Vic Peddemors

Research interests

  • Shark biology, ecology and behaviour
  • Conservation genetics
  • Environmental effects on abundance and distribution
  • Impacts of fishery interactions
  • Tourism on marine predators
  • Impacts of pollutants on marine apex predators


Vic Peddemors joined NSW DPI in 2008 and now heads the shark research section of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, providing scientific leadership for the group’s research and advisory effort. He is currently also an Associate Professor in Marine Biology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and is a Visiting Fellow at the Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Vic has over 30 years scientific research experience in Antarctica, Australia, England, Holland, Mozambique and South Africa. His research interests cover a wide range of marine apex predators, but have particularly focused on cetaceans and sharks. This research has covered habitats from the tropics to the Antarctic whilst investigating the behaviour, biology, abundance and distribution of marine predators in relation to their habitat. Human-induced impacts, either through fishery or tourism interactions, have been a long-term study interest.

He has written over 80 scientific articles, more than 50 of which are peer-reviewed publications.


  • B.Sc. – University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) 1980
  • B.Sc. (Hons) - University of Natal, Durban (South Africa) 1983
  • M.Sc. in Environmental Biology – University of Natal, Durban (South Africa) 1987
  • PhD Zoology – University of Port Elizabeth (South Africa) 1995

Current projects

  • Assessing the shark component of the NSW Ocean Trap and Line Fishery.
  • Sharks and MPAs – impacts of release of captive-bred wobbegong sharks.
  • Shovelnose ray biology and reproductive physiology: implications for the NSW fishery.
  • Biology and fishery of angel sharks and sawsharks in NSW
  • Risk assessment of chondrichthyes bycatch in the NSW Fish Trawl.
  • Assessment of the sandbar shark fishery off northern NSW.
  • The NSW Shark Meshing Program.
  • Assessment of the East Australian grey nurse sharks population.
  • Shark interactions with fishing gear: Investigating the behavioural response of grey nurse sharks to recreational lures and baited lines.
  • Grey nurse sharks at Critical Habitats – population dynamics and the impact of recreational divers.
  • Use of genetic techniques as a forensic tool in shark fisheries.
  • Assessment of the suitability of aerial surveys in enhancing bather protection against shark attack.
  • Mechanics of shark bite.
  • Movements and biology of coastal sharks in NSW

Recent publications

Barker, S.M., V.M. Peddemors and J.E. Williamson (2011) A video and photographic study of aggregation, swimming and respiratory behaviour changes in the Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) in response to the presence of SCUBA divers. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 1-18,  iFirst.

Barker, S.M., V.M. Peddemors and J.E. Williamson (2011) Recreational SCUBA diver interactions with the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark Carcharias taurus. Pacific Conservation Biology 16: 261-269.

Ferrara, T.L.,, P. Clausen, D.R. Huber, C.R. McHenry, V. Peddemors and S.Wroe  2011. Mechanics of biting in great white and sand tiger sharks. Journal of Biomechanics, 44 (2011): 430–435.

Mendez, M., A. Subramaniam, T. Collins, G. Minton, R. Baldwin, P. Berggren, A. Särnblad, O.A. Amir, V.M. Peddemors, L. Kaarczmarski, A. Guissamulo and R.C. Rosenbaum. 2011. Molecular ecology meets remote sensing: environmental drivers to population structure of humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean. Heredity (2011): 1-13.

Reid, D.D., W.D. Robbins and V.M. Peddemors. (2011) Decadal trends in shark catches nd effort from the New South Wales, Australia, Shark Meshing Program 1950-2010. Marine and Freshwater Research 62: 1-18.

Robbins, W.D., V.M. Peddemors and S.J. Kennelly. (2011) Assessment of permanent magnets and electropositive metals to reduce the line-based capture of Galapagos sharks, Carcharhinus gaslapagensis. Fisheries Research 109: 100-106.

Robbins, W.D., V.M. Peddemors and S.J. Kennelly. (2011) Assessment of shark sighting rates by aerial beach patrols. (PDF, 419.03 KB) Industry & Investment NSW – Fisheries Final Report Series. 35 pp.

Boomer, J.J., V. Peddemors and A.J. Stow. (2010) Genetic data show that Carcharhius tilstoni is not confined to the tropics, highlighting the importance of a multifaceted approach to species identification. Journal of Fish Biology 77: 1165-1172.

Myeza, J., R.B. Mason and V.M. Peddemors. (2010) Socio-economic implications of the KwaZulu-Natal sardine run for local indigenous communities. African Journal of Marine Science 32(2): 399-404.

Natoli, A., V.M. Peddemors and A.R. Hoelzel. (2008) Population structure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) impacted by bycatch along the east coast of South Africa. Conservation Genetics (2008) 9: 627-636.

O’Donoghue, S.H., L. Drapeau, S.F.J. Dudley and V.M. Peddemors (2010) The KwaZulu-Natal sardine run: shoal distribution in relation to nearshore environmental conditions, 1997-2007. African Journal of Marine Science 32(2): 293-307.

O’Donoghue, S.H., L. Drapeau and V.M. Peddemors. (2010) Broad-scale distribution patterns of sardine and their predators in relation to remotely sensed environmental conditions during the KwaZulu-Natal sardine run. African Journal of Marine Science 32(2): 279-291.

O’Donoghue, S.H., P.A. Whittington, B.M. Dyer and V.M. Peddemors. (2010) Abundance and distribution of avian and marine mammal predators of sardine observed during the 2005 KwaZulu-Natal sardine run survey. African Journal of Marine Science 32(2): 361-374.

