THE ACAP MONTHLY MISSIVE. A big thank you to Verena Gill of the Pacific Seabird Group for trawling the literature for us all

Verena GillVerena Gill on an aerial survey for Beluga Whales in Alaskan waters

Verena Gill currently works at the Alaska Region of NOAA Fisheries’ Protected Resources Division as the supervisor of the Marine Mammals Conservation Branch.  For a number of years, she has been tirelessly trawling the scientific literature and corresponding with authors to put together a monthly list of publications on seabirds and sending it out to subscribers via a listserv of the Pacific Seabird Group (which last month held its 51st Annual Meeting).  ACAP Latest News has regularly used her lists to feature papers on procellariiform seabirds, concentrating on those about ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels, thus saving me, and now a colleague, hours of work spent on our own trawling.

Verena has now retired from putting together the free monthly service and writes “Here are the seabird related papers for February 2024.  I'm afraid this will be my final compilation.  As you can imagine it takes a fair bit of time to put these together as I comb through journal [tables of contents] every month in the wee hours.  So it's time for me to get more sleep and finish up some of my own papers that have been lingering way too long.  And I might just get to Nordic ski (my happy place) a bit more too.  Thank you to everyone [who] has sent their citations in.  You are superstars putting all this great science out.  I have enjoyed reading a lot of these manuscripts and engaging in stimulating discussions with many of you.”

Shy Albatross Kris Carlyon 3
Shy Albatrosses, photograph by Kris Carlyon

Her final list contains two papers by Claire Mason (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia) and colleagues on the Near Threatened Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta, both of which had so far escaped my own attention to the literature, as has Claire’s PhD thesis, posted only a few days ago..  One of her publications , entitled “Shy albatross Thalassarche cauta chick mortality and heat stress in a temperate climate” appears as an “advance abstract” in the journal Marine Ecology Progress SeriesThe open-access paper will appear within a themed issue “How do marine heatwaves impact seabirds?” along with 12 other publications.  A timely subject as anthropogenic climate change remorselessly warms our planet.

So, a big thank you from me and from everyone in the ACAP Secretariat to Verena Gill for her tireless service to the global community of marine ornithologists.  Not everyone who labours for our collective good does so in the public eye.  Enjoy the skiing, and the Belugas, Verena!


Mason C. 2023.  Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta Conservation under Climate Change.  PhD thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart.  135 pp.

Mason, C., Hobday, A.J., Lea M.-A. & Alderman, R. 2023.  Individual consistency in the localised foraging behaviour of shy albatross (Thalassarche cauta). Ecology and Evolution 13: e10644.

Mason, C., Hobday, A.J., Alderman, R. & Lea, M.-A. 2024.  Shy albatross Thalassarche cauta chick mortality and heat stress in a temperate climate.  Marine Ecology Progress Series

Note both Claire Mason’s journal publications will be fully featured in upcoming posts to ACAP Latest News.

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 05 March 2024

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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