Category Archives: Funding and Awards

Congratulations to our Inaugural Group of Society for Marine Mammalogy Fellows

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!

Reminder to submit your nominations for the inaugural class of SMM Fellows

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 (fellows@marinemammalscience.org)

For any technical questions regarding the online application, please email admin@marinemammalscience.org.

Thank you in advance for your nominations!

Best regards,

Cecile Vincent and Cindy Peter

SMM Changing Policies to Allow for Stipends in Small Grant in Aid of Research Program

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.

Inaugural Call for Nominations of Fellow Members

Inaugural Call for Nominations of Fellow Members

In 2019, the members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) voted to establish a Fellows membership category. 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. Payment of dues to the Society by the Fellow would remain the same as for a normal Full member.”

We are pleased to announce our Society’s Inaugural call for nominations of Fellow Members.

ELIGIBILITY

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. These years do not have to be contiguous. Please confirm with the nominee that they meet the five-year eligibility criterion prior to submission. Note that current members of the SMM Board (which includes elected officers and committee chairs) are not eligible for consideration for Fellows status.

HOW TO NOMINATE

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.

Each dossier shall include the following elements.

(1) Letter of Nomination. This letter should provide insight into a nominee’s conspicuous service, notable contributions to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of marine mammal science, or the fostering of its practical applications through the conservation of marine mammals. The nominating letter can be no longer than one page (12 pt font).

The Committee will consider the following factors: (1) service to the Society; (2) contributions to marine mammal science including activities such as publications and presentations, field work, research and development, or administrative and logistical support; or (3) contributions to the teaching or dissemination of knowledge of marine mammal science and conservation. Due to the diversity of disciplines and activities of The Society for Marine Mammalogy members, the relative importance of these factors will differ from candidate to candidate. The Fellow candidate would be expected to be exemplary in, and have made substantial contributions to, at least one of these factors (e.g. be in the top 10% of the membership).

(2) Seconding letters. The dossier should also include two seconding letters, one of which must be from a current SMM member. Signed-in SMM members can search for all current members via the SMM Member Directory. Each seconding letter can be no longer than one page (12 pt font).

(3) Complete curriculum vitae of the nominee. The format and length of this document is unrestricted, as we are encouraging nominations of individuals from broadly different backgrounds and the standard CV formats across fields are likely different. Note that only text should be submitted as part of the CV. If audio or video files are relevant provide a link in the documents submitted.

(4) Proposed maximum 20-word citation for the Fellow (e.g., Kenneth S. Norris – for efforts to found the Society and contributions to the process of dolphin echolocation and hearing).

DOSSIER REVIEW PROCESS

The dossiers will be received by the committee Co-chairs, the SMM Members-at-Large. Identifying information about the nominator and seconders will be redacted from each dossier to ensure a blind review. During this inaugural Fellows nomination process, the review committee will be formed by the entire SMM Board. Future Fellows Committees will be Co-Chaired by the Members-at-Large, who will form a committee of seven members holding Fellow status, and at least one contributing, but not voting student member, with attention paid to diversity of representation. Members will serve staggered, four-year terms. Fellows Committee members may not submit nominations. For more information about the Fellows Committee, please see the General Operating Policies of our SMM governing documents.

QUESTIONS

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 (fellows@marinemammalscience.org)

For any technical questions regarding the online application, please email admin@marinemammalscience.org.

Reminder: Small Grants in Aid of Research Deadline is Approaching

The Society for Marine Mammalogy would like to remind eligible members (see below) that this year’s Small Grants in Aid of Research application window will close on 30 June 2020 at 12 PM Eastern Daylight Time. The Committee of Scientific Advisors will review applications and make recommendations on funding with decisions announced in early September. The awards are up to US $2,000. All three of the following eligibility requirements must be met:

1. Be a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

2. 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, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, 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.

3. 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.

Small Grants in Aid of Research Application Window Open June 1-30, 2020

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 opens on 1 June 2020. Applications will be accepted during the entire month of June. The Committee of Scientific Advisors will review applications and make recommendations on funding with decisions announced in early September 2020. The awards are up to US $2,000. All three of the following eligibility requirements must be met:

1. Be a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

2. 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, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, 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.

3. 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 15 of 32 applicants from 13 counties received funding ranging from $830 to $2,000.

For technical questions regarding the online application, please email the Society webmaster at admin@marinemammalscience.org

For all other questions about the grants, please contact:

Douglas Wartzok
Chair
Committee of Scientific Advisors
Society for Marine Mammalogy
wartzok@fiu.edu

Announcing the 2020 Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship Winner

In 2020, the Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship received over 20 proposals from Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Madagascar, New Zealand, Scotland and the United States. The quality of submissions was extremely high and the Awards Committee is delighted to announce that the successful proposal was submitted by April Ettington of the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

April Ettington, 2020 Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship Winner
Marine Mammal Ecology Group
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Do Bryde’s Whales Smell?

