Category Archives: Society News

Editor’s Select Series Seminar: A comparison of Northeast Atlantic killer whale call repertoires

The SMM Seminar Editor’s Select Series highlights the latest and most exciting marine mammal science published in the Marine Mammal Science Journal. The SMM created this series to give scientists and citizens around the world a chance to engage with marine mammal scientists, learn and ask questions. All are welcome.

Join us on 21 October 2021 at 4 PM UTC (9 AM PDT)
for the next SMM Editors’ Select Series Seminar: A comparison of Northeast Atlantic killer whale call repertoires
with Anna Selbmann of University of Iceland

Free to attend. Registration required. Presented online on Zoom.

Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zlImAtgXQjqm6Pp1pL7zKA

Space on Zoom is limited to the first 500 attendees. The talk will also be streamed live on the SMM Facebook page.

The SMM Seminar Editors’ Select Series highlights the latest and most exciting marine mammal science published in the Marine Mammal Science Journal. This is your chance to engage with marine mammal scientists, learn and ask questions from anywhere in the world. All are welcome.

About this talk:
Killer whale call repertoires can provide information on social connections among groups and populations. Killer whales in Iceland and Norway exhibit similar ecology and behavior, are genetically related, and are presumed to have been in contact before the collapse of the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock in the 1960s. However, photo-identification suggests no recent movements between Iceland and Norway but regular movement between Iceland and Shetland. We used acoustic recordings collected in Iceland, Norway, and Shetland to undertake a comprehensive comparison of the call repertoires of Northeast Atlantic killer whales. Time and frequency parameters of calls from Iceland and Norway were relatively similar but no call type matches were confirmed between Iceland and Norway or Shetland and Norway. Three call types matched between Iceland and Shetland. Therefore, these findings agree with what is currently known of the movement patterns of these whales but argue against past contact between Icelandic and Norwegian killer whales, since call repertoires are thought to be maintained over time.

About the presenter:
Anna Selbmann is currently a PhD student at the University of Iceland investigating killer whale acoustic behaviour and interspecific interactions between pilot whales and killer whales. She gained a BSc in Marine Vertebrate Zoology from Bangor University (UK) in 2015 and completed her Masters of Biology at the University of Iceland in 2019 investigating the call repertoire of Icelandic killer whales and comparing it to the repertoire of Norwegian killer whales.

Missed a presentation or want to share this series with a friend? All previous Editors’ Select  presentations are recorded and archived on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUc78IynQlubS2DVS1VZoplf_t42-yZOO

Webinar on Research Challenges in Asia

Webinar on Research Challenges in Asia 

Overcoming Challenges in the Lands of Dragons and Mermaids:
Stories of Struggles and Triumphs in Marine Mammal Science and Conservation in Diverse Asia

Thursday, 7 October 2021
New York, United States,  8:00am – 9:30am (EDT); Delhi, India Mon, 5:30pm – 7:00pm (IST); Rangoon, Myanmar  6:30pm – 8:00pm (GMT+630); Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 8:00pm – 9:30pm (GMT+8)

About the Event
To highlight matters of diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI) within the SMM, the ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee are organising four DEI-related webinars. The first focused on “Equity in Internships” and can be found here.

The second webinar in this series focused on research in Asia and issues around conducting marine mammal science in low-income countries.

During this webinar, four Asian researchers presented aspects of their research and how they achieved success working with limited resources but with an abundance of regional encouragement and camaraderie! The speakers were joined by several other researchers for a panel discussion, moderated by two members of the SMM Board who both live and work in Asia. The panel discussion focused on the diversity of people, cultures and disciplines of marine mammal work in Asia.

Speakers and Panelists

  • Jo Marie Acebes, National Museum of the Philippines and BALYENA.ORG, Philippines
    Balancing the Banca: Overcoming Challenges in Marine Mammal Research in the Philippines
  • Wint Hte,  Myanmar Coastal Conservation Lab (MMCL), Myanmar
    Diving into Marine Mammal Conservation in Myanmar: Opportunities, Growths and Challenges
  • Louisa Ponnampalam – The MareCet Research Organization, Malaysia
    It can be done on a shoestring budget! A Malaysian marmam research and conservation story
  • Weerapong Laovechprasit “Mac” – University of Georgia, National Thailand Strandings Programme, Thailand
    Turning strandings into a powerful resource for cetacean conservation in a resource limited environment.
  • Long Vu – Center for Biodiversity Conservation and Endangered Species (CBES), Vietnam
  • Wei-Cheng Yang – National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Moderators

  • Cindy Peter (SMM Member at Large) – Sarawak Dolphin Project, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Lindsay Porter (SMM Awards Committee Chair) – Southeast Asia Marine Mammal association (SEAMMAM) and the Asian Marine Mammal Stranding Network (AMMSN), Hong Kong

Please direct any questions about the webinar to Eric Archer and Tara Cox at diversity@marinemammalscience.org.

