Sunday, September 28, 2014

The birth of the Gothic genre

I am a fan of the Gothic genre - crumbling castles, moonlit ancient woodlands, gloom dungeons, cobwebbed hallways and delicious creepiness. I've seen half a dozen versions of The Woman in Black (1983) and get terrified every time I see the play (or even the passable Hammer movie with Daniel Radcliff; 2012). I have half a dozen versions of Dracula (all leather hardbound in dark wood paneled bookcases). Shoot, I have an iron wrought spiral staircase in my house leading down to the basement.

So I was excited to hear that starting this week at the British Library in London, is an exhibition on the Gothic genre ( ).

But what is the Gothic genre? I like a description which said that it was a type of literature that imbues "a pleasing sort of terror".

In 1764, the Castle of Otranto was published. Written by Horace Walpole (the son of a British Prime Minister), the first edition was claimed to to be a recently discovered manuscript written in medieval Italy, in many ways, a little like a Blair Witch Project of it's times. This is considered to be the first gothic novel.

The Mysteries of Udolpho was another famous gothic novel that followed a few decades after. This was written by Ann Radcliff, who basically developed the Scooby-Doo strategy of gothic writing - seemingly supernatural activities could eventually be explained by decidedly less paranormal human actions.

Probably the most famous theme and archetypes of the genre were initiated by the "romantics" of the early 19th century. With the famous grim summer house party in 1816 on the banks of Lake Geneva, where Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and Dr John Polidori concocted creepy gothic stories one bored evening. This famously spawned Frankenstein from the imagination of Mary Shelly (published in 1818) and The Vampyre by Polidori (published in 1819). the latter was to become inspiration of Bram Stoker's seminal novel Dracula (1897) and ultimately the dreadful Twilight saga. The grim gloomy woods of the Olympic Peninsula and the fainting, languid, man obsessed Bella being a better heroine of an 18th century gothic novel, than the more liberated, feminist 21st century.

The current hit TV show Penny Dreadful is reference to popular, serialized gothic periodicals that cost one penny, the "pulp fiction" or perhaps comic books, of their time. these were really not great literature, and somewhat sensationalist to attract the masses, but one series Varney the Vampire, again was a model for the later Dracula.

In the US, the most famous writer of the gothic genre around this time (1830-40s) was Edgar Allan Poe. His novels and stories often featured decent into madness as a theme - one that would be echoed by another famous american author nearly a century later: H.P Lovecraft.

The gothic genre influenced many famous British literary writers of the later 19th century including Emily & Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stephenson, and Oscar Wilde who all produce novels that could be considered to be gothic from Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights to  The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Portrait of Dorian Grey and numerous Dickens novels.
At the end of the 19th century, we see the publishing of Bram Stoker's Dracula as the capstone of a century of classic gothic writing.

So as can be seen above, the gothic genre far from being has spawned some of literature's most famous, atmospheric and memorable stories, and gothic stories are as popular today as they were two hundred years ago with hit TV shows such as Sleepy Hollow, Penny Dreadful, Haven, Teen Wolf, Grimm, American Horror Story and even frequent episodes of Doctor Who (probably the best being the episode Blink, but the recent episode Listen is another example). Keep that "pleasing sort of terror" coming !

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The International Marine Conservation Congress (#IMCC3) closing speech

As has been apparent from recent blog entries, I've been been organizing the International Marine Conservation Congress, which was arguably a big success with lots of positive feed back, many enthused folks and 800-900 attendees, and over 7000 tweets about sessions on just day 1 of the meeting.

While I was at the meeting, I was co-opted by the marine science blog Southern Fried Science to be their newest correspondent, so I'm going to be moving most of my science-oriented musings to that site.

One of my first postings was my final speech for the conference which you can read in all it's geeky glory here ... enjoy

For all the freaks, geeks and nerds ...

For all those who feel a little outside of society... you are not alone.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Levels of marine human-wildlife conflict: A whaling case study (presentation at IMCC3)

I'm attending the International Marine Conservation Congress in a couple of days and to make my presentations more available, I'm posting them on my blog.

