Workshops and meetings

With the start of the Double MOCHA project we will be arranging a series of technical meetings, working group meetings and workshops.  We held a start-up meeting immediately following the Effects of Sound on Marine Mammals meeting in The Hague, September 2018, and our first public workshop will be held in conjunction with the World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona in 2019 – please see details below.
The MOCHA working group held a series of workshops during the course of the project bringing together group members to exchange knowledge and discuss options to model the available datasets. We were also involved in organising pre-conference workshops at the Society for Marine Mammalogy conference in 2011 and 2015, and the European Cetacean Society conference in 2016.

Upcoming events

Double MOCHA workshop at the WMMC

Saana Isojunno and Catriona Harris will be running a workshop at the WMMC in December in Barcelona: “Developing the next generation framework for modeling marine mammal responses to noise: a workshop to identify key elements for future models“.  Sunday, December 8 2019 – 0830-1730

See WMMC workshop webpage for registration details.

Workshop Summary: This interactive workshop will discuss how marine mammal responses to noise could be modeled in the future to reduce uncertainty in dose-response, better capture biological significance and improve estimates of impact.  We will explore what context variables may be most relevant to consider versus practical to measure and may improve upon noise impact assessments that rely on acoustic exposure alone as the dose parameter. Variables include, but are not limited to: noise source features (e.g., source level, frequency, range), environmental context (e.g., prey availability) and animal context (e.g., reproductive status, group size, behavior, hearing group). We will have short invited presentations on  current, and potential future, behavior response modelling approaches, followed by group activities to share expertise and derive conceptual frameworks for ‘next generation’ response models. These frameworks could consider e.g., auditory processing, animal cognition, optimal foraging, the risk-disturbance hypothesis, and links to population-level consequences. Provisional schedule of the full-day workshop: Morning: introduction & invited presentations, which will include a review of current approaches and context variables in behaviour response modelling Breaks: mini poster session (participants invited to submit 100 word abstract for posters) Afternoon: group activities and open discussion to derive future conceptual models Outputs will inform the Double-Mocha project, which is focused on the effects of sonar on cetaceans. However, our aim is for the workshop and the resulting conceptual frameworks to be relevant to other noise sources.   A public workshop report will be sent to all participants and posted on the MOCHA website (

Past events

Pre-conference workshop at the 30th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society – “Measuring and interpreting behavioural responses by marine mammals to anthropogenic sounds”

  • Funchal, Madeira, 13th March 2016.
  • A short report and links to presentations will be available via the ECS in due course.

Pre-conference workshop at the 21st Biennial SMM Conference – “Perspectives and future steps in behavioural response studies of cetaceans in relation to anthropogenic sound.”

  • San Francisco, 12th December 2015
  • Full programme and links to presentations can be found here.

6th MOCHA Working Group Meeting – Baleen whales

  • University of St Andrews, UK, 2-5th December 2014.
  • In the first two days, we presented a summary of progress to date, to solicit feedback; the second half was devoted to technical metings.
  • Meeting report

5th MOCHA Working Group Meeting – Baleen whales

  • Cascadia Research Collective, Olympia, Washington, 17-19th March 2014.
  • This workshop focussed on baleen whales.
  • Meeting report

4th MOCHA Working Group Meeting – Pilot whales

  • Duke Marine Lab, Beaufort, North Carolina, 4-6th September 2013
  • This workshop focussed on pilot whales for which data exists from multiple BRS projects.
  • Meeting report

3rd MOCHA Working Group Meeting – Other odontocetes

  • TNO, The Hague, The Netherlands, 18-20th March 2013
  • This workshop focussed on odontocete species other than pilot whales (focus of 4th working group meeting), which includes killer whales and Risso’s dolphin.
  • Meeting report.

2nd MOCHA Working Group Meeting – Deep divers

  • University of St. Andrews, U.K., 19-21st September 2012
  • The MOCHA Deep Divers Workshop focussed particularly on beaked whales and sperm whales as these include species of concern for which there are data across multiple BRS projects.
  • Meeting report

1st MOCHA Working Group Meeting – Start-up meeting

  • University of St Andrews, U.K., February 15-16th 2012
  • This start-up meeting of the MOCHA project involved all parties and included an overview of each BRS project, focusing particularly on the protocols used and metrics measured, and discussion of how to integrate data and results across projects.
  • Meeting report.