Author Archives: SMM

SMM Quarterly Newsletter: July-September 2019

Society for Marine Mammalogy Quarterly Newsletter

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QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Greetings from the President

Hello Everyone!

I hope that this newsletter finds you very well, and that the last three months have been productive and happy ones for you. I will tell you that they have been very busy ones for the World Marine Mammal Conference team! The Conference Chairs and their committee have been busily planning all the aspects of the WMMC, including workshops, evening celebrations, and the Barcelona PODS. The PODS offer the opportunity to learn about specific regions of beautiful, historic and culturally vibrant Barcelona, and are an opportunity not to be missed! The Scientific Chairs and their committee have created a program that will highlight research and scholarship from you and your colleagues from the European Cetacean Society and around the globe. It is a fantastic scientific program that will inspire and challenge us all – and I know will keep us very busy from sun-up to sun-down! 

The Society lent its voice on two conservation issues this quarter. A Presidential Letter was sent to the Director of the World Heritage Center, in support of the vaquita, and to the governments of both the United States and Canada, in support of the North Atlantic right whale. Saving both these critically endangered species will require immediate and sustained governmental actions to eliminate human-caused mortality. Our great thanks to those individuals and organizations who have worked so diligently on behalf of these species over the years – and to all in our community who have contributed to conservation efforts across the globe.  

Other news you will read more about below!  

·       The Society’s first Marine Mammal Science Podcasts were launched! Thanks to Chris Parsons and the fabulous line-up of marine mammal scientists who contributed to this great outreach endeavor! It is early on, but they are already having an impact. So far the Marine Mammal Science podcast has been ranked in the top 20 nature podcasts in 14 countries (including the US, Canada and UK) and the top 50 nature podcasts in 20 countries, which is pretty impressive for a brand new podcast! Please look out for episodes being announced on Twitter and Facebook and share them with your social networks.

·       The SMM and ECS Awards committees have been working together to develop new awards for the WMMC in recognition of this truly global meeting. Of course, with awards come the need for judges! Please consider volunteering for this very important service.

·       The Education Committee reached out to request your support to ensure the scientific accuracy of marine mammal information on the web! Thanks to all who responded – there is now a great new team of Wiki-curators from the SMM! And they can also use your help – please consider becoming a mentor to these new curators.

And that last note reminds me of the fundamental importance of mentors in our community. This year at the WMMC, there will be a number of mentoring programs in place. The International Travel Grant recipients will have a welcoming committee. The WMMC Student Committee is planning a mentoring program. And the Small Grants in Aid of Research recipients will each have a mentor from the Committee of Scientific Advisors. These efforts will help build community at the conference and beyond. And it is worth noting that each of us has knowledge and experiences that may benefit others, and that no matter how long we have “been in the business,” we never stop learning from our mentors.

My very best wishes to you all and hope to see you in Barcelona! 

D. Ann Pabst

World Marine Mammal Conference Update
On behalf of Carla Chicote and Manel Gazo and the Conference Planning Team
 
Our fantastic World Marine Mammal Conference Committee and their supporting staff are deep into the final preparations for Barcelona. Though they can’t pull away from the huge effort going into the final stretch, we did want to share some exciting milestones. The early-bird registration is complete and a scientific program of global impact has been built! The biggest news, it looks like we will have a fantastic turnout from our global community of marine mammal scientists.  We currently have 2230 registered attendees and the scientific program is full of amazing science with 1707 accepted abstracts.

Seeking Host for SMM 2023 Biennial Conference
By Charles Littnan

In a few short months, many of us will be gathering in Barcelona to share our science, advance conservation and policy, and catch up with old friends and colleagues. We will take advantage of a high quality scientific program, excellent facilities, and beautiful city – all made possible by our great conference planning committees. But did you know that teams are already hard at work planning the 2021 conference in Palm Beach, Florida? Yet, even as our Florida team ramps up their efforts for 2021, we have to continue the search for our 2023 venue. And that is where you come in. We need hosts.

Last month we sent out a call to the membership for people to step up and offer to host us all in 2023. And we had a great response from Australia, China, Puerto Rico, and more.  But we are still open to other locations as well. We have extended the deadline until October 15th and strongly encourage expressions of interest from regions/countries that have not previously hosted the conference. For a list of past conference locations, follow this link.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions about this opportunity or what hosting the conference entails at president-elect@marinemammalscience.org. It is hard work but there is a lot of support from the Society and previous conference organizers. Our Society benefits from having several choices and these efforts are focused on finding the most cost effective model for holding a conference to ensure it is as accessible as possible to our entire membership.

Potential venues will be presented at our Members’ meeting at the WMMC followed by an electronic ballot sometime later. If you aren’t able to attend the meeting we will make sure the proposals are accessible to the membership to help their decision when they vote.

Please seriously consider this opportunity to host this important event. Conference organizers shape the scientific discussion and future of our Society. It is a rare chance to make a big difference in our global marine mammal efforts.

New Awards for WMMC and More
By Lindsay Porter

As the WMMC rapidly approaches, the SMM Awards team are collaborating with the European Cetacean Society and are finalising a special “global awards” programme for the Barcelona conference. In the past, conference awards have included technology and innovation, communication, high impact non-invasive research and conservation-orientated outcomes. There are also awards for the highest scoring graduate and post-graduate students across the different presentation types. The “audience favourite” and “judges discretionary” awards have also been introduced in recent years. The core mission of both SMM and ECS is to advance marine mammal science and positively impact members of each society, policy and management and the public at large. The WMMC aims to contribute to Society missions by bringing scientists from around the world “together for science and conservation”. There will be several awards categories that will incorporate best presentations from Asia, Africa, North America, Central and South America, Austral-Asia, Oceania and the poles. There will be special awards for conservation and innovation and research which has resulted in outstanding public engagement. Projects which are widely collaborative, be it between disciplines, institutes or countries, will be highlighted. In addition, the awards, scholarships and grants that were gained throughout the last year will also be recognised. The WMMC awards programme is shaping up to be a truly spectacular event! So keep an eye on the conference webpage and social media for the Awards Criteria announcement. 

For all those that are presenting posters, please remember that to be eligible for an award, posters have to be uploaded to the conference portal by 1 December 2019 (https://www.wmmconference.org/guidance-for-posters/)

And while thinking of awards – we could not have an awards programme without the commitment and expertise of the conference participants who volunteer as judges. We need volunteers! We have a streamlined online-judging app that makes the judging process simple and efficient, so being involved in judging will not detract from your conference experience. A formal call for judges will go out in October with all requirements and criteria. Watch for announcements! 

Any thoughts or questions about awards? Please don’t hesitate to contact either Lindsay (lindsay.jp@gmail.com) or Aviad (shani.aviad@gmail.com), the WMMC Awards team leaders!
 

