Find out more about the people behind Cawthron Institute.

Simon Childerhouse

Senior Scientist – Marine Mammals and Marine Ecology


  • PhD (Marine Science), University of Otago, 2008
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management, University of Otago, 1994
  • BSc (Biology), University of Auckland, 1992


Role at Cawthron

Dr. Simon Childerhouse is involved in the provision of technical and scientific advice on marine mammals for a diverse range of projects and areas. Working closely with Dr Deanna Clement, Simon is developing a leading marine mammal research and advice programme that will provide high quality technical advice to meet the needs of the New Zealand Government, industries (e.g. ports, oil & gas, fishing, mining) and other stakeholders.

Simon leads research programmes on a range of marine mammal species and also provides technical advice to a range of government agencies with responsibilities for marine mammals. He is highly experienced at providing expert evidence for RMA and EEZ consent processes and has a strong background in Environmental Impact Assessments.

The aim of his work is to provide robust and applied solutions to issues facing marine mammals to allow for the sustainable development of marine resources.


Technical skills, experience, interests and affiliations

  • Assessment of the effects of anthropogenic activities on marine fauna, specialising in marine mammals
  • Conservation management, recovery plans and risk management
  • Expert witness on marine mammals, fish and impacts of noise for all consent applications considered to date under the EEZ Act by the EPA to date.


Professional affiliations

  • Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission 
  • Society of Marine Mammalogists
  • New Zealand Marine Sciences Society
  • New Zealand Marine Mammal Threat Ranking Committee
  • Convention on Migratory Species Scientific Council on Marine Mammals
  • South Pacific Whale Research Consortium – Executive Officer
  • Endangered Species Foundation – Marine representative


Roberts J, Childerhouse S, Row W, Baker B, Hamilton S (2018) Scientists challenge sea lion research: no evidence of cryptic bycatch causing New Zealand sea lion population decline. Letter to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 155(36): E8330-8331.

Riekkola L, Zerbini A, Andrews O, Andrews-Goff V, Baker S, Chandlerg D, Childerhouse S, Clapham P, Dodémont R, Donnelly D, Friedlaender A, Gallego R, Garrigue C, Ivashchenko Y, Jarman S, Lindsay R, Pallin L, Robbins J, Steel D, Tremletta J, Vindenes S, Constantine R (2018) Application of a multi-disciplinary approach to reveal population structure and Southern Ocean feeding grounds of humpback whales. Ecological Indicators 89:455-465.

Peel D, Smith J, Childerhouse S (2018) Vessel strike of whales in Australia: The challenges of analysis of historical incident data. Frontiers of Marine Science.

Steel D, Garrigue C, Olavarría C, Anderson M, Poole M, Hauser N, Robbins J, Ward J, Flórez-González L, Constantine R, Caballero S, Thiele D, Slooten E, Dawson S, Childerhouse S, Oremus M, Paton D, Bott N, Clapham P, Donoghue M, Baker S (2018). Migratory interchange of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) among breeding grounds of Oceania and connections to Antarctic feeding areas based on genotype matching.  Polar Biology 41(4):653-662.

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