Welcome to the UK and Ireland Regional Student Chapter (UKIRSC) of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM). Established in 2006, the chapter’s aim is to bring together students who are interested in and study marine mammals from across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The purpose of our chapter is to strengthen links between UK and Ireland-based marine mammal students, by providing opportunities for them to meet and exchange ideas. We have an annual conference open to all UK and Ireland postgraduate (Masters and PhD) students that enables our members to get together and discuss their projects. Our meetings also include invited speakers and workshops, allowing our members to learn new skills and share careers advice (see the schedules of our previous conferences).

The chapter is made up of and run by students. The current UKIRSC committee are based at institutions across the UK and Ireland: the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews, the Shetland campus at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI),  the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), also at UHI, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Liverpool and the University College Cork. The committee is responsible for organising the annual conference, as well as managing all activities of the chapter.

Even though the emphasis of the UK & Ireland Regional Student Chapter is postgraduate study, please contact us if you are an undergraduate completing an honours thesis on marine mammals, as we have a limited number of places available for undergraduate attendees at our conference.

The chapter is evolving all the time, so please visit our website often to keep up with news from the UKIRSC. We can also be found on both Facebook and Twitter, so our members can stay in touch throughout the year. These pages are for you (our student members), so please get in touch (or tag us!) if you have a publication, opportunity or news item you would like to share. We would love to hear from you.


Professional sponsor: Dr Carol Sparling, Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews

Chapter founders: Clare Embling, Susan Gallon, Susan Heaslip & Nicola Quick