2019 Small Grants in Aid of Research Winners
By Doug Wartzok

The 2019 Small Grants in Aid of Research have been awarded. Fifteen of 32 proposals received the maximum funding of $2,000, or the amount requested when it was less than $2,000. Proposals were received from 13 eligible countries based on SMM criteria. The names of the winners and their project titles are posted on the SMM website. We congratulate the recipients and trust that the comments from Committee of Scientific Advisors proposal reviewers will assist all submitters to develop even better proposals in the future. The SMM has also provided $500 toward travel expenses for each of those students who were award recipients in 2016 and 2017 who have accepted abstracts for the WMMC in Barcelona and requested, but were not awarded, travel funds by the Student Affairs Committee. 
 
Wiki Curators Off To Great Start
By Mridula Srinivasan

What a fantastic response to our request for Marine Mammal Wiki Curators! I am delighted and enthused by the interest and passion of the students and researchers who signed up. 

Each curator has been assigned two species initially of their choosing or availability. Accompanying guidelines and instructions provide a consistent approach to producing, reviewing, and updating Wiki pages. 

Curators will review and update Wiki pages according to a set template and seek expert help to review pages for any inaccuracies, missing citations, or errors. Specialist Wiki groups dedicated to topics related to the oceans and cetaceans will provide an additional layer of editing help. The upkeep of the pages will be a continuous effort but the task is not herculean. The end goal of this initiative is to encourage students globally to develop researching skills, expand their knowledge of different marine mammal species, and foster valuable connections with SMM experts in the field. The biggest bonus is that these species-specific Wiki pages will be a valuable resource of accurate information for the public and scientific community.

Finally, a humble request to the SMM community of experts. If you are a professional or a species expert, please consider offering your services to help guide and mentor some of these young and bright talents, who are about to embark on marine mammal science careers. Thank you to the experts who have already offered to help.

Contact (mridula.srinivasan@noaa.gov) if you are interested. Likewise, we welcome any additional curators from the SMM student community. There are many species waiting to have their stories told. So, don’t be shy!

Here’s a full list of the curators participating in the effort. Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to be working with you. 

Sofia Nogueira, Giulia Roncon, Lauren McCaslin, Claire Lacey, Gin Swen Ham (Joey), Jenny Bachmann, Eliza-Jane Morin, Ivet Petkova, Melanie Smith, Chiara DeNeve, Natalia Berchieri, Mingming Liu, Nicole A Danaher-Garcia, Clinton Factheu, Angela Szesciorka, Mônica M. C. Muelbert, Elizabetha Tsitrin, Wentao Yu, Norma Lira, Chelsi Napoli, Aubrie Booth, Joseph Onoufriou, Gemma Haggar, Kimberly Nielsen, Leonora Davies, Daniella Hanf, Vicki Hamilton, Wongibe Poupezo Dieudonne, Elizabeth Zwamborn, Jessie Hoffman, Andreas Fuchs, Casandra Gálvez, Louise Hopkins, Texa Sim, Sarah Torres, Mieke Weyn

Be the Change You Wish to See in the Society
By Emer Rogan

The Nominations/Election Committee is looking for a new student member.  If anyone is interested in joining the Committee, please contact Emer (E.Rogan@ucc.ie) for more details.
 
Following the year of the biennial conference, key members of the Board of Governors are elected by the membership. In addition to candidates suggested by the Nominations/Election Committee, at the General Members’ meeting in Barcelona members will have the opportunity to be nominated for election for the following positions: President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Member-at-Large and Student Member-at-Large. All positions are for two years, with the exception of the Members-at-Large who serve on the Board for four years. Members interested and willing to stand for election need to be nominated at the Members’ meeting by two current members. For the position of Treasurer, the person needs to be a US citizen living in the USA. The duties of each of these officers is outlined in the constitution but please contact me if you need any more details. The election, carried out by e-voting, will take place in April/May 2020 and the new board will assume duties on 1 July 2020.   

New Marine Mammal Science Podcast!
By Chris Parsons

The Society for Marine Mammalogy is proud to present its new podcast Marine Mammal Science. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/marine-mammal-science/id1475692072

The podcast will cover all aspects of marine mammal science from cutting edge technologies used to study marine mammals to conservation issues. In particular, the podcast will highlight the latest research published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

The first five episodes (season 1) include:
Episode 1 – In the first of the Marine Mammal Science podcasts, while sailing in the coastal waters of Sri Lanka, Chris Parsons talks with Asha De Vos about her research on endangered blue whales in Sri Lanka.

Episode 2 – Chris Parsons talks with 2017 Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference plenary speaker Asha De Vos about the issue of “parachute science” and the difficulties faced by marine mammal researchers from developing countries.

Episode 3 – National Geographic Explorer Shah Selbe talks with Chris Parsons about using drones for marine mammal research, and how they are being used to study endangered blue whales in Sri Lanka.
 
Episode 4 – Nicole Vollmer talks with host Chris Parsons about her new study in the journal Marine Mammal Science that revises the taxonomy of the short-beaked dolphins of the genus Lagenorhynchus.

Episode 5 – Chris Parsons talks to Danielle Brown, whose Masters’ Degree research on humpback whales in the New York harbor area became one of the most downloaded papers for the journal Marine Mammal Science. 
 
The podcast is also available on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/2ylqxLTqKoZFGObsOVPfK9 and will appear on other podcast providers shortly.

The Marine Mammal Science podcast is produced by Speak Up for Blue productions on behalf of the Society for Marine Mammalogy. Organizations or societies wishing to sponsor episodes of the podcast should contact the producer at: ecm-parsons@earthlink.net

Marine Mammal Science Journal

Updates from our Sister Societies and Upcoming Events

The Mexican Marine Mammalogy Summer School has completed its fourth season. Find out more about the inspiring and exciting program here.

Marine Top Predator Session – 2020 Ocean Sciences Meeting (16-21 February 2020, San Diego)
The 2020 Ocean Sciences Meeting will take place 16-21 February 2020 in San Diego, California. The meeting is an important venue for scientific exchange across broad marine science disciplines, with sessions on all aspects of oceanography.  Particularly relevant to marine mammal scientists is the session: “Advances in the ecology, behavior, physiology, or conservation of marine top predators” (ME001).

This session has been convened at the Ocean Sciences meetings since 2010, and it provides a wonderful opportunity for researchers studying a variety of taxa (including marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, and fish) to meet, exchange ideas, and explore commonalities in research methods, scientific questions, and conservation efforts.

Please consider submitting an abstract and attending the meeting. Abstracts are due by 11 September 2019. Meeting website: https://www.agu.org/ocean-sciences-meeting/

6th International Marine Conservation Congress (21-27 August 2020; Kiel, Germany)
The 6th International Marine Conservation Congress, the largest academic conference on all aspects of marine conservation, will be held in Kiel, Germany: 21-27 August 2020.
Meeting website: https://conbio.org/mini-sites/imcc6/

To conserve the world’s oceans we must go beyond science, and use it to inform policy and management to catalyze change. The Society for Conservation Biology’s International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) brings together conservation professionals and students to develop new and powerful tools to further marine conservation science and policy.

With over 700 marine conservation professionals and students in attendance, IMCC is the most important international event for anyone involved or interested in marine conservation.

