[MARMAM] Announcement: Workshop:Joint ACCOBAMS–ASCOBANS workshop on cetacean population structure

Stefania Gaspari stefaniagaspari at gmail.com
Sat Jan 26 11:18:47 PST 2013

Dear ECS and MARMAM members,

The following workshop, sponsored by the ACCOBAMS Regional Conservation Agreements, will be held at the forthcoming ECS Conference, Setúbal, Portugal.

ECS/ASCOBANS/ACCOBAMS Workshop: Joint ACCOBAMS–ASCOBANS workshop on cetacean population structure

Organising Committee: Stefania Gaspari, Peter Evans, Camille Montiglio

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, 6 April 2013 from 14.30 to 18.00.
There will be a charge of 15 euros per person.

In order to evaluate and prioritise threats to cetaceans in European waters at the population level, it is essential to understand population structure. However, this is a complex issue and a full evaluation requires incorporation of a multidisciplinary approach in order to be able to define “Management Units”. Molecular ecology studies are crucial in this regard, and it is reasonable to suspect that genetic breaks may be correlated with specific environmental conditions. Up to now, systematic studies of this nature have rarely been conducted upon cetaceans in the ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS areas. Nevertheless, some recent studies have provided valuable indications that by combining genetic, morphological, ecological, and behavioural approaches, new insights into the spatial ecology of marine populations can be obtained. In this context, we believe that a comparison of genetic data with the available ecological and oceanographic information will greatly improve our understanding.

The workshop will also provide an opportunity to discuss how best to incorporate ecological and oceanographic variables into genetic information on population structures. Full consideration of this issue requires a suite of techniques.  In order to develop a full programme within the ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS regions, it is essential to undertake a review of existing information as well as the distribution and extent of suitable samples available for stock structure evaluation by species and area, in order to identify key information gaps and to highlight priorities for data collection and analyses.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

(1)  summarise the available techniques for examining cetacean population structure, and their incorporation into conservation management plans;

(2)  review the existing information and sample availability throughout the ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS regions in the light of the above techniques (including whether all or only some techniques are applicable to specific regions);

(3)  identify and prioritise information gaps and the means to address those gaps in the light of likely conservation needs;

(4)  prioritise species in the relevant regions, based on the above and the potential relative ease to bridge those gaps (e.g. coastal species that have relatively high stranding rates);

(5)  develop recommendations for future work, including analyses of existing data as well as the collection of new data.

Anyone interested in participating or offering a talk, please contact me at <stefaniagaspari at gmail.com>. Further details with a programme will be sent closer to the date of the workshop to those who have registered to attend.


Best regards,

Stefania Gaspari

 on behalf of Workshop Organising Committee


Stefania Gaspari, PhD
Department of Biology
University of Florence
Via Madonna del Piano 6, 
50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy

Tel  +39 055 4574744;  
cell  +39 333 7551556
e-mail: stefania.gaspari at unifi.it
           stefaniagaspari at gmail.com

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