Kate Charlton-Robb

Conservation geneticist and dolphin researcher, Monash University

Dr Kate Charlton-Robb is the Founding Director and Head of Research at the Marine Mammal Foundation. With over 16 years experience researching dolphins across southern Australia, Kate achieved a Bachelor of Science (Hons) with a double major in Freshwater and Marine Ecology and Zoology and a Doctor of Philosophy (Genetics). Her research led to the formal description and naming of a new Australian species of dolphin, the Burrunan dolphin, Tursiops australis. Kate is also currently the President of the Australian Marine Sciences Associations – Victorian branch, a Naturalist with One Ocean Expeditions in Antarctica, an Honorary Fellow at Deakin & Monash University, a Research Associate at Museum Victoria.

As Head of Research at MMF, Kate has instigated and supervised numerous applied marine mammal research projects covering robust population modelling, population genetics, phylogenomics, geospatial mapping, social structure and alliance, acoustics and toxicology. Kate has numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications aimed at informing positive conservation and management outcomes of marine mammals. Kate has been involved with major media coverage from international agencies such as BBCs History Channel, National Geographic, BBC The World, NBC USA; Australian agencies such as The Age, The Australian, Herald-Sun, major TV news networks; children’s shows such as Totally Wild and SCOPE. A highlight of Kate’s career was personally meeting Sir David Attenborough in 2013


  • 2013–present
    Research scientist, Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation
  • 2011–present
    Research associate, Museum Victoria


  • 2012 
    Monash University, Doctor of Philosophy
  • 2004 
    Monash University, BSc (Honours)