Here is a presentation on levels of conflict between whalers and anti-whalers at the International Whaling Commission, that will appear as a chapter  in a book out early next year: 

Draheim, M.M, Madden, F., McCarthy, J.B. and Parsons, E.C.M. (Eds). 2015. Human-Wildlife Conflict: Complexity in the Marine Environment. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

"Cute & cuddly boys, cute and cuddly" - How simply changing animal names can impact the public's conservation concern (presentation at IMCC3)

Here is the third of my presentations at the upcoming International Marine Conservation Congress - presenting the work done my my graduate student Caty Scott on public awareness concern for the conservation of otter species (some real, some fictitious) which is currently being edited for submission to a journal, and the work by my student Paul Karaffa that was published in the article: 
What's in a Name? Do Species' Names Impact Student Support for Conservation?

This will appear in a symposium about the importance of conservation marketing at the conference.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The global status of whalewatching

I am just about to head off the the International Marine Conservation Congress in Glasgow. While I'm there, amongst other things I'll be presenting on the "Global status of whalewatching" discussing is negative impacts, sustainability, management and potential benefits.

For those that can't attend the meeting, here is a version of the presentation:


Here's the reference list (in order of appearance in actual presentation)

         E. Hoyt, The worldwide value and extent of whale watching,Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Bath, 1995.
•         E. Hoyt, Whale Watching 2001: Worldwide Tourism Numbers, Expenditures and Expanding Socioeconomic Benefits, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, 2001.
•         S. O. O’Connor, R. Campbell, H. Cortez, and T. Knowles, Whale Watching Worldwide: Tourism Numbers, Expenditures and Expanding Economic Benefits. A Special Report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, IFAW and Economists at Large, Yarmouth, Mass, USA, 2009.
•         A. M. Cisneros-Montemayor, U. R. Sumaila, K. Kaschner, and D. Pauly, “The global potential for whale watching,” Marine Policy, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 1273–1278, 2010.
•         Economist, “The politics of whaling,” The Economist, 9th September, p. 100, 2000.
•         I.L. Beasley, L. Bejder, and H. Marsh, “Dolphin-watching tourism in the Mekong River, Cambodia: A case study of economic interests influencing conservation. Paper presented to the Scientific Committee of the International whaling Commission SC62/WW4, 9pp, 2010.
•         E.C.M. Parsons, “The negative impacts of whale-watching,” Journal of Marine Biology, 2012, 807294, 9pp, 2012.
•         V. M. Janik and P. M. Thompson, “Changes in surfacing patterns of bottlenose dolphins in response to boat traffic,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 12, pp. 597–602, 1996.
•         G. D. Hastie, B. Wilson, L. H. Tufft, and P. M. Thompson, “Bottlenose dolphins increase breathing synchrony in response to boat traffic,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 74–84, 2003. 
•         D. Lusseau, “Male and female bottlenose dolphins Tursiops spp. have different strategies to avoid interactions with tour boats in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 257, pp. 267–274, 2003. 
•         D. Lusseau, “The short-term behavioral reactions of bottlenose dolphins to interactions with boats in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 802–818, 2006. 
•         L. Seuront and N. Cribb, “Fractal analysis reveals pernicious stress levels related to boat presence and type in the IndoPacific bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus,” Physica A, vol. 390, no. 12, pp. 2333–2339, 2011. 
•         E. Stensland and P. Berggren, “Behavioural changes in female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in response to boat-based tourism,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 332, pp. 225–234, 2007. 
•         N. Matsuda, M. Shirakihara, and K. Shirakihara, “Effects of dolphin-watching boats on the behavior of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off Amakusa-Shimoshima Island, Japan,” Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi, vol. 77, no. 1, pp. 8–14, 2011 (Japanese). 
