BRS workshop at the 21st Biennial SMM conference

A workshop was held prior to the 2015 SMM conference to present and discuss the status and future of marine mammal BRSs. The workshop included presentations and discussions on a number of topics. The full programme and links to many of the presentations can be found below. Throughout the workshop we polled participants to gain a community perspective on future research priorities. We included some of the results from the polling in a poster, which can also be found below.

The programme for the workshop includes the full list of speakers and presentation titles.  Some presenters have provided a pdf version of their presentation which can be access via the hyperlink.  If no pdf is available then please contact the presenter directly for more information about their studies.

During the day, polling sessions were held when participants were asked a series of questions via an online google form.  These questions and the collective responses were used to stimulate discussion during the last session of the day.  Some of the results of the polling were also included in a poster that was presented at the main SMM conference.  The polling was designed to encourage engagement and interaction by everyone attending (which open discussions don’t always achieve).  We hoped to identify main areas of agreement and divergence in future BRS research priorities amongst those interested in issues concerning anthropogenic sound in the ocean.  The results are representative of the community that attended on the day of the workshop (~80 people) and should not be assumed to be representative of the sound/marine mammal community as a whole.  It should be noted that some participants with broad interests found the questions too restrictive because they required single priorities to be chosen, and didn’t allow for ranking of priorities.  This restriction, allowing only one response to be selected for many of the questions, should be borne in mind when viewing the results.

The poster can be found here.


Society for Marine Mammalogy Pre-Conference Workshop

Saturday 12th December 08.30-17.30

Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Session 1: Introduction

Welcome & objectives of the workshop

Patrick Miller – What are behavioral response studies (BRS)?

Andy Read – The behavioral ecology of BRS.

Peter Tyack – Sources of anthropogenic noise in the ocean.

Session 2: Lessons from experimentally-designed studies, with a focus on sonar effects

Ron Kastelein – Acoustic dose-behavioral response studies with harbor porpoises in pools and a floating pen.

Stacy DeRuiter – What have we learned from controlled exposures of free-ranging animals to navy sonar sounds?  Autec BRS, 3S and SOCAL BRS projects.

Nicola Quick – The AUTEC project

Frans-Peter Lam – The 3S and 3S2 projects

John Calambokidis – The SOCAL project

Doug Nowacek – Playbacks of predator signals and what might they tell us about responses to sonar.

Session 3: Lessons from observational studies on sonar effects, and broad-scale conclusions so far.

Len Thomas – Case study 1: Passive acoustic monitoring during real-world naval exercises as a tool to learn about behavioral responses.

Erin Falcone – Case study 2: Associating patterns in movement and diving behavior with sonar use during military training exercises: a case study using satellite tag data from Cuvier’s beaked whales at the Southern California Anti-submarine Warfare Range.

Session 4: What’s next? Future priorities for BRS

Brandon Southall – Lessons learned from sonar BRSs: methodological implications for studies with other anthropogenic sound sources.

Leslie New – Bridging the gaps between behaviour, health and population consequences.

Catriona Harris – The outcomes of the Behavioral Response Research Evaluation Workshop


Open discussion