Room 503, D26 Building
UNSW, Kensington 2052
Research & Current Projects
- Use of molecular markers to infer current and historical population dynamics
- Speciation and its causal processes
- Molecular systematics of cetaceans
- Molecular monitoring of trade in endangered species
- Utility of molecular data for conservation biology and management
The family Ziphiidae (beaked whales) are one of the least known of all vertebrate groups. Small to medium-sized cetaceans, 3.5 - 12 m in length, beaked whales are found in deep, pelagic waters of all ocean basins except the highest latitudes of the Arctic. With their incredible diving capacity (some species make regular dives of over an hour down to 1400 m or more), relatively low abundance, and elusive behaviour, these squid-eating whales are generally very difficult to study at sea. Most of what is known has come from the remains of dead stranded specimens. This large family consists of 21 species scattered over 6 genera. The vast majority of these species belong to the genus Mesoplodon (n = 14 and counting). All the other genera are monotypic or consist of antitropical north-south species pairs.
Dalebout, M. L., D. Steel, and C. S. Baker. In press. Phylogeny of the beaked whale genus Mesoplodon (Ziphiidae: Cetacea) revealed by nuclear introns: implications for the evolution of male tusks. Systematic Biology (accepted Sept 2008).
Frere, C. H., P. Hale, V. G. Cockcroft, L. Porter, and M. L. Dalebout. 2008. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA sequences suggests revision of Sousa taxonomy is needed. Marine and Freshwater Research 59:259-268. PDF
Dalebout, M. L., K. M. Robertson, S. J. Chivers, and A. Samuels. 2008. DNA identification and the impact of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing on rare whales in Micronesian waters. Micronesica 40:139-147. PDF
Dalebout, M. L., C. S. Baker, D. Steel, K. M. Robertson, S. J. Chivers, W. F. Perrin, J. G. Mead, R. V. Grace, and D. Schofield. 2007. A divergent mtDNA lineage among Mesoplodon beaked whales: molecular evidence for a new whale in the Tropical Pacific? Marine Mammal Science 23:954-966. PDF
Baker, C. S., J. G. Cooke, S. Lavery, M. L. Dalebout, Y.-U. Ma, N. Funahashi, C. Carraher, and R. L. Brownell. 2007. Estimating the number of whales entering trade using DNA profiling and capture-recapture analysis of market products. Molecular Ecology 16:2617-2626. For a copy of this paper, please email Merel Dalebout.
Dalebout ML, Ruzzante DE, Whitehead H, Øien NI (2006). Nuclear and mitochondrial markers reveal the distinctiveness of a small population of bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus) in the western North Atlantic. Molecular Ecology, 15: 3115-3129. PDF
Baker, C. S., V. Lukoschek, S. Lavery, M. L. Dalebout, Y.-U. Ma, T. Endo, and N. Funahashi. 2006. Incomplete reporting of whale, dolphin and porpoise 'bycatch' revealed by molecular monitoring of Korean markets. Animal Conservation: available online early. PDF
Ruzzante, D. E., S. J. Walde, V. E. Cussac, M. L. Dalebout, J. Seibert, S. Ortubay, and E. Habit. (2006). Phylogeography of the Percichthyidae (Pisces) in Patagonia: roles of orogeny and glaciation and volcanism. Molecular Ecology, 15: 2949-2968. PDF
Gomercic, H., M. D. Gomercic, T. Gomercic, H. Lucic, M. L. Dalebout, A. Galov, D. Skrtic, S. Curkovic, S. Vukovic, and D. Huber. (2006). Biological aspects of Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) recorded in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea. European Journal of Wildlife Research, available on-line. PDF
Dalebout, M. L., K. M. Robertson, A. Frantzis, D. Engelhaupt, A. A. Mignucci-Giannoni, R. J. Rosario-Delestre, and C. S. Baker. (2005). Worldwide structure of mtDNA diversity among Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris); implications for threatened populations. Molecular Ecology, 14:3353-3371. PDF
Endo, T., K. Haraguchi, Y. Hotta, Y. Hisamichi, S. Lavery, M. L. Dalebout, and C. S. Baker. 2005. Total mercury, methyl mercury, and selenium levels in the red meat of small cetaceans sold for human consumption in Japan. Environmental Science and Technology, 39:5703-5708. PDF
Dalebout, M. L., Russell, K. G., Little, M. J. & Ensor, P. 2004. Observations of live Gray's beaked whales (Mesoplodon grayi) in Mahurangi Harbour, North Island, New Zealand, with a summary of at-sea sightings. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 34, 347-356.
Dalebout, M.L, Baker, C.S., Cockcroft ,V.G., Mead, J.G., and Yamada, T.K. 2004. A comprehensive and validated molecular taxonomy of beaked whales, family Ziphiidae. Journal of Heredity 96, 459-473.
