The Dugong Technical Group (DTG) consists of technical advisors who are specialists in different disciplines including dugong biology, seagrass assessment and monitoring, evaluation of seagrass ecosystem services, community-based marine resource management, bycatch, sustainable development and social sciences, and business development and social enterprise.

The role of the DTG is to provide technical and scientific support to Signatories and the Dugong MOU Secretariat, for the effective implementation of the Dugong MOU and its Conservation and Management Plan (CMP). Members of the DTG serve in their capacity as specialist individuals rather than as representatives of governments or organisations with which they also may be affiliated.

Members of the DTG actively contribute to Meetings of Signatories and Technical Workshops. The presence of the DTG members at Dugong MOU related meetings provides an opportunity for Signatories to meet the DTG and identify potential areas of technical support for projects, as well as develop positive relationships with the DTG members.

The DTG has made significant contributions to the implementation of the Dugong MOU and its CMP. For example, the DTG has developed content for the Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit, and has provided significant input to the GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project.

The Dugong Technical Group was formally established at the Second Meeting of Signatories (MOS2) to the Dugong MOU in Manila, Philippines in February 2013. However, many members of the DTG have been providing technical support to the Dugong MOU since the Secretariat was established in 2009. The Terms of Reference for the DTG were adopted by MOS2.

At the Third Meeting of Signatories to the Dugong MOU, the DTG members were reappointed for the next three years until the Fourth Meeting of Signatories, expected to be held in 2020.

Access to the DTG

Signatories to the Dugong MOU may seek advice from the DTG on any issue related to dugong and seagrass conservation and management. The Dugong MOU Secretariat is the focal point for all requests and communication between the DTG and Signatories. If you would like to seek advice from the DTG please contact the Dugong MOU Secretariat at[a] and include a brief description of your project, and the topic you wish to seek the DTG’s advice on. The Secretariat will forward your request to the most appropriate member of the DTG.


Members of the DTG

DTG Member Expertise Institute/Affiliation
Prof David Blair Population genetics of dugongs across their range. Parasites of dugongs. James Cook University, Australia
Dr Christophe Cleguer Dugong abundance, distribution, habitat use, movements, spatial analysis of
Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University, Australia
Dr Josh Donlan Integrating human-centered design and science into conservation programs. Program Design, Incentives, Entrepreneurism, Conservation Finance.

Advanced Conservation Strategies, Spain and United States of America

Mr Thibault Giulioli

Business development and social enterprise

Indian Ocean Trepang, Thailand & Madagascar

Dr Alana Grech

Spatial analysis, vulnerability and cumulative impact assessments, conservation planning, and spatial priority-setting for conservation actions. James Cook University, Australia

Dr Amanda Hodgson

Marine mammal population assessments using aerial survey techniques, dugong behaviour and their responses to human activities. Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University, Australia
Prof Helene Marsh Internationally recognised expert on the biology and conservation of dugongs.

James Cook University, Australia; CoChair IUCN Sirenian Special Group

Mr Len McKenzie

Seagrass ecology, including mapping, monitoring and assessment of tropical seagrasses. Extensive experience in capacity building, including participatory monitoring of seagrass habitats (e.g. Seagrass-Watch).

James Cook University, Australia; Seagrass-Watch

Dr Nicolas Pilcher

Bycatch and supporting community-based conservation in the Asia-Pacific.

Marine Research Foundation, Malaysia

Mr Saumil Shah

Business development and social enterprise

EnerGaia, Thailand

Dr Joshua Smith

Social and acoustic behaviour and habitat use of marine mammals. Passive acoustic monitoring of coastal dolphins and the behavioural ecology of humpback whales in the Great Barrier Reef.

Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University, Australia

Dr Richard Unsworth Assessment of ecosystem services of seagrass; artisanal fisheries of tropical coastal ecosystems; use of local ecological knowledge; ecology and management of seagrass ecosystems; community-based management of seagrass ecosystems. Swansea University, United Kingdom; Project Seagrass
Mr Simon Woodley Strategic planning, policy and management of marine protected areas. Management of tropical marine scientific research organisations and programmes. Design and facilitation of marine conferences, workshops and expert groups. S & J Woodley Pty Ltd, Australia