Dr Kirsten Thompson
PhD student


My primary interest is in using different molecular genetic techniques to answer conservation and ecological questions. Recently this work has involved studying the cryptic and rarely observed members of the beaked whale family; the least known of all mammalian families. We have used molecular genetics to investigate the identity of previously unknown species and developed genetic techniques to examine demographic processes and kinship in Gray’s beaked whales. This has involved the use of next generation sequencing in a move towards using conservation genomics to study, and manage, cryptic mobile megafauna. 

My previous work has involved fieldwork around the world in terrestrial and marine conservation projects, management of one of the largest collections of marine mammal tissue in the world, work at universities (Auckland, Oxford) and consultancy for governmental, intergovernmental institutions and NGOs. These projects have required extensive collaboration with other research institutions throughout Europe, US and Oceania.

I am also a Research Affiliate at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand, both as a member of the Molecular Genetics and Development Group and the Marine Mammal Ecology Group.


2013 MSc. (Hons.) Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, NZ [1st Class]
1993 BSc. (Hons.) Zoology, University of Glasgow, UK [2.i]


Contact details


Back | Top of page | Refresh page