As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I have been accepted into a Ph.D. program at the University of Miami and will be starting there in the fall. In the immortal words of the great philosopher LeBron James, I’ll be taking my talents to South Beach.
The specific program I’ve joined is the new Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. I will be working in the lab of Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, Director of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program.
Modern shark researchers have access to a variety of high-tech tools. Acoustic tags with noises specific to each individual shark signal a receiver (or network of receivers) every time the shark passes nearby. Some tags have three-dimensional accelerometers, allowing researchers to study the small scale movement patterns and behaviors of sharks. Others, which are placed in the stomach, measure pH before, during, and after digestion. The most advanced technology on the market, however, is undoubtedly the satellite tag.
Image from SurfThereNow.com