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Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami
Director of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program
Dedicated to advancing marine conservation through research, education and outreach

Views my Own

New Study Showed Spawning Frequency Regulates Species Population Networks on Coral Reefs

New research on tropical coral reef ecosystems showed that releasing larvae more often is beneficial for a species’ network. The study on reproductive strategies is critical to assess the conservation of coral reef ecosystems worldwide. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science used a computer model developed by…

Study of ‘Senior Citizen’ Marine Snails Uncovered How Nerve Cells Fail During Learning

A new research study on marine snails uncovered the first cells in the nervous system to fail during aging. The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science researchers’ findings are important to better understanding the underlying mechanisms of age-related memory loss in humans. Scientists performed tail reflex experiments on the hatchery-reared…

Tiger Shark Sinks its Teeth into Scientific Study

What’s happening in this video? In this video, a tiger shark investigates and eventually bites an underwater hydrophone that our team set up in the Bahamas to study tiger shark movements. This is part of a larger collaborative research project underway on the behavior and ecology of tiger sharks in the subtropical Atlantic Ocean. How…

New Tool To Monitor Harmful Bacteria at Beaches

An international team, led by researchers has developed a new, timelier method to identify harmful bacteria levels on recreational beaches. The new model provides beach managers with a better prediction tool to identify when closures are required to protect beachgoers from harmful contaminates in the water. “The development of this new model has allowed us,…

Threatened Corals Swap “Algae” Partners to Survive Warming Oceans

A new research study showed why threatened Caribbean star corals sometimes swap partners to help them recover from bleaching events. The findings are important to understand the fate of coral reefs as ocean waters warm due to climate change. The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science research team placed colonies…

Oil spill impacts the developing hearts of fish

There is increasing concern as to the potential impacts of oil spills on the health of fish. A little over five years ago, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico released more than 636 million liters of crude oil. The oiled covered spawning areas for many commercially and ecologically important fishes. Accordingly,…

Mako Shark Madness

In honor of Shark Week, for the next few days I am going to be posting some cool facts and photos of the sharks I have had the pleasure of swimming with. Check out the Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), one of the fastest fish in the ocean.   Shortfin Mako facts at a glance…

Shark Tagging & Tracking: Separating Fact from Fiction

For several years now, I have been using electronic tagging to study the movements and behaviors of sharks. You can find out more about this research HERE and watch a video HERE.   I previously wrote about the state of electronic tagging and tracking marine animals. However, recently there have been a lot of myths,…

Electronic Tagging and Tracking Marine Animals Supports Conservation

Understanding and predicting animal movement is important as it is central to establishing effective management and conservation strategies [1]. Until relatively recently, studying the movements and behaviors of highly migratory marine species (turtles, sharks, whales, penguins, seals and billfish) have been challenging due to the logistical and technological constraints of working in aquatic environments. However,…

Shark Declines: Fuel for a Decade of Conservation Effort

Shark Declines: Fuel for a Decade of Conservation Effort by Austin J. Gallagher & Neil Hammerschlag     Scientists have been studying the population status of sharks for years and while the vulnerability, threatened status and biological importance of sharks has long-been well-recognized and documented by the research community (1), ten years ago, shark conservation…

The Ocean’s Unsung Heroes – Hooray for the Little Guys & Just Keep Swimming!

When most people think about ocean creatures, they picture large charismatic species like whales, penguins, polar bears, sharks and turtles. These magnificent animals are the “celebrities” of the oceans and tend to received significant public and scientific attention. In fact, they are even play starring roles in Hollywood movies, such as Happy Feet, Dolphin Tale,…

The Drop Cam Project – Day 2 – Stranded

The Drop Cam Project – An Exploration Science Initiative (DAY 2 ) This marks the second day of the drop cam project – a collaboration between University of Miami and National Geographic For those of you now familiar with the project. Check out: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/30/the-drop-cam-project-an-exploration-science-initiative/ Day 2 of the project did not go as planned. Our…

The Drop Cam Project – An Exploration Science Initiative

The Drop Cam Project – An Exploration Science Initiative (DAY 1 ) The University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, has created a new “Exploration Science™” Program.   The Drop Cam Project is among the first…

Hammerhead Shark Photos From “Exhilarating” Dive

I just returned from an incredible trip scuba diving with great hammerhead sharks. This was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. While underwater I was amazed by these awesome predators. I was able to capture a series of photos (both during day and night) of these mysterious creatures.   As you look…

A Key tool for Saving our Oceans

Over the past 20 years, scientists have been assembling compelling data that show the world’s oceans are in deep trouble. Once-abundant species are disappearing, habitats are being destroyed, and fisheries are collapsing across the globe (Jackson et al. 2001, Lotze et al. 2006). For example, studies estimate that biomass of tunas and billfish have decreased…