Science Programme

Science programme for the ECS Conference 2017


Download the full programme here.

And download the abstractbook here.

See also the 'Activity day-by-day' in Middelfart during conference days here.


If you have any questions regarding the conference in general, click here to see the organising committee. Please come find us at the conference and only call if it's an emergency.



Saturday 29 April 2017

08.00-9.00 Booking of free bikes at Hindsgavl Castle

10.00-13.00 Old Harbour: Official public opening of the new porpoise listening station next to Middelfart Harbour. Dissection of a porpoise and opening of the new “Porpoise observation bike trail”. Public events next to the old harbour where everyone is welcome


For the location of the workshop rooms, download map here. The buildings where the workshops will take place will be identified with the conference logo.

  • 09.30 – 17.30 Venue: Lillebælt-Værftet (9.30 – 15.30) and Kulturøen (15.30 - 17.30): ECS student workshop – Passive acoustic monitoring and introduction to PAMGuard.
  • 10.00 – 16.00 Venue: Naturcenter Hindsgavl: How to achieve a European Joint Cetacean Protocol?
  • 09.00 – 17.00 Venue: Hindsgavl (Room 1): Best practice workshop: Fostering inter-regional cooperation in underwater noise monitoring and impact assessment in waters around Europe, within the context of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • 09.00 – 17.00 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 1): Citizen science as a basis for management decisions and nature conservation.
  • 9.00 – 17.00 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 2): The Marine Mammal Nexus – How can we as marine mammal scientists can make a better contribution towards addressing global environmental problems.


Sunday 30 April 2017

08.00-9.00 Booking/return of free bikes at Hindsgavl Castle

12.00-18.00 Registration at Hindsgavl Castle / Booking of free bike

18.00-23.00 Icebreaker ("Kulturøen', downtown Middelfart).

  • Porpoise safari with Aarhus University vessel Aurora and two other certified safari boats. Trips last one hour and all boats depart at 18:30 and 20:00. Free tickets available at icebreaker.
  • The new public “Ear in the Sea” listening station, sponsored by Seiche, will be open 19:00-22:00 next to Gl. Havn (Old Harbour).


For the location of the workshop rooms, download map here. The buildings where the workshops will take place will be identified with the conference logo.

  • 8.20 – 17.20 Venue: Naturcenter Hindsgavl: Static Acoustic Monitoring (SAM) of toothed whales using echolocation clicks: Loggers, Experience, Advances and Challenges.
  • 9.30 – 17.00 Venue: Lillebælt-Værftet: Approaches to assessing & managing impacts from marine industry on harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation.
  • 9.00 – 17.30 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 1): Predator-prey interactions between grey seals and other marine mammals.
  • 9.00 – 17.00 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 2): 5th workshop on „Communicating marine mammal science to the general public“.
  • 9.00 – 14.00 Venue: Kulturøen: Marine litter: an emerging cause of concern for marine mammals.
  • 9.00 – 17.30 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 3): Inputs to the ACCOBAMS ongoing effort to map human threats on cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
  • 09.00 – 17.00 Venue: Hindsgavl Castle (Room 1): Effects of PCB exposure in killer whales and other threatened toothed whale species of the North Atlantic.
  • 13.00 – 16.00 Venue: Hindsgavl Castle (Room 2): Wildlife Computers Cetacean Tag Workshop.


Monday 1 May 2017

08.00-08.45 Registration

09.45-09.30 Official opening. 30th Anniversary of the ECS, founded in 1987 in Hirtshals Denmark

09.30-10.15 Keynote speaker. Chair: Mario Acquarone

  • Lars Bejder: Making science matter - the zipper effect

10.15-11.10 First session, EVOLUTION & Development. Chair: Anders Galatius

  • 10.25-10.40 Lee A. Miller: Evolution of narrow band-high frequency biosonar and hearing in odontocetes
  • 10.40-10.55 Benjamin Ramassamy: A new specimen of beaked from the Gram Formation (Denmark): implications to the evolution of suction feeding in Ziphiidae
  • 10.55-11.10 Magnus Wahlberg: Ontogeny of sound production in new-born, free-ranging harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) calves

11.10-11.50 Coffee break / poster viewing

11.50-13.00 Second session, MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION. Chair: Jonas Teilmann

  • 12.00-12.15 Denise Risch: Large-scale underwater noise pollution from Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) on the west coast of Scotland
  • 12.15-12.30 Alice Lapijover: Are cetacean bycatches lost in translation?
  • 12.30-12.45 Anita Gilles: New opportunities in dynamic species management for the harbour porpoise
  • 12.45-13.00 Ansgar Diederichs: Assessing disturbance of harbour porpoises by pile driving during construction of the first seven commercial North Sea offshore wind farms in Germany

