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


Amy C. Hirons, PhD
Conference Co-Chair

Associate Professor - Oceanographer
Nova Southeastern University
Florida, USA

I’ve spent the past twenty plus years using marine mammals as bioindicators of ocean production and contamination. Marine mammals occupy low to high trophic levels and every major water body on the planet. They are the ultimate integrator and reflector of these environments. By utilizing various body tissues with different turnover rates, we are overlaying a timeline of trophic dynamics and contaminant exposure.

Jeremy Kiszka, PhD
Conference Co-Chair

Assistant Professor - Behavior
Florida International University
Florida, USA
I am a marine ecologist and conservation biologist, and I study the foraging ecology, behavior, and the functional importance of marine mammals in a range of ecosystems and contexts, primarily in the tropics. Over the past 15 years, I have also dedicated significant efforts to assess and mitigate cetacean bycatch in Indian Ocean gillnet fisheries.

Stephen J. Trumble, PhD
Scientific Program Co-Chair

Associate Professor - Comparative Physiologist
Baylor University
Texas, USA

Over the past 25 years I have studied the physiological adaptations and environmental interactions of pinnipeds and cetaceans inhabiting polar regions. Currently, with colleagues and graduate students, my research has focused on reconstructing longitudinal datasets in baleen whales to better understand human impacts.

Sascha Usenko, PhD
Scientific Program Co-Chair

Associate Professor - Chemistry and Biochemistry
Baylor University
Texas, USA

Chronology of Ocean Life group is the collaborative effort lead by Drs. Usenko and Trumble, with expertise in marine mammal physiology, biochemistry, analytical and environmental chemistry. The CoOL group focuses on assessing stress and stressors in baleen whales using baleen and earplugs. This comprehensive analytical approach is built upon matrices that record and archive both time (i.e. age and date) as well as unique chemical or elemental tracers. This allows the temporal reconstruction of analytes up to a life-span of individual baleen whales, both as a physiological response to intrinsic and extrinsic stressors as well as an indicator of environmental change.


Below is a list of our incredible conference team. SMM2021 would not be possible without them.
New committee members to be posted soon!

Dr. Louisa Ponnampalam
(Diversity Chair)

Eric Angel Ramos, Ayça Eleman & Theresa Naecker
(Student Members-At-Large)

Lindsay Porter
(Awards and Judges Coordinator)