Meet the Presenters

Speakers

Jo Marie Acebes “Jom”

Balancing the Banca: Overcoming Challenges in Marine Mammal Research in the Philippines

Jom is a Senior Museum Researcher at the Zoology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines. She is also the Founder and Principal Investigator of a non-profit organization called BALYENA.ORG, with a mission to support the conservation of whales and dolphins and their natural habitats in the Philippines through research, education and capacity-building.

Twitter
Website

 

 

 

Wint Hte

Diving into Marine Mammal Conservation in Myanmar: Opportunities, Growths and Challenges

Wint is a co-founder of the Myanmar Coastal Conservation Lab (MMCL), a local youth-based organisation. As a conservation practitioner, researcher and trainer, Wint is eager to promote interdisciplinary, inclusive and innovative solutions for conservation and management in Myanmar. Wint and his collaborators were the winners of the SMM J. Stephen Leatherwood Memorial Award at the 2019 World Marine Mammal Conference (Barcelona, Spain) for their excellent conservation research in Asia, achieved through collaboration and community engagement.

Facebook
LinkedIn

 

Louisa Ponnampalam

It can be done on a shoestring budget! A Malaysian marmam research and conservation story

Louisa is the co-founder and Executive Director of The MareCet Research Organization, a grassroots NGO focused on the research and conservation of marine mammals and their habitats in her native Malaysia. Louisa is a Pew Marine Fellow and also Asia Co-Coordinator for the IUCN Cetacean and Sirenia Specialist Groups. Louisa is the Diversity Chair for the SMM 2022 Conference in Florida, USA.

Instagram
Twitter

 

 

 

 

Weerapong Laovechprasit “Mac”

Turning strandings into a powerful resource for cetacean conservation in a resource limited environment.

Mac is a marine-life veterinarian who is currently conducting his Ph.D. at the University of Georgia, USA. Mac was one on the founding veterinary staff of the National Thailand Strandings Programme. After working on one of the most comprehensive strandings programmes in Asia, Mac is further his skill set and is working on advanced molecular diagnosis development in sea turtles and marine mammals.

Twitter
Facebook

 

Panel Speakers

Long Vu

Long is a trained ecologist and conservationist, who started studying marine mammals in 2012. Currently, his work focuses on narrowing information gaps in our knowledge of the marine mammals of Vietnam to better inform conservation and management. Long founded Vietnam’s only dedicated marine mammal NGO, Center for Biodiversity Conservation and Endangered Species (CBES). Long was the winner of the SMM EBS Award for conservation focused research in 2019.

Facebook (Personal)
Facebook (CBES)

 

 

 

Wei-Cheng Yang “Jack”

Jack is an Associate Professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and the Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the National Taiwan University, National Taiwan University. His research projects investigate pathogens and diseases, noise-related stress evaluation, diagnostic tool development and cetacean conservation medicine. Jack is an active member of the Asian Marine Mammal Strandings Network (AMMSN) and he recently secured substantial government support that allows his institute to act as a regional hub for marine mammal sample analyses. Jack became a member of the SMM Awards Committee in 2020 and has been a judge at the SMM Conference since 2017.

Website
ResearchGate

 

 

Moderators

Cindy Peter
SMM Member-at-Large

Cindy was a founding member of the first marine mammal research programme in Sarawak, Malaysia, the Sarawak Dolphin Project. After completing her masters, Cindy took up a lectureship position at the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (IBEC), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, where she leads research projects focusing on cetacean interactions with local fisheries. Cindy became the SMM Member at Large in 2020.

Facebook

 

 

Lindsay Porter
SMM Awards Committee Chair

In 1993, Lindsay moved to Hong Kong to conduct her PhD and has lived and worked in Asia ever since. Lindsay is one of the founding members of the Southeast Asia Marine Mammal association (SEAMMAM) and the Asian Marine Mammal Stranding Network (AMMSN) and collaborates with many institutes and NGO’s within Asia and is a strong advocate of regional collaboration that strives to improve the status of cetaceans and sirenians throughout Asia, As Awards Chair for the SMM, Lindsay has established a committee of globally diverse participants with representatives from eight (8) countries spanning the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania and claims to have one of the best roles in the SMM.

