Pabst Selected as President-Elect for the Society for Marine Mammalogy

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Marine biology professor Ann Pabst has been selected as president-elect for the Society for Marine Mammalogy, an international nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the global advancement of marine mammal science.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen by our members to be our society’s next leader,” Pabst said. “I feel very fortunate to be standing on the broad and strong shoulders of my predecessors in the society, and to be representing our university in this capacity."

Pabst will serve a two-year term as president-elect followed by a two-year term as president. The society consists of more than 2,000 members from 25 countries. Pabst has been a member of the society since 1987, when she joined as a graduate student.

“One of the reasons I care so much about our society is that it has as an integral part of its mission the investment in, and training of, students,” she said. “Many of our own UNCW undergraduate and graduate students have presented their research at our society meetings. This experience, in turn, has helped them course their academic and professional paths.”

Pabst’s selection as president-elect is a testament to her reputation as a scholar and to the respect she has earned from her professional colleagues, said Chris Finelli, professor and chair of the Department of Biology and Marine Biology.

“Her selection brings positive international exposure to UNCW and further elevates the already excellent reputation for marine mammal biology at UNCW,” he said.

Pabst hopes to continue the society’s strong tradition of investing in its future – and the future of science, education and conservation efforts – by investing in its student members, she stated.

“I believe that this investment, and the strength of our dedicated and diverse membership, will be absolutely required as we, and marine mammals, face the challenges posed by our rapidly changing global environment,” she added.

Pabst teaches comparative vertebrate anatomy and marine mammals classes, and both of these courses will benefit from the new knowledge she’ll gain as president-elect of the society.

“I will work hard to bring the experiences that I have through my service to the Society for Marine Mammalogy back to the classroom, our research lab, the Marine Mammal Stranding Program, and our department,” she said. “I hope that the international experiences I will have in this position will also benefit our department as a whole, as I will become a better resource for our growing global efforts.”

--Venita Jenkins