ACCOBAMS-ECS Student Awards

Approximately one third to one half of the ECS membership comprises students. To promote high standards in the quality and clarity of scientific presentation, the society coordinates a comprehensive assessment of student oral and poster presentations. Upon submitting an abstract for a conference, a student can decide to nominate their presentation for consideration for the ACCOBAMS-ECS Student Award. This award is generously sponsored by ACCOBAMS. Nominated presentation is assessed anonymously by four conference attendees who are experts in relevant fields of study. The results are compiled and the lead-author of the presentations obtaining highest scores receive an award, including a prize and a certificate. Each year, an award is given for the following categories: best poster, best short talk and best long talk.

Best Oral Presentation

Year Conference Title of Presentation Awardee
2021 Israel On the verge of extinction: what can be done to save the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in Israel Yaly Mevorach
2018 Italy Origin and spread of phocine distemper virus in 1988 and 2002 Iben Stockholm
2017 Denmark Drivers of the Dive Response in Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina) Jeppe Kaczmarek
2016 Madeira Conservation of killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar requires ecosystem-based bluefin tuna fishery management Ruth Esteban
2015 Malta Does the pressure of achieving reproductive success prevent grey seals from responding to human disturbance?  Amanda Bishop

Best Short Talks

Year Conference Title of Presentation Awardee
2021 Israel Stay behind, not high above - underwater noise levels of three drones measured at various horizontal and vertical distances Amelie Laute
2018 Italy From brick to bullet: Using Computational Fluid Dynamics to design bio-logging tags with minimal drag William Kay
2018 Italy Kinematic and acoustic analysis of herring-eating killer whale feeding behaviour during different prey life-stages Pablo Chevallard
2017 Denmark Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in free ranging common bottlenose dolphins from the northern Adriatic Sea, in relation to demographic parameters Tilen Genov
2016 Madeira Cytochrome P450 1A1 and 2B protein expression as biomarker for the first assessment of the ecotoxicological status of Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) in the NW Mediterranean Sea Matteo Baini
2015 Malta Development of a biomechanic model of grey seal impacts on the west coast of Scotland fisheries Vanessa Trijoulet

Best Posters

Year Conference Title of Poster Awardee
2021 Israel In vitro digestion experiments in odontocetes Lisa Klemens
2018 Italy Elucidating The Cave Use Pattern of Mediterranean Monk Seal On Exploited Habitats Merve Kurt
2018 Italy Seasonal variations in girth measurements of individual harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) Emilie Nicoline Stepien
2018 Italy Assessing reproductive parameters of females bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from the Aeolian Archipelago (Southern Italy): a thirteen‐year mark‐recapture study Chiara Bruno
2017 Denmark Mapping Danish marine mammal ecotouris Christian Riisager-Pedersen (Postgraduate)
2017 Denmark The importance of correcting effort for “handling time” in species distribution models from non-dedicated surveys Anna Schleimer (Postgraduate)
2017 Denmark The seasonal buoyancy budget of habour porpoises during dives Michael Ragkousis (Undergraduate)
2016 Madeira First record of the nasal mite Halarachne halichoeri in a grey seal from the German Wadden Sea  Anja Reckendorf (Postgraduate)
2016 Madeira Echolocation parameters of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the wild: investigating biosonar parameter shaping pressures  Mafalda de Freitas (Undergraduate)
2015 Malta Shedding light on the phenomenon of grey seal predation on marine mammals Abbo van Neer
2015 Malta Reproductive histories and inter-birth calving intervals of female bottlenose dolphins Texa Sim

World Marine Mammal Conference

In Barcelona 2019 prices were awarded to students in a different format.

The winners are:

Name Category Region Title of presentation

Sibu Ngqulana

Regional Winner Africa

A take on years of wrangling over a controversial taxonomy: Delphinus spp. in South African waters

Jonathan Botha

Regional Winner Africa

Geographic and individual-based differences in the trophic ecology of the Cape fur seal

Kahlia Gonzales

Regional Winner North America Female productivity and calf survivorship of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bocas, Panama
Heather Barrett Regional Winner North America

Investigating the energetic cost of human disturbance on the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Jonas F.L. Schwarz

Regional Winner Europe

The deep, the shallow and the indecisive: Foraging strategies of Galápagos sea lions

Katherine Whyte

Regional Winner Europe

An evaluation of Mahalanobis distance as a method to detect behavioural response in marine mammals from tag data

Sui Hyang Kuit

Regional Winner Asia

Ranging patterns of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the Matang Important Marine Mammal Area in Perak, peninsular Malaysia

Mika Kuroda-Matsuo

Regional Winner Asia

Clicks-sound production and frequency determining mechanism in the head of small toothed whales; Functional morphology with acoustical interpretation

Kaja Wierucka

Regional Winner Oceania

Chemical fingerprints suggest direct familiarisation rather than phenotype matching during olfactory recognition in Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea)

Laetitia Smoll

Regional Winner Oceania

Osmoregulation and electrolyte balance in a fully marine mammal, the dugong (Dugong dugon)

Guilherme Frainer

Regional Winner South America

Echo-devo: Ontogeny and evolution of the sound generating structures in dolphins (Odontoceti: Delphinida)

Larissa Dalpaz de Azevedo

Regional Winner South America

Another brick in the wall: Assessing population structure of Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera brydei) through a multi-method approach

Sasha Dines

Judges Discretionary Award


SouSA: A nation-wide collaboration to improve the conservation of South Africa's Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea)

Alessia Scuderi

ACCOBAMS Student Award


How to get mutual benefit for whale watching companies and cetaceans

Alicia Borque Espinosa

ACCOBAMS Student Award  

Developing a diagnostic tool to assess respiratory health in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) through spirometry

Wint The

J. Stephen Leatherwood Conservation Award


It started with a fisher’s tale: Interdisciplinary research on marine mammals, their history, and their threats in the Gulf of Mottama, Myanmar

Steffen De Vreese

Frederic Fairfield Award   The unprecedented sensitivity of the external ear canal of odontocetes, evolutionary adaptation, functional morphology, and histopathology

Pauline Goulet

Frederic Fairfield Award  

The quick and the dead: Novel sonar tags reveal predator-prey interactions in southern elephant seals

Jessica Kendall-Bar

Frederic Fairfield Award  

Novel, non-invasive methods for neurophysiological monitoring during rest behavior in phocids.

Peter Madsen

Audience Favourite  

Harbour porpoises modify biosonar behaviour in different environmental contexts

Danielle Crain

Audience Favourite  

A different kind of wax museum: Forecasting population trajectories of baleen whales using reproductive parameters from earplugs

Mervi Kunnasranta

Audience Favourite  

Coping with climate change in conservation of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal

Michelle Fournet

Audience Favourite  

Bearded seals adjust calling behavior to compensate for ambient noise, Alaska