The 6th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC6) will be held in the sailing city of Kiel, Germany. Located on the Kiel fjord, its waterfront position and maritime history is the perfect setting. IMCC6 will bring together marine conservationists from many walks of life including but not limited to scientists, practioners, educators, policy-makers, artists and journalists. Join us in Kiel as we come together to help Make Marine Science Matter!

The meeting will also be immediately followed by the 2020 Oceans Online meeting (28th August) which covers using online tools and social media to aid marine conservation.

It’s never too early to start planning for IMCC6. Be on the lookout for key dates for registration, abstract submission, student and travel grants, and more:

  • Call for Symposia and Workshops: October 2019
  • Call for Talks and Posters: December 2019
  • IMCC6 Registration: Early 2020

About the Society for Marine Mammalogy

The mission of the international Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) is to promote the global advancement of marine mammal science and contribute to its relevance and impact in education, conservation and management.

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News from our Sister Society, SOMEMMA

The Mexican Marine Mammalogy Summer School: training new generations and strengthening our scientific society 

Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse1,2,*, Fabiola Guerrero de la Rosa1,2, Juan José Alava3, Geraldine Busquets Vass1,4, Frank Cipriano5, Raúl Díaz-Gamboa1,6, Fernando R. Elorriaga Verplancken1,4, Cara Field7, Concepción García-Aguilar1,8, Diane Gendron1,4, Alejandro Gómez Gallardo1,9, Claudia J. Hernández Camacho1,4, Valentina Islas Villanueva1,10, Armando Jaramillo Legorreta1,11, Paloma Ladrón de Guevara1, Sergio Martínez Aguilar1,12, Ibiza Martínez Serrano1,13, Luis Medrano1,14, Dilia R. Meza Castro15, Sally Mizroch16, Adrián Mungia-Vega17, Seth Newsome18, Christian Ortega Ortiz1,19, Aurora Paniagua-Mendoza1,20, Mario A. Pardo1,21, Larissa Rosa de Oliveira1,22,, Hiram Rosales Nanduca1,12, Diego Ruiz Sabio23, Jorge Urbán1,12, Lorena Viloria1,12

First proposed in May 2012 during the annual members’ meeting of the Mexican Society of Marine Mammalogy (SOMEMMA), the oldest Marine Mammal Society in the world, founded in 1979, we have now completed the fourth biennial Marine Mammalogy Summer School (E3M) in La Paz, Mexico. 

The E3M has been tremendously rewarding for both students and instructors. So far, we have trained nearly 200 undergraduate and 100 graduate students. Seeing so many students interested in learning about marine mammals has been inspiring to us, particularly at a time when nearly 20% of the 50 species of marine mammals that inhabit Mexican waters are endangered, and one, the Vaquita, is facing extinction. 

Akin to the species we study, the E3M has adapted and evolved from a four-day course focusing on basic biology of marine mammals to a two-module (regular and advanced) eight-day Summer School. We now offer our students 70 hours of lectures, hands-on wetlabs, and fieldwork training, nearly 20 subjects ranging from evolution and systematics to social dimensions of marine mammal conservation. Being held in the Gulf of California, the richest region in marine mammal species in Mexico, means that students have a unique opportunity to see a diverse community of odontocetes, mysticetes and pinnipeds during the fieldtrip, and acquire some hands-on experience in a wide variety of fundamental and cutting-edge techniques used to study and sample them.

We feel proud of what our Summer School offers. We have kept enrollment prices low, which has allowed us to attract participants from different parts of Mexico, the US, and various countries from Europe and Latin America, including students from non-coastal areas where marine mammalogy is rarely or never taught. At a cost of only $120 USD including accommodation, E3M is one of the most financially accessible specialized short courses in the world. E3M provides a unique learning opportunity. Because the E3M is not linked to a specific university or research center, but rather to SOMEMMA and the larger marine mammal scientific community it serves, various researchers from different parts of Mexico, as well as from other countries participate as instructors, bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and different teaching styles that have helped engage our students. Many of the instructors tend to be at the back of the room during their colleague’s lectures, which has helped make the lectures very casual, accessible, and dynamic. It is common for questions posed by the students to be answered by different colleagues, which helps students understand concepts from different perspectives. These interactions have allowed the instructors to interact in unique ways that help strengthen ties among us and in some cases have led to new collaborations and students visiting each other’s labs to complete additional training.  

A key aspect that makes these courses affordable and effective is that organizers and instructors give their time and effort for free. Organizing the summer school takes a full year and involves raising enough funds to cover the cost of airfare for the participating instructors, hiring a ship, and ensuring accommodation for students and instructors. Our venture has not always been easy given the current economic situation, with deep budget cuts and scarce funding opportunities, especially for training programs. However, the institutions of our instructors have helped greatly via access to facilities, equipment loans, motorboats, crew members, and volunteer support staff. In particular, support from CICIMAR (Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Sciences of the National Polytechnic Institute), WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Museo de la Ballena-Centro de Rescate (Whale Museum and Rescue Center), CICESE-ULP (Center for Scientific Research and Advanced Studies of Ensenada, La Paz Unit), various Mexican autonomous universities (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán), Ecology Project International, and CONACYT (National Council for Science and Technology), has been essential for helping the E3M become what it is now.

‘Exciting’, ‘Life-changing’, ‘Inspiring’, ‘Incredible’, ‘Marvelous’, ‘Heart’; these words have been used by students and invited instructors to describe the E3M. It certainly has been for us, and it has been especially encouraging to see so much interest in our field of study. After all, one of SOMEMMA’s statutes is to participate in the training of undergraduate and graduate students in marine mammalogy. While this has been accomplished for decades through our biennial conference and individual mentoring, younger members of SOMEMMA and the wider marine mammal scientific community we are benefiting from communal teaching and sharing our personal experiences in the field. In the process, as instructors, we are also learning about subjects that we are not specialized in.

We hope our experience with the Mexican Marine Mammalogy Summer School inspires other scientific societies to follow suit. At a time characterized by scarce funding, limited opportunities, individualism and fierce competition, it is heartening to see how community efforts based on sharing resources and knowledge can help motivate and mentor new generations of marine mammalogists to become interested in science, conservation, legislation, and management, all in a collaborative and collegial framework. We expect these next generations will greatly expand our understanding of marine mammal biology and help to contribute with new methods and conservation applications in benefit of the sustainability of marine ecosystems in Mexico and beyond.

