[MARMAM] SMM Workshop: Ecological roles and importance of marine mammals in aquatic ecosystems

Jeremy Kiszka jeremy.kiszka at gmail.com
Wed Jul 15 06:35:01 PDT 2015


Dear colleagues:

Apologies for cross posting!

We would like to inform you of the workshop to be held at the 21st 
Biennal Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in San Francisco.

*ECOLOGICAL ROLES AND IMPORTANCE OF MARINE MAMMALS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

*Date/time: Saturday, December 12th, 2015. From 830am to 530pm.

Organizers and contact email: Jeremy Kiszka, Michael Heithaus (Florida 
International University) and Peter Corkeron (NOAA)

Contact email: jeremy.kiszka at gmail.com

Description: Top predators have the potential to impact ecosystems 
through direct predation, risk effects, and their interaction as well as 
through “bottom-up” processes stimulating primary production (“ecosystem 
engineers”) or moving nutrients across ecosystem boundaries. Recently, 
it has been argued that strong top-down effects of predators are likely 
the rule rather than the exception based on the broad-scale community 
rearrangements that accompany the loss or reintroduction of top 
predators. Marine mammals, including some freshwater species, feed at a 
variety of trophic levels, from herbivores to large apex predators, and 
occur from freshwater to open ocean systems of all latitudes. Due to 
their high abundance and considerable energetic needs as homeotherms, 
they have a strong potential affect the structure and function of 
ecosystems. In addition, due to their size and large movements, often 
across ecosystem boundaries, aquatic mammals might also influence 
nutrient dynamics within and among ecosystems. Because of historical and 
ongoing changes in aquatic mammal abundances and distributions, their 
function in aquatic ecosystems likely has been, and continues to be, 
altered. Therefore, investigating the ecological roles and importance of 
these species represents a major challenge for research. Empirical 
evidence of the ecological roles of aquatic mammals is still lacking or 
incomplete in most cases. While some species have been shown to play 
crucial roles in marine systems, but how the relative importance of 
aquatic mammals varies within and among species, ecosystems and contexts 
remains underexplored.

This workshop will review empirical and ecosystem modeling studies on 
the ecological role of mammals in aquatic ecosystems and attempt to 
bring together the two major strands of research (top-down and bottom up 
processes) together. The audience of this workshop is likely to be very 
broad, from marine mammal and fishery ecologists to conservationists. 
Secondly, we will discuss approaches for investigating the roles of 
marine mammals in aquatic ecosystems and work towards a predictive 
framework for marine mammal ecological roles.

This will be a full day workshop divided into two main sections. The 
first (morning) will be dedicated to case studies and review 
presentations on the role of various aquatic mammal species in various 
ecological contexts (10-15 min presentations with 5 minutes for 
questions and comments). The second section (afternoon) will focus on 
discussions and round tables, especially to enhance approaches to 
investigating the role of marine mammals in aquatic ecosystems.

Cost: $80 (early bird), $90 (after September 15th, 2015)

For more information: 
https://www.marinemammalscience.org/conference/workshops/#ecological
or please contact me!

See you there!

Jeremy Kiszka, Peter Corkeron and Mike Heithaus

-- 
Jeremy Kiszka (PhD)
Marine Sciences Program, Florida International University
3000 NE 151 St., FL-33181, North Miami, USA.
Tel office (direct): (305)-919-4104
Cell: (786)-717-9797
Skype: jeremy.kiszka

The Heithaus lab: http://www2.fiu.edu/~heithaus/



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