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International marine mammal conference

Almost 20 marine biologists from the University of St Andrews have been invited to attend a prestigious Marine Mammal Conference in Canada this week (beginning Monday 26th November, 2001).

The 14th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, sponsored by the Society for Marine Mammalogy, will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will involve St Andrews experts on everything from selecting conservation sites for seals in Scotland, to survival estimates for small bottlenose dolphin populations.

The six-day event runs from the 28th November to the 3rd December at The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, located in the heart of the Pacific Rim.

Nineteen experts from the University’s School of Biology and the NERC-funded (Natural Environment Research Council) Sea Mammal Research Unit will join fellow specialists from 50 countries around the world to give talks, participate in poster sessions and attend meetings and special events.

Talks will be given on a range of subjects including: ‘How aggression and topography affect the distribution of breeding grey seals’, ‘The development of diving behaviour in elephant seal pups’, ‘Behavioural responses to decrease in food accessibility in fur seals’ and ‘Metabolic rate during active diving in captive grey seals.’

Poster sessions will include the topics: ‘Sandeel availability and breeding performance of North Sea grey seals in the 1990’s’ and ‘Behavioral ecology of chilean dolphins around southern Isla Chiloe, Chile.’

For further information, please visit the conference website at www.smmconference.org.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

A FULL LIST OF THE UNIVERSITY STAFF ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE, INCLUDING BRIEF DETAILS OF THEIR TALKS / POSTER SESSIONS, IS ATTACHED.

ABSTRACTS ARE AVAILABLE. PLEASE CONTACT GAYLE COOK OR CLAIRE GRAINGER, CONTACT DETAILS BELOW.

If you would like to interview any of the St Andrews delegates whilst in Vancouver, please contact the Media Public Relations Coordinator at the Conference direct . Contact Angela Nielsen on tel: 00 (604) 659-3516 or email: nielsea@vanaqua.org.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk; or Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, mobile 07730 415015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: SMRU Vancouver Conf pr 231101 View the latest University news at http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk/extrel/press.htm

The 14th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from November 28-December 3, 2001.

Attending from SMRU are:

Thursday 29th November 2001

Professor Ian Boyd (for Dr Sascha Hooker) Talk – “Fine-scale foraging behaviour of Antarctic fur seals: prey field observations from a digital camera” on Thursday 29th November

Dr Simon Northridge Talk – “Experimental approaches to understanding porpoise bycatch” on Thursday 29th November

Catriona Stephenson – PhD student Talk – “How aggression and topography affect the distribution of breeding grey seals” on Thursday 29th November

Dr Dave Thompson Talk – “Foraging behaviour of South American fur seals (arcto cephalus australis): extracting fine scale for behaviour from satellite tracks” on Thursday 29th December

Friday 30th November 2001

Raquel Gaspar Talk – “Survival estimates for a very small bottlenose dolphin population” on Friday 30th November

Bernie McConnell Talk – “Maternal investment in southern elephant seals – living near the edge” on Friday 30th November

Dr Peter Stevick Talk – “Megapteran diaspora: movement rates of humpback whales between two feeding aggregations are related to prey availability” on Friday 30th November

Dr Sean Twiss (Dr Paddy Pomeroy) Talk – “Monopolising mates versus choosing partners: consequences of local oestrus synchrony in a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) breeding colony” on Friday 30th November

Saturday 1st December 2001

Rachel Tilley – PhD student Talk – “Activity and expression of cytochrome P450 isoenzymes in relation to organochlorines in mother and pup pairs from two Arctic species: Harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) and hooded seal (Cystophora cristata)” on Saturday 1st December

Dr Mike Walton Talk – “Inter-annual variations in blubber fatty acid profiles of grey seals Halichoerus grypus from 2 breeding colonies” on Saturday 1st December

Sunday 2nd December 2001

Martin Biuw – PhD student Talk – “Using change in drift rate to assess the foraging performance of newly weaned Southern elephant seal pups from Macquarie Island” on Sunday 2nd December

Professor Mike Fedak Talk – “The development of diving behaviour in elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) pups: emergence of diurnal patterns” on Sunday 2nd December Dr Jean-Yves George – Post Doc Talk – “Behavioural responses to decrease in food accessibility in fur seals” on Sunday 2nd December

Carol Sparling Talk – “Metabolic rate during active diving in captive grey seals (Halichoerus grypus)” on Sunday 2nd December

POSTER SESSIONS

Callan Duck Poster – “Selecting conservation sites for seals in Scotland”

Professor Mike Fedak Poster – “Calibration of speedometers used on Satellite Relayed Data Loggers (SRDL’s) and Timed Depth Recorders (TDR’s): a comparison of methods”

Sonja Heinrich – PhD student Poster – “Behavioral ecology of chilean dolphins around southern Isla Chiloe, Chile”

Dr Vincent Janik Poster – “Do bottlenose dolphin bray calls attract conspecifics?”

Dr Paddy Pomeroy Poster – “Sandeel availability and breeding performance of North Sea grey seals in the 1990’s”

 

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