Dr Dean Grubbs

Associate Research Faculty
Associate Director of Research
Florida State University | Coastal and Marine Laboratory

My primary research interests are in ichthyology and marine ecology with emphasis on the biology of exploited estuarine and marine fishes. Much of my research addresses specific questions or fills specific biological gaps necessary for management of fisheries resources, especially elasmobranch fishes. As a primary tool, I use fishery-independent survey methods to study population dynamics, life histories, and distribution patterns of fishes. I also use conventional mark-recapture studies and modern telemetry techniques to acquire data on movement patterns, habitat use, residency and philopatry. A principal goal of this line of research is to delineate essential and vulnerable habitats, especially in estuaries and nearshore marine environments. For example, my work in Virginia led to the federal designation of a Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) for juvenile sandbar sharks in the lower Chesapeake Bay, a highly vulnerable area that serves as a primary and secondary nursery for this large coastal species. While my work in these areas has primarily involved coastal sharks, I have been involved in projects that included diverse taxa such as estuarine teleosts and terrestrial reptiles.

I also have immense interest in the biology of pelagic and deepwater fishes. Areas of research have included the behavioral and trophic ecology of tropical tunas, the relationship between intermediate seamounts and pelagic predators, the impact of industrial-scale fisheries on the trophic dynamics of pelagic ecosystems, and the role of mesopelagic communities in oceanic ecosystems. My deepwater research is in its infancy but includes studies of life histories, reproductive biology, and movement patterns of elasmobranchs associated with island and continental slopes. I currently have projects in the central Pacific, western Atlantic, and Caribbean investigating various aspects of the biology of bluntnose sixgill sharks (Hexanchus griseus), bigeye sixgill sharks (H. nakamurai), deepwater stingrays (Plesiobatis daviesi), and short-spined spurdogs (Squalus mitsukurii).


Dr Geremy Cliff

Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board

Geremy is the Division Head at the Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board in South Africa. He has overseen the running of the research department for the past 30 years. He supervises the dissection of all sharks and is also responsible for investigating shark attack and maintaining the South African Shark Attack File.


Dr Leonard J. V. Compagno

Leonard is an international authority on shark taxonomy and the author of many scientific papers and books on the subject, best known of which is his 1984 catalogue of shark species produced for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Compagno was mentioned in the credits of the 1975 film Jaws along with the National Geographic Society. Leonard was the curator of fishes in the Natural History Department of the Iziko South African Museum and heads the Shark Research Centre (SRC) in South Africa.


Sonja Fordham

Shark Advocates International

Sonja is the founder and president of Shark Advocates International. She has been a leader in the field of shark conservation for nearly two decades. She directed shark conservation projects at the Washington, DC based Ocean Conservancy from 1991-2009. In mid-2006, she began a three and a half year assignment in Brussels as policy director for the Shark Alliance. Her work has focused on publicizing the plight of sharks and advocating science-based policies on their behalf before fishery management and wildlife conservation bodies.

Ms. Fordham serves as Deputy Chair for the Shark Specialist Group of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and and Chair of the Conservation Committee for the American Elasmobranch Society, the world’s foremost association of shark scientists. She has co-authored numerous publications on shark fisheries management and has been appointed to several advisory panels.


Dr Robert Hueter

Associate Vice President for Research
Senior Scientist
Director of the Centre for Shark Research
Perry W. Gilbert Chair in Shark Research
Mote Marine Laboratory

