A huge crowd was on hand for Rookery Bay’s second Lunch & Learn lecture of the season – Shark Research Beyond Our Boundaries. Shark Researcher Pat O’Donnell dug deep into his 20 years of research tagging and examining juvenile sharks for an information-filled presentation.
Pat discussed water salinity changes in the bays of the Ten Thousand Islands and how it impacts shark populations. Although bull sharks are most tolerant of water changes and most prevalent year-round in the Reserve, Pat also sees bonnet head sharks, nurse sharks, lemon sharks and an occasional hammerhead shark. He made special note of the increases in the rare and endangered sawfish in recent years.
As co-presenter, Florida International University and Rookery Bay Intern Kristine Zikmanis shared her experiences working with juvenile sharks alongside Pat and her future research involving the biology of juvenile sharks, mercury levels and their food sources.
The Next Generation of Rookery Bay Scientists Lunch & Learn series continues January 10, 2020 with our third presentation – The Sea Turtle Program: Connecting Science, Stewardship and Education. Join Rookery Bay’s Jill Schmid and Sarah Norris for what’s sure to be exciting and fact-filled lunch about the amazing work of our sea turtle nesting team.
Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve stretches across 110,000 acres of pristine mangrove forest, uplands and protected waters. We are committed to preservation through research, education, and land protection.