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Sharkpedia

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Sharkpedia

Meghan Holst and Amani Webber-Schultz

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Meghan and Amani are 2 shark researchers exploring sharks and their relatives! Get ready to jump in every-other-week to the world of sharks where Meghan and Amani break down the science with some of the legends in the field.
 
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This week we are joined by Dr. Ana Martins, a postdoctoral researcher at Dalhousie University studying the shark meat trade. The shark fin and meat trade is a common media topic but angler knowledge and opinions seem to be rarely incorporated into these discussions. In her home country of Brazil, Dr. Martins utilized angler knowledge to uncover tre…
 
This week we join Kate McKinnon as Miss Frizzle on the Magic School Bus to explore shark noses up close! Just kidding. But we do have shark-nose-specialist Dr. Lauren Simonitis! We break down her article Microstructure of the BonnetHead Shark (Sphyrna tiburo) Olfactory Rosette. (Simonitis & Marshall 2022). Learn all you could need to know about sha…
 
Just in time for Shark Week, we're going down under to investigate what warming waters will do to the distribution of tiger sharks on the east coast of Australia with tiger shark expert, Dr. Yuri Niella! This week we break down Dr. Yuri Niella et al. (2021) article, "Forecasting intraspecific changes in distribution of a wide-ranging marine predato…
 
Have you ever wondered how sharks perpetually regenerate their teeth? Why can't humans do the same thing, or can they?! This week expert Dr. Gareth Fraser joins us to tell us all about this special shark superpower. We jump into Dr. Fraser's article, "The Dental Lamina: An Essential Structure for Perpetual Tooth Regeneration in Sharks" (Fraser et a…
 
Manta ray research using drones?! This week guest expert Vicky Fong joins us to tell us all about the swimming behavior of manta rays, and why understanding these behaviors can be important for their conservation! We jump into Vicky's article, "Using Drones to Assess Volitional Swimming Kinematics of Manta Ray Behaviors in the Wild" (Fong, Hoffmann…
 
Everything you need to know about Tiger Shark teeth! This week PhD student Julia Türtscher joins ut to tell us amazing things about shark teeth, like, did you know males and females can have differently shaped teeth? Or that teeth can change SEASONALLY?! Learn everything you need to know about shark teeth and what Julia and her team learned about t…
 
Basking sharks on the West Coast USA?!?! Dr. Alex McInturf returns from season 1 and gives us a MASSIVE update about her career, basking shark populations, and the tea on basking shark conservation. Did you know basking sharks were along the West Coast USA?! Most don't, because these sightings are now extremely rare. This week we breakdown Dr. McIn…
 
SEASON 2 IS HERE!! We are kicking off the season with Jake Jerome, one of Field School's very own Assistant Director of Program Development and Intern Coordinator. What is shark stress? How do you even go about measuring shark stress? What do we see behaviorally, and what does this mean for them physiologically? Learn more this week with shark phys…
 
This week we jump into the world of shark competition with Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou! We break down his article, "Spatial separation without territoriality in shark communities" (Papastamatiou et al. 2018). We talk about how to conduct field research in remote areas, combining multiple techniques together (such as telemetry and underwater video foot…
 
This week we jump into the world of cookiecutter sharks with expert Dr. Aaron Carlisle! We break down his article, "Integrating multiple chemical tracers to elucidate the diet and habitat of Cookiecutter Sharks" (Carlisle et al. 2021). We discuss the various techniques Carlisle and colleagues used to uncover that cookiecutter sharks eat a much more…
 
This week we talk about Manta ray nursery habitat off the coast of Florida with expert Jessica Pate! We break down her article, "Urban Manta rays: potential manta ray nursery habitat along a highly developed Florida coastline" (Pate & Marshall 2020). We discuss what defines an area as nursery habitat, how habitat off the Florida coast fits these cr…
 
Meghan and Amani saw each other in person for the first time in 4 years when they reunited at Field School in Miami, Florida! Together, they spent a week on Research Vessel Garvin performing scientific workups on sharks. Find out about their time in the field together, the cool shark Meghan drew blood from, and more in this episode. You can learn a…
 
