The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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Simon Allen

Dr Simon Allen

Adjunct Research Fellow
Biological Sciences, School of

Contact details
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M085)
35 Stirling Highway
Personal homepage

Postdoctoral Fellow
Marine Futures, Centre for

Contact details
Centre for Marine Futures
The University of Western Australia (M085)
35 Stirling Highway
Personal homepage
BSc Flin., BSc(Hons) Qld, MSc Macq., PhD Murd.
I am a Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, and an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Zurich. I gained my BSc at Flinders University (in marine biology and environmental science - longer ago than I care to remember), my BSc(Hons) from the University of Queensland (on the behavioural effects of provisioning wild dolphins), M.Sc. from Macquarie University (on the management of intensive dolphin watching tourism), and my Ph.D. from Murdoch University (on the impacts of fisheries bycatch on dolphins of north-western Australia).

I have been fascinated by all things animalia since I was a little human, so I've tailored my life in such a way as to allow me to photograph, study and write about dolphins, whales, reptiles and other fauna. I do so for publications in journals and texts ranging from the taxon- and issue-specific (e.g. Marine Mammal Science, and Whale-Watching: Sustainable Tourism and Ecological Management) to the broad (e.g. Proceedings of the Royal Society, and Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology). Greater understanding and awareness, improved wildlife conservation and better management of the ways in which humans interact with wildlife is my goal.
Key research
My research interests lie primarily in assessing the impacts of human activities (fisheries, tourism and coastal development) on marine megafauna for application to their conservation and management. On the more empirical side, I study the complex social and foraging behaviours of coastal dolphins.
Allen SJ, Bryant K, Kraus R, Loneragan N, Kopps A, Brown A, Gerber L, Krützen M (2016). Genetic isolation between coastal and fishery-impacted, offshore bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations. Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/mec.13622

Brown AM, Bejder L, Parra GJ, Cagnazzi D, Hunt T, Smith JL, Allen SJ. 2016. Sexual dimorphism and geographic variation in dorsal fin features of Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis. Advances in Marine Biology, 73: 273-314.

Brown AM, Bejder L, Pollock KH, Allen SJ. 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

Higham J, Bejder L, Allen S, Corkeron P, Lusseau D. 2016. Managing whale-watching as a non-lethal consumptive activity. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(1): 73-90.

Rankin R, Nicholson K, Allen S, Krützen M, Bejder L, Pollock K. 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

Sprogis K, Pollock K, Raudino H, Allen SJ, Kopps AM, Manlik O, Tyne J, Bejder L. 2016. Sex-specific patterns of 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

Allen SJ, Tyne J, Kobryn HT, Bejder L, Pollock KH, Loneragan NR. 2014. Patterns of dolphin bycatch in a north-western Australian trawl fishery. PLoS ONE, 9: e93178.

Brown A, Kopps AM, Allen SJ, Bejder L, Littleford-Colquhoun B, Parra GJ, Cagnazzi D, Thiele D, Palmer C, Frère C. 2014. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in north-western Australia. PLoS ONE 9: e101427.

Jaiteh VF, Allen SJ, Meeuwig JJ, Loneragan NR. 2014. Combining in-trawl video with observer coverage improves understanding of protected and vulnerable species bycatch in trawl fisheries. Marine & Freshwater Research, 65(9): 830-837.

Kopps AM, Ackermann C, Sherwin WB, Allen SJ, Bejder L, 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, 281(1782): art20133245.

Kopps AM, Krützen M, Allen SJ, Bacher K, Sherwin WB. 2014. Characterizing the socially transmitted foraging tactic ‘sponging’ by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in the western gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Marine Mammal Science, 30(3): 847-863.

Krützen M, Kreicker S, MacLeod CD, Learmonth J, Kopps AM, Walsham P, Allen SJ. 2014. Cultural transmission of tool use by Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) provides access to a novel foraging niche. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281(1784): art20140374.

Jaiteh VF, Allen SJ, Meeuwig JJ, Loneragan NR. 2013. Subsurface behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) interacting with fish trawl nets in north-western Australia. Marine Mammal Science, 29(3): E266-E281.

Allen SJ, Cagnazzi DD, Hodgson AJ, Loneragan NR, Bejder L. 2012. Tropical inshore dolphins of north-western Australia: Unknown quantities along a changing coastline. Pacific Conservation Biology, 18(1): 56-63.

Bejder L, Hodgson AJ, Loneragan NR, Allen SJ. 2012. Coastal dolphins in north-western Australia: The need for re-evaluation of species listings and short-comings in Environmental Impact Assessments. Pacific Conservation Biology, 18(1): 22-25.

Brown A, Bejder L, Cagnazzi D, Parra G, Allen SJ. 2012. The North West Cape, Western Australia: A potential hotspot for Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis? Pacific Conservation Biology, 18(4): 240-246.

Nicholson K, Bejder L, Allen SJ, Krützen M, Pollock KH. 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(11): 1059-1068.

Tyne JA, Loneragan NR, Kopps AM, Allen SJ, Krützen M, Bejder L. 2012. Ecological characteristics contribute to sponge distribution and tool use in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 444: 143-153.

Allen SJ, Bejder L, 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.

Möller L, Pedone Valdez F, Allen S, Bilgmann K, Corrigan S, Beheregaray L. 2011. Fine-scale genetic structure in short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) along the East Australian Current. Marine Biology, 158(1): 113-126.