13.00-14.00 Lunch break / poster viewing

14.00-15.10 Third session, DISTURBANCE & ABUNDANCE. Chair: Joan Gonzalvo

  • 14.10-14.25 Yann Planque: Comparing horizontal and vertical approaches for the identification of harbour and grey seals’ foraging areas
  • 14.25-14.40 Kaitlin Frasier: Cetacean Population Monitoring Integrating Visual and Acoustic Observations
  • 14.40-14.55 Phil Hammond: Estimates of cetacean abundance in European Atlantic waters in summer 2016 from the SCANS-III aerial and shipboard surveys
  • 14.55-15.10 Deanna Leonard: Late summer distribution of bowhead whales in relation to environmental variables in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

15.10-15.50 Speed talks, BEHAVIOR & ECOLOGY. Chair: Lee A. Miller

  • Charles McGibney: Do Model Drones Disturb Seals?
  • William Kay: Sex-dependent environmental drivers of grey seal pup dispersal and predicted spatio-temporal overlap risk with marine energy installations
  • Elizabeth Zwamborn: Long-term social units of long-finned pilot whales do not show group-specific repertoires of repeated calls
  • Mridula Srinivasan: To mix or not to mix: testing for randomness in mixed-species cetacean groups
  • Belén G. Ovide: Using behavior and acoustic data from multi-sensor tags to assess responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to whale watching boat noise in Skjálfandi Bay (Húsavík), Iceland
  • Cécile Vincent: Using telemetry data to estimate the percentage of seals hauled out during censuses
  • Signe Sveegaard: Two decades of harbour porpoise telemetry data reveals long-term stability of hot spots
  • Susan Bengtson Nash: Signals from the south; humpback whales carry messages of antarctic sea-ice ecosystem variability

15.50-17.15 First poster session (even numbers) / coffee break

17.15-18.40 Fourth session, BEHAVIOUR. Chair: Peter T. Madsen

  • 17.25-17.40 Lonnie Mikkelsen: Long-term sound and movement tag deployments on seals – detailed data on energy-time budgets and the effects of anthropogenic noise
  • 17.40-17.55 Frants Jensen: Ecological drivers of coordinated foraging in long-finned pilot whales
  • 17.55-18.10 Hal Whitehead: Cultural hitchhiking in the matrilineal whales
  • 18.10-18.25 Jesús A. Treviño: Every beaked whale for itself: individual foraging activity in social groups of Blainville’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris)
  • 18.25-18.40 Edda E. Magnúsdóttir: Humpback whale song exchange in the North-Atlantic: Song transmission between Iceland and the Cape Verde Islands

21.00-23.00 Video night. Chair Jeppe D. Balle

  • Steffen De Vreese: Study of the Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) on the Catalan Coast
  • Jerome Chladek: Alerting harbor porpoises to gillnets
  • Katrin Riesenberg: Whale mAPP and Citizen Scientists
  • Olga Filatova: White killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Western North Pacific
  • Lonnie Mikkelsen:  “Life of Brian”, video tags on harbour seals
  • Arda Tonay and Ayhan Dede: On the Beach (marine mammal stranding network in Turkey)
  • Morgane Perri and Boris Culik: Ambassador Dolphin “Fiete”
  • Silvia Frey: Rough-toothed dolphin encounter in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea


Tuesday 2 May 2017

08.45-9.00 Announcements of the day

9.00-10.30 First session, HEALTH & MEDICIN. Chair: Ursula Siebert

  • 9.10-9.25 Federica Giorda: Cetaceans stranded in Italy (2016): unusual mortality event along the Ionian coastline
  • 9.25-9.40 Jean-Pierre Desforges: Are environmental pollutants affecting the immune system of marine mammals?
  • 9.40-9.55 Andrew Brownlow: Knot a problem? Distribution and pathology of fatal entanglements in large marine animals in Scotland
  • 9.55-10.10 Erica Marchiori: Morphological and molecular characterization of Crassicauda boopis (Nematoda; Spirurida) from Mediterranean fin whales: preliminary results
  • 10.10-10.25 Misty Niemeyer: Phocine distemper virus (PDV) occurrence in stranded harbor and gray seals on Cape Cod, MA, USA from 2011-2015 and relevance to past epizootic events

10.30-11.00 Speed talks, DISTURBANCE & ABUNDANCE, MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION. Chair: Signe Sveegaard

  • Simone Panigada: Can satellite telemetry, aerial surveys and Important Marine Mamma Areas (IMMAs) facilitate cetacean conservation in the harsh environment of the Strait of Sicily?
  • James Waggitt: A collation of European at-sea surveys identifies and explains persistent areas of cetacean diversity and abundance at regional and decadal scales
  • Kexiong Wang: Influences of vessel traffic on porpoise distributions along the mainstream of Yangtze River
  • Caterina Lanfredi: Identification of Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) in the Mediterranean Sea: results of the first IMMA regional expert workshop
  • Ailbhe Kavanagh: The effect of seismic survys on cetacean occurrence across a Large Marine Ecosystem

