Research Manager

Peter has worked as a wildlife ecologist for 30 years and has published extensively on seabirds and shorebirds in Australasia.  He is a research fellow of the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne, the Scott Polar Institute at Cambridge University and the , past chairman of the Australasian Seabird Group, an editor of the journal ‘Marine Ornithology’ and a director of the Penguin Foundation.



       Phone: + 61 (3) 59512839

       Mail:     Phillip Island Nature Parks, PO Box 97, Cowes Vic. 3922, Australia

 Professional Area

Avian ecology and behaviour, particularly seabirds

Current projects

  • Population regulation of little penguins
  • Long-term demography of penguins
  • Climate change and penguins
  • Satellite tracking of penguins
  • Oil pollution and seabirds
  • Conservation biology of hooded plovers
  • Long-term monitoring of shorebirds in Victoria
  • Management of coastal birds


2000 - Ph.D. (Zoology), University of Melbourne.
1975 - Honours (Zoology), University of Melbourne.

Current students

Kasup Munaweera. Development of improved pre-conditioning agents for the removal of oil contamination from wildlife and rocky foreshores. (Ph.D., Victoria University, Werribee with Professor John Orbell).

Jakub Stoklosa. Modern methods of estimation of population size and demographic parameters on various capture-recapture datasets. (Ph.D., University of Melbourne, Parkville with Professor Richard Huggins).

Annett Finger. Trace metals in Little Penguin Eudyptula minor populations along the Victorian coastline of Australia. (Ph.D., Victoria University, St Albans with Carol Scarpaci). 

Natalie Sheppard. Foraging ecology and spatial dynamics of the Hooded Plover on Phillip Island: an obligate, beach-dwelling shorebird. (Ph.D., Deakin University, Burwood with Mike Weston).

Billie Ganendran. Climatic factors and Little Penguin survival in Bass Strait. (MPhil, Australian Defence force Academy at University of New South Wales, Canberra)

Selected recent publications (Full list in Google scholar)


Chiaradia, A., Forero, M. G., Hobson, K., Swearer, S., Hume, F., Renwick, L. and Dann, P. (2012). Diet segregation between two colonies of little penguins Eudyptula minor in southeast Australia. Austral Ecology doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2011.02323.x

Dann, P. (in press). Book Chapter. ‘Little Penguins’. In ‘Status of World’s Penguins’ (Boroboroglue & Boersma eds.). University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Sutherland, D. R. and Dann, P. (2012). Population size estimates of burrowing seabirds robust to variation in burrow occupancy: linking burrow surveys with demographics in Little Penguins. Ibis 154, 488-498.

Norman, F. I., Dann, P., Unthank, S. and Montague, T. (in press). Movements of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor banded at Rabbit Island and the Seal Island Group, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. Corella 36

Sidhu, L.A., Dann, P., Chambers, L. and Catchpole, E.A. (2012). Seasonal ocean temperature and the survival of first-year little penguins Eudyptula minor in south-eastern Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 454, 263-272.

Warneke, R. and Dann, P. (in press). Birds of Seal Rocks in northern Bass Strait: changes over forty years (1965–2005). Victorian Naturalist

In review

Dann, P., Sidhu, L., Jessop, R., Renwick, L., Healy, M., Dettmann, B., Baker, G. B. and Catchpole, T. (in review). The effects of flipper bands and injected transponders on the survival of adult Little Penguins Eudyptula minor.

Minton, C., Dann, P., Ewing, A., Taylor, S., Jessop, R., Anton, P. and Clemens R. (in review).  Population Trends of Shorebirds in Corner Inlet, Victoria 1982-2009.

Cardilini, A. P., Weston, M. A., Nimmo, D. G., Dann, P. and Sherman, C. D. H. (in review). Reproductive success, parental care and female condition differ between suburban and rural landscapes in a common wader.

Schumann, N., Dann, P. and Arnould, J. P. Y. (in review). Habitat preferences of burrow-nesting seabirds in south-eastern Australia.

Schumann, N., Dann, P. Hoskings, A. and Arnould, J. P. Y. (in review). Optimising survey effort for burrow-nesting seabirds

Taylor, A. R., Dann, P. and Arnould, J. P. Y. (in review). Timing of breeding and diet of the Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens.

Evans, J. K., Dann, P. and Frankel, T. (in review). Variation in bactericidal capacity during breeding and moult in Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor).

Bigger, S. W., Munaweera Thanthirige, K, Ngeh, L. N., Dann, P. and  Orbell, J. D. (in review). Mathematical Model for the Sequential Pick-Up of Chemical Contaminants by Magnetic Particles.

Stoklosa, J., Dann, P. and Huggins, R. (in review). Semi-varying Coefficient Models for Capture-recapture Data: Population Size Estimation for the Little Penguin Eudyptula minor.

Salton, M., Chiaradia, A., Saraux, C. and Dann, P. (in review). Non-breeding season body mass and reproductive performance in a resident seabird; the Little Penguin Eudyptula minor.


