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Dr Katharina J Peters
Research Associate
  • Uni Zurich
  • Orcid
  • ResearchGate
  • GS
  • publons
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Project funding:


Dr Katharina Peters has been a postdoctoral researcher with CERG since 2018 when she came to New Zealand on an Australia Awards Endeavour Fellowship to study the foraging ecology of delphinids in New Zealand waters using stable isotopes in collaboration with NIWA.

Dr Peters completed her PhD in 2016 with the BirdLab at Flinders University, South Australia, where her PhD research focused on hybridisation in Darwin’s tree finches (Camarhynchus spp.) on the Galápagos Islands. Prior to her PhD, Dr Peters obtained an BSc(Hons) degree from Flinders University in 2010, studying the impact of tourism on the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Adelaide’s metropolitan waters with the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL). She received her BSc in biology from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, in 2009.

During 2019 she also was a postdoctoral fellow at the Global Ecology Lab at Flinders University, associated with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. Her research there used ecological modelling and the fossil record to elucidate palaeo-species abundances and extinction dynamics, as well as developing matrix-based population models to better understand the population development of koalas in the Mt Lofty Ranges. Since March 2021, Dr Peters is a postdoctoral researcher with the Evolutionary Genetics Group at the University of Zurich. In February 2022, Dr Peters started a postdoctoral position at the University of Caterbury.

Dr Peters' primary research interests lie at the interface of animal behaviour, population ecology and evolutionary biology and how to apply this information to better manage the conservation of wild populations and their associated environments. Addressing these questions requires quantitative and interdisciplinary approaches. Thus, she uses an integrative approach involving field-intensive ecological and behavioural work with ecological modelling and molecular analyses. 

Current primary research projects include:

1) the foraging ecology and distribution of several species of odontocetes in New Zealand and Australian waters, using stable isotope analyses and species distribution models

2) reproductive success in relation to age and sex of Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia

3) spatial and population dynamics of Weddell seals in the Ross Sea


Dr Peters also currently supervises MSc student Déborah Casano-Bally.

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