In Memoriam: Dr. Kanjana Adulyanukosol

It is with immense regret that the Secretariat of the CMS Dugong MoU shares the news that we lost Dr. Kanjana Adulyanukosol, affectionately known as ‘Dr. Kanjana’, after a long struggle with cancer on 10 January 2015.

Dr. Kanjana championed the Thailand Government’s efforts, in cooperation with the Australian Government, over two fundamental dugong meetings hosted in Bangkok in 2005 and 2006, which led to the conclusion of the Dugong MoU in Abu Dhabi in October 2007.

It was also Dr. Kanjana’s relentless efforts that ultimately led to Thailand signing the Dugong MoU in June 2011 in spite of considerable political challenges to do so.

Dr. Kanjana’s contribution to biodiversity conservation went well beyond helping dugong conservation in Thailand and Southeast Asia, where she will be remembered for her tireless efforts for the conservation of marine biodiversity.  Providing educational materials, including a publication in brail, for all to share in the appreciation of our incredible biodiversity resources was one of her greatest passions.

At a personal level, I am incredibly honoured to have been able to see Dr. Kanjana in Bangkok 2 days before she passed – and remain inspired with her spirit and determination to pursue the relentless challenge of empowering those best placed to achieve our goals for the biodiversity conservation whatever and wherever those challenges are.

We have lost one of our greatest champions in dugong and seagrass conservation but we owe it her legacy to continue to meet those challenges head on, to best of our abilities.

Should you wish to provide an acknowledgement of Dr Kanjana’s contribution to your work, we would be most happy to post on this website – please contact Jenny Renell at

Donna Kwan

Dugong MoU Secretariat




Dear Colleagues, yesterday, January 10, 2015, Dr. Kanjana Adulyanukosol, passed away from liver cancer.  Kanjana was the foremost dugong scientist in Thailand.  She began to study dugongs in 1988, and worked tirelessly to bring awareness of dugongs and their conservation to Thailand and beyond.   Dr. Kanjana was a wonderful and generous woman who inspired, mentored and challenged many of us, and became our lifelong friend.  Her books and papers are an impressive scientific contribution, while her exhibits, posters and famous t-shirts became lessons and examples in the importance of reaching out beyond the scientific community.  Her pioneering research on Bryde’s whales in the upper Gulf of Thailand has brought us a wealth of valuable knowledge.  She tirelessly communicated her message of marine mammal conservation to countless local communities.  For myself and many others, to have known and loved Kanjana has shaped our lives and our science.  To continue within her legacy will be the greatest honor.


Ellen Hines, PhD

Associate Director & Professor of Geography

Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

San Francisco State University

3152 Paradise Drive

Tiburon, CA 94920 USA

1 415 338 3512

Fax: 1 415 338 6243

Save the Dugong Campaign Center

Citizens' Network for Biological Diversity in Okinawa

Last updated on 17 April 2016