Cardno Ecology Lab Pty Ltd. (2010) Development and implementation of a population estimation protocol to provide an estimate of east coast population numbers for grey nurse sharks (Carchariaas taurus). Final Report prepared for Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra.

Van Bressem, M-F., K. Van Waerebeek, F.J. Aznar, J.A. Raga, P.D. Jepson, P. Duignan, R. Deaville, L. Flach, F. Viddi, J.R. Baker, A.P. Di Beneditto, M. Echegaray, T. Genov, J. Reyes, F. Felix, R. Gaspas, R. Ramos, V. Peddemors, G.P. Sanino and U. Siebert. (2009) Global epidemiology of tattoo skin disease: a general health indicator for cetaceans? Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 85: 225-237.

Macbeth WG, Geraghty PT, Peddemors VM and Gray CA (2009) Observer-based study of targeted commercial fishing for large shark species in waters off northern New South Wales. Final report to the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority, Project No. IS8-9-M-2. Industry & Investment NSW – Fisheries Final Report Series 114. Cronulla, NSW, Australia. ISSN 1837-2112. 82pp.

Natoli, A., V.M. Peddemors and A.R. Hoelzel. (2008) Population structure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) impacted by bycatch along the east coast of South Africa. Conservation Genetics (2008) 9: 627-636.

Cliff G, Anderson-Reade MD, Aitken AP, Charter GE and Peddemors VM (2007) Aerial census of whale sharks on the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa. Fisheries Research, 84: 41-46.

Feldheim KA, Stow AJ, Ahonen H, Chapman DD, Shivji M, Peddemors V and Wintner S (2007) Polymorphic microsatellite markers for studies of the conservation and reproductive genetics of imperilled sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus). Molecular Ecology Notes doi:10.1111/j.1471-8286.2007.01888.x

van Tienhoven AM, Den Hartog JE, Reijns RA and Peddemors VM (2007) A computer-aided program for pattern-matching of natural marks on the spotted raggedtooth shark Carcharias taurus (Rafinesque, 1810). Journal of Aplied Ecology, 44: 273-280.

Natoli A, Canadas A, Peddemors VM, Aguilar A, Vaquero C, Fernández-Piqueras P and Hoelzel AR (2006) Phylogeography and alpha taxonomy of the common dolphin (Delphinus sp.). Journal of Evolutionry Biology, 19: 943-954.

Peddemors V (2006) Sharks and netting – some South African perspectives. Pp: 57-67. In: Ferrell, D. (ed). Scientific Shark Protection Summit, 10 April 2006. NSW Dept. Primary Industries. 106 pp.

Stow A, Kyall Z, Briscoe D, Gillings M, Peddemors V, Otway N and Harcourt R (2006) Isolation and genetic diversity of endangered grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) populations. Biology Letters 2: 308-311.

Zenger KR, Stow AJ, Peddemors V, Briscoe DA and Harcourt RG (2006) Wide-spread utility of highly informative AFLP molecular markers across divergent shark species. Journal of Heredity 97: 607-611.

Atkins S, Pillay N and Peddemors VM (2004) Spatial distribution by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) at Richards Bay, South Africa: Environmental influences and behavioural patterns. Aquatic Mammals, 30(1): 84-93.

De Boer MN, Baldwin R, Burton CLK, Eyre EL, Jenner KCS, Jenner M-NM, Keith SG, McCabe KA, Parsons ECM, Peddemors VM, Rosenbaum HC, Rudolph P, Simmonds MP (Eds) 2004. Cetaceans in the Indian Ocean Sanctuary. A Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society Science Report. 52 pp.

Natoli A, Hoelzel AR and Peddemors VM (2004) Population structure and speciation in the genus Tursiops based on microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analyses. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 17: 363-375.

Dalebout ML, Ross GJB, Baker CS, Anderson RC, Best PB, Cockcroft VG, Hinz HL, Peddemors V and Pitman RL (2003) Appearance, distribution, and genetic distinctiveness of Longman’s beaked whale, Indopacetus pacificus. Marine Mammal Science, 19(3): 421-461.

Smit CF and Peddemors VM (2003) Estimating the probability of a shark attack when using an electric repellent. South African Statistical Journal, 37: 59-78.

Keith M, Peddemors VM, Bester MN and Ferguson JWH (2002) Population characteristics of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins at Richards Bay, South Africa: implications for incidental capture in shark nets. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 32(2): 153-162.

Friedmann Y, Daly B, Keith M, Peddemors V, Chimimba C and Byers O (2002) Conservation Assessment and Management Plan for the Mammals of South Africa: Draft Report. CBSG South Africa / Endangered Wildlife Trust, P.O. Box 731, Lanseria, 1748, South Africa; Conservation Specialist Group (SSC/IUCN), Apple Valley, MN, USA.  517 pp.

Professional associations and activities

  • Scientific Committee for the Australian Animal Tagging And Monitoring System [AATAMS] (2006 to present)
  • IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group invited participant (2010 – present)
  • IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group: Africa Coordinator (2002 – 2008)
  • Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (Invited Participant 1997 - 2008)
  • Marine Mammal By-Catch Task Team, WWF-US (2002 – present)
  • Oceania Chondrichthyan Society member

Fields of research

  • 050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity
  • 060201 - Behavioural Ecology
  • 060205 - Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
  • 060411 - Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
  • 060809 - Vertebrate Biology
  • 070402 - Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Elasmobranch biology
  • Aquatic ecology
  • Fisheries assessment
  • Natural resource management
  • Marine Conservation

Contact details