Christine works with samples from sharks all over the world. Using genetic techniques she can answer questions about the health of specific shark populations, and establish relationships between shark litters and their parents.
My fascination with biology started when I was a young girl. My father, a nuclear physicist, was gardening one spring day and struck and killed a mole. Not wanting to waste an educational opportunity, he brought the mole into the garage and dissected it for my younger brother and me. I was immediately curious about how all the organs worked and wanted to know more. My first ‘scientific’ studies started a few years later when I began colour-breeding experiments with mice. We lived in Minnesota, USA, far from any oceans, so my parents did not have to put up with...
To really understand how vulnerable sharks are to fishing in localised areas, we need to know the genetic variation across large areas. Dominic is investigating this in blacktip sharks, one of the dominant shark species caught in US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico fisheries, to understand population connectivity across the Caribbean Sea and between these regions.
Silky sharks are second most harvested shark species on the planet and one of the most abundant in the shark finning industry. Their numbers have plummeted in the past 20 years. Derek is using an atlas of genomic diversity to work out which areas of the ocean are fished and to understand the origins of silky shark fins in the Hong Kong market, the centre of the shark-finning industry.
Sawsharks are some of the most threatened species in our seas; protecting them requires good information on where they move and what their populations look like. Jane and Paddy are using a variety of methods to improve our understanding of the conservation status and management of sawsharks threatened by fishing in south-eastern Australia.