•         S. L. Ng and S. Leung, “Behavioral response of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) to vessel traffic,” Marine Environmental Research, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 555–567, 2003. 
•         L. do Valle and F. C. Cunha Melo, “Behavioral alterations in the gray dolphin Sotalia guianensis (Gervais, 1953) caused by sea traffic,” Biotemas, vol. 19, no. 1,  pp. 75–80, 2006.
•         R. Williams, D. E. Bain, J. C. Smith, and D. Lusseau, “Effects of vessel on behaviour patterns of individual southern resident killer whales Orcinus orca,” Endangered Species Research, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 199–209, 2009. 
•         P. J. Corkeron, “Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Hervey Bay, Queensland: behaviour and responses to whale-watching vessels,” Canadian Journal of Zoology, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 1290–1299, 1995.
•         G. S. Stone, S. K. Katona, A. Mainwaring, J. M. Allen, and H. D. Corbett, “Respiration and surfacing rates of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) observed from a lighthouse tower,” Reports of the International Whaling Commission, vol. 42, pp. 739–745, 1992. 
•         J. Gordon, R. Leaper, F. G. Hartley, and O. Chappell, Effects of Whale-watching Vessels on the Surface and Underwater Acoustic Behaviour of Sperm Whales off Kaikoura, New Zealand, Science and Research Services Series No. 52, New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand, 1992.
•         K. C. Buckstaff, “Effects of watercraft noise on the acoustic behavior of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in Sarasota bay, Florida,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 709–725, 2004. 
•         C. Scarpaci, S. W. Bigger, P. J. Corkeron, and D. Nugegoda, “Bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, increase whistling in the presence of “swim-with-dolphin” tour operations,” Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, vol. 2, pp. 183–185, 2000.
•         A. D. Foote, R. W. Osborne, and A. R. Hoelzel, “Whale-call response to masking boat noise,” Nature, vol. 428, no. 6986, article 910, 2004. 
•         R. S. Sousa-Lima and C. W. Clark, “Modeling the effect of boat traffic on the fluctuation of humpback whale singing activity in the Abrolhos National Marine Park, Brazil,” Canadian Acoustics, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 174–181, 2008. 
•         C. Richter, S. Dawson, and E. Slooten, “Impacts of commercial whale watching on male sperm whales at Kaikoura, New Zealand,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 46–63, 2006. 
•         L. Bejder, A. Samuels, H. Whitehead, and N. Gales, “Interpreting short-term behavioural responses to disturbance within a longitudinal perspective,” Animal Behaviour, vol. 72, no. 5, pp. 1149–1158, 2006.
•          M. C. Mattson, J. A. Thomas, and D. St. Aubin, “The effect of boat activity on the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in waters surrounding Hilton Head Island, South Carolina,”Aquatic Mammals, vol. 31, pp. 133–140, 2005.
•         N. Matsuda, M. Shirakihara, and K. Shirakihara, “Effects of dolphin-watching boats on the behavior of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off Amakusa-Shimoshima Island, Japan,” Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi, vol. 77, no. 1, pp. 8–14, 2011 (Japanese).
•         G. Timmel, S. Courbis, H. Sargeant-Green, and H. Markowitz, “Effects of human traffic on the movement patterns of Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) in Kealakekua bay, Hawaii,”Aquatic Mammals, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 402–411, 2008. 
•         R. Williams, A. W. Trites, and D. E. Bain, “Behavioural responses of killer whales (Orcinus orca) to whale-watching boats: opportunistic observations and experimental approaches,” Journal of Zoology, vol. 256, no. 2, pp. 255–270, 2002. 
•         M. Scheidat, C. Castro, J. González, and R. Williams, “Behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to whalewatching boats near Isla de la Plata, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador,” Journal of Cetacean Research & Management, vol. 6, pp. 63–68, 2004.
