Category Archives: Student & Professional News

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

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

Reminder to Submit Small Grants In Aid of Research Applications by June 30

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:

  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, 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.

  1. 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 admin@marinemammalscience.org

For all other questions about the grants, please contact:

Laura J. May-Collado
Chair
Committee of Scientific Advisors
Society for Marine Mammalogy
science@marinemammalscience.org

 

Abstract submission for March 2017 SMM California Student Chapter Conference

Our third annual student chapter conference for the California Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy is rapidly approaching (March 11, 2017). The conference is open to all undergraduate, recent undergraduates, and graduate students in California interested in or conducting research on marine mammals. We want to encourage all interested students to register here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HBZRQKG, and to submit an abstract here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HHMQ2MG. The abstract submission deadline is Jan 31, 2017.

Check out our website, http://smm.pbsci.ucsc.edu for more information about the conference, the student chapter itself, or to be added to our private listserv.

We look forward to seeing a great turnout in March!

Rachel and Liz

2016 Research Grants The American Cetacean Society, Los Angeles Chapter (ACS-LA)

The American Cetacean Society, Los Angeles Chapter (ACS-LA) is happy to announce the opening of applications for its 2016 Research Grants
The American Cetacean Society protects cetaceans and their habitats though conservation, education and research. Working with world-class scientists, ACS funds research projects that address some of the most pressing issues facing cetaceans. ACS-LA is pleased to announce the availability of two research grants in the amount of $1,000.00 each to established researchers or student researchers attending school in the greater Los Angeles area whose work focuses on marine mammals.

1) The John E. Heyning Research Award. This award is in the amount of $1,000.

John Heyning was a brilliant and prolific scientist. He was Deputy Director of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, where he built a collection of marine mammal specimens second only to Smithsonian and where he curated the Masters of the Ocean Realm exhibit that traveled to 22 countries. He was an authority on beaked whales, published the work that separated common dolphins into two separate species, and described the countercurrent heat exchange in whale tongues, among many other accomplishments. John was a strong supporter of ACS and its mission; he served on the organization’s Board of Scientific Advisors and taught the Whalewatch naturalist class for many years.

2) The Bill Samaras Research Award. This award is in the amount of $1,000.00.
Bill Samaras was a geologist by training but his first love was whales. He taught science at Carson High School for 30 years, helped shape the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium into the institution it is today and led the excavation of a gray whale skeleton during the construction of the Harbor Freeway in San Pedro. Bill was a lifelong supporter of ACS, an organization that he served in many capacities.

Guidelines for Research Grants:
The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Cetacean Society offers small research grants in support of operating field research projects focusing on marine mammals. ACS-LA has a long-standing commitment supporting local research on cetaceans and other marine mammals. The two $1,000 research grants will be awarded to researchers or students exhibiting an outstanding commitment to furthering the understanding of marine mammals in California. Priority will be given to applicants working or attending school in Southern California and/or conducting their marine mammal research in Southern California, with emphasis on those attending school and/or working in the greater Los Angeles area.

Eligibility:
1. Applicant should be a researcher or a student living and/or attending school in California.
OR
2. Current research focus should be on Marine Mammals located in or around California with priority being given to work conducted in Southern California with emphasis on the greater Los Angeles area.

Applications:
Applications should include the following:
1. Cover sheet with:
a) Title of Proposal and Research Area of interest including focal species
b) Field Research Group Information (Name, Address, E-mail, and Phone numbers and departmental contacts) or Current School, Major, and Name(s) of Supervisor and Department
c) Names and contact information of Lead or Principal Investigator (PI), Second PI, and any student participants
2. A one-page CV or Resume for Principal Investigator and Secondary Investigators
3. A 1-2 page narrative (single spaced) describing your research organization or program, details, and justification for your specific research topic including objectives, details on geographical area being investigated, hypotheses, and total project timeline including temporal benchmarks for the work. How will your research contribute to our understanding and/or benefit the species being studied? Is this a species-based effort or a habitat and/or conservation based study? Please include your estimated 1-year budget and budget justifications.

All applications will be reviewed for scientific value and overall conservation benefit.

Requirement For Recipients:
Recipients of the awards will be asked to present their research sometime in the next year at ACS-LA’s monthly speaker series. Please be prepared to present your work, with visuals, to the ACS-LA community.
Deadlines:
Deadline for submission is 15th June 2016
Awards will be announced by 30th June 2016

Please feel free to contact Grants Chair Christina Tombach Wright with any questions, ACSLA.Grants@gmail.com.
Applications should be sent by E-mail to ACSLA.Grants@gmail.com.
Information about the Los Angeles Chapter of ACS can be found on our website: www.acs-la.org.
To join ACS-LA, please go to http://acsonline.org/support-acs/become-member/ and specify the Los Angeles Chapter.

