Category Archives: Outside Conferences, Workshops & Symposia

Sentinels of Silence? Whale Watching, Noise, and the Orca  – video and panel discussion (4 Nov 2020)

In Washington’s Salish Sea, there are only 73 Southern Resident killer whales left – the lowest number in 30 years. These orcas face numerous threats to their continued survival, including sound disruptions from whale watching boats that affect their ability to hunt and communicate.

Sentinels of Silence? Whale Watching, Noise, and the Orca digs into these issues. To celebrate the documentary’s public release, join us for a musical performance and Q&A discussion with scientists, conservationists, and policy advocates. Registered attendees will receive a preview link to view the 26-minute documentary short.

Tuesday, Nov. 4
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. CDT
Virtual Event (Zoom)

Sentinels of Silence:
Public Release and Panel Discussion

Mark Pedelty
Director, Sentinels of Silence
Professor, University of Minnesota

Donna Sandstrom
Founder and Executive Director, The Whale Trail

Sorrel North
Community organizer, Southern Resident Protection

Tim Ragen
Formerly of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission

Ginny Broadhurst, Moderator
Director, Salish Sea Institute
at Western Washington University

Live performance of “The Great Salish Sea” by Dana Lyons

Claim Your Ticket Today


Hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment
and co-sponsored by the Georgia Strait Alliance and the Salish Sea Institute
at Western Washington University

African Bioacoustics Community Conference (2–5 November 2020)

Register now for the African Bioacoustics Community Conference, 2 – 5 November 2020

We have an amazing line-up of presenters from all over the world, over 25 of which focusing on marine mammal bioacoustics! Presentations cover topics such as machine learning, passive acoustic monitoring, the effect of seismic surveys, ecoacoustics and so much more! If that is not enough, come and watch the plenary talks by esteemed bioacousticians, with topics from marine bird hearing in air and underwater to the importance of sound to fishes, to long-term marine mammal research and everything in between! And remember, all talks will be available to registered participants for a whole month after the conference, so if you don’t get round to watching everything during the conference, you can come back and watch (or rewatch!) them at your convenience later!

The 2nd African Bioacoustics Community Conference will also be hosting an Online Movie Event throughout the conference to highlight bioacoustic science to both registered and non-registered participants!

Whether you are a professional with years of experience or an amateur with a few funny videos of your study species, we want it all!

Submitted content will fall under two broad categories:

  1. Feature Films
  2. Behind the Scenes and Unusual Observations.

To register now, visit our website:

Contact us for more information or to make your film submissions:

We look forward to having you there!!

Mindful Conservation Conference (online 4-9 January 2021). 

AN INVITATION to the world’s first virtual Mindful Conservation Conference (online 4-9 January 2021).

In a time of doom and gloom in the news, in particular for those involved in the environmental and conservation field, poor career prospects and competitive and stressful work environments, coping skills and self-help have never been more important for those in the conservation field.

The Mindful Conservation Conference is an important event for students, conservationists and science professionals of any kind.

Throughout the 4 day meeting, we will be addressing and highlighting important “elephant in the room” issues in the conservation field such as toxicity in academia, racism in conservation science, mental health of conservation practitioners and other important issues that are often hidden under the carpet by those in the conservation field.

In addition to highlighting these issues  we will also be proactive and instructive: teaching essential mindful and self-care skills that will ultimately help to improve the science/conservation industry as a whole.

The Mindful Conservation Conference is designed to help our guardians of  nature learn how to take care of themselves whilst challenging the status quo by encouraging teamwork, educating on the perils of selfishness and creating a safe and happy place for any who would boldly dedicate their lives towards human advancement and environmental protection.

The Mindful Conservation Conference was created in response to concerns about the high rate of “burnout” of students, scientists and practitioners leaving the  field due to toxic cultures in the workplace or academia and tough challenges that come with this field.

It is time to address these issues head on and deal with these negative issues in the conservation field, and in doing so help create a more friendly, productive, nurturing, mindful and ultimately more  sustainable and effective conservation field.

We would be most grateful if you could please share information about this conference to your friends and colleagues who might be interested.

Registration for the conference can be found at: Early registrants can join the meeting for as little as $20.

We look forwards to seeing you in January !

The MFCC Program Committee

2nd African Bioacoustics Community Conference (2-5 Nov 2020) – ONLINE

2nd African Bioacoustics Community Conference 2 – 5 November 2020

The 2nd African Bioacoustic Community Conference is going ONLINE!
In light of the global COVID-19 crisis, the ABC has decided to push forward with a hybrid conference,
moving all presentations to an online space with the option of attending in-person at the University of
Stellenbosch in South Africa if government restrictions allow.