•         G. De Fatima Filla and E. L. De Araujo Monteiro-Filho, “Monitoring tourism schooners observing estuarine dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) in the Estuarine Complex of Cananéia, south-east Brazil,” Aquatic Conservation, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 772–778, 2009.
•         R. Williams and E. Ashe, “Killer whale evasive tactics vary with boat number,” Journal of Zoology, vol. 272, no. 4, pp. 390–397, 2007.
•         K. A. Stamation, D. B. Croft, P. D. Shaughnessy, K. A. Waples, and S. V. Briggs, “Behavioral responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to whale-watching vessels on the southeastern coast of Australia,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 98–122, 2010.
•         F. Christiansen, D. Lusseau, E. Stensland, and P. Berggren, “Effects of tourist boats on the behaviour of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off the south coast of Zanzibar,” Endangered Species Research, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 91–99, 2010.
•         M. C. Allen and A. J. Read, “Habitat selection of foraging bottlenose dolphins in relation to boat density near Clearwater, Florida,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 815–824, 2000. 
•         D. Lusseau, “Effects of tour boats on the behavior of bottlenose dolphins: using Markov chains to model anthropogenic impacts,” Conservation Biology, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 1785–1793, 2003. 
•         R. Constantine, D. H. Brunton, and T. Dennis, “Dolphin-watching tour boats change bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) behaviour,” Biological Conservation, vol. 117, no. 3, pp. 299–307, 2004. 
•         A. Arcangeli and R. Crosti, “The short-term impact of dolphin-watching on the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in western Australia,” Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 3–9, 2009.
•         K. A. Stockin, D. Lusseau, V. Binedell, N. Wiseman, and M. B. Orams, “Tourism affects the behavioural budget of the common dolphin Delphinus sp. in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 355, pp. 287–295, 2008.
•         M. L. Carrera, E. G. P. Favaro, and A. Souto, “The response of marine tucuxis (Sotalia fluviatilis) towards tourist boats involves avoidance behaviour and a reduction in foraging,” Animal Welfare, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 117–123, 2008. 
•         M. A. Coscarella, S. L. Dans, E. A. Crespo, and S. N. Pedraza, “Potential impact of unregulated dolphin watching activities in Patagonia,” Journal of Cetacean Research & Management, vol. 5, pp. 77–84, 2003.
•         S. L. Dans, E. A. Crespo, S. N. Pedraza, M. Degrati, and G. V. Garaffo, “Dusky dolphin and tourist interaction: effect on diurnal feeding behavior,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 369, pp. 287–296, 2008
•         F. Visser, K. L. Hartman, E. J. J. Rood et al., “Risso's dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores,” Marine Mammal Science, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 366–381, 2011.
•         R. Williams, D. Lusseau, and P. S. Hammond, “Estimating relative energetic costs of human disturbance to killer whales (Orcinus orca),” Biological Conservation, vol. 133, no. 3, pp. 301–311, 2006. 
•         D. Lusseau, D. E. Bain, R. Williams, and J. C. Smith, “Vessel traffic disrupts the foraging behavior of southern resident killer whales Orcinus orca,” Endangered Species Research, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 211–221, 2009.
•         K. A. Stamation, D. B. Croft, P. D. Shaughnessy, and K. A. Waples, “Observations of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding during their southward migration along the coast of southeastern New South Wales, Australia: identification of a possible supplemental feeding ground,” Aquatic Mammals, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 165–174, 2007.
•         D.W. Laist, A.R. Knowlton, J.G. Mead, A.S. Collet, and M. Podesta, “Collisions between ships and whales,” Marine Mammal Science vol. 17, pp. 35-75R, 2001.
•         Leaper, “Summary of data on ship strikes of large cetaceans from progress reports (1996-2000),” Paper presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, SC53/BC8, 2001.
•         R.A. Asmutis-Silvia, “An increased risk to whales due to high-speed whale-watching vessels,” Paper presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission SC51/WW11,1999.
