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


Early Bird Deadline
August 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 there are two ways to participate in SMM2021: live and in-person in West Palm Beach and/or virtually through our new online experience. All attendees will have access to the virtual conference so people who will not be able to join the conference in person will still be able to participate, present, and interact with other conference attendees and vendors. It will be a whole new 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 there will be a plenary session with distinguished keynote speakers that will be live-streamed. Concurrent sessions will be accessible to all attendees via pre-recorded content. All presenters in all formats (e.g., regular and speed talks, poster, video) will be required to record and upload their presentation 4 weeks prior to the conference start date. Virtual content will be available on-demand for all in-person and virtual attendees during the conference and for 30 days post-conference.

In-person presentations will be presented live at the venue; these sessions will not be live-streamed. All pre-recorded presentations will be made available at the start of each respective session for virtual and in-person attendees. In addition, a virtual Q & A session with the presenters will be streamed for the virtual audience during scheduled times following the completion of each live session.

Workshops on crucial topics in marine mammal science and conservation will be held prior to the main conference, December 11-12, 2021. Virtual participation in these workshops will depend on individual workshop organizers, but will not be included in the virtual conference experience.

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.



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. 




We are seeking like-minded individuals and organizations to achieve our goal of creating a highly visible and diverse global forum via live and virtual interactions to stimulate new research, facilitate discussion, and develop science-based policy that ensures marine mammals and their aquatic homes will persist for future generations.

For more information on sponsoring SMM2021, click HERE.

Your interest and support in SMM2021 is a reflection of your commitment to the future of marine mammals and their environments.


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.