Chambers, L.E., L. Renwick, and Dann, P. (2011). Climate, fire and Little Penguins.  In Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions (Eds. K. Richardson, W. Steffen and D. Liverman), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp 275-276.

Sidhu, L., Catchpole, E. and Dann, P. (2011).  Modelling banding effect and tag loss for Little Penguins Eudyptula minor using Matlab.  Australian & New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal 52, 206-221.

Chambers, L. E., Devney, C., Congdon, B. C., Dunlop, N., Woehler, E. J. and Dann, P. (2011). Observed and predicted impacts of climate on Australian seabirds.Emu 111, 235-251.

McCutcheon, C., Dann, P., Salton, M., Renwick, L., Gormley, A. and Arnould, J. (2011). Foraging range of Little Penguins during winter.  Emu 111, 321-329.

Stoklosa, J., Dann, P. and Huggins, R. (2011). Inference on partially observed quasi-stationary Markov chains with applications to multistate population models. Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics 17, 52–67.

Ganendran, L. B., Sidhu, L., Catchpole, E., Dann, P. and Chambers, L. (2011). The effect of directional wind components on the survival of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor. Australian & New Zealand Industrial and Applied MathematicsJournal 52, 1012-1030.

Dann, P. (2011). Chapter 12.  Birds and Marine Mammals.  In Understanding the Western Port Environment. (Keough M. & Quinn, G. eds.). Melbourne Water, Melbourne.

Keough, M. J., Boon, P., Dann, P., Dittmann, S., Jenkins, g., Lee, R., Quinn, G., Ross, J., Walker, D. and Wilson, R.  (2011). Chapter 15. Consolidated research needs and prioritisation.  In Understanding the Western Port Environment. (Keough M. & Quinn, G. eds.). Melbourne Water, Melbourne.


Norman, F. I., Dann, P., Montague, T., Unthank, S. and Thoday, R. (2010). Long-term changes in the flora and avifauna of Rabbit Island, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 127, 160-167.

Ritchie, W J, Green, J. A., Dann, P. and Frappell, P. (2010).  Do implanted data loggers affect the foraging trip durations of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor)? Emu110, 71–77.


Chambers, L. E., Congdon, B., Dunlop, N., Dann, P. and Devney, C. (2009). Seabirds. Climate change and the marine environment report card. CSIRO, Melbourne.

Chambers, L.E., Renwick, L. and Dann, P. (2009). Climate, fire and Little Penguins. Strategic Assessment of the Vulnerability of Australia’s Biodiversity to Climate Change. CSIRO Melbourne.

Cullen, J. M., Chambers, L. E., Coutin, P. C. and Dann, P. (2009). Predicting onset and success of breeding of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor from ocean temperatures off south-eastern Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 378, 269-278.

Dann, P. (2009). Book review: ‘Penguins of the World: 2nd Edition’ by W. Lynch. Firefly Books Ltd., Buffalo. Waterbirds32, 476-478.

Nisbet, I. C. T. and Dann, P. (2009). Reproductive performance of Little Penguins in relation to Year, Age, Pair-Bond Duration, Breeding Date and Individual Quality. Journal of Avian Biology40, 296-308.

Peucker, A. J., Dann, P. and Burridge, C. R. (2009). Range-wide Phylogeography of the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor): Evidence of Long Distance Dispersal.Auk126, 397–408

Weston, M. A., Liu, X., Tsuzuki, T., Fallaw, J. and Dann, P. (2009). Forensic fibre analysis to determine the origins of leg-entangling threads on shorebirds: a case study. Wader Study Group Bulletin116, 46-48.


Hoskins, A. J., Dann, P., Ropert-Coudert, Y., Kato, A., Chiaradia, A., Costa, D. P. and Arnould, J. P.Y. (2008). Foraging behaviour and habitat selection at sea in little penguins Eudyptula minor during the chick-guard stage of breeding. Marine Ecology Progress Series 366, 293-303.

Overeem, R. L., Peucker A. J. (nee Mitchelson), Austin, C. M., Dann, P. and Burridge, C. P. (2008). Contrasting genetic structuring between colonies of the world’s smallest penguin, Eudyptula minor (Aves: Spheniscidae). Conservation Genetics9, 893-905.

Preston, T.J., Ropert-Coudert, Y., Kato, A., Chiaradia, A., Kirkwood, R., Dann, P. and Reina, R. D.(2008). Foraging behaviour of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor in an artificially modified environment. Endangered Species Research4, 95-103.

Schumann, N., Arnould, J. P.Y. and Dann, P. (2008). Diet of the Common Diving-petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix urinatrix) in south-eastern Australia during chick-rearing. Waterbirds31, 620-624.

Weston, M. A., Dann, P., Jessop, R., Fallaw, J., Dakin, R. and Ball, D. (2008). Can oiled shorebirds and their nests be successfully rehabilitated? A case study involving the threatened Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis in south-eastern Australia. Waterbirds 31, 127-132.


