Peter Corkeron

Peter Corkeron, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist and Chair, Kraus Marine Mammal Conservation Program

T: 617-973-0257


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B.Sc., Zoology, The University of Queensland, 1982
Ph.D., The University of Queensland, 1989


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Peter Corkeron, Ph.D., now leads the whale research team at the Kraus Marine Mammal Conservation Program of the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. His current work focuses on the status of North Atlantic right whales, understanding the anthropogenic drivers of their decline and the ecological influences on their movements, and ensuring that management efforts are informed by the best science available. Peter’s Ph.D. was on the ecology of inshore dolphins in the waters off Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Awarded by the University of Queensland in 1989, it was the first Australian Ph.D. on the biology of living cetaceans.

Peter has studied whales, dolphins, dugongs, and seals, with occasional forays into the behavior of fruit bats and wallabies. His research has taken him from the Ross Sea in Antarctica to within 300 miles of the North Pole, and many places in between. He believes in using science to understand how we impact marine wildlife, and the working to solve the problems we create.

  1. Select Publications

    Corkeron, P. and Kraus, S.D. 2018 Baleen whale species on brink of extinction for first time in 300 years. Nature 554: 169. doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-01672-4

    Corkeron P., Hamilton P, Bannister J, Best P, Charlton C, Groch K.R., Findlay K., Rowntree V., Vermeulen E. and Pace III R M. 2018. The recovery of North Atlantic right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, has been constrained by human-caused mortality. R. Soc. open sci.

    Pace III RM, Corkeron PJ, Kraus SD. 2017 State-space mark-recapture estimates reveal a recent decline in abundance of North Atlantic right whales. Ecol Evol. 7:8730-8741.

    Parra GJ, Corkeron PJ, and Marsh H. 2006. Population sizes, site fidelity and residence patterns of Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins: implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 129:167-180.

    Corkeron PJ. 2004. Fishery management and culling. Science.306:1891.

    Corkeron PJ. 2004. Whalewatching, iconography and marine conservation. Conservation Biology. 18:847-849.

    Chilvers BL and Corkeron PJ. 2001. Trawling and bottlenose dolphins’ social structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. 268:1901-1906.

    Corkeron PJ and Connor RC. 1999. Why do baleen whales migrate? Marine Mammal Science. 15:1228-1245

    Corkeron PJ. 1995. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Hervey Bay. Behaviour and interactions with whale-watching vessels. Canadian Journal of Zoology 73:1290-1299.

    Brown MR, Corkeron PJ, Hale PT, Schultz KW, and Bryden MM. 1995. Evidence for a sex-segregated migration in humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B. 259:229-234

  2. News

  3. Awards

    James Cook Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1996 James Cook University, Australia.

    US Public Sector Innovation award, 2018, for the North Atlantic Right Whale Protection System

    NOAA Bronze Award 2019, for expanding international partnerships to assess changing right whale distributions and revealing causative factors to a tragic population decline.

  4. Affiliations