 

1 Sociedad Mexicana de Mastozología Marina (SOMEMMA), Mexico. 2 Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Querétaro, 76230, Mexico. 3 Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. 4 Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, La Paz, Baja California Sur, 23096, Mexico. 5 Genomics/Transcriptomics Analysis Core, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California 94132, USA. 6 Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, 97100, Mexico.7 The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, California, 94965, USA. 8 Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Ensenada, Baja California, 22860, Mexico. 9 Univerisdad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, 23080, Mexico. 10 Universidad del Mar, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, 71980, Mexico. 11 Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Ensenada, Baja California, 22860, Mexico 12 Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, Baja California Sur, 23081, Mexico. 13 Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz, 91090. 14 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cd. de México, 04510, Mexico. 15 Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP), La Paz, Baja California Sur, 23090, Mexico. 16 Blue Sea Research, Seattle, Washington, USA. 17 The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721, USA. 18 Department of Biology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87131, USA. 19 Universidad de Colima, Colima, 28040, Mexico. 20 Red de Varamientos de Mamíferos Marinos de La Paz & MMARES, AC. Mexico 21 Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Unidad La Paz, La Paz Baja California Sur, 23059, Mexico. 22 Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Sao Leopoldo, Brazil. 23 Museo de la Ballena y Ciencias Marinas, La Paz, BCS, 23000, Mexico.

* Author for correspondence: karina.acevedo.whitehouse@uaq.mx

Call for 2023 SMM Conference Venue Hosts

Aloha SMM Community-

One of my responsibilities for the Society is to bring to the membership options for the venue for our 2023 Biennial (as a reminder 2021 will be in Florida). As we have in the past, we are reaching out to the membership to engage with groups who may wish to host the conference in their region. This challenging but important honor is vital to our scientific, conservation and educational mission, so we hope several groups will step up to the opportunity.

We are open to hear from any geographic location, but are especially interested in venues outside of North America. We would also strongly encourage expressions of interest from regions/countries that have not previously hosted the conference. For a list of past conference locations, follow this link.

We will simultaneously be exploring venue options through our contracted conference organizing company. This might allow us to find a more cost effective location, but would require organizing and scientific committees to work remotely from the site with occasional travel to the venue. So if your group is interested in hosting a conference, but do not happen to be around facilities that could support it, this could be an opportunity for you.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions about this opportunity or what hosting the conference entails at president-elect@marinemammalscience.org. It is hard work but there is a lot of support from the Society and previous conference organizers. Our Society benefits from having several choices and these efforts are focused on finding the most cost effective model for holding a conference to ensure it is as accessible as possible to our entire membership.

I would like to receive expressions of interest by Friday August 23 so that there is sufficient time to work with each group in the lead up to the conference. Conference venues will be presented and voted on by the membership at the closing members meeting in December.

Thanks in advance to everyone who considers this opportunity/request

Charles Littnan, PhD.
SMM President-Elect
president-elect@marinemammalscience.org

Help Keep Marine Mammal Science Accurate!

Hello!

Would you like to get a head start on your marine mammal literature review and understanding of the remarkably diverse marine mammal species found globally? If yes, consider becoming a Wikipedia ® marine mammal species page curator. The Society for Marine Mammalogy Education Committee is looking for committed, passionate, and detail-oriented undergraduate/graduate students, recent graduates, early-career scientists and active members from Marine Mammal Student Chapters (regional and international) to help us update species information on Wikipedia® pages.

In recent years, Wikipedia® has become the go-to resource for marine mammal information and the SMM is keen to keep it accurate and as current as possible. The assigned student/s will review and update Wikipedia® pages by updating the literature individually or in pairs and then working directly with species experts to obtain feedback.

The students will receive assignments from and report to the SMM Education Committee Chair, Dr. Mridula Srinivasan. Entries will be updated or published only after approval by the Education Committee Chair and SMM. This is an exciting opportunity for students interested in pursuing a marine mammal science career. Student curators will have access to and network directly with global marine mammal experts, and contribute to disseminating the latest and best information to the general public, students, enthusiasts, and professionals.

Please contact Mridula Srinivasan (mridula.srinivasan@noaa.gov) if you are interested in joining this effort.

SMM Quarterly Newsletter: April-June 2019

Society for Marine Mammalogy Quarterly Newsletter

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QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

Greetings from the President

Hello Good Colleagues!

The Society for Marine Mammalogy has much to celebrate! As you will read below, we are honoring many colleagues for their accomplishments. These include our Wood Award winner, for her innovative graduate research, and our Honorary members, for their decades of research and service; our Conservation Prize winner, for her over twenty years of work with the Irrawaddy dolphin and local river communities in Indonesia; the Twiss Award winner for her conservation-focused, graduate research; and our Norris Award winner, for her life-time scientific and conservation achievements in the field of dugong population ecology. Our Society is a multi-generational community, which gains its strength from the creativity, innovative spirit, and dedication to science, conservation and outreach from all its members, at every stage of professional development!

And this spring, you all voted enthusiastically to sustain that multi-generational community! You supported our Student Members by increasing the length of time they can maintain that status as they transition to their next life step, and you supported our Society’s recognition of the diversity of the accomplishments of our members by creating the Fellows Membership category.

We also celebrate the global outpouring of interest in the upcoming World Marine Mammal Conference – a record number of abstracts were submitted by colleagues from a record number of countries! The WMMC is going to be a marvelous (epic!) event, and one that will fundamentally and positively impact marine mammal science and conservation for decades to come.

And we will need those global-scale, positive, and forward-thinking impacts, because although we have much to celebrate, we also have much to do. Last month, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released its sobering report on the accelerating deterioration of our planet caused by human activities (summary: https://www.ipbes.net/sites/default/files/downloads/spm_unedited_advance_for_posting_htn.pdf). Our community must continue to contribute its knowledge and science to educate the public; to inform much-needed, evidence-based, conservation and management policies; and to share with the world not only the sheer wonders of our species, but their multiple roles in shaping the ecosystems upon which we all rely. Perhaps at no other time has our Society’s mission been so critical:

Our Mission

The mission of the international Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) is to promote the global advancement of marine mammal science and contribute to its relevance and impact in education, conservation and management.

So, thank you all! And as always, I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions, or ideas that will continue to enhance our work together.
 
My very best wishes to you all. 
 
D. Ann Pabst

From the Conference Committee
By Carla A. Chicote and Manel Gazo
WMMC2019 Co-Chairs
 
We are very pleased to report that the World Marine Mammal Conference received 1,961 abstract submissions, from individuals representing 80 countries!  We also received applications for 60 workshops to be held on the weekend before the Conference. This outpouring of submissions from marine mammal scientists ensures that the WMMC will be a truly global event. Besides the joy produced by this willing attendance, and all the work and science contained in each abstract submitted and workshop proposed, we are also working on the logistics to create the best World Conference. Keep tuned to the web and social media channels for updates and upcoming news on WMMC19. We look forward to seeing you all there — together for Science and Conservation!

From the Awards Committee
by Lindsay Porter and Daryl Boness

During the year of the biennial conference, the Society for Marine Mammalogy gives out two awards for student papers published in Marine Mammal Science. The awards are the F. G. Wood Award and the John R. Twiss, Jr. Award.      

The Wood Award was established in honor of Forrest G. Wood, a founding member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and is given for the best student paper published in Marine Mammal Science during the period between the Society’s Biennial Conferences. The award includes an opportunity to deliver a plenary session presentation on the topic of the award paper at the Biennial Conference, and funds to cover costs of participation in the Conference (registration, travel, lodging, meals, and necessary incidental expenses). Judging of eligible papers is to be done by the Editor in consultation with the Board of Editors. There was a total of 33 eligible papers evaluated. The winner this year is Hannah Cubaynes for her paper entitled, “Whales from space: four mysticete species described using new VHR satellite imagery.”

