The Dugong Technical Advisory Group (DTAG) of the CMS Dugong MOU was formally established at the Second Meeting of Signatories (MOS2) to the Dugong MOU in February 2013. An interim TAG had been in effect since the Secretariat was established in 2009.

The DTAG consists of specialists in dugong biology, seagrass assessment and monitoring, evaluation of seagrass ecosystem services, community-based marine resource management, bycatch, sustainable development and social sciences, and business development and social enterprise.

The role of the DTAG is to provide technical and scientific support to Signatories and the Dugong MOU Secretariat, for the effective implementation of the Dugong MOU and its Conservation and Management Plan (CMP). The DTAG has made significant contributions, including developing content for the Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit, providing significant input to the GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project (2015-2019) and IKI Seagrass Ecosystem Servces Project (2019-2023). 

Members of the DTAG serve in their capacity as specialist individuals rather than as representatives of governments or organisations with which they also may be affiliated. Members actively contribute to Meeting of Signatories (MOS) and Technical Workshops, providing an opportunity to meet Signatories and identify potential areas of technical support. 

Please refer to the full Terms of Reference for DTAG.


Access to the DTAG

Signatories to the Dugong MOU may seek advice from the DTAG on any issue related to dugong and seagrass conservation and management. The Dugong MOU Secretariat is the focal point for all requests and communication between the DTAG and Signatories. If you would like to seek advice from the DTAG please contact the Dugong MOU Secretariat at [email protected] and include a brief description of your project, and the topic you wish to seek the DTAG’s advice on. The Secretariat will forward your request to the most appropriate member of the DTAG.


Members of the DTAG

Meet the members of the DTAG below and learn more about their interest in dugong conservation.


TAG Member Expertise Institute/Affiliation
Ms. Maitha Al Hameli Marine assessment and conservation; marine threatened species and habitats; dugong ecology and biology. Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, UAE
Dr Norbert Andrianarivelo Dugongs abundance, distribution, habitat use, threats using human monitoring and Interviews Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines (IHSM) and Institut d'Enseignement Supérieur d'Anosy (IESA), University of Toliara, Madagascar
Dr Christophe Cleguer Dugong abundance, distribution, habitat use, movements, spatial analysis of threats using new technologies such as aerial imagery, drones, biologging and AI. 

Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), James Cook University, Australia

Dr Vic Cockcroft

Dugong populations in the Western Indian Ocean, numbers, threats and conservation.   

Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.

Ms. Damboia Cossa

Seagrass conservation and dugong habitat use. Use of new technologies such as drones. Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique

Dr Himansu Das 

Marine assessment and conservation; marine threatened species and habitats; dugong ecology and biology. Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, UAE; Member IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group
Dr Claire Garrigue Ecology and conservation of marine mammals in the southwest Pacific Ocean; Dugong distribution, movement and abudance, population dynamics, habitat use and human impact.

French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), New Caledonia; Member IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group

Dr Asma Hadi

Dugong and marine mammal surveys, and sustainable blue economy. 

School of Environment and Earth Sciences Pwani University, Kenya; WWF-Kenya

Dr Amanda Hodgson

Dugong biology and conservation, innovative monitoring and research techniques including drones, AI and software tools.

Centre for Marine Ecological Research, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Dr Benjamin Jones

Conducts applied research into seagrass social-ecological systems and primarily investigates the links between people, seagrass meadows and the fauna they support. 

Project Seagrass, UK; President, World Seagrass Association.

Dr Anna Lafratta

Vegetated coastal ecosystems (seagrass, mangrove and tidal marsh) ecology, paleoecology, coastal environmental protection and management, climate change mitigation, blue carbon and coastal pollution. 

Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research (CMER), School of Science, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Prof Helene Marsh Internationally recognised expert on the biology and conservation of dugongs. James Cook University, Australia; Co-Chair IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group
Mr Len McKenzie Seagrass ecology, including mapping, monitoring and assessment of tropical seagrasses. Extensive experience in capacity building, including participatory monitoring of seagrass habitats. James Cook University, Australia; Seagrass-Watch
Prof Edward Patterson

Marine ecology with focus on assessment, monitoring, mapping and restoration of seagrass habitats, marine litter and impact assessment.

Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, India
Dr Nicolas Pilcher

Addressing bycatch in small-scale fisheries, community-based conservation of endangered marine species, community-based conservation. 

Marine Research Foundation, Malaysia; National Center for Wildlife, Saudi Arabia

Prof K. Sivakumar Dugong ecology and specialist in marine endangered species recovery. Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry, India; Member of Dugong Task Force of India; Lead of the National Dugong Recovery Programme of India.