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
YearConferenceTitle of PresentationAwardee
2023SpainFirst steps towards developing a welfare assessment framework for stranded cetaceans.Rebecca Boys
2023SpainFin whale satellite telemetry to enhance place-based conservation efforts and mitigate threats in the North-Western Mediterranean Sea.Viola Panigada
2022IsraelOn the verge of extinction: what can be done to save the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in Israel.Yaly Mevorach
2018ItalyOrigin and spread of phocine distemper virus in 1988 and 2002.Iben Stockholm
2017DenmarkDrivers of the Dive Response in Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina).Jeppe Kaczmarek
2016MadeiraConservation of killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar requires ecosystem-based bluefin tuna fishery management.Ruth Esteban
2015MaltaDoes the pressure of achieving reproductive success prevent grey seals from responding to human disturbance? Amanda Bishop
Best Short Talks
YearConferenceTitle of PresentationAwardee
2023SpainModelling prey availability of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) along a gradient of marine protection.Ashlie McIvor
2022IsraelStay behind, not high above - underwater noise levels of three drones measured at various horizontal and vertical distances.Amelie Laute
2018ItalyFrom brick to bullet: Using Computational Fluid Dynamics to design bio-logging tags with minimal drag.William Kay
2018ItalyKinematic and acoustic analysis of herring-eating killer whale feeding behaviour during different prey life-stages.Pablo Chevallard
2017DenmarkPolychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in free ranging common bottlenose dolphins from the northern Adriatic Sea, in relation to demographic parameters.Tilen Genov
2016MadeiraCytochrome 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
2015MaltaDevelopment of a biomechanic model of grey seal impacts on the west coast of Scotland fisheries.Vanessa Trijoulet
Best Posters
YearConferenceTitle of PosterAwardee
2023SpainNew research platform offers unprecedented opportunities for studying Northern bottlenose whales in the Arctic.Annika Reinholdt
2023SpainExploring the habitat preferences and niche segregation of two teutophagous cetaceans in the Azores islands.Marc Tolosa
2023Spain25 years of research on killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar. A Review.Maria Cinta Sabaté-Gil
2023SpainHabitat preference of Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) in the south coast of Portugal.Miguel Martins
2023SpainPolychlorinated biphenyls are associated with reduced testes weights in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena).Rosie Williams
2023SpainPredicting bottlenose dolphin habitat preference based on satellite-derived environmental data.Sabrina Sykes
2022IsraelIn vitro digestion experiments in odontocetes.Lisa Klemens
2018ItalyElucidating The Cave Use Pattern of Mediterranean Monk Seal On Exploited Habitats.Merve Kurt
2018ItalySeasonal variations in girth measurements of individual harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena).Emilie Nicoline Stepien
2018ItalyAssessing reproductive parameters of females bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from the Aeolian Archipelago (Southern Italy): a thirteen‐year mark‐recapture study.Chiara Bruno
2017DenmarkMapping Danish marine mammal ecotourism.Christian Riisager-Pedersen (Postgraduate)
2017DenmarkThe importance of correcting effort for “handling time” in species distribution models from non-dedicated surveys.Anna Schleimer (Postgraduate)
2017DenmarkThe seasonal buoyancy budget of habour porpoises during dives.Michael Ragkousis (Undergraduate)
2016MadeiraFirst record of the nasal mite Halarachne halichoeri in a grey seal from the German Wadden Sea.Anja Reckendorf (Postgraduate)
2016MadeiraEcholocation 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)
2015MaltaShedding light on the phenomenon of grey seal predation on marine mammals.Abbo van Neer
2015MaltaReproductive 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:

NameCategoryRegionTitle of presentation
Sibu NgqulanaRegional WinnerAfricaA take on years of wrangling over a controversial taxonomy: Delphinus spp. in South African waters
Jonathan BothaRegional WinnerAfricaGeographic and individual-based differences in the trophic ecology of the Cape fur seal
Kahlia GonzalesRegional WinnerNorth AmericaFemale productivity and calf survivorship of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bocas, Panama
Heather BarrettRegional WinnerNorth AmericaInvestigating the energetic cost of human disturbance on the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)
Jonas F.L. SchwarzRegional WinnerEuropeThe deep, the shallow and the indecisive: Foraging strategies of Galápagos sea lions
Katherine WhyteRegional WinnerEuropeAn evaluation of Mahalanobis distance as a method to detect behavioural response in marine mammals from tag data
Sui Hyang KuitRegional WinnerAsiaRanging patterns of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the Matang Important Marine Mammal Area in Perak, peninsular Malaysia
Mika Kuroda-MatsuoRegional WinnerAsiaClicks-sound production and frequency determining mechanism in the head of small toothed whales; Functional morphology with acoustical interpretation
Kaja WieruckaRegional WinnerOceaniaChemical fingerprints suggest direct familiarisation rather than phenotype matching during olfactory recognition in Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea)
Laetitia SmollRegional WinnerOceaniaOsmoregulation and electrolyte balance in a fully marine mammal, the dugong (Dugong dugon)
Guilherme FrainerRegional WinnerSouth AmericaEcho-devo: Ontogeny and evolution of the sound generating structures in dolphins (Odontoceti: Delphinida)
Larissa Dalpaz de AzevedoRegional WinnerSouth AmericaAnother brick in the wall: Assessing population structure of Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera brydei) through a multi-method approach
Sasha DinesJudges Discretionary Award SouSA: A nation-wide collaboration to improve the conservation of South Africa's Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea)
Alessia ScuderiACCOBAMS Student Award How to get mutual benefit for whale watching companies and cetaceans
Alicia Borque EspinosaACCOBAMS Student Award Developing a diagnostic tool to assess respiratory health in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) through spirometry
Wint TheJ. 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 VreeseFrederic Fairfield Award The unprecedented sensitivity of the external ear canal of odontocetes, evolutionary adaptation, functional morphology, and histopathology
Pauline GouletFrederic Fairfield Award The quick and the dead: Novel sonar tags reveal predator-prey interactions in southern elephant seals
Jessica Kendall-BarFrederic Fairfield Award Novel, non-invasive methods for neurophysiological monitoring during rest behavior in phocids.
Peter MadsenAudience Favourite Harbour porpoises modify biosonar behaviour in different environmental contexts
Danielle CrainAudience Favourite A different kind of wax museum: Forecasting population trajectories of baleen whales using reproductive parameters from earplugs
Mervi KunnasrantaAudience Favourite Coping with climate change in conservation of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal
Michelle FournetAudience Favourite Bearded seals adjust calling behavior to compensate for ambient noise, Alaska