Jason Bruck jb296 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Mon Oct 2 11:08:04 PDT 2017

Some space still available
Date Saturday October 28-All day
SMM Master Workshop: Experimental Science in wild and captive animals

Format: We will have nine 30-minute presentations (25 min lecture and 5 min questions), each from world renowned senior marine mammal scientists with experience conducting experiments on wild as well as managed care animals. We have planned two panel discussions each of one hour to discuss past, current and future opportunities for marine mammal research and how to find ways to connect work on animals under managed care with those in the wild

8:00-8:10, Intro: Jason Bruck, 10 min overview
A) Experimental Animal Welfare Science (What is it and what is it not)

1) 8:15-8:45 Xavi Manteca: Welfare of marine mammals: what is it and how can be assessed?

2) 8:45-9:15 Kathleen Dudzinski: Understanding tactile dyadic exchange in both wild and captive dolphins – how they are similar and what we can learn to elevate animal welfare in both settings

3) 9:15-9:45 Michael Moore: Experiments that enable conservation and welfare of Anthropocene cetaceans

9:45-10:00 Questions

10:00-10:30 Break

B) Studies on managed care animals to help conservation efforts

4) 10:30-11:00 Vincent Janik: How does zoo research support conservation efforts in the wild?

5) 11:00-11:30 Terrie Williams: Creating a Conservation Toolbox for Winning the Race Against Marine Mammal Extinctions

11:30-12:30 Panel Discussion

12:30-13:30 Lunch

C) What can we learn from marine mammals in multiple settings

6) 13:30-14:00 Sam Ridgway: The Navy's fastest divers and what they can teach us

7) 14:00-14:30 Peter Tyack: Synergy between studies of vocal learning in wild and managed populations of marine mammals

14:30-14:45 Questions

14:45-15:00 Break

8) 15:00-15:30 Paul Ponganis: Medical technology to study marine mammal diving physiology

9) 15:30-16:00 Gerry Kooyman: Tales from the past about “bends”, lung function and HPNS

16:00-17:00 Panel discussion

Talk Abstracts:
-Xavi Manteca
Title: Welfare of marine mammals: what is it and how can be assessed?
Synopsis: The objectives of this presentation would be (1) to define the concept of animal welfare, (2) to discuss how welfare of marine mammals can be assessed using science-based indicators, (3) to discuss how poor / good animal welfare can affect the quality of research conducted on marine mammals, and (4) to discuss how studies on managed animals can help inform us about welfare in free-ranging populations.

-Kathleen Dudzinksi
Title: Understanding tactile dyadic exchange in both wild and captive dolphins – how they are similar and what we can learn to elevate animal welfare in both settings
Synopsis: To gain insight into the behavioral exchanges and relationships in dolphin dyads requires long-term observations over years to begin to decipher patterns in interaction and social behavior. With more than two decades of observations on several study populations of both wild and captive dolphins, we have the data to tease out individual differences in behavioral patterns. Comparison with other social animals allows science to put dolphin signal exchange (e.g., tactile contact) along the continuum of our understanding of how individual relationships are formed and maintained to yield a cohesive, complex society in these non-human animals. Armed with this insight, we can better manage human behavior around wild animals and also elevate our care and welfare standards for captive individuals.

-Michael Moore
Title: Experiments that enable conservation and welfare of Anthropocene cetaceans
Synopsis: Few cetaceans escape the heavy hand of man in today’s world. We need all possible perspectives to better understand human degradations on cetaceans. Industrial impacts include vessel collision, fishing gear entanglement and acoustic stressors. Experiments with cadavers, animals in managed care and swimming at sea have all yielded important perspectives on the costs of human activities to cetacean health. This talk will review data from: cadavers that have informed diving physiology, and vessel, implantable tag and entanglement trauma, managed care on tag drag, and free ranging animals on entanglement drag.

-Sam Ridgway/Cynthia Smith:
Title: The Navy's fastest divers and what they can teach us.
Synopsis: Norris award winner Sam Ridgeway and Cynthia Smith will highlight the research achievements of the storied U.S. Navy marine mammal program and what we have learned from animals under human care.

-Vincent Janik
Title: How does zoo research support conservation efforts in the wild?
Synopsis: Zoos play an important role in research to assess the impact of environmental and anthropogenic stressors on populations, since experimental approaches are often more powerful than observational studies in the wild. For example, studies on temporary hearing threshold shifts are only possible when animal hearing can be measured repeatedly before and after noise exposure. Furthermore, baseline hearing thresholds of marine mammals are needed as key information to assess the effects of noise on different species. Almost all published hearing curves of marine mammals come from studies in captive facilities. To assess the effects of noise on hearing curves in wild harbour seals, we recently used auditory evoked potential methods to compare hearing in wild seals with a noise exposure history to those of seals in zoos that were not exposed to noise. Zoos also provide important opportunities to develop and test new methods to study marine mammals in the wild. Studies at Zoo Duisburg allowed us to test the passive acoustic localization abilities of DTAGs on their bottlenose dolphins before we used them on wild animals to monitor acoustic activity over time. This provided cue rates that are key for assessing animal abundance from acoustic monitoring equipment in the wild. Similarly, work on bottlenose dolphins in zoos allowed us to develop a novel method to recognise signature whistles. This identification method allows us now to explore mark-recapture studies on wild populations where visual surveys are not possible or too cost intensive. Our work on the startle reflex in marine mammals has also used animals in human care to establish startle thresholds in seals and delphinids. Together with hearing thresholds, startle thresholds determine how animals react to impulse sound as is common in sonar use and during pile driving. These examples highlight the role of zoos in conservation efforts and highlight the importance of experimental work to implement successful conservation measures in the wild.

