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May 29: Killer Whales: The Origin of an Ecomorph

Sunday, May 29 at 4 pm in Cetacean Session #12, there will be a discussion about the origin of the killer whale ecomorph. Jonathan Geisler and Alberto Collareta will provide an overview of their paleontological research on odontocetes and present details from their article “The origins of the killer whale ecomorph” recently published in Current Biology. Presentation and discussion will be followed by live Q&A with the audience.

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About Cetacean Sessions

Cetacean Sessions is a weekly seasonal webinar series where we discuss impactful recently published scientific research on cetaceans with those conducting it around the world. Season 2 is focused exclusively on recent advances in killer whale science. Cetacean Sessions is informal, educational, interactive and geared towards those working with or interested in cetaceans. You can register for sessions and follow our channel for free with no account creation necessary.

About Jonathan Geisler

Jonathan Geisler is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy at the New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY. He is also a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History (Washington D.C). Dr. Geisler received his Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University in 2001 after completing a joint program with the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Thereafter he was a postdoctoral research in the Mammalogy Department of the AMNH studying the systematics of bats, and from 2001 to 2009, he was a faculty member of the Department of Geology and Geography at Georgia Southern University and Curator of Paleontology at the Georgia Southern Museum. Dr. Geisler’s expertise is on the phylogeny and evolution of mammals, with a particular emphasis on the evolution of aquatic adaptations in Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). He is an author on 47 peer-reviewed publications, including in the journals Nature and Current Biology. Through these publications he has named 13 species of extinct mammals and has made important contributions to our understanding of the evolutionary relationships of fossil and living cetaceans.

About Alberto Collareta

Alberto Collareta graduated in Geological Sciences and Technologies at the University of Pisa (Italy) in 2014. In 2017 he obtained a PhD in Earth Sciences with a paleoecological thesis focused on the Miocene marine vertebrate assemblages from the Pisco Formation of Peru. Since 2018 he has been researcher in paleontology and paleoecology at the Earth Science Department of the University of Pisa. His scientific interests mainly concern the systematic, taphonomic and paleoecological study of vertebrates and marine invertebrates from sedimentary successions of the Cenozoic age. As part of his research activity, he took part in geological and paleontological prospecting and excavation campaigns in various Italian and Peruvian locations. He actively collaborates with researchers from Italian, European, South and North American, Asian and Oceanian institutions.

About Bay Cetology

Bay Cetology enables conservation and understanding of cetacean populations that are data deficient or threatened by climate change and human development. Our marine biologists and research technicians use various expertise to conduct field studies, analyze data, and communicate findings. Bay Cetology was founded by Jared Towers in 2017 and is based out of Alert Bay (Home of the Killer Whale) in the unceded traditional territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation, British Columbia, Canada. See more about our previous work and current projects at https://baycetology.org


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