Dr. Robert E. Hueter is Associate Vice President for Research at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida and he is a Senior Scientist and Director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1991 as a national research center, the Mote CSR conducts research on diverse aspects of shark biology ranging from biomedical applications to shark ecology, fisheries and conservation. Dr. Hueter has studied sharks for more than 40 years, has published more than 150 scientific articles and reports on sharks, and has edited four volumes on shark biology. His current research includes field and laboratory studies of shark abundance, behavior, ecology and fisheries primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, including in Mexico and Cuba. In 2001, Dr. Hueter was awarded Mote s Perry W. Gilbert Chair in Shark Research. He is Past-President of the American Elasmobranch Society, is on the Graduate Faculty of Florida Atlantic University and holds a Courtesy Professor appointment at the University of South Florida. He also serves on the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and has testified before the U.S. Congress on issues relating to shark fisheries management and conservation. In addition to his research activities, Dr. Hueter has led educational efforts to promote better public understanding of sharks as a marine resource, through numerous interviews in national publications and hundreds of radio and television appearances. He has been a leader in science-based conservation of sharks since 1988, and today is an internationally recognized proponent of sustainable shark fishing practices in commercial and recreational fisheries. Much of his current work involves marine science policy as a diplomatic bridge between nations for the betterment of shared environments and human populations.


Dr Eugénie Clark

1922 - 2015
Founding Director
Mote Marine Laboratory

Dr. Eugenie Clark — nicknamed “The Shark Lady” — was a world authority on sharks and fish who built Mote Marine Laboratory in 1955. The Lab, then called the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, was created and supported by the Vanderbilt family as a place to study the oceans and share that information with the world.

Genie’s one-woman operation eventually grew into a full-fledged research laboratory with twenty-five diverse research programs, a formal education division and the public Mote Aquarium.  She was a research assistant at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the New York Zoological Society, and at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.Dr. Clark was the recipient of three honorary D.Sc. degrees and awards from the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, the Underwater Society of America, the American Littoral Society, the Gold Medal Award of the Society of Women Geographers, and the President’s Medal of the University of Maryland. She has authored three books and over 160 scientific and popular articles.She conducted 72 deep submersible dives. Her last research projects concerned the behavior of tropical sand fishes and deep sea sharks. These studies have been featured in 12 articles she has written for National Geographic magazine.For more information, please read this article in memory of her life.


Dr Art Myrberg

Professor of Marine Science
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences | University of Miami

Arthur A. Myrberg, Jr. passed away in April, 2005, and will be remembered by many as a pioneer in the fields of fish bioacoustics and behavior. His distinguished career spanned more than 40 years, and saw him become a world‐recognized expert in these fields, publishing more than 90 peer‐reviewed articles, some of which are considered seminal. During more than 35 years as a professor of Marine Science at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami, he was a well‐respected and admired scientist, teacher, lecturer, mentor, and advisor to 24 graduate students. This presentation will trace Art’s life from his days as a youth in Lulenecks, Illinois, through his college career and his work with Nobel laureate Konrad Lorenz at the Max Planck Institute, Seiweisen, Germany, culminating in his long career at the University of Miami.


Dr Jack Musick

Professor of Marine Science, Emeritus
Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)


Dr Peter Klimley

Director and Adjunct Associate Professor
Biotelemetry Laboratory | University of California

Dr. Klimley oversees research conducted in the Biotelemetry Laboratory at UC Davis. He has been involved in the development of many facets of animal tracking system from the origination of algorithms for inferring geographical position based on irradiance and magnetic field measurements to the creation of stand-alone receivers that detect the identity of species passing by carrying coded acoustic beacons. Under his guidance, undergraduates, graduate students, and staff utilize sophisticated electronic tagging equipment to study the physiology, behavior, and ecology of aquatic and terrestrial species. Members of the Biotelemetry Laboratory have conducted studies ranging from (1) use of two dimensional VRAP and VPS arrays to study reproduction in abalones and white shark predation, (2) utilizing emg transmitters to record tails beats of trout to record their energetic output during pulsed flow for electrical energy generation and 3-axis acceleration sensors to monitor anti-predator behavior in ant eaters, and (3) satellite transmitters to record optimal foraging by brown bears and pop-up release satellite transmitters that recorded the diving behavior of hammerhead sharks. Much of the work is conservation oriented in the Biotelemetry Laboratory.


Dr José Castro

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Marine Fisheries Service