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!