Gill Braulik, Ph.D.

Gill Braulik, PhD

Senior Research Fellow, University of St. Andrews
Director, Downstream Research & Conservation Ltd.
Marie-Curie Fellow,  Pew Marine Fellow
Co-Deputy Chair, IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group
Deputy Chair, IUCN Task Force on Marine Mammal Protected Areas


Research Interests

I have been involved in research and conservation of marine mammals for the last twenty years, primarily in the Indian Ocean, including in South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. My principal professional interest is conservation of endangered marine mammal mammals in lesser known parts of the world. I have primarily been working with biologists in Iran, Pakistan, India and East Africa to conduct baseline marine mammal research and conservation work. I have initiated and led numerous expeditions to survey cetaceans in East Africa including along the entire coast of Tanzania and nearshore waters of Pemba Island as well as many expeditions to remote parts of Pakistan.  In addition to my work on marine cetaceans I am involved in work with river dolphins in South Asia where the focus is evaluating the effect of dams, barrages and declining water flows on these endangered animals. In the last two years I have extended beyond marine mammal research and now am engaged with the use of underwater acoustic recorders in documenting and combating illegal blast fishing.  I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews, and Director of Downstream Research and Conservation Ltd.  I was awarded a Marie-Curie Fellowship in 2020, a Pew Fellowship in marine conservation in 2013 and the J. Stephen Leatherwood Memorial Award for conservation of marine mammals in South and Southeast Asia in 2012.  I am a long-standing member of the Cetacean Specialist Group of the IUCN including serving in the Red List Authority and am Deputy Chair of the Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force.


Selected Publications and Reports

Braulik, G. T., Taylor, B. L., Minton, G., di Sciara, G. N., Collins, T., Rojas-Bracho, L., . . . Reeves, R. R. (2023). Red-list status and extinction risk of the world’s whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology, 2023;e14090. doi:10.1111/cobi.14090 and Infographic.

Tetley, M. J., Braulik, G. T., Lanfredi, C., Minton, G., Panigada, S., Politi, E., . . . Hoyt, E. (2022). The Important Marine Mammal Area Network: A Tool for Systematic Spatial Planning in Response to the Marine Mammal Habitat Conservation Crisis. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9. doi:10.3389/fmars.2022.841789

Kasuga, M. P., Varisanga, M. D., Davenport, T. R. B., Jiddawi, S. N., & Braulik, G. T. (2022). Abundance, spatial distribution and threats to Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in an Important Marine Mammal Area in Tanzania. Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science, 21(1). doi:

Braulik, G. T. 2023. Tanzania Whale Network Report. Report of Sightings 2022. 3pp.

Braulik, G. T
and Ngoteya, V. 2022. Tanzania Whale Network Report. Report of Sightings 2021. 3pp.

Braulik, G. and R. R. T. Reeves, Barbara. L. 2021. Recent cetacean taxonomic changes and conservation action. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

Stern, D. and Braulik, G. T. 2021. Tanzania Whale Network Report. Report of sightings 2020. 2pp.

Braulik, G. T., Archer, F., Khan, U., Imran, M., Sinha, R. K., Jefferson, T. A., et al. (2021). Taxonomic revision of the South Asian River dolphins (Platanista): Indus and Ganges River dolphins are separate species. Marine Mammal Science,

Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Baldwin, R., Braulik, G., Collins, T., & Natoli, A. (2021). Marine Mammals of the Arabian Seas. In L. A. Jawad (Ed.), The Arabian Seas: Biodiversity, Environmental Challenges and Conservation Measures (pp. 637-678). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Braulik, G.
, M. Kasuga, and G. Majubwa. 2020. Local ecological knowledge demonstrates shifting baselines and the large scale decline of sawfishes Pristidae in Tanzania. African Journal of Marine Science 42:67-79.

Braulik, G. T. and Stern, D. 2020.  Tanzania Whale Network Report. Report of Sightings 2019. 2pp.

Braulik, G. T. and Stern, D. 2019.  Tanzanian Whale Network Report. Report of Sightings 2018. 2pp.

