Professor Ken Findlay, Research Chair


CPUT Research Chair Oceans Economy, Centre for Sustainable Oceans, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, PO Box 652, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa

Contact Details

Telephone: +27 (0)21 460 3192 / +27 (0)82 570 8212

email: /

Research Interests

Prof Ken Findlay is the Research Chair: Oceans Economy at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, South Africa and previously directed the MRI Whale Unit of the University of Pretoria. At CPUT Ken directs the Centre for Sustainable Oceans, focusing on oceans economies and governance and ecosystem based management approaches to balancing ocean health and human benefits from the ocean space. Rapidly expanding national and regional oceans economies around the world are placing increasing stresses on ocean systems that provide humans with benefits including provisioning, regulatory and cultural ecosystem services.

As a marine mammal biologist, Ken has been integrally involved in marine mammal research (particularly population demography) in the Southern African region, in the Arabian Sea region, the Western Indian Ocean and in the Southern Ocean for the last 30 years. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and is a member of both the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group and Sirenian Specialist Group. He was integrally involved in the IWC’s IDCR and SOWER Antarctic survey programmes between 1991 and 2005 and in the IWC’s Comprehensive Assessment of HumpbackWhales.

He has an interest in ocean acoustics that stems both from his involvement as a consultant between 1999 and 2010 where much of his work centred on ocean industry noise impacts and through his leading of the South African Blue Whale Project which has visual survey, photo-identification and passive acoustic components.

Selected Publications

Gales N, Bannister J, Findlay K, Zerbini A, Donavan G (2011) (Eds) The comprehensive assessment of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). J. Cetacean Res. Manage. Special Issue 3.

Corkeron P, Minton G, Collins T, Findlay KP, Baldwin R (2011) Cetacean distribution and habitat preferences in the Sultanate of Oman. Endang. Spec. Res. 15:39-52.

Findlay KP, Seakamela SM, Meÿer MA, Kirkman SP, Barendse J, Cade DE, Hurwitz D, Kennedy A, Kotze PGH, McCue SA, Thornton M, Vargas Fonseca OA, Wilke CG (2017) Humpback whale “super-groups” – a novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0172002. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172002.

Findlay KP (2001) A review of humpback whale catches by modern whaling operations in the Southern Hemisphere. Mem. Qld Mus. 47(2): 411-420.

Findlay KP, Best PB (2016) Distribution and seasonal abundance of large cetaceans in the Durban whaling grounds off KwaZuluNatal, South Africa, 1972–1975 African Journal of Marine Science 38(2): 249–262. DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2016.1191042.

Shabangu FW, Yemane D, Stafford KM, Ensor P, Findlay KP (2017) Modelling the effects of environmental conditions of the acoustic occurrence and behavior of Antarctic blue whales. PLoS ONE: e0172705. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172705.

Braulik GT, Findlay KP, Cerchio S, Baldwin RM (2015) Assessment of the conservation status of the Indian Ocean Humpback dolphin Sousa plumbea using the IUCN Red List Criteria, pp 119-141 in: Humpback Dolphins (Sousa spp.): Current Status and Conservation. Eds T.A. Jefferson, B.E. Curry, Advances in Marine Biology. 72. DOI: 10.1016/bs.amb.2015.08.004. ISBN: 978-0-12-803258-9.

Findlay KP, Best PB, Meÿer, M. A (2011) Migrations of humpback whales past Cape Vidal, South Africa, and an estimate of the population increase rate (1988–2002). Afr. J Mar. Sci. 33(3): 375–392.

Findlay KP et al. (9 authors) (2011) Distribution and abundance of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae , off the coast of Mozambique. J. Cetacean Res. Manage. Special Issue 3: 163-174.

Hucke-Gaete R, Osman LP, Moreno CA, Findlay KP, Ljungblad DK (2003) Discovery of a blue whale feeding and nursing ground in southern Chile. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B (Suppl.) 271: S170–S173.

Pomilla C, Amaral AR, Collins T, Minton G, Findlay K et al. (2014) The World’s Most Isolated and Distinct Whale Population? Humpback Whales of the Arabian Sea. PLoS ONE 9(12): e114162. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114162

This page was last updated on 18 February 2022