The Twiss Award was established in honor of John Twiss Jr., who was the first Executive Director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission and is given for the best student paper that describes innovative research related to marine mammal habitat and ecosystem conservation. A committee of four judges evaluated the top-ranking papers that were eligible. There was a total of 22 eligible papers. The Twiss Award winner receives US $500 and a certificate. The winner this year is Guillemette Labadie for her paper entitled, “First demographic insights on historically harvested and poorly known male sperm whale populations off the Crozet and Kerguelen Islands (Southern Ocean)”.
 

Vera da Silva and Bernd Würsig elected as new Honorary Members
In the spring 2019 vote, Members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy voted to elect Vera da Silva and Bernd Würsig as Honorary Members in recognition of their distinguished service to the field of marine mammalogy. Vera da Silva is a Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia) in Manaus, Brazil, where she has carried out multiple, multi-decadal research and conservation efforts on Amazonian dolphins and manatees. Bernd Würsig is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Marine Biology at Texas A&M, was one of the first to author a paper on the individual recognition of dolphins by marks on their dorsal fins and was President of our Society from 1991–1993. Our Honorary Members are the giants upon whose shoulders we all stand. They pioneered research methods, brought students and colleagues into the field, served their scientific community, and brought their science to bear on critical conservation issues. We thank them for their service and welcome them as new Honorary Members!

Dr. Helene Marsh is our newest Kenneth S. Norris Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Helene Marsh is the 2019 recipient of the Kenneth S. Norris Lifetime Achievement Award, which celebrates “a career of excellence in scientific research”.

Dr. Marsh is a Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and the Dean of Graduate Research Studies at James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia. Dr. Marsh has spent her career focused upon, and engaging students and colleagues in, the study of the population ecology of dugongs. She has specifically sought out colleagues from multiple disciplines to inform her research, and the fruits of those efforts have yielded over 150 scientific publications and interdisciplinary solutions to conservation problems. She has contributed to the future of our science, and our scientific community, by her active engagement in student mentoring, including over 55 PhD and 20 Master’s students. She is a Fellow of both the Australian Academies of Science and Technological Sciences and Engineering and has chaired the national Threatened Species Scientific Committee of Australia. She has been honored with the Aldo Leopold Award by the American Society for Mammalogy, the Distinguished Service Award by the Society of Conservation Biology, and an award for her contributions to sirenian research by the SMM. Dr. Marsh also served as the 16th President of our Society.

From the Board of Editors of Marine Mammal Science
by Daryl Boness

A New Look for Marine Mammal Science
Marine Mammal Science has now begun implementing a new journal style and appearance, both inside and outside. The journal style we will be using is that of the American Psychological Association (APA Style Guidelines). Similarly the reference list will follow APA formatting. The Guide for Authors on the SMM website has been updated and if Wiley online hasn’t yet, it should be soon. A new “manuscript preparation file” is attached to papers that are accepted. For a period of time as we transition to the new style for papers in progress of being reviewed, I will be letting authors know they need to change revised papers to the new style. Watch for these new changes to be in the next issue or the following one. For a few issues, papers may have the new or old look because some have already been set and released to Early View. However, the new cover look, which the membership voted on through Facebook, will be on the next issue.

An independent change has begun with regard to use and interpretation of statistics, especially frequentist statistics. A paper recently published in Nature, which did not necessarily present new concerns, but emphasized the need to fix the problem, has led editors of at least some journals to take a stronger position. This is an issue Tim Gerrodette, a former Associate Editor, constantly reminded me about and more recently Jay Barlow brought to my attention the Nature paper (Amrhein et al. 2019). Hence, I now pay close attention to these matters in every manuscript and often attach the Nature paper to my decision letter. The biggest problem is claiming “no significant differences” or that “things are similar” because P<0.05. I encourage everyone to read the Nature paper.

From the Conservation Committee
by Barb Taylor

The Committee is proud to announce that the recipient of the 2019 Conservation Merit Prize is Dr. Danielle Kreb. She was selected for her over 20 years of conservation efforts on behalf of the critically endangered Mahakam River population of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris), also known as pesuts, in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, and for her engagement of local communities in that critical work. By co-founding the Yayasan Konservasi RASI (Conservation Foundation for Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia), she has focused her research and outreach efforts in Indonesia to “protect endangered, aquatic species and their habitat.” SMM specifically recognizes her work on protecting the pesut, by collecting data on trends in abundance, changes in distribution, habitat quality and threats and by working at multiple levels and with numerous stakeholders to address those threats. Her program’s core value of community involvement, working in association with river communities, school environmental education programs, and including local students in her work, is commendable.  These efforts have resulted in the documentation of core areas used by the pesut and in the development, with significant community involvement, of a large Protected Area covering the majority of the important habitat of the population.

This was the first year the Committee took nominations from the membership. The Society should be proud of how many excellent dedicated conservation scientists we have for marine mammals. The Committee narrowed the list of nominees to a few candidates and then requested detailed information for those candidates on a standard form. The Committee then voted and passed their selection to the Board for their approval. It was a very tough decision and we encourage those not chosen this year to nominate their candidates next time.

The Committee also welcomes two new members:  Lucy Keith-Diagne to replace Ben Morales with manatee expertise, and Simon Goldsworthy to replace Lloyd Lowery with pinniped expertise.

The April 2019 Vaquita Update (full posting here), reports that while totoaba season is winding down gillnetting for other fish is rampant. Following an announcement by the Mexican government that the program to compensate fishermen for not fishing would cease, many returned to gillnet fishing without permits. Fishermen working on the net removal vessels reported that some of those who were back on the water fishing were staying away from the zero tolerance area, the area where the last few vaquitas remain, where the net removal effort is concentrated. However, others are actively gillnetting within the area and refuse to move when requested and because these fishermen stay with their nets, the nets are not removed.  The relatively extensive ongoing illegal gillnetting represents a clear danger to the few remaining vaquitas and it impedes the deployment of acoustic monitoring devices. Without acoustic data to guide researchers to the locations of vaquitas, planned photo-identification work has been delayed until the fishing has essentially stopped.
 

From the Committee of Scientific Advisors
by Doug Wartzok

The annual solicitation of proposals for small research grants of up to US $2,000 is open during the month of June. Please confirm eligibility before applying. The Committee would like to add another student willing to assist in evaluation of submitted research proposals during the month of July. Interested students should contact the Committee Chair, Douglas Wartzok.

 
From the Education Committee
By Mridula Srinivasan

Would you like to get a head start on your marine mammal literature review and understanding of the remarkably diverse marine mammal species found globally? If yes, consider becoming a Wikipedia ® marine mammal species page curator. The Society for Marine Mammalogy Education Committee is looking for committed, passionate, and detail-oriented undergraduate/graduate students and active members from Marine Mammal Student Chapters (regional and international) to help us update species information on Wikipedia® pages.

