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.
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 process can be found here. Proposals will be judged by the SMM Conservation Committee and Committee of Scientific Advisors and awards will be announced at the SMM member’s meeting at the Marine Mammal Conference in December.
Thank you for submitting your inspiring nominations for the 2021 SMM Conservation Merit Prize winner. The Conservation Committee is now reviewing all nominations.
Meanwhile, here is a video from the 2019 SMM Conservation Merit Prize winner, Dr. Danielle Kreb, discussing how much receiving the prize has meant to her work and giving us a peek into her impactful conservation efforts in Indonesia.
The Society for Marine Mammalogy would like to inform eligible members (see below) that this year’s Small Grants in Aid of Research application window closes on 30 June 2021. The Committee of Scientific Advisors will review applications and make recommendations on funding with decisions announced in early September 2021. The awards are up to US $2,000. Up to 25% of the budget may be used as stipend. All three of the following eligibility requirements must be met:
- Be a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.
- Be a national of any country not on this Excluded Country List: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.
Preference is given to early career researchers such as students and researchers with less than 5 years post-doctoral experience.
- Be conducting research in a country not on the above Excluded Country List.
The Small Grant web page provides full information, links to past successful applications, a list of recipients from prior years and their completed project reports, and a link to the application itself. Please be mindful of the word limits in the various sections of the application.
Last year 17 of 55 applicants from 20 counties received funding ranging from $793 to $2,000 USD.
For technical questions regarding the online application, please email the Society webmaster at email@example.com
For all other questions about the grants, please contact:
This year, the Whitley Award was granted to six researchers and conservationists in the Southern Hemisphere, among them Pedro Fruet, a Brazilian marine mammalogist who has been studying the Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin since 2000. Pedro completed his graduate studies (MSc and PhD – the latter in cotutele with Flinders University, Australia) in the Biological Oceanography Graduate Program at the Federal University of Rio Grande-FURG, in southern Brazil. As a graduate student and pos-doctoral fellow at FURG, Pedro and colleagues increased considerably the understanding of the ecology and conservation needs of this subspecies of bottlenose dolphins, including taxonomy, population genetics, population structure, estimation of population-specific parameters, and viability analysis. This achievement is a result of the long-standing partnership between Kaosa (an NGO funded by Pedro and colleagues in 2007), the Oceanographic Museum “Prof. Eliezer C. Rios” and the Ecology and Conservation of Marine Megafauna Laboratory (Ecomega) at FURG, with the continued financial support of Yaqu Pacha, a German NGO focused on the conservation of Aquatic Mammals in South America. The project under the scope of the Whitley Award aims to reduce bycatch in fishing gear, raise awareness about this subspecies and strengthen the community’s connection to their marine environment.
The Society for Marine Mammalogy is pleased to inform our membership that the inaugural SMM Conservation Fund application window will open on 1 July 2021. Awards may be for up to US $25,000, and a total of US $50,000 is available during this preliminary call for submissions.
Applications will be accepted during the entire month of July. The Committee of Scientific Advisors and the Conservation Committee will review applications and will announce the recipients at the Biennial Conference in December 2021.
For all questions about the fund and application process, please contact:
The SMM Conservation Committee awards a special Conservation Merit Prize at the Biennial Conference. The Conservation Merit Prize is public recognition given to a person, team, or organization contributing toward solving a pressing conservation problem for marine mammals, either ongoing or resulting in a conservation success.
Previous recipients: include
2019: Dr. Danielle Kreb for her over 20 years of conservation efforts on behalf of the critically endangered Mahakam River population of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, and for her engagement of local communities in that critical work.
2017: Dr. Alexandros Karamanlidis for his team’s work in preventing the extinction of the Mediterranean monk seal.
2015: Mexican officials including President Enrique Peña Nieto, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Rafael Pacchiano, top Mexican biologists, economists and fishermen for their work to save the critically endangered vaquita.
About eligibility, nominations and the review process:
The Prize includes travel to the award presentation at the Biennial Conference, including two night’s lodging. Any active SMM member may propose recipients. The Prize is only given when the Conservation Committee finds a case of exceptional merit and may not be awarded at every biennial. Choice of the person or team will be by the Conservation Committee and approved by the Board.
To nominate a person or group for this prize, please send a one-paragraph description including the name of the nominated individual or group and their qualifications (self nominations welcome) to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Conservation Committee will select a short list of nominees and follow up with nominators to request the completion of a more comprehensive application after the submission deadline of June 15, 2021.
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 science or the fostering of its practical applications through conservation of marine mammals.”