ResearchGate

Editor’s Select Series Seminar: Echolocation behaviour of fish-eating killer whales during pursuit and capture of salmon prey

The SMM Seminar Editor’s Select Series highlights the latest and most exciting marine mammal science published in the Marine Mammal Science Journal. The SMM created this series to give scientists and citizens around the world a chance to engage with marine mammal scientists, learn and ask questions. All are welcome.


Guest, Brianna Wright of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) presents: “Echolocation behaviour of fish-eating killer whales during pursuit and capture of salmon prey

September 23, 2021 4-5:30 pm PDT (11 PM-1230 AM UTC)
Online. Free to attend. 

About this talk:
We used high-resolution acoustic and movement tags (Dtags) to analyse the echolocation behaviour of fish-eating killer whales during pursuit and capture of salmon prey. Whales produced more echolocation trains and had faster clicking rates prior to catching salmon versus afterward, confirming the importance of echolocation in prey detection and tracking. Extremely rapid click sequences (buzzes) occurred in the lead-up to salmon captures at depths typically exceeding 50 m, and were likely used for close-range prey targeting. Distinctive crunching sounds related to prey handling occurred at shallow depths following captures, matching observations that whales surfaced with salmon prior to eating them and often shared their prey.

About the presenter:
Brianna Wright received her B.Sc. majoring in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Victoria in 2007. During her undergrad she also participated in the UVic Biology Co-op program and studied at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. From 2008-2010, she worked as a Technician with the Cetacean Research Program of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) before returning to school and completing her M.Sc. in 2014 at UBC’s Marine Mammal Research Unit under the supervision of Dr. John Ford and Dr. Andrew Trites. Brianna’s thesis investigated the fine-scale foraging behaviour of resident killer whales using suction-cup attached tags that recorded dive depth, body position and acoustic behaviour of individual whales. She returned to work with DFO’s Cetacean Research Program at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo in July 2014, and is currently a marine mammal Biologist with this group. She has participated in killer whale and sea otter census surveys and offshore ship and aerial distance-sampling surveys for cetaceans. Analytically, her recent work has focused on spatial density modelling of survey data for cetacean species to estimate their distribution and abundance. She also conducts assessments of killer whale diet composition and prey sharing behaviour through field collection and analysis of prey remains.

Open access to all Marine Mammal Science papers is available to current SMM members. Open access to this article was made temporarily available to the public between September 20-September 30, 2021.

Missed a presentation or want to share this series with a friend? All previous Editors’ Select  presentations are recorded and archived on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUc78IynQlubS2DVS1VZoplf_t42-yZOO

Dr. John Wang Receives the 2021 Society for Marine Mammalogy’s Conservation Merit Prize

Cetacean biologist heralded for over 30 years of research and conservation efforts.

Every two years in the lead up to the Society for Marine Mammalogy conference, our Conservation Committee considers potential awardees for the Conservation Merit Prize. 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. The prize is only given when the Conservation Committee finds a case of exceptional merit and may not be awarded at every biennial.

After reviewing an impressive slate of nominees, the Society Conservation Committee and Board selected Dr. John Wang as this year’s recipient.

John Y. Wang, Ph.D.
2021 SMM Conservation Merit Prize Winner
• CetAsia Research Group Ltd – Chief Biologist
• Trent University – Professor, Department of Biology
• National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium of Taiwan – Adjunct Researcher

John’s work started in the chilly waters of Canada’s Bay of Fundy in the late 1980’s. Donning a wetsuit and snorkeling equipment, John jumped into herring weirs, a fixed fishing trap, to help fishermen release harbor porpoise. The fishermen used seine nets to remove herring that had aggregated in the weirs and porpoise would become trapped in the nets as they were hauled in. That work quickly pivoted to focusing on harbor porpoise bycatch in the gillnet fishery and lead Dr. Wang to start the first groundfish gillnet observer program in Canada.

In the mid-1990’s the global issue of cetacean bycatch pulled John beyond the borders of Canada to the other side of the planet when he started working on understanding cetacean fauna and bycatch throughout Taiwan. Early investigations consisted of visiting fishing ports around the country, recording carcasses, and conducting interviews to understand local fisheries. He attended stranding events and visited various scientific and academic institutions to examine their specimen collections. These efforts resulted in one clear conclusion – bycatch was a significant conservation issue for cetaceans in Taiwan. Specifically, large-mesh pelagic driftnets were clearly a serious problem as well as smaller-scale gillnet fisheries throughout Taiwan with a total annual cetacean bycatch in the thousands to tens of thousands per year for Taiwanese fisheries. His path for cetacean conservation in Taiwan was set.

