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Spiny dogfish, grad school, and life

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2018: The Year in Sharks

2018 came and went tumultuously for the world in general with many ominous signs for science and the environment, not the least of which is the current partial government shutdown that will be slowing or stalling work by me, many of my colleagues, and countless other researchers working at or collaborating with several U.S. federal agencies. But despite...

Mapping a Smoother Fishery for Smooth Dogfish

A commonly-used quote from John Shepherd states, “Managing fisheries is hard: it’s like managing a forest, in which the trees are invisible and keep moving around.” This is particularly true for highly migratory species like sharks, for which the full range is often poorly understood even for the most well-known species. In the past, fish movements...

Sharks in Pamlico Sound: The Bigger Picture

Some shark species love estuaries, and North Carolina has the second-largest estuarine system in the continental United States, the Albemarle/Pamlico system that includes the giant lagoon Pamlico Sound. North Carolina estuaries and the sharks that call them home have been on my mind for some time: estuarine sharks made up over half of my PhD dissertation...

This One’s Optimistic

One of the perks of living within a reasonable driving distance of Washington D.C. is that you get to be around for major events.  Over the weekend I was present for two events that directly addressed the current and future state of science in the United States, one as a participant and the other as an observer.  Each of these events approached the...

Tagging in Bull Shark Country

Last week the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Movement of Life Initiative tagging efforts went on the road as I headed south to Florida’s Treasure Coast in search of cownose rays and bull sharks.  Both of these species are the focus of Movement of Life acoustic tagging efforts, and both are known to inhabit this part of the U.S. Atlantic...

2016: A Year in Review

‘Tis the season for end-of-year recaps, and I’m certainly up for jumping on the bandwagon. 2016 was year that I wanted to try and revive this blog a bit, which was at least partially successful.  Finishing up a dissertation didn’t do me any favors as far as posting frequency, but adopting a “quality over quantity” posting strategy did manage to bring...

Sharks and Rays in North Carolina’s Natural Laboratory

I got a nice pre-Thanksgiving surprise when the latest paper based on my dissertation research officially went live at the Bulletin of Marine Science.  This research was presented at the amazing Fish at Night Symposium and will be part of the upcoming special issue focused on that meeting, but for now is available totally open-access as a Fast Track...

Life Events

It’s been an eventful month and a half, and a time of transition.  I’m officially shifting my range north to Maryland, where I’ll be spending the next two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center helping with the coastal shark portion of their Movement of Life Initiative.  I’ll be trading in the warm, turbid waters...

Expedition Inner Banks

Juvenile sharks have been in the news lately thanks to some fine work by OCEARCH, who found and tagged nine juvenile white sharks off of Long Island, confirming the area as a white shark nursery.  While this was happening, I was also out on the water looking for juvenile sharks with support from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center‘s Fish and...

The Scientists of Shark Week 2016: East Coast Edition

Shark Week 2016 is upon us, and this year’s lineup appears to follow the trend Discovery started last year with a more science-based, pro-shark, reduced-fear approach.  David “WhySharksMatter” Shiffman has already weighed in on which shows to watch and which to avoid this year, and it looks like the vast majority fall into the “watch” category.  With...

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