Abstract submission is closed. Notifications will be sent out July 5.

Changes to previous submissions or new submissions will not be accepted after the submission deadline.

To check the status of your abstract or workshop proposal, you will need to login via ECS or SMM.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the abstract submission deadline?

The deadline to submit an abstract was April 30, 2019, at 23:59 Barcelona time (GMT+2). We will not accept changes to previous submissions or new submissions after the deadline.


What is the word limit for abstracts?

The word limit for abstracts is 300 words. This abstract word limit does not include the abstract title (character limit 255 characters), author names or affiliations.

We encourage authors to submit a tweet of 280 characters to accompany the abstract for social media use during the conference.


May I submit more than one abstract?

You may only submit one first-author abstract and only give one presentation (oral, speed talk, video or poster). You can be a second author on other oral or poster presentations as long as that work/s is/are presented by one of your co-authors. Primary authors should submit their own abstracts.


If I am a co-author on an abstract can I give the presentation?

To provide equal opportunity for everyone to present and avoid multiple presentations being given by the same person, only the first author on an abstract may give the presentation. Once an abstract has been received, reviewed and accepted for the conference, first authors must register for the conference to accept the invitation to present.


I’ve recently graduated. Can I still submit an abstract as a ‘student’?

If you are no longer a student, but are planning on presenting work at the conference that you conducted as a student, and you graduated less than a year ago, then you can still register as a student! You will also be considered for student awards.

Note: A letter from your professor/institute verifying that you completed the work you will be presenting as a student will be required.


Help! I’m having a hard time signing in and submitting my abstract!

If you are experiencing technical difficulties submitting an abstract, contact abstracts@wmmconference.org for assistance.


How do I add italics, styles and other characters to my abstract submission?

You may italicize text, make your text bold, add super and subscripts and special characters by selecting the smart formatting tool at the top of the abstract entry text box.

(NOTE: You do not need to boldface your title – we’ll do that for you!)


Anything else I should do to style my abstract correctly?


Use sentence case instead. Sentence case means no unnecessary capitalization and no full stop (period) at the end.


What is the review process and what are the award judging criteria? Can reviewers and judges see who is submitting an abstract?

Each submitted abstract will be reviewed and scored by at least two independent reviewers who have expertise in the specific subject area. The abstract review process will be conducted blind, i.e. all authors’ names will be removed before the abstract is sent out for review.

Reviewers and judges apply the following four criteria to rank abstract submissions:

  • Originality (1 to 5)
    Abstracts containing significant new findings or presenting new approaches will be given higher scores than those that describe updates, modifications to older findings, or routine applications of well-established research methods.
  • Quality (1 to 5)
    Abstracts should demonstrate that robust and appropriate research methods were used, and include a scientifically robust study design. The outcome of the research should provide clear answers to the main research questions posed. The methods and results should be described in sufficient detail and the conclusions supported by the data.
  • Importance (1 to 5)
    This criterion addresses the importance of the research in terms of advancing the field of marine mammal science, or the conservation and management of marine mammals.
  • Presentation (1 to 5)
    Abstracts that are clearly written and concise will receive higher scores. This criterion addresses how well the specific research question(s) and objectives, methods used, primary results, etc are explained, rather than the quality of the study itself. A clearly written abstract follows a logical order (e.g. aims, methods, results, followed by a clear interpretation of the results and any conservation management implications).

After adjusting for differences in scoring among individual reviewers, abstracts will be ranked on the basis of their overall score, and available slots for spoken, video and poster presentations will be allocated according to merit using all submissions combined, taking into account presentation preferences.


What are the presentation formats?

There are three presentation formats to choose from; oral presentations (12 min duration), speed talks (4 min duration) and posters. An explanation of each can be found on the Conference website.


What are the themes I can submit my abstract under?

You must submit your abstract under one of the following themes. Choose the one that fits your research topic best. If your abstract is accepted, the scientific program committee reserves the right to move your abstract from one theme to another, if it is more fitting for a different part of the program. There are 16 session themes:

