Doctoral Students

Otto Whitehead

Otto Whitehead
BSc (Hons) UCT

John Day Building: 2.09
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 3303
Fax: +27 (0)21 650 3295


Otto's love for the marine environment and its creatures was born in Durban where he spent many a day wandering the beaches and exploring the rock pools of its North and South coasts. After school he moved to Cape Town to study at UCT and in 2009 completed a BSc Honours in Zoology which left him with an indissoluble affinity for goose barnacles. He then took a break from the academic realm and backpacked his way through East Africa where he ended up volunteering at a turtle conservation centre in Zanzibar for two months. His next adventure took him to the sub-Antarctic island of Marion where he was part of the 68th over-wintering team (2011-2012). He conducted census and monitoring work on seabirds for the Fitz and Oceans & Coasts and also collected data for his MSc. Together with his burgeoning love for science, Otto is passionate about using film, photography and writing to increase the public’s affinity for and understanding of the natural world.

Otto upgraded his registration to PhD at the beginning of 2014.


Foraging ecology and diving behaviour of crested penguins at Marion Island (Supervisors: Peter Ryan and Yan Ropert-Coudert

Peer-reviewed publications


Whitehead, T.O., Rollinson, D.P. & Reisinger, R.D. (in press). Pseudostalked barnacles Xenobalanus globicipits attached to killer whales Orcinus orca in South African waters. Marine Biodiversity IP


Whitehead, T.O., Biccard, A., Griffiths, C.L. 2011. South African pelagic goose barnacles (Cirripedia, Thoracica): substratum preferences and influence of plastic debris on abundance and distribution. Crustaceana 84(5-6):635-649.