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.
Dr. Charles Littnan and Samara have a message and request regarding the SMM Conservation Fund, a fund created to help save the world’s most endangered marine mammals. Please consider making a donation to the fund here. Find out how to apply here.
The Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) is now accepting proposals for projects under its new Conservation Fund. Proposals for up to US$25K can be submitted between now and 31 July 2021. Proposals should be focused on projects that can catalyze real conservation action for the world’s most endangered marine mammal species. Details on the application […]
The Society for Marine Mammalogy’s Board of Governors is excited to welcome Dr. Eduardo Secchi to the Board as the newly appointed chair of the SMM’s Conservation Committee. Dr. Secchi will be taking over from Dr. Barb Taylor who has overseen the SMM’s conservation actions since the committee’s creation. Dr. Secchi has a long history […]
Greetings SMM members and global marine mammal community. I would like to bring attention to the change in leadership of our Committee of Scientific Advisors (CSA) that was announced in our recent newsletter. Dr. Doug Wartzok, after 11 excellent years as Chair of the CSA, is handing over the reins to Dr. Laura May-Collado. In […]
Two years ago, the members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) voted to establish a Fellows membership category. This “Fellow” designation is for members who are recognized by the Society and its membership as having “rendered conspicuous service or made truly notable contributions to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of marine mammal […]