Abstract
It is currently unknown whether baleen whales can smell and it is unclear how they locate their prey. The ability to detect the compound dimethyl sulfide (DMS) released by plankton would likely provide baleen whales a great advantage in finding their underwater prey, as it does for many marine animals such as seabirds, penguins, and sea lions. Anatomical and histological evidence suggests that whales have the potential to smell, but molecular and behavioral studies are lacking. I will investigate whether the Bryde’s whales residing year-round in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand possess the ability to smell using several approaches. I will use a gene mining pipeline I developed to identify the set of olfactory receptors encoded in the Bryde’s whale genome. Using a fluorescence-based cell culture assay I will assess whether any of the olfactory receptors respond to DMS. In the Hauraki Gulf, I will place Brydes’ whale foraging behavior in the context of the olfactory landscape. Determining whether Bryde’s whales can smell will help clarify how baleen whales will adapt their foraging behaviour in a world altered by climate change.

https://unidirectory.auckland.ac.nz/profile/r-constantine
https://mmeg.wordpress.fos.auckland.ac.nz/
@MMEG_UoA
@AprilEttington
www.facebook.com/TheDolphinInstitute/
www.instagram.com/thedolphininstitute/
www.thedolphininstitute.org

Deadline Approaching: Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship

Application Deadline Soon: 17 February, 2020

Background

Louis M. Herman, Ph.D. and Emeritus Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, was a pioneer and trailblazer in research on dolphin sensory perception and cognition, and humpback whale behavioral ecology. This work was carried out through the world renowned Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory (KBMML) that he established in 1969 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also co-founded The Dolphin Institute (TDI), dedicated to dolphins and whales through education, research, and conservation. KBMML/TDI’s findings on marine mammals were published in over 160 scientific papers and featured in more than 230 national and international media articles, television and radio programs, and documentary films. Dr. Herman’s life’s work significantly influenced marine mammal conservation. It also had an enormous impact on the lives and careers of countless interns, undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, visiting faculty, and volunteers from around the world, all of whom played important roles in the unique research team he assembled over more than four decades. Dr. Herman will always be remembered for his innovative, creative, and scientifically rigorous approach to the study of the marine mammals he so loved, and for the future generations of marine mammal researchers he and his work continue to inspire. Read more about Dr. Herman’s legacy here.

Dr. Herman’s family, colleagues, and friends established the Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship in 2017 to honor his legacy by promoting the type of research that was the focus of his groundbreaking studies. The Scholarship is given every two years in the amount of $5,000.

Criteria

The Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship supports a research project that contributes to our understanding of either cetacean cognition and sensory perception (laboratory or field studies), or humpback whale behavioral ecology or communication. Work with other marine mammals that especially enhances our understanding of their cognitive abilities will also be considered. Eligible candidates include graduate students and those students who have completed their Masters or PhD within the past three years.

LINK TO CRITERIA AND APPLICATION UPLOAD

Previous Winners

Call For Proposals

LOUIS M. HERMAN RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP

Application Deadline: 17 February, 2020

Background

Louis M. Herman, Ph.D. and Emeritus Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, was a pioneer and trailblazer in research on dolphin sensory perception and cognition, and humpback whale behavioral ecology. This work was carried out through the world renowned Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory (KBMML) that he established in 1969 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also co-founded The Dolphin Institute (TDI), dedicated to dolphins and whales through education, research, and conservation. KBMML/TDI’s findings on marine mammals were published in over 160 scientific papers and featured in more than 230 national and international media articles, television and radio programs, and documentary films. Dr. Herman’s life’s work significantly influenced marine mammal conservation. It also had an enormous impact on the lives and careers of countless interns, undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, visiting faculty, and volunteers from around the world, all of whom played important roles in the unique research team he assembled over more than four decades. Dr. Herman will always be remembered for his innovative, creative, and scientifically rigorous approach to the study of the marine mammals he so loved, and for the future generations of marine mammal researchers he and his work continue to inspire. Read more about Dr. Herman’s legacy here.

Dr. Herman’s family, colleagues, and friends established the Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship in 2017 to honor his legacy by promoting the type of research that was the focus of his groundbreaking studies. The Scholarship is given every two years in the amount of $5,000.

Criteria

The Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship supports a research project that contributes to our understanding of either cetacean cognition and sensory perception (laboratory or field studies), or humpback whale behavioral ecology or communication. Work with other marine mammals that especially enhances our understanding of their cognitive abilities will also be considered. Eligible candidates include graduate students and those students who have completed their Masters or PhD within the past three years.

LINK TO CRITERIA AND APPLICATION UPLOAD

Helene Marsh Awarded Norris Award

Hello Good Colleagues!

It is with great pleasure that I remind us all that Dr. Helene Marsh has been awarded the Norris Award for 2019. This reminder comes as we prepare for the World Marine Mammal Conference, where Dr. Marsh will be speaking at the Closing Ceremony!

Dr. Marsh is an Emeritus Professor and Dean of Graduate Research Studies at James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia. She conducted her graduate studies at James Cook University. The focus of her research has been dugong population ecology, and has been committed to informing interdisciplinary solutions to conservation problems. 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 also served as the Society for Marine Mammalogy President from 2012-2014.

The Norris Award is a lifetime achievement award, honoring a career of excellence in scientific research on any aspect of marine mammalogy. As the recipient of this award, Dr. Marsh has been invited to present a talk at the World Conference, and to submit a written paper from her lecture for publication in Marine Mammal Science. The award also includes a life-time honorary membership to the Society.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Marsh on this well-deserved honor. We look forward to hearing her talk at the World Marine Mammal Conference next week and to reading her paper in Marine Mammal Science!

Warm regards,
D. Ann Pabst
President, Society for Marine Mammalogy