Meet our team: Lindsay Jennings


1. What is your role in the lab? My main responsibility in the lab is to manage our data. Each time the team goes on the boat for a shark tagging trip, we record important data about the sharks such as body measurements, the sex of the animal, its tag number, even its condition upon release. We also record environmental data including salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and depth. All of this information needs to get collated and put into a master database to use later for our research and lab papers. Other databases which I keep up to date include … Continue reading

Meet Our Team: Dr. Neil Hammerschlag


1. What’s your role in the lab? I am a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Rosenstiel Marine School (RSMAS) and Abess Center as well as Director of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. I oversee all our research, education, and outreach activities.My personal research centers broadly on the behavioral ecology and conservation biology of marine predators. My current and future research has three core themes: (1) understanding how predator-prey interactions impact individual traits, community structure and ecosystem processes through trophic cascades; (2) evaluating the ecological and evolutionary implications of variation in physiological and morphological adaptations on the … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with Citizen Scientists

Looking over our research equipment

by Melissa Soto, RJD Intern It was a beautiful Saturday Miami morning and adrenaline was in the air. Just 24 hours before, seven sharks were tagged and I felt it was going to be an exhilarating day. That morning, the RJD team loaded the boat as they always do and the guests for the trip boarded the ship. The ocean was multiple shades of blue and looked incredibly refreshing and inviting. As we made our way out to deploy the buoys, people were enjoying the ocean all around. The 10 buoys we deployed and the anticipation to tag a shark … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with Duke Alumni 6-20

A Male Great Hammerhead Shark swims off in excellent condition.

by Laurel Zaima, RJD Intern It was a beautiful Saturday to be on the water! As I drove over the Key Biscayne causeway, you could see the sun shining over the city. I knew it was going to be a great day to go shark tagging. After we loaded the boat with our equipment and the guests were all settled in, we were on our way! Duke Alumni were joining the RJD team for the shark tagging expedition, and they were all excited to become citizen scientists by helping us collect data for our shark research. Some of our guests … Continue reading

Shark tagging with Grand Classroom Ohio

A hammerhead shark swims off after workup

by Alison Enchelmaier, RJD student On Thursday morning I drove to Crandon Marina, wide awake thanks to the full travel mug of coffee in the cup holder. No matter how many times I’ve been on the boat I’m excited, as every trip is a new and thrilling experience. That morning the whole team seemed to be full of energy as we loaded our gear on to the boat, excited for the trip ahead. At 9 am we were joined by our guests, a group of Grand Classroom students from Ohio. As we headed out to our tagging location we talked … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with Aventura City of Excellence School

This upside-down view of a Nurse shark's mouth reveals adaptations for hunting crustaceans, a preferred prey group. The barbels near the nostrils are sensory organs and the small but powerful mouth is filled with tiny teeth, all designed to pulverize the hard shells of crabs and lobsters.

by Emily Rose Nelson, RJD student After collecting gear from RSMAS I met up with the rest of the team at the dock of divers paradise. We had a great crew on board and everyone was excited to get out there. Our guests for the day, students from the Aventura City of Excellence School, made their way on board and immediately I could feel their excitement. There definitely was something in the air telling me it was going to be a great day on the water. We were fishing at a sight our team has nicknamed “Sandbar Palace.” It is … Continue reading