Project Leader

Ana Barbosa Martins

Ana Barbosa Martins

Who I am

Born and raised in São Luís in north-eastern Brazil, I developed a fascination for sharks and rays at an early age while playing on beaches along the Brazilian coast. I completed a BSc in biological sciences and an MSc in biodiversity and conservation at the Universidade Federal do Maranhão, studying the supply chain and conservation status of sharks based on traditional fisher knowledge. Next, I pursued a PhD at James Cook University, Australia, where I integrated biotelemetry approaches and stable isotope analysis to refine the ecological roles of juvenile stingrays in coral reef ecosystems. I am now a postdoctoral researcher at Dalhousie University and the iFisheries lab working on a multi-year project that aims to unravel the global shark meat trade. Currently, I am focusing on areas of spatial and trophic ecology, human dimensions of fisheries resources, and sustainability and conservation of sharks and rays, especially in developing nations that have multi-faceted socio-economic and cultural structures.

Where I work

I am currently based at Dalhousie University, Canada. From here, I coordinate sample collection and data analysis through a network of associates located around the globe. This network is already established as part of the Global Shark Meat Project, in which these associates collect shark and ray meat samples in market settings from seven countries (Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Uruguay). Collaborators in another 40 or so countries also contribute with opportunistic sampling. This global approach is important to help us identify potential differences in the nutrient content of shark and ray meat in different regions of the world.

What I do

My daily routine involves coordinating sample collection and data analysis with associates. Meanwhile, our highly experienced colleagues at the University of Lancaster evaluate the concentration of seven essential nutrients to human health (calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids and protein) in each sample and send us back the results. With all information in hand, we proceed to work on Bayesian hierarchical models that help us estimate how environmental and ecological traits predict the nutrient content of shark and ray species around the globe, as well as better understand the role of sharks and rays in global nutritional and economic security.

My project

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