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keynote speaker

John Ososky

Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of Natural History 

Museum Specialist - Division of Mammals


John Ososky has been a museum specialist for over 24 years at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His primary responsibility has been the building and maintenance of the marine mammal collections, although he also does extensive work in terrestrial mammal collections. The marine mammal collection currently numbers over 18,000 specimens, including dry skeletons, anatomical fluids, frozen tissues, baleen, and earplugs, making it the largest and most diverse of its kind.

In 2019 Mote Marine Lab, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA, the Bonehenge Whale Center, and the National Museum of Natural History joined forces to collect a Bryde’s type whale specimen which had stranded in the Everglades. In 2021 the specimen was described as the holotype of a new species, Balaenoptera ricei, or Rice’s whale (Rosel et al. 2021). The species is endemic to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and is critically endangered. Subsequently, NOAA, NMNH, and strandings network members have come together to promote research, conservation, and outreach regarding this species, which will be described in John Ososky’s keynote address.

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