Dr Guido Parra Vergara

Senior Lecturer

College of Science and Engineering

Research expertise

Associate Professor Parra leads the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL). His research is directed at understanding the ecological and behavioural factors that structure marine mammal populations and uses concepts and methods from these fields to address pressing conservation issues.

Research expertise

Associate Professor Parra leads the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL). His research is directed at understanding the ecological and behavioural factors that structure marine mammal populations and uses concepts and methods from these fields to address pressing conservation issues.

place Biological Sciences (154)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Guido is originally from Colombia where he conducted his BSc in Biology at Universidad de los Andes. He migrated to Australia in 1999 to conduct his PhD at James Cook University studying the behavioural ecology of Australian Snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. After his PhD he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at James Cook University and The University of Queensland investigating different aspects of the ecology, behaviour and population genetics of coastal dolphins.

He joined the Marine Innovations South Australia (MISA) programme through a joint position between Flinders University and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI - Aquatic Sciences) where he acted as the primary cetacean ecologist between 2009 and 2014. Since 2014, he has been at Flinders University full-time where he leads the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL).

Qualifications
  • 2005 - PhD. Natural Resource Management. James Cook University
  • 2001 - MSc. Natural Resource Management (upgraded to a PhD in 2001). James Cook University
  • 1995 - BSc. Biology. Universidad de los Andes.
Honours, awards and grants
  • 2014. FUSIONARTE Award. “100 Colombianos”. Identifies and honours Colombians who are examples of success abroad.

  • 2011. Flinders University Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Research Award.

  • 2006 - 2009. Postdoctoral Fellowship. University of Queensland.
  • 2007. University of Queensland Early Career Research Award.
  • 2007. Travel Award for International Collaborative Research. University of Queensland.
  • 2005 - 2006. Postdoctoral Fellowship. CRC Reef Research Centre, James Cook University.
  • 2003. Postgraduate Conference Travel Award. CRC Reef Research Centre.
  • 2001 -2004. International Postgraduate Research Award. James Cook University.
  • 2001. Postgraduate Conference Travel Research Award. James Cook University.
  • 1999 - 2001. Postgraduate Studies Award. Fundaci&ón Para el Futuro de Colombia (Foundation for the Future of Colombia).
  • 1998. Scholarship to attend the course: 'Marine Mammal Biology and Conservation'. Valencia, Spain. European Cetacean Society and Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo.
Key responsibilities
  • Research Leader Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab
  • Animal Welfare Committee (Biological Sciences sub-committee) member

  • International Whaling Commission Small Cetacean Scientific Committee member

  • IUCN Species Survival Commission-Cetacean Specialist Group member
  • Australian representative of the Southeast Asian Marine Mammal Association
  • Associate editor for the journal Marine Mammal Science
Research expertise
Ecology
Environmental science and management
Research interests

I have broad research interest in population ecology, behavioural ecology and conservation biology. My research seeks to understand the evolution and the mechanism underlying marine mammal ecology, behaviour and evolution and uses concepts and methods from these fields to address pressing conservation issues. I use a variety of methods, including behavioural observations of known individuals, Geographic Information Systems, ecological modelling, social networks, and genetics and use mainly wild dolphin populations as models for my studies. This integrative approach is important and necessary to address the big questions (i.e. Why?), to explain data in the context of the bigger picture and to improve our capacity to effectively conserve and manage wild populations of marine mammals.

Teaching interests

My teaching interests are in the areas of animal behavior, ecology,and conservation biology

Topic coordinator
BIOL3751 Marine Mammals, Birds and Reptiles
BIOL2711 Ecology
Topic lecturer
BIOL3751 Marine Mammals, Birds and Reptiles
BIOL1711 Introduction to Animal Behaviour
BIOL3721 Research in Animal Behaviour
BIOL2711 Ecology
Supervisory interests
Animal behaviour
Conservation biology
Dolphins, behaviour, ecology and evolution
Whales, behaviour, ecology and evolution
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: Interspecific interactions among delphinids (1), Behavioural ecology of bottlenose dolphins
Completion
Principal supervisor: Ecology and behaviour of inshore dolphins (5)
Associate supervisor: Behavioural ecology of southern Australian bottlenose dolphins (1), Socio-genetic structure of southern Australian bottlenose dolphins (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Nikki Zanardo

AMSA-SA best presentation award at the AMSA-SA 7th Annual Symposium, Adelaide - OCT 2012

Ina Ansmann

Best student presentation award at European Cetacean Society Conference, Cadiz Spain. - MAR 2011

Cecilia Passadore

Conservation Leadership Programme Award to attend Interantional Congress for Conservation Biology - NOV 2017

Cecilia Passadore

International Scholarship Award from the Society for Conservation GIS - MAY 2018

Nikki Zanardo

Best poster presentation award on marine vertebrate research at the Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference - JUL 2018

Publications
Expert for media contact
Behaviour
Conservation
Ecology
Wildlife
Dolphins and whales: ecology, behaviour and conservation
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Behaviour
  • Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Wildlife
Interests
  • Dolphins and whales: ecology, behaviour and conservation