This highly-readable open access textbook provides basic background information about marine mammals and anthropogenic impacts on them. The book includes inspiring exercises for education school programs in natural sciences. The book also provides advice on career paths using case studies of marine scientists and veterinarians describing their journeys from student to professional. By sharing real-life career paths, readers find answers to questions such as "What needs to be considered when choosing a career in science?" and "What kind of tasks do scientists undertake on a daily basis?"
Marine mammals are amongst some of the most celebrated creatures on Earth, with their high intelligence, social and communicating skills, and capacity for deep diving. Alongside general information about marine mammals, the book aims at generating awareness of the impact of litter and noise pollution on the marine environment using marine mammals as an example. Huge numbers of marine animals, including marine mammals, die every year from entanglement in fishing gear, ingestion of litter or because of chemical pollution.
In the last decade many technological and scientific tools have been developed to aid research, for instance, miniaturised sound recorders which can be attached to cetaceans and seals and record noise levels around them, their vocal production as well as their diving behaviour.
This textbook can be used by undergraduate students interested in the fundamentals of marine mammal biology and medicine, and in pursuing the profession of a marine scientist.
Dennis Brennecke graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of Rostock and completed his Master of Science in biological oceanography at GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany). He is a doctoral candidate through the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, and the University of Southern Denmark, with the main focus on the bycatch of harbour porpoises. He is also part of a European citizen science project (Plastic Pirates – GO EUROPE) and the leader of the ocean:lab at Kiel Science factory belonging to the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Kiel (Germany).
Katrin Knickmeier studied biological oceanography, marine chemistry and zoology at the University of Kiel, Germany. She worked at the Institute for Polar Ecology, University of Kiel and participated in numerous scientific expeditions to the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and the Amazon. During her PhD, she worked on plankton on the rocky coasts of Chile in Coquimbo (Universidad Catolica del Norte). She coordinates a European citizen science project (Plastic Pirates – GO EUROPE) and is the leader of Kiel Science factory, belonging to the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and the University of Kiel (Germany).
Iwona Pawliczka studied oceanography and marine biology at the University of Gdansk, Poland. As a student, she initiated research on harbour porpoises in Poland. She continued with research at Hel Marine Station, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk. She initiated a seal rehabilitation project and leads the marine station’s grey seal recovery project. She got her PhD in oceanology at the University of Gdansk, studying the status, biology and threats to harbour porpoises in Polish waters. She has been a leader of citizen science projects that successfully initiated a marine mammal stranding scheme in Poland. Iwona is an Assistant Professor and academic teacher at the University of Gdansk and a head of Hel Marine Station, which runs several research and education projects with special emphasis on marine mammal – fishery conflicts.
Ursula Siebert studied veterinary medicine at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen (JLU) (Germany) and the Ecole National Vétérinaire de Nantes (France). She conducted her PhD in Ecotoxicology and the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) and the JLU and specialist further in pathology and aquaculture. She was the leader of the research group for marine mammals and sea birds at the Research and Technology Center Westcoast, Christian-Albrechts-University (CAU) of Kiel (Germany) and was the responsible veterinarian for harbour porpoises and seals at Fjord&Bælt (Denmark). She habilitated in the field of zoology on anthropogenic effects on marine mammals at the CAU. Since 2011 she is the director of the newly founded Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research at the University of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine – Wildlife Population Health and a Diplomate of the European College of Aquatic Animal Health. She is an honorary professor at the Aarhus University Denmark since 2014.
Magnus Wahlberg studied physics and biology at Göteborg University (Sweden). He worked on seal-fishery conflicts at the Institute of Coastal Research (Sweden) and as a high school teacher. He got his PhD in marine bioacoustics at the University of Southern Denmark, with the main focus on sperm whale sound production. After post-docs and research visits at Aarhus University (Denmark), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (US) and Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory (Sweden), Magnus worked as a scientist at Fjord&Bælt (Denmark), with special emphasis on harbour porpoise bioacoustics. He is an Associate Professor (University of Southern Denmark) and daily leader of the Marine Biological Research Center in Kerteminde, Denmark, specializing in the acoustic behaviour and hearing of marine mammals.