This week we jump into stress physiology with expert and PhD Candidate Alex Schoen! With Alex's help, we breakdown her article, "Simulated heatwave and fishing stressors alter corticosteroid and energy balance in neonate blacktip reef shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus" (Schoen et al. 2021). With climate change as an increasing temperature stressor o…
 
This week we go abroad to Sri Lanka with conservation expert Akshay Tanna! We discuss his article, "Where have all the sawfishes gone? Perspectives on declines of these Critically Endangered species in Sri Lanka" by Tanna et al. 2021. Akshay and his colleagues use critical historical knowledge from local fishers. This knowledge is often referred to…
 
This week Amani and Meghan chat with Dr. Mark Royer about the swimming behavior of scalloped hammerhead sharks! With Dr. Royer's help, Amani and Meghan review his article "Scalloped hammerhead sharks swim on their side with diel shifts in roll magnitude and periodicity" (Royer et al. 2020). Did you know scalloped hammerhead sharks swim on their sid…
 
This week we are jumping into a problem for sharks: entangling in marine debris with expert Kristian Parton! With Kristian's help we will review his article, Parton et al 2019 “Global review of sharks and ray entanglement in anthropogenic marine debris”. We discuss what marine debris is, how it ends up in the ocean, and exactly why it's an issue fo…
 
In these bonus episode, we catch up with friend and colleague Jaida Elcock, test our knowledge of sharks with some games, and talk about some of our favorite species! Did you do better than us on these games? Let us know! You can follow Jaida on Twitter and TikTok @soFISHtication, and Instagram @soFISHtication_ This episode was edited by Kaela Shoe…
 
This week Amani and Meghan discuss sand tiger sharks from the Eocene with Dr. Sora Kim! We explore the ecology and environment of sand tiger sharks during the Eocene, and can even explore climate change during the Eocene using sand tiger teeth fossils! This discussion was guided around Dr. Sora Kim's publication, "Probing the Ecology and Climate of…
 
This week on Sharkpedia we interview scientist Jasmin Graham! Jasmin works at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, and much of her research helps evaluate the critically endangered small tooth sawfish. We break down Jasmin's article, Large-scale space use of large juvenile and adult small tooth sawfish Pristis pectinata: implications for management. …
 
This week Amani and Meghan chat with shark parasite expert, Dr. Jimmy Bernot! We discuss his publication, "A new species of Psedopandarus Kirtisinghe, 1950 (Copepoda: Siphonostomoatoida: Pandaridae) from sharks of the genus Squalus L. in New Caledonian waters" (Bernot and Boxshall 2017). We chat about what kind of parasites exist on sharks, how the…
 
In this weeks episode, Amani and Meghan discuss the article "Triennial migration and philopatry in the critically endangered soupfin shark, Galeogrhinus galeus" with the primary author, Dr. Andrew Nosal! Dr. Nosal discusses how he and his team were able to track soupfin sharks for multiple years and show that females would return every three years …
 
In this episode Meghan and Amani interview Dr. David Shiffman, a marine biologist and conservationist about his publication "Recreational shark fishing in Florida: How research and strategic science communication helped to change policy" (Shiffman 2020). We discuss the complexities of creating policies that are beneficial to all stakeholders involv…
 
On this episode, Meghan and Amani interview Dr. Catherine Macdonald, Co-Founder and Director of Field School in Miami, about her publication "Conservation potential of apex predator tourism" (Macdonald et al., 2017). We discuss some of the threats that shark populations face, when tourism can play a potentially positive role in shark conservation, …
 
Amani and Meghan talk with PhD Candidate, Alex McInturf! Alex studies physiology in basking sharks and salmon at UC Davis, California. With Alex's help, Meghan and Amani review the article, "Are close-following and breaching behaviours by basking sharks at aggregation sites related to courtship?" by Gore et al., (2018). We talk all about their phys…
 
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