This conference will show-case the diverse field of bioacoustics and bring together researchers from around
the world in a safe and inclusive setting! We have many exciting plenary talks and fun events in store. We
hope that you will join us!

Plenary Speakers
Prof Magnus Wahlberg
University of Southern Denmark
Marine Bird Hearing in Air and Underwater

Dr Fannie Shabangu
Department of Enivionment, Forest and Fisheries (RSA)
Acoustic Occurrence and Behaviour of Marine Mammals

Prof David Reby
Université Jean Monnet
The Evolution of Size Communication in Mammal Vocalisations

Prof Nicolas Mathevon
University of Lyon
Cracking the Code of Human Baby Cries

Prof Martine Hausberger and Prof Alban Lemasson
Université de Rennes 1
Rule-governed vocal interactions in birds and primates

Dr Tess Gridley
University of Stellenbosch
From the Heaviside’s to the Humpback: 13 years of bioacoustic
research in Southern Africa
Special Sessions
The Hearing of Harms- Acoustic Monitoring for the Prevention of Illegal Activity

Please feel free to email us on

Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (27-29 March 2020, Miami, Florida)

The 2020 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) will take place on March 27-29 in Miami, Florida, hosted by the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). SEAMAMMS is a long-standing, regional, student-oriented, scientific marine mammal meeting. Preference will be given to marine mammal research conducted by students in the mid-Atlantic or Southeast Region, though all are welcome to attend.
For meeting details, including registration, abstract submissions, and hotel specials, please visit: .

International Marine Conservation Congress – Call for Symposia and Workshops (24-27 August 2020; Kiel, Germany)

The 6th International Marine Conservation Congress will take place in the sailing city of Kiel, Germany from 24-27 August, 2020. 

To conserve the world’s oceans we must go beyond science and use it to inform policy and management to catalyze change. The 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 meeting brings together marine conservationists from many walks of life including but not limited to scientists, practitioners, educators, policy-makers, artists and journalists.

The Call for Symposia and Workshops opened on 7th Oct. To support inclusive participation, (see research here) they’re offering a 20% discount on registration for all female leads and those from low-income nations!

Visit the IMCC6 website and follow @IMCC2020 on Twitter and Facebook for the latest congress news and announcements. Questions? E-mail

Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA5)

The proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA5), co-hosted by the International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas and WWF Greece in April 2019 are now available!

ICMMPA5 gathered overall more than 250 scientists, experts, representatives of both governmental and non-governmental agencies, and private sector representatives (maritime and fishing sectors) from a total of 35 countries around the world.

The proceedings give you a comprehensive overview of the conference and reflect the way this growing community of practice channels efforts, enthusiasm and commitment into practical measures to achieve conservation of marine mammals, with special focus on the Mediterranean Sea and worldwide.

Active discussions resulted in recommendations, declarations, and practical guidance on topics ranging from managing fisheries and shipping interactions and sustainable whale-watching within MMPAs, to anthropogenic noise, to threats-based prioritization of management, to getting actively involved in marine spatial planning so as to achieve sustainable development, while providing a strong foundation for marine mammal conservation. We heard stories, exchanged ideas, furthered knowledge, and made commitments to carry the MMPA collaboration and good work forward, for the next decade and beyond.

For more information, please contact Amalia Alberini, Cetacean Conservation Specialist, WWF Greece, or Naomi McIntosh, ICMMPA Chair,

14th Annual UK and Ireland Society for Marine Mammalogy Student Chapter Conference (10-11 January 2020, Galway, Ireland)

The committee of the UK and Ireland Regional Student Chapter (UKIRSC) of the Society for Marine Mammalogy are pleased to announce our 14th annual conference. This year our meeting will be held on the 10th and 11th January 2020 at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Galway, Republic of Ireland.

This is a free conference which aims to bring together students interested in marine mammals from across the UK and Ireland. We encourage students to present their work in the form of posters, speed talks and 15 minute slots, along with the opportunity to network. We will also be running workshops and organising talks by invited experts within the field.

The event will kick-off with an ice-breaker event on Thursday 9th January, and will close with a conference dinner on Saturday 11th January.Registration and abstract submission will be opening soon! Deadline for this will be the 20th December 2019.For more information please visit our website:

follow us on Facebook:

and on Twitter:

Please circulate among your labs – this is a great experience for students!

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: