Deadline for all submissions is April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).


We are working diligently to finalize details on the virtual experience. More information coming soon.

Your patience is appreciated!



1) Abstract submission opens January 14, 2021.
2) You must login to the conference system via the SMM website. Click HERE to get started.
3) To begin a new abstract, choose “Abstract Submission” on the home page.
4) To view abstracts that are in progress or already submitted, choose the abstract from your list on your home page.
5) To ensure that your data are entered correctly, please follow all directions carefully.
6) Allow at least one hour for abstract submission and proceed through the system, carefully completing each section.
7) After submitting your abstract, a receipt of your submission will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
8) Abstract submission deadline is April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
9) Notifications will be sent to all authors by July 21, 2021.
10) All accepted abstracts will be available on the SMM2021 Conference Program approximately two weeks prior to the meeting.


Abstract submission will close April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).


You may be the presenting author (first author) on only one abstract.


The title character limit is 255. Please use Title Case with no unnecessary capitalization and no full stop (period) at the end to enter your title. DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for your Abstract Title. Abstracts that do not conform will not be accepted.


The word limit for abstracts is 300 words. This abstract word limit does not include the abstract title, author names or affiliations.

You may italicize text, make your text bold, add super and subscripts and special characters by selecting the smart formatting tool at the top of the abstract entry text box.


Oral presentations are each allotted 12 minutes: 9 minutes for your presentation, 2 minutes for questions and 1 minute for transition.

Posters are an extended abstract with easily readable text and graphics. Posters typically include a title, authors, background, methods, 1-3 results, conclusions and acknowledgements.

A speed talk is a four-minute presentation during which you may present key-ideas, results and their meaning/implication. As a guide, three slides should be sufficient to allow you to get your point across.

A video presentation is of the same length as a speed-talk (four minutes), but created using various media such as high-resolution video, animation and narration. Authors of video presentations should use these various media in a creative manner to clearly express the purpose of the study, results and their implication and to be understood not only by scientific peers but also by a wider audience.

To ensure a high level of quality in video presentations suitable for viewing at a scientific conference, if your abstract is accepted for this presentation format, all video submissions will also be reviewed, scored and a decision made on their quality prior to the start of the conference. Thus, presentations must be submitted before August 4, 2021. To be shown, video submissions must meet a minimum qualifying score of 70% based on a scoring rubric. Those that fail to meet this score will be notified and assigned a speed talk or a poster by August 31, 2021. You can select which one you would prefer in the abstract submission form.


You will need to identify a theme for the abstract submission. Each theme is accompanied by a brief description to help you decide which is most relevant for your submission. There are six major themes represented by our conference logo to choose from:

This theme is specific to research pertaining to the study of the form, function and structure of marine mammals and their specific structural features. This includes aspects of the outward appearance (shape, structure, color, pattern) and their function within individuals, populations or within the environment. Technological advances and bioacoustics within this theme also welcomed.

Theme including the study of marine mammal behavior, usually with a focus on behavior under natural conditions or as an evolutionarily adaptive trait or in the context of anthropogenic changes.

Conservation of marine mammals is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth’s biodiversity with the aim of protecting marine mammal species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. Conservation research is tied closely to ecology in researching the dispersal, migration, demographics, effective population size and minimum population viability of rare or endangered species.

This theme is a broad topic of research pertaining to the study of conceptual, constructive, empirical, experimental, or theoretical work in all areas of marine mammal ecology incorporating behavior, physiology, genetics, and evolution of animals to study the interactions between populations of animals and their environments.

This theme is based on the study of cells – their physiological or biochemical properties, their structure, and interactions with their environment both on a microscopic and molecular level. Areas of study can include marine mammal health, impacts of toxicants and contaminants, and genetics-based studies.

This theme is a broad topic of research pertaining to the study of life-supporting properties, functions and processes of marine mammals or their specific organs or mechanisms. The discipline covers key homeostatic processes of animals exposed to specialized environments as well as unique adaptations.

Social science is the process of describing, explaining and predicting human behavior and institutional structures in interaction with their environments. This theme is not a singular discipline but rather a collection of associated disciplines including anthropology, economics, history, management, political science, psychology and sociology.


If you have not completed all required sections you will not be able to submit the abstract. In the case of missing or incomplete sections, you will be prompted to enter the missing information. When all required information is entered, select the “SUBMIT ABSTRACT” button. Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged via email within 24 hours. You may login at any time prior to the deadline to update your submission.


Once you submit your abstract, you will then be directed to add your Co-Authors. Each Co-Author will also receive a confirmation email with your contact information and their login information if they are not already in the conference system. All Co-Authors have Read only access, unless you assign a Co-Author to be a presenter. Presenters have Read/Write access.


All authors of submitted abstracts will be notified by July 21, 2021 as to whether their abstract has been accepted for presentation at the conference.


If you need to withdrawal your abstract for any reason, authors are responsible for notifying the Scientific Program Committee immediately at abstracts@marinemammalscience.org. Please include the title of the abstract along with your submission ID in your notification.


Conference abstracts which have been accepted for presentation may be made available online and also may be viewable to the public following the conference.

Images of conference posters images may be made available to conference participants online and may also be viewable to the public following the conference.


If you have any technical difficulties submitting your abstract, please click on the red “Support” button on submission page (bottom right corner).

If you have general questions about the abstract submission process, please contact abstracts@marinemammalscience.org.


To submit an abstract to the conference committee, you will need to fill out an online form on the conference software. In order to access the conference software, you will need to sign-in via the SMM website.

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.


When is the abstract submission deadline?

The deadline to submit an abstract was April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5). We will not accept new submissions or changes to previous submissions after the deadline.

What is the word limit for abstracts?

The word limit for abstracts is 300 words. This abstract word limit does not include the abstract title (character limit 255 characters), author names or affiliations.

We encourage authors to submit a tweet of 280 characters to accompany the abstract for social media use during the conference.

May I submit more than one abstract?

You may only submit one first-author abstract and only give one presentation (oral, speed talk, video or poster). You can be a second author on other oral or poster presentations as long as that work(s) is/are presented by one of your co-authors. Primary authors should submit their own abstracts.

If I am a co-author on an abstract can I give the presentation?

Yes – a co-author may present in your place under the following conditions:

  • A registered co-author may present in your place if they are not already presenting at the Conference.
  • The first author MUST be registered for the Conference before the early-bird registration deadline August 4, 2021.
  • Therefore, the first author must be registered even if he/she is not attending or the co-author/presenter must become the first author and register.
  • The original first author must request all changes.
  • You can only have one research as first author in the abstract book.

Do I have to be registered for the conference to submit an abstract?

No. You do not have to be registered for the conference to submit an abstract.

However, if your abstract is accepted for presentation in any format, you must register and pay for the full conference by the early bird deadline of 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5) on August 4, 2021 in order for your time slot to be confirmed.

How can I make changes to and check the status of my abstract?

You can make changes to your abstract prior to the abstract submission deadline on April 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5) . After that date, you can check the status of your abstract and type of presentation by logging into your conference account via SMM.

I need to change my name or title on my abstract – how do I do that?

You can make changes to your name and title on your abstract by editing your user profile on the SMM website. All changes made to your SMM profile will be pushed over to the conference software.

When will I find out if my abstract has been accepted?

All authors of submitted abstracts will be notified by July 21, 2021 as to whether their abstract has been accepted for presentation at the conference.

How and when do I apply for a travel grant?

On the abstract submission form, there will be questions regarding your interest in applying for either a student and international travel grants. Once you check the box indicating your interest, new questions appear. Be sure to fill out all questions in order to be considered for a travel grant.

I’m under the age of 18. Can I still submit an abstract and attend the conference?

The SMM2021 Board has established the following policy regarding the active participation of minors (attendees under 18 years old) at the Conference. This policy has been put into place to assure that all presentations will be led by adults, which was the assumption of the abstract review process.

The SMM2021 Policy for Attendance of Minors is as follows:

  • All presentations (Oral talks, Speed talks, Poster, etc.) during the SMM2021 are to be led by an adult. A minor can assist with the presentation.
  • Underage assistants must always be with an accompanying adult when they are at the Conference.
  • All accompanying adults of minors have to pay full registration for the conference.

Where can I find examples of previous abstracts which have been accepted?

Here are three abstracts which were accepted for presentation at previous marine mammal conferences.

What proof of student status is required to submit an abstract as a student?

If you are a student at the time of abstract submission, you are required to submit a letter from your academic advisor confirming your student status. Your student status verification letter must be received prior to the abstract submission deadline on April 11, 2021. The letter should include your name, your advisor’s name, the name of the institution you are attending, the current date and contact information for your advisor.