11.00-11.45 Coffee break / Poster viewing

11.45-13.00 Second session, ACOUSTICS & NOISE I. Chair: Jakob Tougaard

  • 11.55-12.10 Danuta M. Wisniewska: High rates of vessel noise exposure on wild harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) can disrupt foraging
  • 12.10-12.25 Michael Ladegaard: River dolphins out of focus? General target assumptions misrepresent range-dependent biosonar adjustments
  • 12.25-12.40 Peter T. Madsen: Narrow acoustic field of view drives frequency scaling in toothed whale biosonars
  • 12.40-12.55 Sander von Benda-Beckmann: Separating underwater ambient noise from flow noise recorded on stereo acoustic tags attached to marine mammals

13.00-14.00 Lunch break / Poster viewing / Annual Student Meeting

14.00-15.45 Third session, PHYSIOLOGY. Chair: Mario Acquarone

  • 14.10-14.25 Marco Bonato: Vascular dynamics during progressive diving and adaptive bradycardia in dolphins: role of the retia mirabilia
  • 14.25-14.40 Jeppe Kaczmarek: Drivers of the Dive Response in Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina)
  • 14.40-14.55 Wolf Hanke: Hydrodynamic detection of benthic prey breathing currents by harbour seals
  • 14.55-15.10 Siri Elmegaard: Cognitive control of diving heart rate in harbor porpoises
  • 15.10-15.25 Frederike Hanke: Temporal and spatial abilities in pinnipeds
  • 15.25-15.40 Julie van der Hoop: Entanglement is a costly life-history stage in large whales

15.40-17.15 Second poster session (Odd numbers) / coffee break

17.15-18.00 Keynote speaker. Chair: Mark Simmonds

  • Asha de Vos: Failing successfully

19.00-21.00 Public evening (In Danish) at Hindsgavl Castle.Marsvin - fra fangst til forskning gennem 500 år i Middelfart”. Invited speakers and general public will be invited. Søren Andersen, Matts Amundin, Carl Kinze, Jonas Teilmann, Magnus Wahlberg, Porpoise Guild. Download the programme for Tuesday evening here.

19.30-21.00 R/S Aurora open for conference participants

21.00 Student party at Tema Bar in Middelfart city - everyone is welcome


Wednesday 3 May 2017

08.45-09.00 Announcements of the day

9.00-9.45 Keynote speaker. Chair: Jacob Nabe-Nielsen

  • Len Thomas: Does research benefit conservation?

09.45-11.15 First session, ECOLOGY. Chair: Phil Hammond

  • 9.55-10.10 Laia Rojano-Doñate: Does a life in the fast lane make porpoises more vulnerable to disturbance?
  • 10.10-10.25 Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen: Movements of walruses in Smith Sound
  • 10.25-10.40 Emma Carroll: Harbour Seal Genelemetry: understanding source-sink dynamics across the United Kingdom by combining population survey, genetic and telemetry data
  • 10.40-10.55 Nynne Lemming: Unique offshore preference in West Greenland harbour porpoises
  • 10.55-11.10 Armando M. Jaramillo-Legorreta: The dire status of the vaquita

11.10-11.40 Coffee break / Posterviewing

11.40-12.10 Speed talks, POLLUTION, ANATOMY, ACOUSTICS. Chair: Carl Kinze

  • Matteo Baini: Which marine litter do the Mediterranean sperm whales prefer?
  • Tilen Genov: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fre-ranging common bottlenose dolphins from the northern Adriatic Sea, in relation to demographic parameters
  • Joseph Schnitzler: Size and shape variations of the bony components of sperm whale cochleae
  • Kristian Beedholm: Fighting the data deluge: a dedicated detector stage to limit false alarms in passive acoustic monitoring of beaked whales
  • Sarah Marley: Acoustic habitats and behavioural responses of bottlenose dolphins in Western Australia
  • Heather Vance: Echolocation responses of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) tracking a moving target

12.10-12.30 Lunch Break / Poster viewing

12.30-14.45 Annual General Meeting

14.45-15.40 Second session, NEW TECHNIQUES. Chair: Line A. Kyhn

  • 14.55-15.10 Lilian Lieber: Assessing the effectiveness of multibeam sonar to track marine life interactions with a subsea kite in a tidal channel
  • 15.10-15.25 Paul J. Wensveen: A method for reconstructing georeferenced fine-scale tracks of marine mammals integrating dead-reckoning and position fixes
  • 15.25-15.40 Francine Kershaw: Identifying important marine mammal areas using geospatial genetics

15.40-16.40 Third poster session (All posters) / Coffee break

16.40-17.35 Third session, ACOUSTICS & NOISE II. Chair: Magnus Wahlberg

  • 16.30-16.55 Ursula Verfuss: Assessing the benefit of noise reduction measures during offshore windfarm construction on harbour porpoises
  • 16.55-17.10 Jakob Tougaard: Why is frequency weighting so important in assessment of underwater noise impact?
  • 17.10-17.25 Michel André: Contribution of Marine Mammals Sounds to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive Noise Measurements in the Arctic Region

17.25-18.00 Awards and closing remarks. All bikes returned before 19.00!

19.30-02.30 Conference banquet and dance


Thursday 4 May 2017

Optional excursions. See information under Conference Information or click here to see activities during the conference.