In 2002, John was encouraged by a good friend and colleague to conduct exploratory surveys in the inshore waters along the heavily-industrialized and developed coast of western Taiwan. It was during these surveys that the endemic and highly restricted Taiwanese white (or humpback) dolphin subspecies was discovered. Given the status of the subspecies and the many threats it faced, John decided to put the driftnet bycatch issue on the backburner as urgent attention and focus on the Taiwanese humpback dolphin was the priority. For more information about the Taiwaianese humpback dolphins, threats and recovery actions please visit the IUCN Red List.

To this day, conservation of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin still occupies most of John’s attention. However, his expertise and decades of experience working with small cetaceans and local communities/fisheries has proven valuable to other ongoing bycatch reduction and other conservation efforts around the globe including finless porpoise bycatch in several areas in east Asia, underwater noise and cetaceans, Indo-Pacific humpback conservation in other parts of east Asia and river dolphins in Brazil.

Dr. Wang has made a career out of working on challenging conservation issues, many of which are ongoing – taking years or decades to affect change. We asked John why he does his work and what kept him motivated to continue his efforts all these years. His response spoke of a deeply seated belief that scientists have a duty to use their abilities to better the natural world.

“ Other living things have no “voices” (or votes) to choose not to be exploited and to be driven to extinction so we should lend them our voices. The voices of scientists are often “louder” and will be given more attention by others. Although the main responsibility of a scientist is to conduct solid, objective research to better our knowledge of the universe, being a scientist is a small subset of the responsibilities of being human. Humans have a much larger responsibility to not stay quiet and voiceless when we possess specialized/privileged knowledge of conservation issues (some of us may be the only people who know of some issues) and this responsibility supersedes those of being scientists. It is clear that there is no reason why scientists cannot advocate for conservation and environment issues while continuing to fulfill his/her role as a scientist and maintain a high level of credibility and scientific integrity.”

As far as what motivates him, it is about knowing he is doing what he believes is right.

“Working on conservation issues is difficult because there is often strong opposition, the chance of failure is high and rewards or accolades are few (if any). But it’s the right thing to do and being self-satisfied with doing the right thing is the strongest motivation.”

The Conservation Merit Prize includes travel to the award presentation at the Biennial Conference. Conservation Merit Prize nominees may be nominated at any time for the next upcoming Biennial Conference by any active SMM member and the SMM Conservation Committee selects award recipient(s) with the approval of the Board of Governors.

Webinar on Equity in Internships Recording Now Available

Thank you to all who joined us for our first webinar on equity in internships, hosted by SMM and WDC. Special thanks to our panelists, who shared their perspectives as program leaders and former interns and to our audience for your excellent, thoughtful questions and participation. We look forward to hosting the next webinar in our Diversity and Inclusion Series in September.

Here is a recording of the webinar, in case you missed it, would like to rewatch or share.

Reminder to Vote for SMM’s Honorary Member Nominees by 2 September 2021

Dear Members,

This is your reminder to vote for SMM’s Honorary Member nominees by 2 September 2021.

We are pleased to present two new nominees to become Honorary Members for you to vote on. An Honorary Member is a member recognized for distinguished service to the field of marine mammalogy, as recommended unanimously by the Board of Governors, and elected by two-thirds of the voting members. Honorary Members have all the privileges of full members but are exempt from dues.

Here is the link to the ballot: https://www.marinemammalscience.org/for-members/2021-members-ballot/

The ballot will close at 3:00 PM EST on 2 September 2021.

Best wishes,
Emer Rogan
Nominations and Elections Committee Chair

Postponement of SMM2021 Conference until August 2022

Aloha Marine Mammal Community,

We are reaching out today to share our decision to postpone both the in-person and the virtual 24th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals until 2022. The new dates will be Monday, August 1 to Friday, August 5, 2022 with workshops being held on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, 2022. All conference venues will remain the same.

The SMM2021 Conference Team has been closely monitoring COVID infection and vaccination trends throughout the pandemic. The global surge of infections related to the Delta-variant and the slow and inequitable rollout of vaccines compromises our ability to maximize participant safety and inclusivity.