Chiaradia A., McBride J., Murray T. and Dann, P. (2007). Late arrival at colony under fog: evidence of visual navigation in the little penguins? Journal of Ornithology. 14, 229-233.

Dann, P. (2007). The Population Status of the Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus in Victoria. Corella31, 73-75.

Orbell, J. D., Van Dao, H., Kapadia, J., Ngeh, L. N., Bigger, S. W., Healy, M., Jessop, R. and Dann, P. (2007). An investigation into the removal of oil from rock utilising magnetic particle technology. Marine Pollution Bulletin54, 1958-1961.

Sidhu, L. A., Catchpole, E. A. and Dann, P. (2007). Mark-recapture-recovery modelling and age-related survival in Little Penguins Eudyptula minor. Auk124, 815-827.


Dann, P. and Norman, F. I. (2006). Population Regulation in Little PenguinsEudyptula minor: the role of intraspecific competition for nesting sites and food during breeding. Emu 106, 289-296.

Kirkwood, R., Lynch, M., Gales, N., Dann, P. and Sumner, M. (2006). At sea movements and habitat use of adult male Australian fur seals, Arctocephaluspusillus doriferus. Canadian Journal of Zoology 84, 1781-1788.

Van Dao, H., Maher, L., Bigger, S. W., Orbell, J. D., Healy, M., Jessop, R. and Dann, P. (2006). Removal of petroleum tar from bird feathers utilizing magnetic particles. Environmental Chemistry Letters 4,111-113.

Van Dao, H., Ngeh, L. N., Bigger, S. W., Orbell, J. D., Healy, M., Jessop, R. and Dann, P. (2006). Magnetic cleansing of weathered/tarry oiled feathers – the role of pre-conditioners. Marine Pollution Bulletin52,1591-1594


Dann, P. (2005). Is bill length incurlews Numenius associated with foraging habitats and diet in non-breeding grounds? Wader Study Group Bulletin106, 60-61.

Dann, P., Carron, M., Chambers, B., Chambers, L., Dornom, T., McLaughlin, A., Sharp, B., Talmage, M. E., Thoday, R. and Unthank, S. (2005). Longevity in Little Penguins Eudyptula minor. Marine Ornithology 33, 71-72.

Kirkwood, R., Dann, P. and Belvedere, M. (2005). A comparison of the diets of feral cats (Felis catus) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) on Phillip Island, Victoria. Australian Mammalogy 27, 89-93.

Orbell, J. D., Van Dao H., Ngeh, L. N., Bigger, S. W., Healy, M., Jessop, R. and Dann, P. (2005). Acute temperature dependency in the cleansing of tarry feathers utilizing magnetic particles. Environmental Chemistry Letters 3, 25-27.


Arnould, J. P. Y., Dann, P. and Cullen, J. M. (2004). Determining the sex of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) in northern Bass Strait using morphometric measurements. Emu104, 261-265.

Dann, P., Mackay, M., Kirkwood, R. and Menkhorst, P. (2004).  Notes on the birds of Lady Julia Percy Island in western Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 121, 59-66.

Healy, M., Chiaradia, A., Kirkwood, R. and Dann, P. (2004). Balance: a neglected factor when attaching external devices to penguins. Memoirs of the National Institute of Polar Research, Special Issue 58, 179-182.

Orbell, J., Ngeh, L., Bigger, S., Zabinskas, M., Zheng, M., Healy, M., Jessop, R and Dann, P. (2004). Whole-Bird Models for the Magnetic Cleansing of Oiled Feathers. Marine Pollution Bulletin 48, 336-340.


Baird, B. and Dann, P. (2003). The breeding biology of the Hooded Plover, Thinornis rubricollis, on Phillip Island, Victoria. Emu 103, 323-328.

Dann, P., Arnould, J. P. Y., Jessop, R. and Healy, M. (2003). Distribution and abundance of seabirds in Western Port, Victoria. Emu 103, 307-313.


Chiaradia, A, Dann, P., Jessop, R. and Collins, P. (2002). Diet of Crested Tern (Sterna bergii) chicks at Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia. Emu102,367-371.

Dann, P. (2002). First Symposium on Australian Gulls (edited abstracts). Australasian Seabird Bulletin 39, 9-21.

Kirkwood, R., Gales, N., Lynch, M. and Dann, P. (2002). Satellite tracker deployments on adult, male Australian fur seals: methods and preliminary results. Australian Mammalogy 24, 73-84.


Dann, P. (2001). Obituary –Professor John Michael (Mike) Cullen. Emu101, 269-270.

Dann, P., Jessop, R. and Healy, M. (2001). The distribution and abundance of Little Penguins at sea in Western Port, Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 118, 230-235.

Loyn, R. H., Dann, P. and McCulloch, E. (2001). Important Wader Sites in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway: 1. Western Port, Victoria, Australia. Stilt 38, 39-53.

Kemp, A and Dann, P. (2001). Egg size, Incubation Periods and Hatching Success of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor. Emu 101 249-253.