In recent years, Wikipedia® has become the go-to resource for marine mammal information and the SMM is keen to keep it accurate and as current as possible. The assigned student/s will review and update Wikipedia® pages by updating the literature individually or in pairs and then working directly with species experts to obtain feedback.

The students will receive assignments from and report to the SMM Education Committee Chair, Dr. Mridula Srinivasan. Entries will be updated or published only after approval by the Education Committee Chair and SMM. This is an exciting opportunity for students interested in pursuing a marine mammal science career. Student curators will have access to and network directly with global marine mammal experts, and contribute to disseminating the latest and best information to the general public, students, enthusiasts, and professionals.

Please contact Mridula Srinivasan (mridula.srinivasan@noaa.gov) if you are interested in joining this effort.

Upcoming Events
Compiled by Chris Parsons

Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences conference (26-28 June 2019; Orlando, Florida, USA)
The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences are holding their annual conference on Orlando, Florida at the University of Central Florida.

The theme of this year’s conference is: Inclusion and legitimacy in environmental studies and sciences: tensions and synergies.

Workshops and the welcoming plenary & icebreaker event will be held on 26th June.
The main conference will be 27-28th June.
Field trips are available for Saturday 29th June.
Cheap university accommodation is available ($40 a night) but numbers of rooms are limited.

International Congress for Conservation Biology (21-25 July 2019; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
 The Society for Conservation Biology’s 29th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB 2019) will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 21-25 July 2019.
Researchers, students, agency personnel, environmental educators, practitioners, and other conservation stakeholders will join for lively discussions on the nexus between biodiversity conservation and genetics, ecology, biogeography, anthropology, history, psychology, economics, conservation marketing, religion, and more.
To register and for more details go to: https://conbio.org/mini-sites/iccb-2019
 
Marine mammal summer school (14-21 July 2019; La Paz, Mexico)
Basic module (50 h) 14-18 July (In Spanish)
Evolution
Systematics and diversity
Oceanography and marine zoogeography
Ecology and life history
Anatomy and physiology
Conservation and current status
Legislation
Human dimensions
Field trip (principles of navigation, distance sampling, first aid, sample preservation, pinniped census, and much more)
Advanced modules (20 h each) 20-21 July (In English)
Ecotoxicology and Marine Pollutants
Juan José Alava, University of British Columbia, Canada.
Stable isotopes in ecological and environmental studies
Seth Newsome & Emma Elliot Smith, University of New Mexico, USA.
Telemetry as a tool for animal ecology
Tenaya Norris, The Marine Mammal Center, USA.
Population genetics and conservation genetics
Larissa Rosa de Oliveira, UNISINOS, Brazil. Adrián Munguía-Vega, University of Arizona,
USA.
Passive Acoustic Monitoring and photo-ID database management
Sally Mizroch, NOAA, USA. Armando Jaramillo Legorreta, INECC, SEMARNAT, México.
Introduction to marine mammal rehabilitation and disease
Cara Field, The Marine Mammal Center, USA.
Behavioural ecology of marine mammals
Concepción García Aguilar, CICESE, México.
Diane Gendron, CICIMAR, México.
Sergio MarVnez Aguilar, UABCS, México.
For details and cost go to: www.escuelamexicanademamiferosmarinos.com
 
Ocean Alive Summer School (July 2019; Setúbal, Portugal)
This course targets young people with interest for ocean issues. It’s conducted in conjunction with the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal – Marine Science and Experiential Learning Program.
This marine science course is embedded into our award-winning local sustainability project, “Seagrass Guardians”. Participants will take on the challenge of developing life-changing and balanced solutions as part of their final evaluation. The course will take place in Sado estuary, Setúbal, Portugal.
For more details go to: http://www.erasmus-journal.eu/summer-course-marine-science-and-experiential-learning-program-i-setubal-portugal-july-2019/

For a video please go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1A_83p-1_M&t=6s
Application form: https://goo.gl/forms/t1At5PtuNuKzyyQp2

Fifth International Conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life (7-12 July 2019; Den Haag, The Netherlands)
Abstracts for AN2019 deadline is 28 Feb 2019.
You can access the Abstract Submission website here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/364801/Homepage.
Instructions to access:

  • Land on the homepage, once finished reviewing the homepage, click on ‘LOGIN’, top left-hand corner.
  • Create your own profile entering the required details.
  • Once your profile is created, there is an “add submissions” option. Click on the Submission tab top left, then click “add new” to add your first submission.
  • Complete submission and uploading of abstract as per site format.
  • Submit and save.

You can review your submission(s) on the submission page. Any queries relating to your abstract or the abstract submission process can be directed via email to abstracts@an-2019.org

Conference Registration
Once you have submitted your abstract, you can also register via the conference registration page here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=364801&
Registration is a very simple process. Register sooner rather than later to secure your hotel reservation and early bird registration fee.
Any queries relating to your conference registration can be directed via email to registrations@an-2019.org

Financial Support
We have secured funding to provide financial support to attend AN2019. You can apply here: http://www.an-2019.org/financial-support/
You must be first author on an abstract. While anybody wishing to attend AN2019 and needing support can apply, preference will be given to students and early career researchers.
You can follow the meeting on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AquaticNoise2019/) and Twitter (@AquaticNoise). The website is regularly updated with new information about the meeting: an-2019.org

Marine Mammal Biology and Conservation Course (11-18 July 2019; Millport, Scotland)

  • Location: Millport near Glasgow, Scotland
  • Tutors: Dominic McCafferty, Anna McGregor, Chris Parsons and Jack Lucas
  • Dates: Thursday 11 July 2019 to Thursday 18 July 2019
  • Level: Intermediate

Course cost

  • RESIDENT (SOLE OCCUPANCY): £731  (includes food and accomodation for the course duration)
  • RESIDENT(SHARED ROOM): £682 (includes food and accomodation for the course duration)
  • NON-RESIDENT: £642

To register please visit: https://www.field-studies-council.org/individuals-and-families/courses/2019/mil/marine-mammals-81596.aspx

This field course is an intensive, comprehensive yet thoroughly enjoyable introduction to studying marine mammals. With dedicated vessel surveys, lab practicals, shore work and lectures that cover the whole spectrum of marine mammal science; this course is a one-of-kind experience into the world of whales, dolphins and seals led by experienced professionals. Their biology, physiology, ecology, conservation and sampling strategies will be detailed over the course by experts in different fields, with specific focus on practical sessions where data will be collected and analysed. These practicals include: a line-transect survey for birds and cetaceans, a seal colony behavioural study, an acoustic workshop, an otter diet analysis and a land-based observation for megafauna. The Clyde is home to a wide variety of marine megafauna and is the perfect setting for observing mammals and birds in the wild. The use of the marine station’s research vessel RV Actinia, state-of-the-art lab facilities, comfortable lecture theatres and specialist equipment are an integral part of this course, along with the specialisms of the teaching staff involved.
Please note this course is aimed at those who are currently undertaking, or have recently undertaken, a degree in a relevant scientific discipline or those pursuing post-graduate studies. The course currently hosts regular undergraduate cohorts from the Universities of Glasgow and Stirling, and is frequently attended by visiting international students.

Extra Nights
If you are interested in staying at the Centre for additional nights, before or after the course, please contact the Centre for availability and costs which start from £25 for B&B, or £40 full board (we can confirm B&B availability 4 weeks prior to the course). Sunday rate £35.

Partner Rate
For those paying the sole occupancy price, we are offering our guests a special rate for those who would like a twin room for them and their partner not enrolled on an FSC course, at £35 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

US students
If you are based in the US and wish to take the course and/or wish to take the course for US college (undergraduate or graduate credit; 4.0 credit hours) please contact Dr Chris Parsons (ecm-parsons@earthlink.net) for information on how to get to the field station and/or obtaining US credit.

Distance Sampling Training Workshops (August 2019; St Andrews, Scotland)
In August 2019, the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, is hosting a series of linked, training workshops on distance sampling survey methods and analysis. Distance sampling (Buckland et al. 2001) is a widely used method of estimating density and abundance for marine mammals. Conducting such surveys are expensive and so it is important that survey designs and methods are appropriate. The introductory workshop covers the basic methods of distance sampling: for those wishing to learn more advanced methods, or indeed what to do when the basic assumptions of conventional distance sampling methods cannot be met, there is the ‘Advanced-level distance sampling’ workshop.

Introduction to R (for distance sampling): 19-20 August 2019
Many of the options available in the Distance for Windows program (Thomas et al. 2013) are now available in R (R Core Team, 2018) packages. The goal of this two-day workshop is to introduce participants to the R language and software for statistics, in the context of analysis of distance sampling data.

Introduction to Distance Sampling (using R): 21-23 August 2019
This workshop will give participants a solid grounding in the basic methods for design and analysis of distance sampling surveys. The statistical programming language R will be used for all computer sessions and therefore this workshop will be invaluable for those wishing to make the switch from the Distance for Windows program to R.

Advanced-level Distance Sampling: 26-30 August 2019
This workshop will cover the simulation of distance sampling surveys to allow different survey designs to be compared (thus allowing the user to select the most appropriate design), survey and analysis methods for estimating detection on the track line (i.e. double-observer methods) and spatial modelling of distance sampling data (as described in Miller et al. (2013)) to help describe and explain how animals use their habitat. The statistical programming language R will be used for all computer sessions.

For more information see https://www.creem.st-andrews.ac.uk/distance-workshops-st-andrews-2019/ or contact Louise Burt (lb9@st-andrews.ac.uk) or Rhona Rodger (rmr5@st-andrews.ac.uk).

References
Buckland ST, Anderson DR, Burnham KP, Laake JL, Borchers DL and Thomas L (2001) Introduction to distance sampling: Estimating abundance of biological populations. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK
Miller DL, Burt ML, Rexstad EA & Thomas L (2013) Spatial models for distance sampling data: recent developments and future directions. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4 (11):1001–1010. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12105.
 
6th International Conference on Bio-Acoustics (13-14 August 2019; Loughborough University, UK)
The sixth International Conference on Bio-Acoustics, organised by the Institute of Acoustics, will be held at Holywell Park, Loughborough University, UK, 13-14 August 2019.
The purpose of the conference will be to review the present state of this continually evolving subject area, to report on new developments and to examine future trends. Equal emphasis will be given to papers dealing with underwater, land-based and airborne studies, covering work which includes but is not limited to the bio-acoustics of birds, bats, insects, and marine and terrestrial mammals.

Particular themes of this conference will embrace, but are not restricted to:
– Biological sound production and reception mechanisms
– Performance evaluation of biological active and passive sonar systems
– Biological acoustic countermeasures and predator evasion techniques
– Physiological and behavioural impacts of anthropogenic sound
– Acoustic methods to reduce contention between animals and man
– Measurement and instrumentation systems used to study biological sounds
– Classification and analysis techniques for biological sounds
– Bio-inspiration and bio-mimetics – applying nature’s solutions to man-made systems
– Fisheries acoustics and other industrial applications related to bio-acoustics.

This conference will include an area for posters, exhibits and demonstrations. The aim of the poster area is to allow the informal exchange of scientific ideas, views and information.

Presenting authors will be encouraged to make use of the poster area to further explore their topic. Space will be made available if they wish to demonstrate working equipment.

Prospective authors should submit a title and abstract (up to 300 words) to linda.canty@ioa.org.uk, indicating whether they prefer poster or oral presentation.

Accepted abstracts will be listed on the website. Lead authors will be notified by email as soon as possible and will be given the option of submitting an extended abstract or a full paper by Friday 14 June 2019  for inclusion in the conference proceedings. Papers may be up to eight pages long, including diagrams, and must be prepared in the correct electronic format.

Further details of the conference, such as registration and programme will appear on the IOA web site www.ioa.org.uk when details have been finalised.

8th European Congress of Mammalogy (23-27 Sept 2019; Warsaw, Poland)
Please, mark the date and check www.ecm8.org for further details and to register to receive conference announcements. Information will be updated as it gets closer to the meeting.

The European Congresses of Mammalogy aim to bring together mammalian biologists from European and also non-European countries. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of these congresses provides an excellent opportunity to hear the latest developments in various fields of mammalogy, to share research experience and expertise, and to develop new and closer contacts with colleagues from different countries.

Following the successful congresses in Lisbon (1991), Southampton (1995), Jyväskylä  (1999), Brno (2003), Siena (2007), Paris (2011) and Stockholm (2015) it is now the turn of a Central European country to host this exciting event and to invite mammalogists to the 8th European Congress of Mammalogy (ECM8) in Warsaw, Poland.
The congress is going to be held on 23rd – 27th September 2019 at the Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw.
 
The Ocean Sciences Meeting (16-21 February 2020; San Diego, California, USA)
Co-sponsored by AGU, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS), this meeting provides attendees the opportunity to bridge disciplines, connect communities, and make lasting partnerships.

About the Society for Marine Mammalogy

The mission of the international Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) is to promote the global advancement of marine mammal science and contribute to its relevance and impact in education, conservation and management.

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Copyright © 2019 Society for Marine Mammalogy, All rights reserved.

2019 F.G. Wood Award and John R. Twiss Jr. Award Winners Announced

During the year of the biennial conference, the Society for Marine Mammalogy gives out two awards for student papers published in Marine Mammal Science.  The awards are F. G. Wood Award and the John R. Twiss, Jr. Award.     

The Wood Award was established in honor of Forest G. Wood, a founding member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and is given for the best student paper published in Marine Mammal Science during the period between the Society’s Biennial Conferences. The award includes an opportunity to deliver a session presentation on the topic of the award paper at the Biennial Conference, and funds to cover costs of participation in the Conference (registration, travel, lodging, meals, and necessary incidental expenses). Judging of eligible papers is be done by the Editor in consultation with the Board of Editors. There was a total of 33 eligible papers evaluated. The winner is this year is Hannah Cubaynes for her paper entitled, “Whales from space: four mysticete species described using new VHR satellite imagery.”

