Current Research Project – Bull Shark Sociality
Building the Bull Shark Family Tree
Our resident scientist Natasha D. Marosi is exploring kinship in the visiting population of Bull Sharks as part of her PhD research with the University of Exeter.
Tissue samples are obtained by speargun extraction using a custom biopsy probe. All work is done underwater using the most minimally invasive techniques to avoid unnecessary trauma to the sharks.
DNA analysis is conducted in an offshore Laboratory to determine kinship: maternity, paternity full and half-sibling pairs and will be the subject of a forthcoming scientific publication.
Genetic and Taxonomic Description of Fiji's Maskray
Spearheaded by Dr. Kerstin Glaus of the University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva. Fiji.
In Fiji the maskray is the most frequently landed ray in the country’s small scale fishery (Glaus, K., 2023). As with other stingrays, it is also likely to be vulnerable to habitat degradation (Jabado et. al 2018), but information on the species’ ecology, life history and genetic population structure are lacking.
Its distribution remains unresolved due to taxonomic uncertainty (Dulvy, 2021). Indeed, the maskray in Fiji is genetically separate from other species of maskrays in the region, likely depicting a cryptic species or even one previously unknown to science. To confirm the in-country identification, additional research is needed, including further corroborating genetic evidence, clear assessments of morphological and morphometric characteristics, as well as the acquisition of intact specimens. Therefore, assessing ray fauna in the South Pacific Islands is vital for understanding marine biodiversity
Support Sharks and Rays in Fiji
It is easy to support our mission from anywhere in the world.
The Fiji Biological Field Station has registered for Charitable Trust designation making your donation tax deductible.