For further information about specific chapters and other grant-making programs, please visit the Chapter page of the National American Cetacean Society website: www.acsonline.org.

American Cetacean Society-San Francisco Bay Chapter 2016 Student Research Grants

The American Cetacean Society-San Francisco Bay Chapter ( ACS-SF Bay ) would like to encourage students to apply for our upcoming 2016 Student Research Grants.

ACS – SF BAY Guidelines for Student Research Grant:
The San Francisco Bay American Cetacean Society chapter Grants-in-Aid of Research fund offers small research grants for direct costs of scientific, field-based projects focusing on cetaceans. The Society invites proposals from all cetacean-related disciplines, including the social sciences, which focus on cetaceans and/or their habitats.

SF Bay ACS chapter particularly welcomes applications from early-career researchers such as graduate students and researchers with less than 10 years’ post-doctoral experience, and researchers whose work focuses on cetaceans on the West Coast of North American, with emphasis in the Bay Area.

The SF Bay American Cetacean Society chapter has a long-standing commitment to providing young scientists with ‘seed money’ for research projects in cetacean-related disciplines.

Currently, SF Bay ACS chapter grant awards range from $100 to $1,000; the Society highly encourages funds to be used in a ‘match’ program to maximize funding potential.

Funding is available to applicants who are themselves active (dues-paying) SF Bay ACS chapter members.
SF Bay ACS chapter funds are intended to strengthen conservation efforts through applied field-based research and opportunities outside of the laboratory. Funds may not be used for salaries, stipends, honoraria, or other compensatory expenses.

The National American Cetacean Society and other chapters of ACS also participate in grant-making initiatives and will also submit Request For Proposals (RFPs) coincident with their funding cycles. For information about specific chapters and their grant-making programs, please visit the Chapter page of the National American Cetacean Society website: www. acsonline.org.

Proposals should include:

1. Application cover sheet, with title of proposal, field research group, contact information (email, phone and departmental contacts) for the faculty lead or principle investigator (PI), second PI (if applicable) and any proposed graduate student participant list (with contact information).

2. A brief narrative (1-2 pages, single-spaced) describing the research program, overall purpose, specific research objectives/questions, study timeline and benchmarks, significance of the research in advancing our understanding the biology and conservation of cetaceans and/or their habitats, and how the research can or does advance conservation efforts aimed at a particular taxa, species, or habitat.

3. An itemized, one-year budget, including estimated costs for supplies,equipment, travel, etc. Costs should be kept reasonable. A budget justification should be included. Budget should not exceed requested funding amount; however, details of additional funding sources supporting the research and how those funds will be used are helpful in evaluating applications.

4. Curriculum Vitae (CV) for each principle investigator.

The application deadline for the 2016 San Francisco Bay American Cetacean Society chapter Small Grants-in-Aid of Research Program is Friday, September 23rd 2016, and will cover proposed field work to be undertaken through winter of 2017. Funding is limited and proposals will be peer-reviewed for scientific rigor, conservation benefit and cost effectiveness.
Awards will be announced on Monday, October 10, 2016.

Applications should be sent by email to Lynette R. Koftinow: acs.sfbay@gmail.com
President San Francisco Bay American Cetacean Society chapter
Questions regarding the program may also be directed to her.

Deadline Friday April 22 – Northwest Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy 2016 Annual Meeting

The deadline is approaching for abstract submission, Friday April 22nd. Registration will be accepted up to the day of the meeting. Register and submit your abstract at: http://bit.ly/20Mn9EB. Registration is FREE, and will include breakfast, snacks, and lunch on Saturday May 21st.

Meeting information:
The 20th Annual Meeting of the Northwest Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (NWSSMM) will take place at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle on May 21-22, 2016! The conference will be held at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

The purpose of the annual meeting is to cultivate community among students studying marine mammals by creating a relaxed atmosphere to share research ideas, tribulations, and triumphs. It is an opportunity to meet other students across the region, collaborate, and generally have a good time in a supportive and informal setting.

Schedule:
Saturday May 21st will involve a full day of student oral and poster presentations, followed by a group dinner. On Sunday May 22nd we will be offering a FREE behind the scenes tour of the marine mammal collection at the Burke Museum on the UW campus.

Follow along on the Facebook event page.

Limited housing with student hosts will be available on a first-come first-serve basis. Please indicate on your registration form if you would like to be considered for accommodations and contact us if you have any questions. Even if you are not presenting, we suggest registering by this Friday – housing requests will be accepted until Friday April 22nd.

We look forward to seeing you in Seattle!