FAO (2018) Cetacean identification cards for Indian Ocean fisheries, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. Prepared by Gill Braulik.  Available for download from:

Obura, D.O., Bandeira, S., Bodin, C., Bourquin, V., Braulik, G., Chassot, E., M., G., Koczhius, M., Nicoll, M., Ralison, H., Richmond, M., Scheren, P. & Ternon, J.-F. (2019) The Northern Mozambique Channel. In: World Seas: An environmental evalation, volume II: The Indian Ocean to the Pacific, Second Edition (ed C. Sheppard), pp. Elsevier.

Smith, B.D. and Braulik, G.T. 2018 Susu and bhulan Platanista gangetica gangetica and P. g. minor. In Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. Third Edition (eds B. Würsig, J.G.M. Thewissen & K.M. Kovacs), pp. 967-970. Academic Press.

Braulik, G. T., Kasuga, M., Wittich, A., Kiszka, J. J., Macaulay, J., Gillespie, D., Gordon, J., Said, S. S., and Hammond, P. S. (2017) Cetacean rapid assessment: an approach to fill knowledge gaps and target conservation across large data deficient areas, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2833 (Download here)

Braulik, G. T., Wittich, A., Macaulay, J., Kasuga, M., Gordon, J., Davenport, T. B. R., and Gillespie, D. (2017) Acoustic monitoring to document the spatial distribution and hotspots of blast fishing in Tanzania, Marine Pollution Bulletin 125: 360-366. (Download here)

Braulik, G.T. & Smith, B.D. 2017. Platanista gangetica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T41758A50383612. Downloaded on 08 December 2017.

Braulik, G.T., Findlay, K., Cerchio, S., Baldwin, R. & Perrin, W. 2017. Sousa plumbea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T82031633A82031644. Downloaded on 06 December 2017.

Collins, T., Braulik, G.T. & Perrin, W. 2017. Sousa teuszii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T20425A50372734. Downloaded on 08 December 2017.

Braulik, G. T., A. Wittich, J. Macaulay, M. Kasuga, J. Gordon, D. Gillespie and T. R. B. Davenport. 2015. Fishing with explosives in Tanzania: spatial distribution and hotspots Zanzibar, Tanzania, Wildlife Conservation Society Tanzania Program: 19 pages (Download here).

Braulik, G. T., K. Findlay, S. Cerchio and R. Baldwin. 2015. Assessment of the Conservation Status of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin (Sousa plumbea) Using the IUCN Red List Criteria. Humpback Dolphins (Sousa spp.): Current Status and Conservation, Part 1. T. Jefferson and B. C. Curry. UK, Academic Press. 72: 119-141.

Braulik, G.T., Noureen, U., Arshad, M., Reeves, R.R., 2015. Review of status, threats, and conservation management options for the endangered Indus River blind dolphin. Biological Conservation 192, 30-41 (Download here).

FAO (2018) Cetacean identification cards for Indian Ocean fisheries, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. Available for download from:, G.T.,Arshad, M., Noureen, U., Northridge, S., 2014. Habitat fragmentation and species extirpation in freshwater ecosystems: causes of range decline of the Indus River dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor). PLoS ONE.

Mohsenian, N., Moshiri, H., Sedighi, O.S.K., Norbakhsh, S., Heidary, S., Shamili, K.S., Braulik, G.T., 2014. The first long-beaked common dolphin mass stranding in Iranian waters. Marine Biodiversity Records 7, e64; 2014.

Braulik G.T., Barnett R, Odon V, Islas-Villanueva V, Hoelzel AR, Graves JA. 2014. One Species or Two? Vicariance, Lineage Divergence and Low mtDNA Diversity in Geographically Isolated Populations of South Asian River Dolphin. Journal of Mammalian Evolution: 1-10.

Braulik G.T. 2014. Platanistidae, In Wilson D, Mittermeier RA, eds. Handbook of Mammals of the World. Volume 4: Sea Mammals. Spain: Lynx Edicions.

Lockyer, C., Braulik, G.T., 2014. An evaluation of age estimation using teeth from South Asian River dolphins (Platanistidae). NAMMCO Scientific Publications.

