OVERVIEW

I am a marine biologist fascinated with predators. Most of my work focuses on the sharks and their conservation, although I also commonly study other species of fish and even occasionally veer out of the water to look at other species such as birds and mammals. 

Behavior and physiology are the two areas where I do most of my work, and I try to integrate them as much as possible. Usually this results in some combination of movement analysis or tracking with evaluations of animal health, stress, or nutrition. I also conduct research on the role of predators and use classic behavioral ecology approaches to link theory with observation and natural history. Below are three of my primary areas of focus.

Shark ecology, behavior, and physiology

Sharks are one of the most popular groups of animals on the planet, although today populations of many species are threatened due to overfishing. I am fortunate to have a large research program focusing on advancing our knowledge of these iconic predators, and using this information to inform their conservation. These projects focus on understanding the behavior, stress, nutrition and energy, and reproduction of sharks off North America and the Caribbean, as well as in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Some of this research includes fisheries-related work, including a new initiative through Beneath the Waves to tag sharks and track their movements along with those of fishing boats, in partnership with Oceana, Google, Skytruth, and the University of Miami. 

I commonly collaborate with research partners and students from the the Shark Research and Conservation Lab at the University of Miami.

      Satellite tracks of 12 blue sharks tagged in June and July 2016 off USA.

      Satellite tracks of 12 blue sharks tagged in June and July 2016 off USA.

predator-PREY INTERACTIONS

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Predator-prey relationships shape entire ecosystems and I am very interested in the role top predators play on food webs and in the lives of humans. I am primarily looking at how predators affect prey species in marine ecosystems, but I am also involved in similar research in the air, and on land. This work involves looking at the effects predators have on prey species through direct consumption and also through fear-based, indirect methods.

Effects of stress on fish

Humans are profoundly affecting the daily lives of species. These interactions can be acute and physical, like catching an animal or removing its habitat, or they may occur indirectly through the transmission of sounds or the changing of temperate. I am involved in a variety of projects that look at how real and simulated human stressors like noise pollution and fisheries capture affect fish survival and fitness, in temperate and tropical waters. Much of this work is done in conjunction with my colleagues from the Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Lab at Carleton University.

I invite you to take a deeper look at my Publications to track my research outputs as they develop.

Google Scholar Profile

students

Current

Robbie Roemer, University of Miami (Master's, Supervisory Committee): movements of large sharks along an urbanized gradient in South Florida

Cindy Gonzalez, University of Los Andes, Colombia (Master's, Co-supervisor): conservation genetics of hammerhead sharks in the Atlantic and Caribbean ocean basins

Pedro Gonzalez, University of Las Palmas of Grand Canaries, (PhD, Co-supervisor): ecotourism of sharks in the Canary Islands

Sarah Walton, Carleton University, (MS, External Advisor): tracking of freshwater predatory fishes

Graduated

Jacob Jerome, University of Miami, USA (MS, Committee, Graduated Fall 2016): shark stress physiology to capture

Collaborators

I love collaboration and am fortunate to have conducted research with and pulished papers alongside dozens of great researchers. Below is an active list of my regular collaborators. 

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, University of Miami - shark ecology, telemetry, conservation

Dr. Steven Cooke, Carleton University - fish telemetry,  fisheries, conservation physiology

Dr. Simon Brandl, Simon Fraser University - fish ecology and conservation

Dr. Andy Danylchuk, University of Massachusetts Amherst - fish ecology, fisheries

Dr. Tristan Guttridge, Bimini Biological Field Station - shark ecology

Dr. Nigel Hussey, Windsor University - shark ecology, telemetry

Dr. Duncan Irschick, University of Massachusetts Amherst - animal performance

Dr. David Jacoby, Zoological Society of London - shark movement ecology

Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou, Florida International University - shark movement and physiology

Dr. Heidi Pethybridge, CSIRO - shark energetics

Dr. Jodie Rummer, James Cook University - fish physiology

Dr. James Sulikowski, University of New England - shark physiology

Dr. David Shiffman, Simon Fraser University - shark ecology, fisheries, conservation

Dr. Erica Staaterman, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management - fish acoustics

Dr. Alex Wilson, University of Sydney - fish ecology