We are pleased to report a hugely successful trip to the World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona.

Glorious views of Barcelona during the flight

This year’s extra special gathering, put together as a combination of the European Cetacean Society and the Society of Marine Mammalogy, saw a whopping 2640 attend the conference, with 615 oral talks and 1021 posters presented over the 4 days. There were also 45 workshops during the start-up weekend, with 1974 participants. The huge number of attendees provided a broad and vast programme with talks and posters for all interests. We were pleased to see many talks on underwater noise, effects of renewables and energetic modelling during the week. Our future work will certainly benefit from insights into the research that is going on worldwide, and we now need to spend some time thinking about how best to incorporate all this progress and new scientific knowledge into our practice. Look out for future blog posts for more details on this.

After the full days of talks and posters, we also were pleased to take advantage of many of our global SMRU Consulting network all being in the same city by enjoying tapas and introductions at Casa Carmen, with members from our Europe, North America and Asia Pacific offices in attendance.

Niki Yeung, Naomi Brannan, Ruth Joy, Emily Hague and Carol Sparling


And finally, a special mention to Katherine Whyte, a SMRU PhD student co-supervised by Dr Carol Sparling (technical director for our Europe team), who won an award to honour her outstanding student presentation. Katherine evaluated the use of ‘Mahalanobis distance’ as a method to detect behavioural response in data from tagged marine mammals. She impressed the audience with her ability to provide simple and easy to follow explanations of a particularly complex methodology. Well done Katherine!


Katherine Whyte presenting her work at the World Marine Mammal Conference