Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals

Julia Burrows

Duke University Marine Laboratory

Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand
I am extremely grateful to the Challenger Society for helping to support my attendance at the Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Dunedin, New Zealand in December 2013.

There was a diversity of research presented at the conference.  Oral and poster presentation topics included marine mammal conservation, behaviour, distribution and abundance, physiology, ecology, acoustics, health, population biology, and more.  I presented a poster on my dissertation research on the fine-scale foraging behaviour of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Southeast Alaska.  At the very crowded poster session, I met and discussed my research with many professionals in the field, where I shared and received ideas on analysis and future directions from colleagues doing similar research.

There were many opportunities for interaction with old and new friends and colleagues in more informal settings as well.  During the weeklong conference, I was able to meet with collaborators from Alaska and socialize and network with former graduates of my master’s program.  I attended a student affairs workshop where I met old friends and enjoyed an inspirational talk by the president of the Society on the wide variety of careers for which our PhD can prepare us (science and non-science alike).  In addition to the conference and associated events, I had the opportunity to explore the lovely city of Dunedin, including the Otago Peninsula and its world-class wildlife viewing!

Overall, the conference was a wonderful experience.  Thank you to the Challenger Society for helping to make it happen!

Julia Burrows
Duke University Marine Laboratory
Beaufort, NC, USA

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