Shark and Ray Biology
I currently teach a summer field course titled Shark and Ray Biology, which I look forward to all year. This is field intensive course taught through the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and provides an introduction to the biology of sharks and rays, with special emphasis on regional shark fauna and field techniques. Topics covered include chondrichthyan origin, systematics, sensory biology, trophic ecology, reproductive biology, life history, ecology, fisheries and conservation. Lectures are supplemented with discussions of papers from the primary literature to familiarize students with current research. In addition, longline, trawl and gillnet sampling provides students with firsthand knowledge of field techniques and local shark identification.