•         IWC, Report of the Sub-Committee on Whalewatching, International Whaling Commission, Cambridge, UK, 11pp, 2002.
•         E.C.M. Parsons, and T. Gaillard, “Characteristics of high-speed whalewatching vessels in Scotland,” Paper presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, SC55/WW2, 2003.
•         B. Garrod, and D.A. Fennell, “An analysis of whalewatching Codes of Conduct,” Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 31, pp. 334-352, 2004.
•         D. Lusseau, “The state of the scenic cruise industry in Doubtful Sound in relation to a key natural resource: bottlenose dolphins,” in M. Hall & S. Boyd (eds.), Nature-based Tourism in Peripheral Areas: Development or Disaster? Channel View Publications, Clevedon, UK, 2004.
•         C. Scarpaci, D. Nugegoda, and P.J. Corkeron, Compliance with regulations by “swim-with-dolphins” operations in Port Philip Bay, Victoria, Australia. Environmental Management, vol. 31, pp. 342-347, 2003.
•         C. Scarpaci, D. Nugegoda, and P.J. Corkeron, “No detectable improvement in compliance to regulations by “swim-with-dolphin” operators in Port Philip Bay, Victoria, Australia,” Tourism in Marine. Environments, vol. 1, pp. 41-48, 2004.
•         E. Hoyt, “Sustainable ecotourism on Atlantic Islands, with special reference to whale watching, marine protected areas and sanctuaries for cetaceans,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 105B, issue 3, pp. 141-154, 2005.
•         C. Corbelli, “An evaluation of the impact of commercial whale watching on Humpback whales, Megaptera novaengliae, in Newfoundland and Labrador, and of the effectiveness of a voluntary code of conduct as a management strategy,” PhD Thesis, Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2006.
•         A. Sitar, L.J. May-Collado, and E.C.M. Parsons,High levels of non-compliance with whale-watching regulations in Bocas del Toro, Panama and effects of non-compliance on bottlenose dolphin behaviour,” Paper presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission,  SC65b/WW9, 2014.
•         E.C.M. Parsons, C.M. Fortuna, F. Ritter, N.A. Rose, M.P. Simmonds, M. Weinrich, R. Williams, and S. Panigada, “Glossary of whalewatching terms,” Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, vol. 8 , Supplement,  pp. 249-251, 2006.
•         M. Lück, “Education on marine mammal tours as agent for conservation—but do tourists want to be educated?” Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 46, no. 9-10, pp. 943–956, 2003. 
•         J. Foxlee, “Whale watching in Hervey Bay,” Parks and Leisure Australia, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 17–18, 2001.
•         G. Mayes, P. Dyer, and H. Richins, “Dolphin-human interaction: pro-environmental attitudes, beliefs, and intended behaviours and actions of participants in interpretation programs: a pilot study,” Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 7, pp. 34–53, 2004.
•         M. S. Andersen and M. L. Miller, “Onboard marine environmental education: whale watching in the San Juan islands, Washington,” Tourism in Marine Environments, vol. 2, pp. 111–118, 2006.
•         G. Mayes and H. Richins, “Dolphin watch tourism: two differing examples of sustainable practices and proenvironmental outcomes,” Tourism in Marine Environments, vol. 5, no. 2-3, pp. 201–214, 2008. 
•      H. Zeppei and S. Muloin, “Conservation and education benefits of interpretation on marine wildlife tours,” Tourism in Marine Environments, vol. 5, no. 2-3, pp. 215–227, 2008a. 
•         H. Zeppel and S. Muloin, “Conservation benefits of interpretation on marine wildlife tours,” Human Dimensions of Wildlife, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 280–294, 2008b. 
•         R. Ballantyne, J. Packer, and K. Hughes, “Tourists' support for conservation messages and sustainable management practices in wildlife tourism experiences,” Tourism Management, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 658–664, 2009. 
•         J. B. Ambler, Whales and the people who watch them: baleen whales in Virginia’s near-shore waters and the educational and conservation potential of whale watching [Doctoral thesis], George Mason University, VirginiaVa, USA, 2011.\
Photo credits: EIA, SeaLifeSurveys, HWDT, Alan Whaley, Naomi Rose, Chris Parsons, Carol Scarpaci