[MARMAM] First announcement for a symposium and workshop - Living whales in the southern ocean: advances in methods for non-lethal cetacean research [Sec=Unclassified]

Simon Childerhouse Simon.Childerhouse at aad.gov.au
Tue Dec 7 20:03:22 PST 2010

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below the first announcement for a symposium and workshop scheduled for September 2011 in Chile. This is a collaboration developed by the Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP); a working group of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.

While the focus of the symposium and workshop will be on application of existing and novel non-lethal research techniques to cetaceans in the Southern Ocean, it will provide an excellent forum for a more general discussion on advances in non-lethal research techniques for cetaceans. We welcome expressions of interest from those in the marine mammal research community interested in presenting papers or potentially convening sessions, supporting the symposium through financial support, or with suggestions about associated workshops. Please reply to sorp at aad.gov.au.

More information is available at http://www.marinemammals.gov.au/sorp/living-whales-symposium.

Simon Childerhouse

Coordinator of the Southern Ocean Research Partnership

Australian Marine Mammal Centre, Australian Antarctic Division
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
203 Channel Highway, Kingston 7050, Tasmania, Australia
Ph. +61-3-6232-3146
Mob. +61-439-317-605
Email. simon.childerhouse at aad.gov.au
Web. www.marinemammals.gov.au; www.aad.gov.au




Objectives. The focus of the symposium and accompanying workshop is to review the strengths and weaknesses of current and new methods for studying living whales in the Southern Ocean. Specifically, the objectives are to advance the synergies of non-lethal methods for investigations addressing three broad themes:
1)      Population dynamics, health status and life history parameters of recovering whale species
2)      Ecological linkages, functional roles and relationships of whales in their ecosystem(s)
3)      The response of whales to climate change and anthropogenic impacts

Presentations will focus on methodological, analytical or technological advances in non-lethal methodology, including those that are still under development. There will be a focus on presentations that integrate methods. The symposium and workshop are part of the work of the Southern Ocean Research Partnership.

Key audience. The target audience for the workshop is scientists and managers interested in the application of new and developing non-lethal methods for understanding whales in the Southern Hemisphere and elsewhere. Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the symposium and workshop, it will have widespread appeal.

Structure. A one-day symposium will be followed by a two-day workshop.
Symposium. The symposium will have keynote speakers from a range of disciplines who will highlight advances in non-lethal research techniques. There will be presentations on specific research fields and also results from large-scale, multi-national programmes (e.g. IDCR/SOWER, SPLASH, SCANs, TOPP). In brief:

*         Keynote address (45 mins) - a presentation by an eminent scientist of non-lethal research providing an historical context for the development of non-lethal research, with a particular reference to Southern Hemisphere examples

*         Presentations of state of the art non-lethal research techniques (30 mins each) - summarising the latest developments and describing the applications to southern hemisphere whales

*         Selected case studies (45 mins each) - providing detailed description of methods and analyses

Depending on interest, we may run concurrent sessions or possibly extend the symposium to 1.5 or 2 days to cover more material.

Workshop. A two-day workshop will follow the symposium and will focus on presentations by experts with significant time for discussion of new and evolving techniques and their application to the themes of the workshop.

Proposed location. To be confirmed but likely to be either Valparaiso or La Serena, Chile.

Proposed dates. To be confirmed but likely to be September 2011.

Steering Group. Scott Baker, Bob Brownell, Simon Childerhouse, Barbara Galletti, Ari Friedlander, and Nick Gales.

Costs. A small registration fee will apply but there will be reduced fees for students and researchers from developing nations.

Contact information: Living Whales Symposium, c/o Australian Marine Mammal Centre, Australian Antarctic Division, Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, AUSTRALIA. Email. sorp at aad.gov.au. Web. www.marinemammals.gov.au/sorp

Programme The following research areas will be used to guide the development of the symposium and workshop programme:

1)      Photo-identification (e.g. catalogue curation, automated matching, applications (e.g. estimation of survival and reproductive rates, social structure)

2)      Genetic markers (e.g. species and subspecies id, genetic differentiation and population assignment, genotyping for individual identification and capture-recapture, genomics)

3)      Eco-markers (e.g. stable isotopes, lipid profile)

4)      Life history markers (e.g. ageing, pregnancy, health assessment, photogrammetry)

5)      Telemetry for habitat use and migration (e.g. satellite, GPS, short term archival tags, critter cam)

6)      Analytical techniques for animal movements

7)      Acoustics (e.g. species identification, density and direction, stationary and towed arrays)

8)      Distance surveys for abundance and habitat use (e.g. vessel-, aerial-, shore-based)

9)      Lessons from large-scale studies (e.g. IDCR/SOWER, SPLASH, YONAH, TOPP)

10)   Remote vehicles (e.g. gliders, drifters, balloons/blimps, UAVs)

11)   Analyses of behaviour and social structure (e.g. observation approaches, analytical methods)

12)   Population modelling

13)   Ecological modelling


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