Braulik, G.T., Reichert, A.P., Ehsan, T., Khan, S., Northridge, S.P., Alexander, J.S. and Garstang, R. 2012. Habitat use by a freshwater dolphin in the low-water season. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2246.

Braulik, G. T., Bhatti, Z. I., Ehsan, T., Hussain, B., Khan, A. R., Khan, A., Khan, U., Kundi, K., Rajput, R., Reichert, A. P., Northridge, S. P., Bhaagat, H. B. and Garstang, R. 2012.  Robust estimate of abundance for South Asian river dolphin subspecies. Endangered Species Research 17: 201-215

Braulik, G. T. 2012. Conservation ecology and phylogenetics of the Indus River dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor). PhD thesis. Department of Biology, University of St. Andrews.

Braulik, G.T., Ranjbar, S. Owfi, F., Aminrad, T., Dakhteh, S.M.H., Kamrani, E., Mohsenizadeh, F. 2010. Marine Mammal Records from Iranian Waters of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. 11 (1):49-63.

Braulik, G. T., Sedighi, O., Fadakhar, S., Mohammadi, H., Brownell Jr, R.L., Reeves, R.R., and Fernandez, A. 2010. A retrospective investigation into two dolphin mass mortality events in Iran, autumn 2007. Zoology in the Middle East. 49:13-26.

Smith, B. D., Braulik, G, Strindberg, S., Mansur, R., Diyan, M. A. A. and Ahmed, B. 2009. Habitat selection of freshwater-dependent cetaceans and the potential effects of declining freshwater flows and sea-level rise in waterways of the Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bangladesh. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 19:209-225.

Smith, B.D. and Braulik, G. T. 2008. Susu and Bhulan Platanista gangetica gangetica and P.g.minor. In: W.F. Perrin, B. Wursig and J.G.M. Thewissen (Editors), Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. 2nd Edition. Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 1208-1213.

Braulik, G. T. 2006. Comprehensive status assessment of the Indus River dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor). Biological Conservation 129(4): 579-590.

Wang, Ding., Zhang, Xianfeng., Wang, Kexiong., Wei, Zhou., Wursig, Bernd., Braulik, Gillian. T., Ellis, Susie. 2006. Conservation of the baiji: no simple solutions. Conservation Biology, 20(3): 623-625.

Turvey, S.T., Barrett, L.A., Braulik, G. T. and Wang, D., 2006. Implementing the recovery programme for the Yangtze River dolphin. Oryx, 40(3): 255-260.

Smith, B.D., Braulik, G., Strinberg, S., Ahmad, B. and Mansur, R. 2006. Abundance estimation of Ganges River dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) using independent concurrent counts in waterways of the Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bangladesh. Marine Mammal Science 22(2):1-21.

Braulik, G. T., Reeves, R.R., Ellis, S., Wang, D., Wells, R.S. and Dudgeon, D. 2005. Report of the Workshop on Conservation of the baiji and Yangtze Finless porpoise in China. 28 Nov-2 Dec 2004, Wuhan, China. Available for download at:

Braulik, G. T., B. D. Smith, and A. A. Chaudhry. 2004. Platanista gangetica ssp. minor. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2.

Smith, B. D., G. Braulik, and R. K. Sinha. 2004. Platanista gangetica ssp. gangetica. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2.

Smith, B. D., and G. T. Braulik. 2008. Platanista gangetica. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2.

Smith, B.D., Braulik, G. T., Jefferson, T.A., Bui Dinh Chung, Chu Tien Vinh, Doan Van Du, Bach Van Hanh, Pham Dinh Trong and Dao Tan Ho. 2003. Notes on two cetacean surveys in the Gulf of Tonkin. Raffles Museum Bulletin of Zoology 51 (1): 155-171.

Smith, B.D., Ahmed, B., Edrise, M. and Braulik, G. 2001. Status of the River Dolphin, Shushuk, Platanista gangetica, in Kaptai Lake and the Southeastern Rivers of Bangladesh. Oryx. 35 (1):

Jefferson, T. A. and Braulik, G.T. 1999. Preliminary reports on the finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) in Hong Kong waters. IBI Reports: 9: 1-7.