Dr. Simon Allen

Postdoctoral Fellow


Centre for Marine Futures
School of Biological Sciences
& UWA Oceans Institute
University of Western Australia M092
35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009

Email | Phone

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. I have a general interest in the behaviour, ecology and conservation of both marine and terrestrial wildlife. I’m an avid field biologist, and wildlife and landscape photography is a “passion-on-the-side” – through which I try to raise awareness of two realities: how magnificent life is on this planet, and what a profound influence humans have on that life.

  • Publications
  • Grants & Awards
  • Collaborations
  • Media


Allen SJ, King SL, Krützen M, Brown AM. 2017. Multi-modal sexual displays in Australian humpback dolphins. Scientific Reports, 7: 13644.

Allen SJ, Pollock KH, Bouchet PJ, Kobryn HT, McElligott DB, Nicholson KE, Smith JN, Loneragan NR. 2017. Preliminary estimates of the abundance and fidelity of dolphins associating with a demersal trawl fishery. Scientific Reports, 7: art4995.

Connor RC, Cioffi WR, Randić S, Allen SJ, Watson-Capps J, Krützen M. 2017. Male alliance behaviour and mating access varies with habitat in a dolphin social network. Scientific Reports, 7, Article number: 46354.

Hunt TN, Bejder L, Allen SJ, Rankin RW, Hanf D, Parra GJ. 2017. Demographic characteristics of Australian humpback dolphins reveal important habitat toward the south-western limit of their range. Endangered Species Research, 32: 71-88.

Smith F, Allen SJ, Bejder L, Brown AM. 2017. Shark bite injuries on three inshore dolphin species in tropical northwestern Australia. Marine Mammal Science. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12435.


King SL, Allen SJ, Connor RC, Jaakkola K. 2016. Cooperation or dolphin ‘tug-of-war’? Comment on Kuczaj et al. and Eskelinen et al. Animal Cognition, 19(6): 1227-1229.

Allen SJ, Bryant KA, Kraus RHS, Loneragan NR, Kopps AM, Brown AM, Gerber L, Krützen M. 2016. Genetic isolation between coastal and fishery-impacted, offshore bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations. Molecular Ecology, 25(12): 2735–2753.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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 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.

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.

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, 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.


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.

World Wildlife Fund – Grant [AUD 21,000]

Abundance of snubfin dolphins (Orcaella heinsohni) in Roebuck Bay, WA – with A. Brown, L. Bejder.

Australian Marine Mammal Centre – Grant [AUD 205,000]

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 [AUD 127,000]

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 [AUD 361,000]

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 [AUD 48,000]

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 [AUD 150,000]

Reducing dolphin bycatch in the Pilbara finfish trawl fishery – with L. Bejder and N. Loneragan.


Department of Fisheries WA – Grant [AUD 6,000]

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 [AUD 28,000]

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 and P. Corkeron.


NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service – Grant [AUD 48,000]

Port Stephens bottlenose dolphin population surveys (I and II) – with L. Möller and R. Harcourt.

Prof Michael Krützen – University of Zurich, SUI

Dr Stephanie King – University of Western Australia, AUS

Prof Richard Connor – University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth USA

Dr Phil Bouchet – University of Western Australia, AUS

Dr Alex Brown – Murdoch University, AUS

Dr Daniele Cagnazzi – Southern Cross University, AUS

Dr Celine Frere – University of the Sunshine Coast, AUS

Dr Amanda Hodgson – Murdoch University, AUS

Dr Will Hoppitt – Leeds University, UK

Ms Maria Jedensjo – Museum of South Australia, AUS

Prof Neil Loneragan – Murdoch University, AUS

Prof Jessica Meeuwig – University of Western Australia, AUS

Ms Krista Nicholson – Murdoch University, AUS

Dr Guido Parra – Flinders University of South Australia, AUS

Dr Richard Peters – La Trobe University, AUS

Prof Ken Pollock – North Carolina State University, USA

Prof Bill Sherwin – University of New South Wales, AUS