Transforming Science into Stewardship

December 13th-17th, 2021

Workshops - December 11-12, 2021
Conference - December 13-17, 2021

Palm Beach County Convention Center
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA


Opens January 14, 2021

Early Bird Deadline
August 4th, 2021

Abstract Submission

Opens January 14, 2021

Submission Deadline
April 11th, 2021

Workshop Proposals

Opens January 14, 2021

Submission Deadline
April 11th, 2021


West Palm Beach, Florida, USA / December 13-17, 2021

We are currently on track to host the 24th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center from December 13-17, 2021 in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

SMM2021 will be the very first fully hybrid, live-virtual conference of the Society of Marine Mammalogy, and will attract the largest number of attendees since the first conference held in Santa Cruz in 1975.

Going hybrid means that SMM2021 will include both an in-person and virtual conference experience for attendees. People who – for a variety of reasons – will not be able to join the in-person conference, can still participate, share ideas, discuss important issues, and engage with other conference attendees. It’s a whole new kind of conference experience!

Our conference will attract eminent scientists and leaders from nations around the world to help chart a path of multidisciplinary research and collaboration now and for the next generation of researchers.

SMM2021 will span 5 days, each day including a plenary session with distinguished keynote speakers that will be live-streamed at the start of each day. Concurrent sessions will be accessible to virtual attendees via pre-recorded content, and access to an online forum for Q&A with presenters and other attendees. Workshops on crucial topics in marine mammal science and conservation will also be held prior to the main conference and currently there is no plan for virtual attendance. Virtual / recorded content will be available on-demand for all in-person and virtual attendees during the conference and for 30 days post conference.

Despite these challenging times, the organizing committee and the board of the SMM are working very hard to make this conference safe, diverse, and inclusive. Our top priority is to provide a safe and healthy environment for all participants at SMM2021.

More details on the virtual experience coming soon!


The conference theme, “A Sea Change: Transforming Science into Stewardship”, will highlight the value of diversity in all forms in marine mammal science, from our multidisciplinary approaches to the improvement of diversity in our field.


Please rest assured that we will continue to monitor state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19. Our top priority is to provide a safe and healthy environment for all participants at SMM2021. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

meet the

Conference Committee

Amy C. Hirons, PhD
Conference Co-Chair

Jeremy Kiszka, PhD
Conference Co-Chair

Stephen J. Trumble, PhD
Scientific Program Chair

Sascha Usenko, PhD
Scientific Program Chair

"In a sea of change, be the change you wish to see."


We have pledged to mitigate the carbon footprint of our attendees through a combined use of an energy efficient venue, elimination of single use plastics and styrofoam, employing compostable and recyclable products, decreasing the use of paper and purchasing carbon offsets, as well as making the conference available virtually.


Marine mammal science is only strengthened by the participation of people representing all ages, career stages, races, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, physical abilities, as well as national, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. The SMM is dedicated to enhancing diversity in its members and conference attendees.


Our conference aims to push boundaries and will be more inclusive than ever! Our virtual platform will allow for thousands of marine mammal scientists and enthusiasts that have previously been unable to participate. SMM2021 will reflect the Society’s true desire to make the conference accessible and inclusive to the widest audience. 


Are you ready to register or submit your abstract and/or workshop proposal for SMM2021?

In order to do so you will need to access our conference software by signing-in via the SMM website. Attendees may choose to register as a member or non-member; HOWEVER, conference registration is significantly more affordable for members than non-members. All are welcome to become members and join our society!
To get started, select one of the two options below:

Are you an SMM member?

and get started with your conference registration.

Not already an SMM member?

Join or renew your membership to access the best conference rates.


If you have already logged into the conference system as a Non-Member you can still sign-up for membership with the SMM to receive a reduce ‘Members’ registration fee. Use the same email address to sign up or renew your membership as you did to create your Non-Member profile and the system will automatically update your account information for you once you sign back into the conference system.