Past & Future Conferences

Conference Schedule

  • 24th Biennial Conference, 2021
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
    13-17 December
  • 23rd Biennial Conference, 2019
    World Marine Mammal Conference, co-hosted with the European Cetacean Society
    Barcelona, Spain
    9-12 December
  • 22nd Biennial Conference, 2017
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    23-27 October
    Conference Program
  • 21st Biennial Conference, 2015
    San Francisco, California, USA
    13-18 December
    Conference Highlights | Conference Program | Conference in the News
  • 20th Biennial Conference, 2013
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    9-13 December
  • 19th Biennial Conference, 2011
    Tampa, Florida USA
    26 November – 2 December
  • 18th Biennial Conference, 2009
    Quebec City, Canada
    12-16 October
  • 17th Biennial Conference, 2007
    Cape Town, South Africa
    29 November – 3 December
  • 16th Biennial Conference, 2005
    San Diego, California, USA
    12-16 December (View 2005 conference abstract book. (Note: These abstracts were printed as a conference booklet and are not a primary source for citation. Please do not cite without permission of authors.)
  • 15th Biennial Conference, 2003
    Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
    14-19 December
  • 14th Biennial Conference, 2001
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    28 November – 3 December
  • 13th Biennial Conference, 1999
    Maui, Hawaii, USA
    28 November – 3 December
  • 12th Biennial Conference, 1998
    World Marine Mammal Science Conference
    Monte Carlo, Monaco
    20-25 January
  • 11th Biennial Conference, 1995
    Orlando, Florida, USA
    14-18 December
  • 10th Biennial Conference, 1993
    Galveston, Texas, USA
    11-15 November
  • 9th Biennial Conference, 1991
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    5-9 December
  • 8th Biennial Conference, 1989
    Pacific Grove, California, USA
    7-11 December
  • 7th Biennial Conference, 1987
    Miami, Florida, USA
    5-9 December
  • 6th Biennial Conference, 1985
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    22-26 November
  • 5th Biennial Conference, 1983
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    27 November – 1 December
  • 4th Biennial Conference, 1981
    San Francisco, California, USA
    14-18 December
  • 3rd Biennial Conference, 1979
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    7-11 October
  • 2nd Biennial Conference, 1977
    San Diego, California, USA
    12-15 December
  • 1st Biennial Conference, 1975
    Santa Cruz, California, USA
    4-7 December

Venue Requirements

The Biennial Conference is generally held in North America every other conference, or every fourth year.

The following are some general points for potential conference organizers to address in preparing an expression of interest. Details will be worked out with the Board and with consideration of the results of the questionnaire sent to members about the conference. Additional suggestions prepared by previous organizers and the names of individuals to contact are available upon request.

Meeting duration

5 full days plus a registration day and consideration for 2-3 days of pre- or post-conference workshops.


  • Meeting space for a plenary session of at least 2000 people. Space for at least three (3) concurrent contributed sessions of at least 700 people each. The concurrent session rooms need to be close enough to each other to allow people to move between them in the few minutes allowed between papers. If immediately adjacent to each other, acoustic separation is extremely important.
  • Space for at least 800 4′ x 4′ (~120 cm x 120 cm) posters to be displayed for the entire meeting; ideally with room for lots of people to mingle and carry on conversations.
  • Space for vendor and non-profit organization tables.
  • Several smaller rooms (separate from main meeting rooms) for conference office, small group meetings (25-100 people) available for the duration of the meeting. All conference facilities should be available from 0800 to 2400 each day of the conference.
  • Banquet space for at least 1,200 people, maybe as many as 1,500.

For the above, you need to check out the facilities of a large hotel or other conference facility to ensure adequate meeting space. Eventually, a contract is negotiated with whatever facility is chosen and the final agreement requires approval by the Board of the Society for Marine Mammalogy. Negotiations need to include room rates, number of rooms the meeting guarantees to fill (usually based on previous meetings), complimentary rooms, etc. BEFORE making any formal contacts with hotels or convention centers, contact the Society and we may have an agreement with a professional organization that will assist with negotiations.

Other items

The Conference committee is also responsible for (subject to Board approval) conference advertising, conference structure (including abstract review and printing the abstract book), determining the registration fee structure and other costs so that the Conference will be self-sufficient, registration activities (including staff), organizing conference artwork, t-shirts, mugs, etc.

It is desirable for potential conference organizers to have a representative living in or near the city proposed for the conference.

Expressions of interest should be communicated with the current President or President-Elect.