[MARMAM] Rethinking Lagenorhynchus Workshop at SMM 2015

Vollmer, Nicole (Nikki) VollmerN at si.edu
Fri Jul 10 10:06:17 PDT 2015


Dear colleagues,

We are happy to announce we will be running a full-day workshop entitled "Rethinking Lagenorhynchus: advancing our knowledge on taxonomy, genetics, acoustics, morphology, and population structure to make conservation gains" at the Biennial in San Francisco on Saturday, December 12th.  We would like to encourage anyone working on any of the species within this genus, and close relatives (Lissodelphis, Cephalorhynchus), to attend.  See full description of the workshop below or on the SMM conference website<https://www.marinemammalscience.org/conference/workshops/#Lagenorhynchus>.  Speakers will be invited, however if anyone has particular interest in presenting their work at this workshop please let us know.

Registration
Registration for the workshop should be done through the conference website: https://www.marinemammalscience.org/conference/conference-registration/.
The registration fee is US $80.00 if registered prior to September 15, 2015.  If you register after the 15th the registration fee increases to US $90.00, so make sure to sign up early.

Travel Funding
Thanks to a successful grant application, we are thrilled to be able to offer some funding to help cover costs of travel for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students that are planning on attending, and possibly presenting their work at the workshop (presenting at the workshop is not required to be eligible to receive the funding).  Preference will be given to students involved in molecular genetics work, although all interested in attending the workshop will be considered.

If you are interested in receiving travel funds to attend the workshop, please respond to the following:

1) Provide name of institution, level of education, current advisor.
2) What is your most relevant experience related to this workshop?
3) What is your main interest in attending this workshop?
4) How will attending this workshop contribute to your current work and/or career?

* Incomplete responses will not be considered.  Please limit submissions to no more than 1 page, 12pt font, single-spaced.

Responses should be emailed to Erin Ashe (ea84 at st-andrews.ac.uk) and Nikki Vollmer (vollmern at si.edu) no later than August 7th, 2015 to be considered for funding.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and see you in December!

Thank you,

Nikki and Erin



Rethinking Lagenorhynchus: advancing our knowledge on taxonomy, genetics, acoustics, morphology, and population structure to make conservation gains
            Research and management efforts in marine mammal conservation often hinge on a definition of the biological unit to conserve, whether that is a population, subspecies, or species. However, for some groups, such as the diverse genus Lagenorhynchus, information on demographics, general biology, and intra-/inter-specific relationships is often lacking, and our statistical power to detect declines in these species is generally poor. In recent years, acousticians and geneticists have been developing independent lines of evidence suggesting it may be time to consider reclassification of Lagenorhynchus species, and the relationships among Lagenorhynchus, Cephalorhynchus and Lissodelphis are currently under debate.
            To better understand the current state of the field regarding the complex classification of species within these groups, there is a need to bring together researchers investigating taxonomy, genetics, acoustics, morphology, and conservation status of Lagenorhynchus and close relatives. The Society for Marine Mammalogy Biennial Meeting in San Francisco provides an invaluable opportunity for a workshop focused on integrating Lagenorhynchus scientists for this purpose. This workshop will provide a platform for researchers to compare lessons learned and to build new collaborations with international colleagues who have experience studying Lagenorhynchus. Our target audience includes researchers working at all academic levels (principle investigators, postdocs, graduate students, etc.) on Lagenorhynchus, Cephalorhynchus, and Lissodelphis, and specifically scientists with expertise in taxonomy, molecular genetics, conservation, demography, and acoustics. Main goals of this endeavor are to identify partnerships and expertise, where genetic samples are held, and potential funding sources to conduct analyses where needed. We also aim to submit a review paper formulated from workshop discussions to a peer-reviewed journal (potential journals: Conservation Biology, Biological Reviews, Marine Mammal Science) that will summarize the current knowledge of Lagenorhynchus species and suggest avenues for future funding and research. This workshop will initiate and promote correspondence among people working on these species, build productive collaborations at a global scale, and combine resources and lessons learned to allow us to study, collectively, these dolphins at ecologically meaningful spatial scales. Finally, if consensus is reached through workshop activities, the workshop chairs will make a taxonomic recommendation to the SMM Taxonomy Committee for reclassification of the species currently within the genus Lagenorhynchus.
            The format for this workshop is a full day (8 hrs.) meeting. The morning will be allocated to approximately 5 speakers who will each give a brief (15-20 min.) presentation to share the current state of knowledge on the key themes (genetics, acoustics, morphology, taxonomy, stock structure, and conservation) and include time for questions from participants. The afternoon will be dedicated to discussion identifying research questions, next steps, partnerships/collaborations, and assess topics worthy of publication that have emerged from the workshop. We will also identify regional experts who could benefit from guidance from international colleagues in these disciplines, and ultimately aim to conceptualize and develop a global research plan to reevaluate Lagenorhynchus using multiple lines of evidence.



Nicole Vollmer, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

NOAA/NMFS/National Systematics Laboratory

Smithsonian Institution Natural History Museum

PO Box 37012, MRC 0153

Washington, DC 20013-7012

202-633-2137

vollmern at si.edu
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