  1. Habitat and Distribution – This theme includes studies on important marine mammal habitat (e.g., breeding and feeding habitat), conservation measures to protect habitat (e.g., area-based Critical Habitat protection) and distribution, movement and migration among habitats.
  1. Acoustics and Communication – This theme encompasses all topics on marine mammal acoustics, communication, psychophysics, cognition, and effects of noise. Where a strong conservation focus is relevant please evaluate whether your abstract is better suited for one of the conservation topics.
  1. Foraging Ecology – This theme covers predator-prey ecology, food energy and energetics, feeding behaviour studies, and potentially foraging habitat (although also see habitat and distribution).
  1. New Technology – This theme includes studies that demonstrate development of novel technology or novel applications of technology to study marine mammals. In particular, it aims to highlight bio-logging and tracking, and topics relevant to the Ocean Tracking Network (oceantrackingnetwork.org) and Animal Telemetry Network (https://ioos.noaa.gov/project/atn/#about).
  1. Polar Ecology – This theme includes research studies focused on the biology and ecology of marine mammals in polar regions.  Research may include behaviour, physiology, population dynamics, ecological interactions, or conservation of ice-associated marine mammals.
  1. Population Biology and Abundance – This theme integrates all aspects related to the dynamics of marine mammal populations, including abundance and monitoring, growth and regulation of population size, demography and life-history.
  1. Physiology – This theme covers physiological and biochemical studies of marine mammals, including cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, ecological, evolutionary and comparative physiology and endocrinology.
  1. Toxicology – This theme covers contaminant exposure assessment, effects and risk assessments
  1. Health – This theme deals with all aspects of animal health, such as pathogens exposure, pathology, health assessments, and the potential impact of disease at the individual or population level, and options for mitigation.  Environmental stress and its potential negative effects on health are also part of this theme.
  1. Anatomy and Morphology – This theme’s focus is to understand anatomy and morphology through analysis of structure, function, development and evolution with e.g., experimental studies, molecular and cell biology, and modern imaging techniques.
  1. Education and Outreach – This theme addresses all topics relevant to marine mammal education, outreach and communication..
  1. Phylogeny, Systematics and Genetics – This theme encompasses all studies addressing phylogenetics and systematics (regardless of what characters are being used), as well as those studies with a genetic basis. However, if you have a genetic study with the primary emphasis on another topic (e.g., behavioural ecology) then it may be more suitable under that theme.
  1. Behavioural Ecology – This theme covers all aspects related to the ecological and evolutionary basis for marine mammal behaviour, including predator-prey dynamics, social and reproductive behaviour, parental care, and competition. Please evaluate whether your abstract is better suited for acoustics and communication, foraging ecology, ecology or polar ecology.
  2. Conservation – This theme incorporates  examples where actions were taken to attempt to conserve endangered marine mammal populations
  1. Fisheries Interaction – This theme incorporates studies related to entanglement and bycatch of marine mammals, including surveys, effects, gear analysis or design, and design or assessment of regulations.
  1. Policy and Management – This theme incorporates studies related to management or policy processes that impact the conservation status of marine mammal populations or species.


Do I have to be registered for the conference to submit an abstract?

No. You do not have to be registered for the conference to submit an abstract.

However, if your abstract is accepted for presentation in any format, you must register and pay for the full conference by the early bird deadline of 12PM (noon) GMT+2 on September 4, 2019 in order for your time slot to be confirmed.


How can I make changes to and check the status of my abstract?

You can make changes to your abstract prior to the abstract submission deadline on April 30, 2019 . After that date, you can check the status of your abstract and type of presentation by logging into your conference account via ECS or SMM.


I need to change my name or title on my abstract – how do I do that?

As the primary author of an abstract, you can make changes to your name and title by accessing your user profile in the registration area of the software. Go to the conference registration page and log in using the same credentials you use to log into the SMM or ECS website.


When will I find out if my abstract has been accepted?

All authors of submitted abstracts will be notified by July 5, 2019 as to whether their abstract has been accepted for presentation at the conference.


Where can I find examples of previous abstracts which have been accepted?

Here are three abstracts which were accepted for presentation at previous marine mammal conferences.


I am a student. Do I need to do anything special to submit my abstract?

If you are a student at the time of abstract submission, you are required to submit a letter from your academic advisor confirming your student status. Your student status verification letter must be received prior to the abstract submission deadline on April 30, 2019. The letter should include your name, your advisor’s name, the name of the institution you are attending, the current date and contact information for your advisor.


What proof of student status is required to submit an abstract as a student?

When submitting an abstract as a student, you will be asked to provide the name and email address of your academic advisor and you will also be required to upload a letter confirming your status as a student at the time of abstract submission. This letter must be received prior to the abstract submission deadline on April 30, 2019.


How do I apply for a student travel grant?

On the abstract submission form, there is a check box for “Primary author is a student.” If you check this, new questions appear; one of these is “I would like to apply for a student travel grant.” Check this box to apply.

If you questions regarding abstracts, submission or review, please contact abstracts@wmmconference.org