-Peter Tyack
Title: Synergy between studies of vocal learning in wild and managed populations of marine mammals.
Synopsis: Some of the first evidence for vocal learning in marine mammals came from Payne, Tyack and Payne (1983), who showed that humpback whales within a population sing very similar songs at any one time, but that the song changes progressively from month to month and year to year. This pattern of change was hard to explain by any mechanism other than whales copying one another, including copying changes to the song, but this evidence from wild animals was less direct than the classical test where an animal learns a new human-generated signal that was not part of its pre-exposure repertoire. The first direct evidence that marine mammals can modify their vocalizations based upon auditory input came from animals that were taken care of by humans. Ralls et al. (1985) reported that a harbor seal raised by humans imitated phrases from human speech. Richards et al. (1984) studied dolphins in a research lab and showed that they could imitate computer-generated whistle sounds and could use these learned vocalizations to label arbitrary objects such as balls, pipes, and Frisbees. Soon after this demonstration of mimicry of artificial signals, Tyack (1986) demonstrated that a pair of dolphins that shared a pool could imitate one another’s individually distinctive signature whistles. Signature whistles were initially described for dolphins maintained in pools where one could identify each individual’s vocalization. Working with wild dolphins temporarily restrained in a net corral, Sayigh et al. (1990) were able to demonstrate that wild dolphins also have signature whistles that are stable for decades. Mother-offspring comparisons suggested that whistles might be learned, but comparison of whistles of wild dolphins to those born in aquaria where they heard the trainer’s whistle was what demonstrated that young dolphins incorporate elements of sounds they hear into their signature whistles (Miksis et al. 2002). This history of research on vocal learning in marine mammals demonstrates the importance of controlled settings for some critical experiments and for the ability to discover new patterns. Once discovered in controlled settings, the patterns could be found in the wild, with comparisons between the two settings improving our understanding of vocal development and vocal learning.

-Terrie Williams
Title: Creating a Conservation Toolbox for Winning the Race Against Marine Mammal Extinctions
Summary: Today, scientists are in a desperate race against animal extinctions. More than half of the world’s most iconic wild mammals either extinct, going extinct or so poorly studied that the level of population risk cannot even be determined (www.iucnredlist.org/<http://www.iucnredlist.org/>). More than 73% of cetacean species fall into the latter category, with the real prospect of disappearing before we even know what we have lost.  Human-driven habitat destruction resulting from climate change, our development, pollution, and the degradation of critical resources is the reason behind these losses.  However, our limited understanding of both the environmental demands required for survival by most species of marine mammals, and of our impacts on those demands is hindering timely conservation efforts.  A new model for rapidly conducting conservation science is needed if we hope to preserve marine mammals. This will require the integration of science at all levels from model species in zoos and aquariums to work with wild counterparts, an approach that was effective during the rescue of sea otters following the Exxon Valdez oil spill and during assessments of anthropogenic noise on deep-diving whales.  In addition, a new level of informed public engagement and governments willing to uphold and protect its support for marine conservation innovation is needed.  For it is through these partnerships and the toolbox of methods that they create that the science of saving species will be most effective.

-Paul Ponganis:
Title: Medical technology to study marine mammal diving physiology
Summary: Application of advanced medical technology (i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), computerized tomography (CT)) for physiological and anatomical investigations of marine mammals are only feasible with captive or trained animals.  Similar arguments apply to the development and calibration of techniques for physiological investigations on animals at sea.  Examples include a) NMR spectroscopy to evaluate myoglobin desaturation during sleep apnea and the biophysics of myoglobin in intracellular oxygen transport, b) fMRI measurements of blood flow and cardiac function, c) PET investigations of brain blood flow and glucose uptake, d)3-dimensional anatomical reconstructions from CT scans, and e) development of arterial and venous catheterization techniques.

-Gerry Kooyman
Title: Tales from the past about “bends”, lung function and HPNS
Summary: Forty-five years ago the first measurements of blood nitrogen from wild northern elephant seals at Guadalupe Island were reported. Then there was a gap of nearly 20 years before any new physiological information trickled in about life at extreme high pressure for marine mammals. Revision of anatomical models evolved because of pulmonary function tests obtained from trained animals, which offer alternative explanations of lung structure. The advancement of behavioral ecology studies show a need for and lack of hypotheses regarding high pressure nervous syndrome. Life under extreme pressure remains a mystery

Look forward to seeing you in Halifax!

Jason N. Bruck, Ph. D.
Teaching Assistant Professor
Curatorial Associate: Collection of Vertebrates
Oklahoma State University
Department of Integrative Biology
Ph: +1 (405) 744 5882
E-mail: jbruck at okstate.edu<mailto:jbruck at okstate.edu>
Office: 501 Life Sciences West,
Stillwater OK, 74074. Room 514D

Editorial Board Member Journal of Animal Behavior and Cognition<http://animalbehaviorandcognition.org/index.php>
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