 (6), 1791–1798.
  • Bejder, L., Samuels, A., Whitehead, H. and Gales, N. 2006. Interpreting short-term behavioural responses to disturbance within a longitudinal perspective. Animal Behaviour. 72 (5): 1149-1158.
  • Connor, R.C., Smolker, R., and Bejder, L. 2006. Synchrony, social behavior and alliance affiliations in Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). Animal Behaviour. 72 (6): 1371-1378.


  • Gero, S., Bejder, L., Whitehead, H., Mann, J. and Connor, R.C. 2005. Behaviourally specific preferred associations in bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops spp. Canadian Journal of Zoology 83: 1566-1573.
  • Heithaus, M.R., Frid, A., Wirsing, A., Bejder, L. and Dill, L.M. 2005. Biology of sea turtles under the risk from tiger sharks at a foraging ground. Marine Ecology Progress Series: 288:285-294.
  • Krützen M., Mann, J., Heithaus, M.R., Connor, R.C., Bejder, L., and Sherwin, W.B. 2005. Cultural transmission of a foraging strategy involving tool use in bottlenose dolphins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 102(25): 8939-8943.
  • Whitehead, H., Bejder, L. and Ottensmeyer, A. 2005. Testing association patterns: issues arising and extensions. Animal Behaviour 69: e1–e6.

Pre 2004

  • Allen, S. and Bejder, L. 2004. Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) sightings on the Australian coast and the increasing potential for entanglement. Pacific Conservation Biology. 9(3): 228-233.
  • Samuels, A. and Bejder, L. 2004. Chronic interactions between humans and wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) near Panama City Beach, Florida. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 6(1): 69-77.
  • Bejder, L. and Samuels, A. 2003. Evaluating impacts of nature-based tourism on cetaceans. In: N. Gales, M. Hindell, R. Kirkwood (Eds.) pp. 229-256. Marine Mammals: Fisheries, Tourism and Management Issues. CSIRO Publishing. 480 pp.
  • Samuels, A., Bejder, L., Constantine, R. and Heinrich. 2003. A review of swimming with wild cetaceans with a specific focus on the Southern Hemisphere. In: N. Gales, M.Hindell, R. Kirkwood (Eds) pp. 277-303. Marine Mammals: Fisheries, Tourism and Management Issues. CSIRO Publishing. 480pp.
  • Bejder, L. and Hall, B.K. 2002. Evolution and development of limbs in whales and other vertebrates: mechanisms of transformation and loss. Evolution and Development. 4(6): 445-458.
  • Bejder, L. and Dawson, S. 2001. Abundance, residency, and habitat utilisation of Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) in Porpoise Bay, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research: 35: 277-287.
  • Bejder, L., Dawson, S. and Harraway, J. 1999. Responses by Hector’s dolphins to boats and swimmers in Porpoise Bay, New Zealand. Marine Mammal Science: 15(3): 738-750.
  • Bejder, L., Fletcher, D. and Bräger, S. 1998. A method for testing association patterns of social mammals. Animal Behaviour: 56:719-725.


Dr. Fredrik Christiansen. Murdoch University, Australia

Dr. Rochelle Constantine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Dr. Celine Frere. University of Sunshine Coast, Australia.
Prof. James Higham. University of Otago, New Zealand.
Associate Prof. Dave Johnston. Duke University, USA.

Dr. Halina Kobryn. Murdoch University, Australia.
Prof. Neil Loneragan. Murdoch University, Australia.
Dr. David Lusseau. University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Prof. Peter Madsen. University of Aarhus, Denmark.
Dr. Guido Parra. Flinders University, Australia.
Prof Ken Pollock. North Carolina State University, US.
Prof. Bill Sherwin. University of New South Wales, Australia.
Prof. Magnus Wahlberg. Fjord-og-Baelt, Denmark; University of Southern Denmark.

Prof. Lars Bejder, PhD.
Cetacean Research Unit
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Murdoch University South Street Murdoch WA 6150 Australia
Tel (61-8) 9360 6582 | Fax (61-8) 9360 6303 | *
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