Over 13 years ago we had the vision that our then brand new Masters in Marine Mammal Science would train the next generation of marine mammal scientists who would go on to do amazing work all around the world. The second World Marine Mammal Conference (WMMC19) just finished in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. And it has been one of my proudest moments to see our vision take shape in the form of an absolutely stellar turn-out of 60+ Marine Mammal Science alumni and students from all 13 years….. some still studying with us right now, some already academics in their own right, supervising PhD students who completed the same Masters more recently …. Two of our current SMRU PhD students, and Masters alumnae, were recognised at the WMMC for their outstanding presentations – Katey Glennie (Whyte) won best student presentation (Europe) while Pauline Goulet was nominated runner up in the Frederik Fairfield award. So well deserved, and congratulations to both!
But awards aside, all our alumni’s posters and talks stood out for excellence. Not only did our alumni present and talk cool science, mix and mingle, but some also organised and co-led workshops, chaired sessions and even gave one of the plenary talks. Our alumni’s work covers the breadth of topics which make up marine mammal science: from the molecular level to physiology, behaviour and broad-scale ecology, to management, conservation and the development of new tools and techniques. The size of the conference with almost 3,000 attendees, five parallel talk sessions, 1000+ posters was truly overwhelming. But, within that buzz of scientists from around the globe, I kept on spotting those once very familiar faces we (and that’s a big collective WE – all of SMRU and some of CREEM!) taught over the years. Peeps, you’ve done us proud! And colleagues, your support, dedication, and enthusiasm for teaching the next generation of scientists has made it all possible. Thank you all. Mission accomplished but not completed…. Here’s to a bright future in marine mammal science, and new generations of marine mammal scientists in the making….
(posted by S:-)nja)