Some of our members make great contributions conducting or supporting good science. Others are amazing educators and communicators helping to foster a better understanding and appreciation of marine mammal science and conservation. Some may be champions of conservation. They may be at any stage of their career and from anywhere in the world. What links them is excellence in what they do, impact to our field, and being a member of our SMM family. They are nominated by their colleagues and reviewed by their peers.
We have completed the first round of selections for our inaugural class of Fellows but before I announce them, I would like to thank the hard work by all involved in the conception, development and implementation of this program. It took many hands to make this happen but I would like to call out two people in particular. Drs. Cecile Vincent and Doug Wartzok did an enormous amount of work behind the scenes, and sometimes in front of a camera (thank you Doug!). I also want to thank the nominators and writers of recommendation letters who invested the effort to honor their colleagues and friends.
Now, it is my great pleasure to welcome our first class of SMM Fellows. The 2021 SMM Fellows Are (alphabetical order by last name):
Dr. Dan Costa: For pioneering work in field physiology, biologging development, and global syntheses, and for training the next generation of marine mammalogists.
Dr. Enrique “Kike” Crespo: For contributions to the knowledge and conservation of the marine mammals of the Patagonian Shelf.
Dr. Ailsa Hall: For being a leader and role model for Women-in-STEM, for contributions to understanding disease pathology and spread in marine mammals.
Dr. Janet Mann: For efforts to improve the participation of women in marine mammal research and contributions to longitudinal studies of dolphin behavior.
Dr. Joy Reidenberg: For cetacean sound production research, and teaching the world about marine mammal anatomy through television documentaries.
Suzanne Yin: For the consistent collection of high quality cetacean abundance and behavioral data.
Congratulations to you all for this well-deserved honor. Our new Fellows will comprise the next Fellows committee and will help shepherd the next round of nominees. For those interested, we will be announcing our next call for Fellows nominations later this year and we hope to see packages that represent expertise from all corners our of community!
A reminder that the SMM Fellows Program is now accepting nominations for its inaugural year. From our Constitution, a Fellow is a member who is being 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 science or the fostering of its practical applications through conservation of marine mammals”. A nomination for advancement to Fellow is appropriate for any current Full member of the SMM after that individual has been a Full member for a minimum of five years.
If you are a current SMM member, you may nominate an eligible SMM member as a Fellow. We ask that you submit a complete dossier, described in detail below, to the Fellows Nomination web page by 18 November 2020. The dossier must be uploaded to the Fellows Nomination web page as a single .pdf document.
If you have any questions about the nomination process, please reach out to the Co-Chairs of the Fellows Committee, our Members-at-Large:
Cecile Vincent and Cindy Peter (email@example.com)
For any technical questions regarding the online application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your nominations!
Cecile Vincent and Cindy Peter
The Society for Marine Mammalogy is pleased to announce a substantive change to its Small Grant in Aid of Research (SGIAR) program. Beginning with the 2021 funding cycle, applicants can request a portion of the award to be allocated as a stipend. Specifically, SGIAR guidelines now allow applicants to provide “a detailed one-year, itemized budget identifying and justifying specific requests for equipment, supplies, travel to field site, operational expenses, and up to 25% of the total budget as stipend. Total budget is not to exceed US $2,000.”
The Society thanks SMM member Dr. Eiren Jacobson for raising the broader issue of unpaid internships. The petition she and other colleagues initiated was signed by a number of members of the Society, including several members of the Committee of Scientific Advisors which administers the SGIAR program. As part of of a larger policy review being undertaken by the SMM Board, the Committee of Scientific Advisors took up the discussion of allowing stipends to be included in SGIAR. The goals of the SGIAR program is to provide both intellectual and financial support to early career marine mammal researchers in countries where they have less access to research funds, the committee decided 25% of the total budget was a reasonable first step, and one that will be reviewed after SGIAR funding cycles are completed in 2021-2022. The Committee takes very seriously its assignment to provide feedback to both successful and unsuccessful applicants on all components of the proposal—significance of the research to be performed, methods for conducting the research, proactive rather than post-hoc methods of analyzing the research, a clear understanding of where the proposed research fits in the broader scientific landscape, and a comprehensive budget for successful accomplishment. The Committee obviously wished that there were greater resources available with which to be even more responsive to the intent of the petition and the Board will be determining future funding levels as part its strategic planning process. Note that while travel to conferences is not an acceptable component of the research budget, the Society has adopted a policy whereby any SGIAR recipient who is presenting the work supported by the SGIAR program at a subsequent SMM Biennial Conference will receive a minimum of $500 toward travel expenses to the conference.
The Society Board of Governors concurred with the recommendation of the Committee of Scientific Advisors and implemented the policy as stated above. More information on the SGIAR can be found here.