[MARMAM] Prof. Susana Noemi Pedraza passed away

Eduardo Secchi edu.secchi at furg.br
Fri Apr 22 09:42:20 PDT 2016

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Latin American Society for Aquatic Mammalogy (SOLAMAC), I inform you with deep sorrow that our dearest Prof. Susana Noemi Predaza passed away last March. Professor Pedraza was a full time professor and head of the Tierra del Fuego National University’s Research Secretariat.

Susana was one of the most influential professors in tailoring the quantitative thinking of several generations of biologist in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. She was born in Buenos Aires in 1950, and completed her grade at the prestigious University of Buenos Aires in 1985. Before starting working with marine mammals, she worked as an entomologist. Early on her teachers’ career she showed a great interest in experiment design, statistics and philosophy of science, which became her passion. In 1991 she was appointed as Professor of Statistics at the National University of Patagonia. She worked hard to make biologist keen on mathematics and modelling.

In 1990 Susana started to work at the National Research Council of Argentina, and together with Dr. Enrique A. Crespo and several students shaped the Marine Mammal Lab of the Centro Nacional Patagónico. She worked in over 25 research projects, most involving marine mammals’ interaction with human activities, including fisheries and tourism. She advised 16 students, many of which worked long years with her. In 2008 she was awarded a PhD by University of Buenos Aires for his thesis titled ‘Ecología de la tonina overa (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) en el litoral patagónico’. This is one of the few comprehensive works on this species. In 2013 she moved to Ushuaia to become full professor at the National University of Tierra del Fuego and South Atlantic Islands, where she was working nowadays. She is remembered as one of those professors who get personally involved with their students, trying to get the best of each and every student, teaching not only academic topics but work ethics. Her prolific career includes also a huge amount of work regarding the improvement of the teaching of biology in the universities she worked in, as part of several committees.

Susana published more than 40 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals, including topics as population estimations for cetaceans in Patagonia, abundance estimation trough different methods, interactions between marine mammals and fisheries, population dynamics of sea lions, diet and trophic interactions among marine mammals, parasites of marine mammals, and behavioral ecology of dolphins and physiology of octopus. Through student supervision, she worked on capture- recapture methods using photo identification leading an intensive photo-identification project on Commerson’s dolphins between 2005 and 2007. Her prolific career include also over a hundred congress presentations, several of them focused on the didactics used to teach mathematics and statistics to biology students. She was member of several scientific societies, including the Ecological Society of America, the International Biometric Society and the SOLAMAC.

Susana was mother of four, Paola, Sebastián, Javier and Tamara, who outlived her.

Eduardo R. Secchi

President of SOLAMAC

Eduardo R. Secchi, Ph.D.
Laboratório de Ecologia e Conservação da Megafauna Marinha - EcoMega
Instituto de Oceanografia
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande/FURG, Cx.P. 474
Rio Grande - RS, Brasil   96203-900
e.mail: edu.secchi at furg.br
Tel: ++ 55 53 3233-6749
cel: ++53-9945-3990
CV: http://lattes.cnpq.br/2134644742559817
President of the Latin American Society for Aquatic Mammals-SOLAMAC
Member of the Cetacean Specialist Group/SSC - IUCN

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