We know that this change will significantly impact many of you who have submitted abstracts, planned workshops, already registered, received a grant, sponsored the conference and more.  We have included information below regarding some of the more obvious questions we expect to receive, and we will continue to sort out more details and share them with you over the next few weeks. Rest assured, there is no need for you to act on anything at this time; we are going to be applying maximum flexibility on all aspects of the conference (e.g., refunds, grants, sponsorship, etc.).

Though the future seems exceptionally uncertain these days, we intend to provide a world-class conference in 2022. We will be using the intervening months to maximize in-person safety,  enhance our virtual program experience, more deeply promote the inclusivity of the conference, and expand sponsorship to reduce cost for members of our community that could be aided with financial support. We will ensure that we are communicating regularly with you on how the plan is progressing. Please keep checking back on our questions and answers page for all questions related to the postponed conference by following this link.

 

Key Questions You Might Have:


1. I already paid for conference registration. What should I do?
You don’t need to do anything!  We will be rolling all registrations forward to the future conference date. However, if there is a reason you would like a refund we will work with you. Please contact registration@marinemammalscience.org if you have any questions.  Please be patient while we work through requests.

2. What is your registration refund policy?
If you require a refund for your conference registration, or any other items you’ve already paid for (e.g. workshop, merchandise, etc.), please contact registration@marinemammalscience.org and we will work to provide you with a full refund until Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 12pm (noon) EDT. After this date, our standard cancellation of $100 USD handling fee for registration cancellations will apply.

3. I didn’t take advantage of early bird registration because I was uncertain about traveling, will you be extending early bird now?
Don’t worry! We will be reopening and extending the early bird registration window. Early bird registration will now be open until Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 12pm (noon) EDT. If you registered after the original early bird deadline and paid full price, please reach out to registration@marinemammalscience.org to request a partial refund until Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 12pm (noon) EDT.

4. Can I change my presentation format (i.e. in person to virtual and vice versa)? 
The conference program has already been set with excellent content and we are hoping to minimize any changes in 2022. However, we realize that the change of conference date may change your preference for how you would like to present your work (i.e. in person vs. virtually).  If you would like to switch to a virtual presentation, or visa versa, we can accommodate your request. If you would like to switch to an in-person presentation we will put you on a waiting list and add you as spots become available. We will be extending the date to make these requests to Wednesday, April 13, 2021 at 12pm (noon) EDT.

5. What if my abstract/research changes (between now and next year)? Will I be able to update my abstract?
We realize that the later conference date may allow you to analyze that last bit of data. We can work with you to help you update your abstract if necessary. We will follow up with an announcement early in the calendar year to open a short window for updates. Presenters will be given one opportunity to update their abstracts.

6. Can we submit new abstracts? 
We will not be reopening abstract submissions. The program has been finalized and reproducing the abstract acceptance and review process would prove exceedingly difficult.

7. I’ve already booked my hotel. What should I do?
You can cancel your reservation with no penalty and rebook at your convenience. To visit the accommodation reservation portal, click HERE.   We will be establishing the new room block soon and will announce opening for rebooking or changing your reservation.

8. I’ve already paid for a workshop. What should I do?
We will be working with workshop organizers to determine how this delay might impact their workshop. If a workshop organizer needs to cancel their planned workshop, you will be refunded the full cost. If you no longer will be able to attend the workshop in person at the new date, we will refund the full cost. Please wait for updates and guidance. We will be sending out more information before Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

9. I’ve already paid for conference merchandise. What should I do?
You don’t have to do anything if you are still planning on attending the conference in person.  Products will not be shipped to attendees prior to or following the conference. So, if you will now be presenting virtually or no longer want the merchandise, please contact registration@marinemammalscience.org and we can provide a full refund.

10. I’m not going to be a student by the time the conference happens. What does this mean for my registration costs? Ability to get a student travel grant?
If you were going to be a student during the originally scheduled dates of the conference then we will honor that status at the conference in 2022 – even if your status has changed. Your registration costs and travel grant status will not change.  It is expected that all grant recipients maintain their Society for Marine Mammalogy membership.

11. Will I get to keep my student/low income country travel grant?
Yes! If you still plan on attending the conference you will be able to keep your travel grant. We are hoping that travel uncertainty will clear up before the postponed conference happens. If you received support to attend the conference in person and the date change means you will not be able to do so, then please work with your grant coordinator (Student Members-at-Large or International Relations Committee) to let them know of your change of plans and whether or not you will need the virtual conference costs covered.  It is expected that all grant recipients maintain their Society for Marine Mammalogy membership.

