Head of the Lab

Leszek Karczmarski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor:  School of Biological Sciences

The Swire Institute of Marine Science

The University of Hong Kong

Director:  Cetacea Research Institute

Email: leszek(AT)hku.hk

          leszek(AT)cetacea-institute.org

Selected Key Projects and Grants above US$50,000

 

2019 - 2021:  Night-time distribution and abundance of Chinese white dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in Hong Kong waters: Conservation implications. (with SCY Chan and Y-W Ho).  Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK).

2019 - 2020 Conservation ecology of Chinese white dolphins across the Pearl River Estuary. Phase 3: Connectivity, metapopulation structure and source-sink dynamics.  Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund.

2018 - 2019:  Conservation ecology of Chinese white dolphins across the Pearl River Estuary.  Phase 2 (cont.): Population parameters, demographic structure and habitat requirements. Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund.

2017 - 2019:  Diurnal pattern of habitat use vs. anthropogenic noise in core areas of Chinese white dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) in Hong Kong waters (with T-H Lin of Academia Sinica, Taiwan & T. Akamatsu of Fisheries Research Agency, Japan). Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK).

2016 - 2019:  Tracing the demographic history of two sympatric cetaceans in the face of environmental change in the Pearl River Delta coastal ecosystem (with Wenzhi Lin). . Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC-GRF: HKU 17163316M).

2017 - 2018:  Conservation ecology of Chinese white dolphins across the Pearl River Estuary.  Phase 2: Population parameters, socio-demographic structure and habitat requirements. Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund.

2015 - 2018:  Habitat integrity and conservation ecology of a coastal delphinid: The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin in anthropogenically degraded environments (with Shiang-Lin Huang). Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC-GRF: HKU 17100015M).

2016 - 2017:  Small cetacean conservation initiative: Population assessment and conservation status of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins across habitats and regions in Asia-Pacific and beyond: Phase 1. Ocean Park Corporation Research Fund.

2013 - 2017:  Integrated ecological approach to the conservation of Chinese White Dolphins across the Pearl River Estuary.  Corporate funding.

2015 - 2016:  Delineating habitat and areas for the conservation of Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong. WWF-Hong Kong.

2014 - 2016:  Population-level surveys of Chinese white dolphins across the Pearl River Estuary: Population processes, demography and spatio-behavioural dynamic. Multiple Corporate Funding

2013 - 2016:  Population connectivity and barriers to gene flow in a mobile aquatic mammal: The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin in coastal systems of Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.  Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC-GRF: HKU 768913M).

2014 - 2015:  Conservation by design: Establishing a framework for delphinid conservation in a tropical protected seascape, Tañon Strait, the Philippines. Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK).

2013 - 2015:  Animal behaviour, ecology and conservation: Biodiversity research through hands-on experiential learning. Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Fund.

 

2012 - 2015:  Metapopulation dynamics of coastal and semi-pelagic dolphins: Evolutionary patterns vs. anthropogenic pressures in the archipelago system of Solomon Islands.  Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC-GRF: HKU 768511M).

 

2010 - 2014:  South-East Asian training workshops in Marine Mammal Research Techniques.  Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong (three consecutive follow-up grants).

 

2010 - 2013:  Population structure and socio-behavioural dynamics of Chinese white dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the Pearl River Estuary: A model system of a coastal delphinid.  Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC-GRF: HKU 768110M).

 

2004 - 2012:  Long-term ecological monitoring program: Spinner dolphin community at Kure Atoll, far-western Hawaii (with C. Vanderlip).  Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, State of Hawaii, USA; facility and research vessel support.

 

2009 - 2012:  Population genetics of South African coastal delphinids (with K. Tolley & K. Gopal; South African National Biodiversity Institute).  Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

 

2008 - 2010:  Population ecology of Heaviside’s dolphins.  The World Conservation Union, IUCN.

 

2008 - 2010:  DISCOVERY: Database management system for mark-recapture photo-identification studies of free-ranging animals (with G. Gailey).  National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa.

 

2007 - 2010:  Population ecology of South African inshore delphinids:  Establishing long-term database and comparative approach.  National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa.

 

2007:  Visiting Scholar.  Delphinid and primate social ecology: A comparative framework (with J. Yamagiwa).  Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

 

2001 - 2007:  Population ecology of spinner dolphins in remote atolls of the far-western Hawaii.  Homeland/Marisla Foundation.

 

2003 - 2006:  Hawaiian spinner dolphins: Ecological studies in far-western Hawaii.  Pacific Marine Life Foundation.

 

2001 - 2005:  Ecology and conservation of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in southern Mozambique (with A.T. Guissamulo).  Society for Marine Mammalogy, German Dolphin Conservation Society and Save our Seas Foundation.

 

2004 - 2005:  Dynamics of spinner dolphin societies: How much fission-fusion is there?  National Geographic Society.

 

2004:  Genetic structure of Hawaiian spinner dolphins: Research expedition across the Hawaiian island chain.  Private donation (Mr. R. Robbins, The Robbins Group, Seattle, Washington, USA); support of research vessel and operational expenses.

 

2003 - 2004:  Conservation by design: The science and practice of protecting inshore delphinids in equatorial East Africa.  Sea World & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund.

2002:  Spinner dolphins in the northwestern Hawaiian region: reconnaissance population assessment at French Frigate Shoals.  Algalita Marine Research Foundation, support of research vessel and operational expenses.

 

2001 - 2003:  Dynamics of spinner dolphin societies: a multi-habitat approach.  National Geographic Society.

© Cynthia Vanderlip

© Leszek Karczmarski

© Leszek Karczmarski

Research Interests

 

  • Mammalian Population Ecology:  Processes that determine population structure, geographic fidelity, spatiotemporal dynamics and habitat relationships.

 

  • Cetacean Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology:  Behavioural processes that shape intra- and inter-group dynamics and social structure; how they relate to environmental factors and influence broader population structure.

 

  • Comparative Socio-Ecology:  Odontocete social strategies and socio-behavioural complexity; how they evolved and how they compare to other known mammalian systems. Comparative socio-ecology of group living mammals. 

 

  • Delphinid Conservation Ecology:  Ecological and socio-demographic processes that determine population viability; application of empirical studies of population ecology in the development of management strategies. 

 

  • Spatio-Behavioural Approaches to Conservation:  How anthropogenic pressures influence socio-spatial dynamics and behavioural processes of individuals/populations; mitigation strategies to minimize the negative effects of ecological disturbance.   

 

CETACEAN ECOLOGY LAB

The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong

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