Erica Escajeda (escajeda@uw.edu) and Jessie Hale (jrh33@uw.edu)

NWSSMM 20th Annual Meeting Student Organizers

Coll Perske Memorial Fund for Marine Mammals Student Research Award: Call for Applications

On April 28, 2014, we lost an amazing friend and colleague, Coll Gordon Perske. To honor Coll’s life and unwavering dedication to marine mammals, the National Marine Mammal Foundation established the Coll Perske Memorial Fund for Marine Mammals. The mission of the fund is to improve the lives of marine mammals, with a focus on California sea lions, through scientific research, education, and promotion of ocean stewardship. The first project launched by the Coll Perske Memorial Fund is the Perske Pinniped Health Project. The Perske Pinniped Health Project will focus on research that continues to enhance the health and welfare of all pinnipeds, with a special emphasis on the California sea lion.

Program Description

This year, the Coll Perske Memorial Fund committee has elected to provide a student stipend of $2000.00 to a qualified undergraduate, recently graduated, or graduate student interested in marine mammal physiology and training. The study chosen for the Perske Pinniped Health project this year is a sea lion diving physiology and training project that Coll Perske helped collect data for while working as a U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program sea lion trainer. For this study pre and post dive blood samples were acquired voluntarily from 4 adult male sea lions after diving to various depths (500 ft, 600 ft, 800 ft and 900 ft). Blood samples were then analyzed using iSTAT (CG4, CG8) to obtain blood gas information. The award recipient will work with Dr. Sam Ridgway to evaluate the methodology and data previously collected for this project.

In addition to working with Dr. Ridgway, the student will also have the opportunity to spend time working with the sea lion training staff, and some of the animals that participated in the data collection for this study. By the end of their time onsite, the student will have gained exposure to working with the National Marine Mammal Foundation and the U.S Navy Marine Mammal Program. They will also have gained a better understanding of marine mammal training as a research tool. It is our expectation the award recipient will present the results of this project by the end of their time onsite, as well as at a related conference within the following year. Ideally, this project will also result in a publication in an appropriate peer reviewed scientific journal.

Due Date:
• Applications are to be submitted by April 26, 2016. Applications must be sent to the Director of Education, Erika Putman at Erika.putman@nmmf.org and the subject line must state “Coll Perske Memorial Fund Student Research Award 2016”.

Eligibility:
• Undergraduate student or recently graduated individual interested in gaining research experience. Graduate students will also be considered.
• Must be a U.S. citizen
• Ability to spend a minimum of 2 months onsite at our facility in San Diego, CA. (start date is flexible and to be determined by the award recipient, Dr. Sam Ridgway and the Coll Perske Memorial Fund committee)

Application Requirements:
• Letter of intent detailing how this opportunity will benefit the applicant’s career goals and specifically why this project is of interest to them
• Student’s curriculum vitae
• Official school transcripts
• Three references with e-mail address, phone number, and relationship to applicant

Award recipient will be announced by May 18, 2016.

Student Travel Grants American Cetacean Society, Los Angeles Chapter (ACS-LA)

The American Cetacean Society, Los Angeles Chapter (ACS-LA) is happy to announce the opening of applications for 2015 Student Travel Grants.

The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Cetacean Society (ACS-LA) is offering two travel grants in the amount of $500.00 each to students working or attending school in the greater Los Angeles area who will be attending the 21st Biennial conference on the Biology of Marina Mammals hosted by the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) in San Francisco, CA, this December.

The two $500 travel grants will be awarded to two students exhibiting an outstanding commitment to research on marine mammals. Students should either be attending school in Southern California and/or conducting their marine mammal research in Southern California, with priority being given to those attending school and/or working in the greater Los Angeles area.

Eligibility:
1. Applicant needs to be a student (undergraduate or graduate) and be giving either an oral or poster presentation at the SMM Biennial.
AND
2. Applicant should be attending an accredited institution and living in Southern California with priority being given to students enrolled in a school in the greater Los Angeles area (research projects can be located anywhere world-wide).
OR
3. Current research focus should be on Marine Mammals located in or around Southern California with priority being given to work conducted in the greater Los Angeles area.

Applications:
Applications should include the following:
1. Cover sheet with:
a) Title of presentation being given at the SMM Biennial Conference,
b) Full copy of the abstract submitted (and accepted) by the SMM committee
c) Applicant Contact Information (Name, Address, E-mail, and Phone numbers)
d) Current school and major including current supervisor and department
2. Proof that applicant is a student (photo of the front and back of current student ID card)
3. A one-page CV or Resume

Deadlines:
Deadline for submission is 10 November, 2015.
Awards will be announced by 20 November, 2015

Applications should be sent by E-mail to ACSLA.Grants@gmail.com.

Information about the Los Angeles Chapter of ACS can be found on our website: www.acs-la.org.
To join ACS-LA, please go to http://acsonline.org/support-acs/become-member/ and specify the Los Angeles Chapter.
For further information about specific chapters and other grant-making programs, please visit the Chapter page of the National American Cetacean Society website: www.acsonline.org.