12. I need an updated conference receipt and/or VISA letter to support my travel in 2022. Who do I contact?
If needed, we will gladly provide an updated conference receipt or VISA letter with new conference dates to support your travel to Palm Beach. Please contact registration@marinemammalscience.org for assistance with these requests.

 

We hope to see many of you in August 2022 online or in person.

Be safe, be well.

 

 Charles Littnan, SMM President

Amy Hirons and Jeremy Kiszka, SMM Conference Co-Chairs

Stephen Trumble and Sascha Usenko, SMM Conference Scientific Co-Chairs

Editors’ Select Series Presentation: Population genomic structure of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Australian and New Zealand waters

The SMM Seminar Editor’s Select Series highlights the latest and most exciting marine mammal science published in the Marine Mammal Science Journal. The SMM created this series to give scientists and citizens around the world a chance to engage with marine mammal scientists, learn and ask questions. All are welcome.

Guest, Isabella Reeves of Flinders University presents: “Population genomic structure of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Australian and New Zealand waters

August 19, 2021 6-7:30 pm PDT (1-2:30 AM GMT August 20; 10:30 am-12 pm ASCT (August 20)
Online. Free to attend. 

About this talk:
In Australasia, seasonal killer whale aggregations have been recently discovered and they have known to also reside year-round in New Zealand waters. However, there is currently limited information available about the species in these regions and therefore effective conservation management strategies are lacking. Here, we present the first study on the number of killer whale populations and their connectivity in Australasia using DNA. We discovered a minimum of three populations of killer whales, one in tropical and a second in temperate Western Australia, and a third in New Zealand. They each have distinct female-driven societies and appear to have little movement between them with low number of breeders. These findings can assist conservation management of these animals in the region.

About the presenter:
Isabella is currently a PhD Candidate in the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab and the Molecular Ecology Lab at Flinders University in South Australia. She has over five years of experience researching cetaceans, leading her to obtain a skillset predominantly in photo-identification methods and using genetics to understand population-level questions for conservation. Her research now focusses on using genetics to broadly understand cetacean evolution, with a focus on Australasian killer whales.

Missed a presentation or want to share this series with a friend? All previous Editors’ Select  presentations are recorded and archived on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUc78IynQlubS2DVS1VZoplf_t42-yZOO

Please vote for SMM’s newest Honorary Members by 2 September 2021

Dear Members,

We are pleased to present two new nominees to become Honorary Members for you to vote on. An Honorary Member is a member recognized for distinguished service to the field of marine mammalogy, as recommended unanimously by the Board of Governors, and elected by two-thirds of the voting members. Honorary Members have all the privileges of full members but are exempt from dues.

Here is the link to the ballot: https://www.marinemammalscience.org/for-members/2021-members-ballot/

The ballot will close at 3:00 PM EST on 2 September 2021.

Best wishes,

Emer Rogan
Nominations and Elections Committee Chair

Webinar on Internship Equity

You are invited
to a
Webinar on Internship Equity
co-hosted by the SMM and WDC
on Thursday, August 26th
4:00 PM-6:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (8:00 PM -10:00 PM UTC)

About the Event:
While we all rely on the ocean for half our oxygen, our climate, and our economy, not everyone has a voice in marine science and conservation, a field which has little racial diversity.

Recognizing and removing the barriers preventing access to this field is critical to the health of our planet. In this webinar, several organizations will present their experiences, outlining how they evaluated the barriers to accessing opportunities in this field and how they are working to remove them. Join our panelists to hear about the steps they have taken to increase access to the field.

This webinar is the first of four talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the marine mammal conservation field, and leads up to a DEI workshop just prior to the 24th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, to be held on August 1-5, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

This event is free to attend and all are welcome.

Speakers:
Tara Cox, Savannah State University
Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)
Chris Parsons, National Science Foundation (NSF)
Cassandra Harris, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Samantha Gallardo, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)

Zoom Registration:
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_9f-Dzq-ESzyO3tr3Re3-AQ

Please help to inform and guide our discussion!
We would appreciate your participation in a DEI Webinar Participant Survey. This anonymous survey will take approximately five minutes to complete. Results will be shared at the webinar, but please note this is an informal survey and the results will not have any statistical significance and will be shared as discussion points only.

Please direct any questions about the webinar to Regina Asmutis-Silvia and Melissa Walker at jobs@whales.org

Thank you for being a part of the conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.

Eric Archer and Tara Cox
Co-Chairs, SMM Ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee