I received my BSc. in Marine Biology from TAMUG in 1998 and my PhD. in Environmental Sciences from Macquarie University in 2004. For the last 15 years, I have worked for NMFS undertaking research and conservation actions to support the recovery of endangered Hawaiian monk seals. As a 20-year SMM member I have been an active scientific contributor and tried to help our research and conservation community continue to mature. I had the privilege to sit on the SMM Board for 6 years as the inaugural chair of the Ethics Committee – collaborating with members to develop our code of professional ethics and marine mammal handling guidelines and facilitating discussions on challenging topics. As President I would help the SMM continue our growth and influence on global marine mammal conservation issues. We need to accelerate and expand our ongoing efforts to apply rigorous science to address the numerous ongoing and looming conservation challenges marine mammals face. I believe we can do this in several ways including:
1. Using our conferences, journal, and other forums to host more open and productive dialogs on the types of bold interventions, and their inherent risks, that may need to be undertaken to inform our future decisions.
2. Increasing long-term research and management capacity in priority regions through professional development by instituting training programs/degrees in collaboration with outside NGOs, Agencies, and academic institutions.
3. Engaging with terrestrial and aquatic research conservation programs by facilitating greater inclusion and information exchange between several IUCN Species Survival Commission Groups and international conservation societies.
We have faced many conservation challenges for our species. We have had some successes but have lost, and continue to lose, far too much. Our community needs to learn from our past experiences and be well-prepared to wisely and steadfastly face the many challenges ahead.
I am delighted to announce that the winner the 2015 Norris Award is James Mead. Jim is a truly worthy recipient of an award which was established in the name of the society’s founding president to acknowledge his exemplary lifetime contribution to science and society through research, teaching, and service in marine mammalogy. Jim is […]
Greetings! Please find below a few news items of interest from the Society for Marine Mammalogy for you regarding the next two conferences and a reminder to vote. Venue Change for the 2017 SMM Conference The organizers for the planned 2017 SMM Biennial Conference in Veracruz, Mexico had to reluctantly withdraw their offer to host […]
Christmas greetings to you all. I hope you are able to find time to immerse yourselves with friends and family and take pause before 2015 sweeps us up into another busy year. Two weeks ago we held the annual meeting of the SMM Board in San Francisco. The organising committee for the 21st Biennial Conference […]
Well here we go – my first blog in my new role as President of this very fine Society. Like all of us privileged enough to serve in the variety of roles that keep our Society vibrant, relevant, informative, influential and above all, attractive to be a part of, we do so in a voluntary […]
In a few hours (depending on the time zone), I pass the baton of President of the Society to the very capable hands of Nick Gales. I am sure his experience at the International Court of Justice has given him the gravitas required for the role! It has (mostly) been a very interesting and rewarding […]