Ms Ikuko Tomo

Honorary Research Associate Mammals

+61 8 8207 7359


Ikuko completed her Master of Veterinary Science degree in Japan. She became an Honorary Research Associate at the Museum in 2004 in the Mammal Section and started to participate in post-mortem examinations of South Australian marine mammals.  Since 2011, Ikuko has studied local Little Penguin mortality through pathological investigations.


Position at Other Organisation

  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Adelaide


Research Interests             

Studying mortality and pathology of marine mammals from the South Australian coast to provide feedback on trends and monitoring of possible diseases. Post-mortem results are analysed and summarised to determine the possible major cause of death of these animals. Information on possible diseases is also collected, e.g. infectious disease caused by parasites, bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Studying mortality and pathology of Little Penguins from the Gulf St Vincent region of South Australia, particularly Granite Island (off Victor Harbour) and Kangaroo Island, to assist with conservation programs.


Current Research Projects

Australian dolphins (March/April 2013).  C. Kemper, I. Tomo, S. Bastianello, L. Woolford, C. Dickason and D. Kelly.  Grant funding to be sought (2013–2015). 

Conservation management of the Little Penguin population in Gulf St Vincent, South Australia.  I. Tomo. 2012–2013, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board.

Sexual maturity of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins in South Australia. C. Kemper, I. Tomo, E. Trentin and M. Talamonti. 2008–present, unfunded.


Professional Associations

  • Member, Australian Wildlife Animal Health Network

  • Member, Society for Marine Mammalogy



  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Nippon Veterinary and Animal Science University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tokyo, Japan (1979–1983)

  • Master of Veterinary Science, Nippon Veterinary and Animal Science University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tokyo, Japan (1983–1985).  Thesis: The immunological effects on the thymus during the pregnancy–mouse model


Community Engagement

Participation in the South Australian Museum’s display at Dolphin Day, Port Adelaide. 20 January 2013.

Demonstration to 25 students from Wilderness School of post-mortem at Bolivar Facility.  12 March 2013.

Little Penguins Workshop at the Keswick office of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. 8 May 2013.



  1. Byard, R. W., Tomo, I., Kemper, C. M., Gibbs, S. E., Bossley, M., Machado, A., and Hill, M. (2010).  Unusual causes of fatal upper aerodigestive tract obstruction in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). Forensic Science Medical Pathology. doi: 10.1007/s12024-010-9143-3.

  2. Tomo, I., Kemper, C. M. and Lavery, P. J. (2010).  18-year study of South Australian dolphins shows variation in lung nematodes by season, year, age class and location.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46 (2): 488–498.