[MARMAM] Call for Abstracts: 'Role of Arctic Marine Mammals in Northern Ecosystems and Cultures'

Matthews, Cory JD Cory.Matthews at dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Wed Aug 27 07:26:07 PDT 2008

Session Announcement and Call for Abstracts

'Role of Arctic Marine Mammals in Northern Ecosystems and Cultures'

Arctic Change 2008

Quebec City, Canada

December 9-12, 2008


Abstract submission deadline is September 26, 2008. Abstracts can be
submitted online at:


For conference details and online registration forms, please go to: 



For information on this session please contact the session chair and/or


Steven Ferguson (Session Chair)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Steve.ferguson at dfo-mpo.gc.ca <mailto:Steve.ferguson at dfo-mpo.gc.ca> 


Cory Matthews (ArcticNet Marine Mammals Coordinator)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and

University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Cory.Matthews at dfo-mpo.gc.ca



Session Description: 


Arctic marine mammals such as seals, walrus, whales, polar bears, and
Arctic foxes play important ecological, social, cultural and nutritional
roles in Arctic ecosystems. Many of these species are adapted to sea-ice
conditions, and Inuit hunters have learned to use these habitats as well
for subsistence harvesting. However, these high-latitude marine systems
are currently undergoing pronounced changes, with dramatic sea ice
declines in many areas. Environmental changes may have marked effects on
marine mammal ecosystems, which will in turn have distinct effects on
northern cultures. Many Arctic marine mammals occupy top trophic
positions and thus can be viewed as sentinels of marine ecosystem
health. Examining health and condition in marine mammals may provide
valuable information about ecosystem alterations in structure that may
otherwise be difficult to document. Working with northerners to monitor
changes in their subsistence hunts will provide an Arctic observation
network that will improve science while empowering Inuit culture. 


In this session we will bring together researchers representing diverse
views on marine mammals, their ecosystems, and climate change in the
Arctic. The goals of this session are to present research examining
links between environmental variation and marine mammal ecology
(including, but not limited to: population demographics, competition and
predator-prey relationships, distribution and abundance, migration and
largescale movements, diet and foraging patterns and trophic structure
dynamics, reproductive success and phenology, life history, individual
health such as stress and susceptibility to disease), and to better
understand how marine mammal populations may respond to acute change in
the Arctic. These findings may be used to allow northerners to
anticipate such changes, including development of conservation
initiatives to preserve northern culture and current relationships with
the marine ecosystem. 

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