News from the President and Board

Meet SMM President, D. Ann Pabst

I attended my first Biennial in Boston in 1983, and have been a member of SMM since 1987, when I joined as a graduate student. I have been privileged to serve our Society as its Secretary (1998-2002), a member of the Committee of Scientific Advisors (2004-2008), and an Associate Editor of Marine Mammal Science (2004-2007). I have enthusiastically participated in student-focused activities at many Biennials, from judging to Student Affairs Workshops. In all capacities, I am reminded of our Society’s commitment to high-quality scholarship, evidence-based conservation efforts, and the future, through our thoughtful mentoring and support of students.

As way of background, I am a Professor of Biology and Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where I have the pleasure of working with many fine students and colleagues to investigate the biology of marine mammals. Our lab’s research efforts are both basic and applied. We ask how the mammalian body is adapted for a marine existence with special focus on musculoskeletal and thermoregulatory design. We also document the distribution of cetaceans in areas of current or planned anthropogenic impacts. We utilize the investigation of strandings, as well as insights from both these approaches, to inform conservation efforts.

I believe strongly that our Society’s strength lies within its dedicated and diverse membership. We share a commitment to excellence in research, education, and conservation and to the future through our unwavering investment in students. These investments in scholarship and training – across disciplines and ocean basins – are required as we, and marine mammals, face the challenges posed by our rapidly changing global environment. We have been fortunate as a Society to have excellent and effective leaders who have guided us on our path thus far. As President, I am working hard to build upon our traditions and strengths, as we face the challenges – and identify the opportunities – in our future.

-D. Ann Pabst


December 10, 2014

December Update from Nick Gales

Christmas greetings to you all. I hope you are able to find time to immerse yourselves with friends and family and take pause before 2015 sweeps us up into another busy year. Two weeks ago we held the annual meeting of the SMM Board in San Francisco. The organising committee for the 21st Biennial Conference […]

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September 11, 2014

Nick Gales’ First Blog as Society President

Well here we go – my first blog in my new role as President of this very fine Society. Like all of us privileged enough to serve in the variety of roles that keep our Society vibrant, relevant, informative, influential and above all, attractive to be a part of, we do so in a voluntary […]

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June 30, 2014

A Final Presidential Blog from Helene Marsh

In a few hours (depending on the time zone), I pass the baton of President of the Society to the very capable hands of Nick Gales. I am sure his experience at the International Court of Justice has given him the gravitas required for the role! It has (mostly) been a very interesting and rewarding […]

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December 19, 2013

Reflections on the 20th Biennial Meeting

The Society held its much awaited biennial conference on the theme of ‘Conservation of Marine Mammals: Science Making a Difference’ on the Otago University campus in Dunedin last week. The conference was a great success despite the unprecedented impact of multiple key threatening  processes: the Global Financial Crisis, the Christchurch earthquakes, the US government shutdown […]

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November 12, 2013

The shocking reality of the risks to Asian River dolphins

In a few weeks we will be gathered in Dunedin for our 20th Biennial Conference. This year’s theme is “Marine Mammal Conservation: Science Making a Difference“. Despite the triple challenges of the Global Financial Crisis, the devastating Christchurch Earthquake and the recent shut-down of the US public sector, the conference organizers have done an amazing […]

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