Bacher K, Allen SJ, Lindholm A, Bejder L, Krützen M. 2010. Genes or culture – Are mitochondrial genes associated with tool use in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.)? Behaviour Genetics, 40(5): 706-714.

Tyne JA, Loneragan NR, Krützen M, Allen SJ, Bejder L. 2010. An integrated data management and video system to sample aquatic benthos. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61(9): 1023-1028.

Wiszniewski J, Beheregaray LB, Allen SJ, Möller LM. 2010. Environmental and social influences on the genetic structure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) of south-eastern Australia. Conservation Genetics, 11(4): 1405-1419.

Allen E, Sinclair D, Allen S, Peters R. 2009. Amphibolurus muricatus (Jacky dragon) avian predation. Herpetological Review, 40: 82-83.

Allen S, Huveneers C. 2005. First record of an Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus feeding on a Wobbegong shark Orectolobus ornatus. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 126: 95-97.

Allen S, Smith H, Waples K, Harcourt R. 2007. The voluntary code of conduct for dolphin watching in Port Stephens, Australia: Is self-regulation an effective management tool? Journal of Cetacean Research & Management, 9(2): 159-166.

Bejder L, Samuels A, Whitehead H, Finn H, Allen S. 2009. Impact assessment research : use and misuse of habituation, sensitisation and tolerance in describing wildlife responses to anthropogenic stimuli. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 395: 177–185.

Bilgmann K, Griffiths O, Allen S, Möller L. 2007. A biopsy pole system for bow-riding dolphins: Sampling success, behavioral responses and test for sampling bias. Marine Mammal Science, 23(1): 218-225.

Möller L, Beheregaray L, Allen S, Harcourt R. 2006. Association patterns and kinship in female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) of southeastern Australia. Behavioural Ecology & Sociobiology, 61(1): 109-117.

Möller LM, Wiszniewski J, Allen SJ, Beheregaray LB. 2007. Habitat type promotes rapid and extremely localised genetic differentiation in dolphins. Marine & Freshwater Research, 58(7): 640-648.

Peters R, Allen S. 2009. Movement signal choreography unaffected by receiver distance in the Australian Jacky lizard, Amphibolurus muricatus. Behavioural Ecology & Sociobiology, 63(11): 1593–1602.

Wiszniewski J, Allen SJ, Möller LM. 2009. Social cohesion in a hierarchically structured embayment population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Animal Behaviour, 77(6): 1449-1457.

Allen S, Bejder L. 2003. Southern right whale Eubalaena australis sightings on the Australian coast and the increasing potential for entanglement. Pacific Conservation Biology, 9(3): 228-233.

Allen S, Marsh H, Hodgson A. 2004. Occurrence and conservation of the dugong (Sirenia: Dugongidae) in New South Wales. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 125: 211-216.

Möller LM, Allen SJ, Harcourt RG. 2002. Group characteristics, site fidelity and seasonal abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Jervis Bay and Port Stephens, southeastern Australia. Australian Mammalogy, 24(1): 11-21.
Funding received
World Wildlife Fund – Grant [AUD21,000]
Abundance of snubfin dolphins (Orcaella heinsohni) in Roebuck Bay, WA – with A. Brown, L. Bejder.

Australian Marine Mammal Centre – Grant [AUD205,000]
Population size and habitat use of Australian humpback dolphins around the North West Cape, WA – with G. Parra and L. Bejder.

Australian Marine Mammal Centre – Grant [AUD127,000]
Snubfin and humpback dolphin abundance and genetic connectivity in the Kimberley region, Western Australia – with L. Bejder, C. Frére, K. Pollock.

Australian Marine Mammal Centre – Grant [AUD361,000]
Genetic structure and abundance of fishery impacted dolphin populations of the Pilbara, North-Western Australia – with N. Loneragan, K. Bryant, K. Pollock, L. Bejder and M. Krützen.

Australian Marine Mammal Centre – Grant [AUD48,000]
Combining genetics and morphology to resolve a longstanding taxonomic and conservation management issue: How many bottlenose dolphin species are there in Australian waters? – with C. Kemper, M. Krützen, M. Jedensjo, G. Parra, K. Charlton and W. Sherwin.

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Department of Fisheries WA, Nickol Bay Professional Fishers Association – Grant [AUD150,000]
Reducing dolphin bycatch in the Pilbara finfish trawl fishery – with L. Bejder and N. Loneragan.

Department of Fisheries WA – Grant [AUD6,000]
A review of dolphin bycatch in the Pilbara Fish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery – with L. Bejder and N. Loneragan.

Port Stephens Pearls Pty Ltd – Grant [AUD28,000]
Design a dolphin monitoring program for assessing the impacts of pearl oyster aquaculture – with L. Bejder and N. Loneragan.

Australian Research Council, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, Port Stephens Commercial Dolphin Watch Association – Grant [AUD100,000]
Ecology and management of bottlenose dolphin in Port Stephens – with R. Harcourt.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service – Grant [AUD48,000]
Port Stephens bottlenose dolphin population surveys (I and II) – with L. Möller and R. Harcourt.
Society for Marine Mammalogy

The University of Western Australia’s Diving and Boating Safety Committee
Honours and awards
International Fund for Animal Welfare – Award [USD10,000]
Best Conservation and Animal Welfare presentation at the 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, NZ.
Current external positions
Associate Research Fellow - University of Zurich
Useful links
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM