Sharks! Global Biodiversity, Biology, and Conservation:
Did you know that you can track some sharks’ movements on Twitter? Or that the scales on their skin have influenced the way humans design boats, planes, and even swimsuits? Or that sharks have more senses than humans?
In this biology course, you will learn how scientists study sharks. You will join researchers on location in labs, aquariums, and oceans across the globe to learn about the biodiversity, biology, and conservation of sharks, rays, and chimaeras.
In this activity‑rich course, you’ll track movements of a wild shark, observe shark habitats and behavior, and dig into the fossil record. You will also examine topics in the functional anatomy, sensory biology, reproduction, behavior, and ecology of many of the 1,200 living species.
This is an exciting time to be a shark biologist. An explosion of new research methods and technologies are leading to a surprising world of discovery. We’ll introduce new, as well as traditional techniques, for classifying sharks, understanding behavior, and unraveling the mysteries of shark evolution. We will explore global shark populations to consider shark-human interactions and their impacts on history and culture.
You’ll be rewarded by your ability to see virtually any animal with new eyes. Practice thinking like a biologist while honing critical skills that can lead to broader observations about the ongoing history of life on Earth.
- Habitats and distributions of sharks from around the world.
- Evolutionary history and relationships of sharks and allies.
- Functional anatomy of swimming, breathing, and eating.
- Sensory biology, reproduction, and behavior.
- Ecological roles of sharks.
- History and culture of shark-human interactions.
- Impacts of human behavior on shark populations.
- How biology informs conservation efforts.
Joshua Moyer specializes in the biology of elasmobranch fishes (sharks, skates, and rays). After completing his Bachelors of Science with Departmental Honors in Biology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Joshua earned his Masters of Science from Cornell University, where he studied the comparative anatomy of the jaws and teeth of White Sharks and their relatives. Joshua is currently a doctoral candidate in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is studying anatomy and function of shark feeding.
Joshua has co-authored papers on shark dentitions and teaches college courses in marine biology, evolution, and vertebrate anatomy. A member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) and the American Elasmobranch Society (AES), Joshua enjoys visiting shark localities wherever they may be and working with the many people who share his love of these fascinating fishes.
Ian was Director of the Centre for Marine Science at the University of Queensland, Australia (2013-2018). He is now Director of International Programs for the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland, and a founding Director on the Board of The Moreton Bay Foundation and Chair of its Research Advisory Committee. He also Chairs the Expert Scientific Panel for the Queensland Government’s fisheries reform strategy.
He received his BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology from the University of Wales (1982) and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Queensland (1992). He teaches ichthyology and marine biology and has published on a substantial size range fishes from gobies to tiger sharks. He has spent considerable marine field research and teaching time at the University of Queensland’s research stations on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) and Heron Island. He has received the University of Queensland’s award for excellence in teaching.
Ethan is a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. He received his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University (2016), where he worked at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and received his M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell (2019). Ethan’s research interests include vertebrate paleontology, systematics and evolution, with a particular focus on sarcopterygian fishes. He is currently preparing a dissertation on the diversity of fossil coelacanths while enjoying his work as a TA.