Massey Professor appointed as Chair of Ethics Committee for the Society of Marine Mammalogy


Professor Karen Stockin with postgraduate students during a dolphin post mortem examination.


Professor Karen Stockin.

Professor Karen Stockin, a Rutherford Discovery Fellow who leads Massey's Cetacean Ecology Research Group, has been appointed to the Board of Governors as Chair of the Ethics Committee for the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

The mission of the international Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) is to promote the global advancement of marine mammal science and contribute to its relevance and impact in education, conservation and management. With over 2000 members from 56 countries globally, the society is a focal part of global developments in marine mammal science.

Professor Stockin says she feels exceptionally honoured to take up this leadership role for the society. "I am really looking forward to working with the Society to tackle the many complex ethics and welfare issues within our field."

Professor Stockin is tasked with leading the international Ethics Committee, which overseas matters including the treatment of marine mammals in field research, application of welfare science in marine mammal conservation, and, extending on from the 2013 working group, the humane killing of marine mammals.

Professor Stockin's Rutherford Discovery Fellowship focuses on how articifial intelligence and animal welfare science can increase the effectiveness of human intervention efforts during mass stranding events. She was the inaugural recipient of the Bob Kerridge Animal Welfare Fellowship, and has also served as a specialist expert on the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) Expert Advisory Panel since 2017, and was the IWC's inaugural coordinator of the IWC Strandings Initiative between 2018 and 2020.

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