The Twiss Award was established in honor of John Twiss Jr., who was the first Executive Director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission and is given for the best student paper that describes innovative research related to marine mammal habitat and ecosystem conservation. A committee of four judges, evaluated the top-ranking papers that were eligible. There was a total of 22 eligible papers. The Twiss Award winner receives $500 and a certificate. The winner this year is Guillemette Labadie for her paper entitled, “First demographic insights on historically harvested and poorly known male sperm whale populations off the Crozet and Kerguelen Islands (Southern Ocean)”

Spring 2019 Vote Results: New Honorary Members Approved and Membership Expanded

Vera da Silva and Bernd Würsig elected as new Honorary Members

In the spring 2019 vote, Members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy voted to elect Vera da Silva and Bernd Würsig as Honorary Members in recognition of their distinguished service to the field of marine mammalogy. Vera da Silva is a Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia) in Manaus, Brazil, where she has carried out multiple, multi-decadal research and conservation efforts on Amazonian dolphins and manatees. Bernd Würsig is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Marine Biology at Texas A&M, was one of the first to author a paper on the individual recognition of dolphins by marks on their dorsal fins and was President of our Society from 1991–1993. Our Honorary Members are the giants upon whose shoulders we all stand. They pioneered research methods, brought students and colleagues into the field, served their scientific community, and brought their science to bear on critical conservation issues. We thank them for their service and welcome them as new Honorary Members!

The Society for Marine Mammalogy expands its Membership

In the spring 2019 vote, Members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy voted to increase the length of time that a student is eligible for the Student Membership category to include “the year after their graduation from a degree-granting program at an institution of higher learning.” This change will make it easier for students, who represent the future of our Society, to maintain their active membership as they transition to their next life step! Members also voted in support of the proposal to create a new Fellows membership category. “A Fellow is a member who has rendered conspicuous service, or made truly notable contributions to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of marine mammal science or the fostering of its practical applications through conservation of marine mammals.” This category of membership is aimed at recognizing Members at all stages of their career, and, thus, expanding our celebration of our Members and their accomplishments! Stay tuned to find out how to nominate a charter member of the Society’s Fellowship!

24 Hours until WMMC 2019 Abstract Submissions and Workshop Proposal Deadline

Greetings,

This is a friendly reminder from your WMMC’19 Organizing Committee that there are 24 hours left before the abstract and workshop submission deadline – April 30, 2019 at midnight, Barcelona time (GMT +1).

If you have not completed and/or submitted your abstract or workshop yet, please login to the conference system via ECS or SMM to submit your abstract.

Please select from the options below to sign-in to the conference system:

  • For ECS members, click here.
  • For SMM members, click here.
  • For those who are not currently a member of either society, and do not plan to become members, you can choose to login as a non-member (via SMM). To create an account as a non-member, click here.

* Please be sure to use the same account to submit an abstract (i.e. ECS, SMM, Non-Member), as you would to register for the conference.

If you have any questions, please contact our Abstract Review Team. Workshop questions? Please contact our Workshop Team. We look forward to reviewing your submissions for WMMC’19!

Sincerely,

WMMC’19 Organizing Committee

WMMC Workshop Proposals Due In By April 30, 2019 at midnight, Barcelona time (GMT+1)

Greetings all,

The deadline to submit workshop proposals for consideration at the upcoming World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona (Wednesday, April 30, 2019 at midnight, Barcelona time (GMT +1) is less than one week away!

World Marine Mammal Conference-affiliated workshops are half day, full day, or two day events proposed by individual researchers (the “workshop leaders”) and organised by them if their proposal is accepted by the WMMC conference committee. WMMC workshops will be held on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December, 2019, during the weekend just prior to the conference.

WMMC-affiliated workshops are open to all conference registrants up to the stated capacity of the workshop. Workshops are separate from the conference presentation program, so you can give a presentation at the conference and organize or participate in a workshop.

We expect to receive between 20-40 workshop proposals and have 12-16 rooms available per day, so may not have space for all the proposed workshops. A group of reviewers approved by the WMMC Conference and Scientific Program Committee chairs will evaluate the workshop proposals and select those to fill the available slots based on their review scores. Other workshops will be placed on a waiting list and added to the schedule by rank order of their review scores if additional slots become available.

If you want us to consider your proposal for a workshop please prepare your online application form soon! You can start filling out the form and if you get tired, or have to check something out, you can save (click on “Submit Workshop Proposal”) and resume later (but note, you must put something into all the required fields or you will not be able to save). You have until the submission deadline (Wednesday, April 30, 2019 at midnight, Barcelona time (GMT +1) to finalize your proposal – saved proposals will not be reviewed until after that date.

Proponents will be notified by May 16, 2019 as to whether their workshop proposal has been accepted for presentation at the conference. The list of workshop descriptions will be posted on the conference website and registration will be available online June 1, 2019.

For more information on workshop requirements and fees, location, workshop registration, and how to submit a workshop proposal, be sure to check out our:

In order to access the conference system, authors are required to sign-in via ECS or SMM. Please select from the options below to sign-in to the conference system:

  • For ECS members, click here.
  • For SMM members, click here.
  • For those who are not currently a member of either society, you can also choose to login as a non-member (via SMM). To create an account as a non-member, click here.
  • then, from the WMMC’19 login page, click on the “Pre-Conference Workshop Proposal Submission“ button

* Please be sure to use the same account to submit an abstract or workshop proposal (i.e. ECS, SMM, Non-Member), as you would to register for the conference.

If you would like to discuss the options before you submit a proposal, or have questions about any of the requested information, please contact the workshop coordinators (Frank Cipriano and Juanita Zorrilla). We look forward to reviewing your proposal for WMMC’19 workshops!

Sincerely,
WMMC’19 Organizing Committee

WMMC 2019 Abstract Submission Deadline is April 30, 2019

Greetings,

Are you interested in submitting an abstract for the upcoming World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, December 2019? Well, the submission deadline for abstracts is rapidly approaching! Be sure to submit your proposal(s) online by midnight Barcelona Time (GMT +1) on April 30th, 2019. Successful abstract applicants will be notified on July 5th, 2019.

For more information on submitting an abstract, be sure to check out our conference resources:

In order to access the conference system, authors are required to sign-in via ECS or SMM. Please select from the options below to sign-in to the conference system:

  • For ECS members, click here.
  • For SMM members, click here.
  • For those who are not currently a member of either society, you can also choose to login as a non-member (via SMM). To create an account as a non-member, click here.

* Please be sure to use the same account to submit an abstract (i.e. ECS, SMM, Non-Member), as you would to register for the conference.

If you have any questions, please contact our Abstract Review Team. We look forward to reviewing your submissions for WMMC’19!

Sincerely,
WMMC’19 Organizing Committee