[MARMAM] First Announcement - 5 day Workshop on Techniques for Estimating Marine Mammal Abundance - July 2014

African Marine Mammal Colloquium marinemammalogy.southernafrica at gmail.com
Thu Mar 20 04:00:32 PDT 2014

Dear Colleagues,

The SAMSS/AMMC website is up and running - don't forget for this year's
meeting you need to go through the full application process and costs for
the SAMSS. The AMMC will be run as special sessions within the main meeting.
http://samss2014.co.za/  Early registration ends soon!

One of the reasons for running the AMMC is to take advantage of everyone
already being in the same place to run some additional relevant workshops
and meetings. I'm happy to announce that Prof Phillip Hammond of the Sea
Mammal Research Institute will be coming to the Cape to run a workshop
immediately following the AMMC/SAMSS meeting in July this year.

*Dates*:  19-23 July 2014 (Immediately after SAMSS / AMMC)
*Presenter*: Prof Phil Hammond, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK
*Venue*: TBD (possibly Cape Town but somewhere near the SAMSS venue)
*Cost*: TBD, but in the region of R2000. Discounts hopefully available for

We're looking into some funding options will will hopefully allow us to
bring the costs down.


Workshop outline: *Estimating marine mammal abundance and life history

Philip Hammond, Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews, UK

This workshop will introduce participants to the methods used to estimate
the abundance and life history parameters (primarily survival rates) of
marine mammals, especially cetaceans. Methodology will be presented in a
statistical framework but the focus will be on practical application of the
methods and analysis of the data, and on understanding and dealing with
potential biases that arise from applying the methodology in practice.

Participants will spend much of the time doing practical exercises and will
learn to use the analytical software DISTANCE for line transect sampling
analysis and software MARK for mark-recapture analysis. The use of
abundance estimates in trend analysis and population viability analysis
will also be introduced. On successful completion of the workshop,
participants will be able to design, execute and analyse data from line
transect and capture-recapture studies and understand how results can be
used to inform conservation and management.

Workshop outline:

*Mark-recapture and photo-identification*

·      Introduction to mark-recapture techniques, including assumptions of
the methods

·      Data collection: sampling design, photo-identification, turning
photos into data

·      Data analysis: using capture histories to estimate abundance (using
closed and open population models); estimating survival rates

·      *Practical*: two-sample abundance estimation in Excel

·      Introduction to MARK: data entry, data analysis, interpretation of

·      *Practical*: using MARK to estimate abundance and survival rates

·      Using RMark to run MARK

*Line transect sampling and sightings surveys*

·      Introduction to line transect sampling, including assumptions and
survey design

·      *Practical*: survey design using DISTANCE

·      Data collection: running a survey

·      *Practical*: line transect sampling data collection and data entry

·      Data analysis: selecting a detection function; abundance estimation;
variance estimation

·      Using DISTANCE to analyze data: interpretation of results

·      *Practical*: analytical work using DISTANCE

·      Accounting for animals missed on the transect line

·      Introduction to density surface modelling of abundance

*Population status, trends and population viability analysis (PVA)*

·      Power analysis, trend analysis, PVA using software VORTEX

·      *Practical*: trend analysis and population viability analysis

*Dr Philip Hammond *moved from the Sea Mammal Research Unit in Cambridge to
the University of St Andrews in 1996, becoming full Professor in 2005. His
research focuses primarily on population dynamics and ecology, in
particular the applied aspects of how seals and cetaceans interact with
mankind. He is particularly interested in (a) studies of the habitat usage,
foraging ecology and diet of marine mammals; (b) the estimation of
abundance, survival and reproductive rates, and the modelling of marine
mammal populations; and (c) studies of the management of whaling, cetacean
bycatch in fisheries, seal-fishery interactions, and the conservation of
vulnerable species. He has supervised more than 30 PhD students and
published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He teaches
courses on quantitative methods in biology, ecology, biology of marine
organisms, conservation research methods, marine mammal biology and marine
mammal conservation. Over the last few years, he has taught practical
workshops to students, early career researchers and professional
practitioners on estimating abundance and population parameters, and on
spatial modelling of habitat usage and abundance, in Spain, Australia, Hong
Kong and Thailand.


African Marine Mammal Colloquium
Mammal Research Institute
Department of Zoology & Entomology
University of Pretoria
Pretoria 0002
South Africa

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