Dr. Liz Hawkins
Dr Elizabeth Hawkins
Founding Director, Executive Officer
Dr Hawkins has over 14 years’ experience in marine mammal research and education. Her research has focused on the ecology, biology and conservation of coastal cetaceans in Australia. She has a particular interest in the social systems, communication, population dynamics, risk assessments and health of dolphins. Her work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and internal conferences (see publications). Her work has featured in a variety of media including New Scientist, The Australian and Animal Planet. Part of her ongoing research continues to focus on the long-term trends, abundance and social systems of dolphins in the Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland region.
Dr Hawkins is a passionate educator and has helped to develop academic courses in marine mammal ecology, biology, stranding and incident response, in addition to, cetacean tour guide and operator training and education programs for school students. She has been an advisor to the public, non-government organisations and government agencies in addition to consulting on projects as a marine mammal expert and media including the BBC for the Planet Earth series. She often is an invited guest speaker at different events and workshops for community and specialist groups. She has been successful in obtaining over $175,000 in competitive funding including grants from the Australian Marine Mammal Centre and the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation.
In 2012, Dr Hawkins founded Dolphin Research Australia Inc. to facilitate long-term research projects into the ecology and health of regional dolphin populations and to provide a platform for education of the community. Her current role includes the day-to-day administration and financial management of the organisation, management of research and education programs and supervision of teams.
In amongst her scientific and education roles, Dr Hawkins is also an artist and illustrator. She produces artworks in multi-media including watercolour, ink, block printing and textiles that are inspired by nature and caring for the Planet. She has written and illustrated the ‘Scooter the dolphin & Friends Colouring & Activity Book’, card games and greeting cards. Her artwork is featured in our Dolphin Research Australia online store.