Baker, C.S., Dalebout, M.L., Cipriano, F., & Funahashi, N. A plausible range of incidental takes for RMP implementation simulation trials of North Pacific minke whale. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. Appendix 9, 132. (Vol. 5, supplmt, Annex D.)
Baker, C.S., Dalebout, M.L., Lavery, S. & Ross, H.A. 2003. www.DNA-surveillance:applied molecular taxonomy for species conservation and discovery. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18, 271-272.
Ross, H.A., Lento, G.M., Dalebout, M.L., Goode, M., Ewing, G., McLaren, P., Rodrigo, A.G., Lavery, S., & Baker, C.S. 2003 DNA Surveillance: Web-based molecular identification of whales, dolphins and porpoises. Journal of Heredity 94, 111-114.
Dalebout, M.L., G. J. B. Ross, C. S. Baker, R. C. Anderson, P. B. Best, V. G. Cockcroft, H. L. Hinsz, V. Peddemors, & R. L. Pitman. 2003 Appearance, distribution and genetic distinctiveness of Longman's beaked whale, Indopacetus pacificus. Marine Mammal Science 19, 421-461.
Berrow, S.D., Dalebout, M.L., & Conroy J. 2002 Cuvier's whale Ziphius cavirostris Cuvier [description of specimen # ZcaIRL-X3] Irish Naturalists' Journal 27, 168-169.
Berrow, S.D. & Dalebout, M.L. 2002 Cuvier's whale Ziphius cavirostris Cuvier [description of specimen # ZcaIRL-X2] 2002 Irish Naturalist's Journal 27, 167-168.
Dalebout, M.L. 2002 Species identity, genetic diversity and molecular systematic relationships among the Ziphiidae (beaked whales). PhD thesis, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Dalebout, M.L., Mead, J.G., Baker, C.S., Baker, A.N. & van Helden, A. L. 2002 A new species of beaked whale Mesoplodon perrini sp. n. (Cetacea: Ziphiidae) discovered through phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences. Marine Mammal Science 18, 577-608.
van Helden, A.L., Baker, A.N., Dalebout, M.L., Reyes, J.C., Van Waerebeek, K. & Baker, C.S. 2002 Resurrection of Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874), senior synonym of M. bahamondi Reyes, Van Waerebeek, Cárdenas and Yañez, 1995 (Cetacea: Ziphiidae). Marine Mammal Science 18, 609-621.
Dalebout, M.L., Lento, G.M., Cipriano, F., Funahashi, N. & Baker, C.S. 2002 How many protected minke whales are sold in Japan and Korea? A census by microsatellite DNA profiling. Animal Conservation 5, 143-152.
Gales, N.J., Dalebout, M.L. & Bannister, J. 2002 Genetic identification and biological observation of two free-swimming beaked whales: Hector's beaked whale (Mesoplodon hectori, Gray, 1871), and Gray's beaked whale (Mesoplodon grayi, von Haast, 1876). Marine Mammal Science 17, 544-551.
Baker, C.S., Dalebout, M.L., Lento, G.M. & Funahashi, N. 2002 Gray whale products sold in commercial markets along the Pacific coast of Japan. Marine Mammal Science 17, 295-300.
Dalebout, M.L., Hooker, S.K. & Christensen, I. 2001 Genetic diversity and population structure among northern bottlenose whales, Hyperoodon ampullatus, in the western North Atlantic Ocean.Canadian Journal of Zoology 79, 478-484.
Pichler, F.B., Dalebout, M.L. & Baker, C.S. 2001 Non-destructive DNA extraction from sperm whale teeth and scrimshaw. Molecular Ecology Notes 1, 106-109.
Baker, C.S., Lento, G.M., Cipriano, F., Dalebout, M.L. & Palumbi, S.R. 2000 Scientific whaling: source of illegal products for market? Science 290, 1695.
Gowans, S., Dalebout, M.L., Hooker, S.H. & Whitehead, H. 2000 Reliability of photographic and molecular techniques for sexing bottlenose whales, Hyperoodon ampullatus. Canadian Journal of Zoology 78, 1224-1229.
Dalebout, M.L., van Helden, A., Van Waerebeek, K. & Baker, C.S. 1998 Molecular genetic identification of southern hemisphere beaked whales (Cetacea: Ziphiidae). Molecular Ecology 7, 687-694.
Baker, C.S., Lento, G.M., Dalebout, M.L., & Pichler, F. 2003. DNA surveys and surveillance of marine mammals: species identification, discovery and management. In Marine Mammals and Humans. Eds. N. Gales, M. Hindell & R. Kirkwood. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. Pp. 366-382.
Dalebout, M.L. 2002. Bare bones & beaked whales [popular science article]. Nature Australia. Spring 2002, 64-71.
Dalebout, M.L. & Baker C. S. 2002. Mesoplodon perrini sp. n. Dalebout, Mead, Baker, Baker and van Helden 2002: notification of new species of living beaked whale (Ziphiidae) from the eastern North Pacific. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 59: 284-286.