Staff

Dr. Samuel H Gruber 'Doc'

Dr. Samuel H Gruber 'Doc'

Founder

Dr. Gruber is a recognized authority of shark behavior -both as to field studies and in regard to visually guided behavior, and physiology. He is a longtime member of numerous professional societies and founded the American Elasmobranch Society in 1983. He founded the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group and was its Chairperson between 1991 and 1996.

If you'd like to read more in-depth on Doc's biography, please on the following link: http://www.biminisharklab.com/about/drgruber.

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Dr. Kristene Parsons

Dr. Kristene Parsons

Lab Director and Senior Scientist

At Lab Since: February 2018

From: Bowling Green, Ohio

Education/Work Experience:

PhD Marine Science (2017) Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary

Dissertation: Age, growth & reproduction of western North Atlantic butterfly rays (Myliobatiformes: Gymnuridae), with the description of two new species

MRes Applied Fish Biology (2004) University of Plymouth, UK

Thesis: Trace metal accumulation and distribution in juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris), their prey, and sediments at Bimini, Bahamas

BSc Biology (2001) Bowling Green State University


I first came to the lab in February 2002 as a volunteer, and continued to participate in various Sharklab research efforts over the years, including the annual census of juvenile lemon sharks in the Marquesas Keys and surveying the adult lemon shark population off Jupiter, FL. After completing my Masters degree, I became the resident Co-Director of the Hofstra University Marine Laboratory in Jamaica, and then contributed to the academic and field science programs at the School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource Studies in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In 2017 I earned my PhD at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, where my research focused on the life history and taxonomy of butterfly rays in the western Atlantic. I am honoured to return to the Sharklab to continue the long tradition of elasmobranch research, education, and outreach that the unique habitats of Bimini have provided over the past 28 years!

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Felicie Dhellemmes

Felicie Dhellemmes

Principal Investigator

At Lab Since: January 2015

From: Lille, France

Educational/Work Background:

PhD Student, Humboldt University, Germany

Masters degree in General Biology, Animal Behaviour and Marine Sciences, (Institut Supérieur d Agriculture de Lille, France & Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico)

2011: Study of the Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) population based in the Los Angeles Bay (Baja California, Mexico)

2012: Study of the crossed contamination with Vibrio harveyi in an abalone (Haliotis tuberculata) farm (SCEA France Haliotis, France)

2013: Exploring personality and a simple learning process in the juvenile lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris (Bimini Biological Field Station, Bahamas). Investigating the effect of habituation on the expression of the exploration personality trait in a semi-captive environment.

2015: Principle investigator at the Lab, Ecological consequences of behaviour types in sharks. This study investigates juvenile lemon sharks behaviour types (personality types) in semi-captivity and in the wild. The goal is to better understand the role of personality in sharks ecology and life history traits and therefore correlate captive behaviours with natural behaviours.

Research Interests: Animal behaviour, animal cognition, personality, social networks

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Charlotte Bond

Charlotte Bond

Executive Assistant

At Lab Since: June 2017

From: Noblesville, IN (USA)

Educational Background: I earned my BS in Marine Wildlife and Photojournalism from Coastal Carolina University in 2015.

Research Interest: Elasmobranch conservation with a strong passion for underwater photography.

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Angela Warrior

Angela Warrior

Station Manager

At lab since: Volunteered in 2014 for 6 months
come back as lab manager June 2018

From: Leeds UK

Educational background: Undergrad in Zoology,
Masters in Marine Environmental Management and Conservation with a focus on shark fisheries, University of York

Research interest: Marine conservation, education and outreach, sharks, sharks and more sharks!

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Griffin Garner

Griffin Garner

Assistant Lab Manager

From: Greens Farms, Connecticut

Education/Background: Undergraduate at Santa Clara University in California majoring in Environmental Studies and Spanish.

Reasons for coming:

I have always had a passion for sharks and other marine megafauna. I wanted to volunteer at the shark lab to gain invaluable research and field experience at one of the world's top shark research stations. I also want to improve my water skills such as free diving, fishing, and scuba diving.

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Sophie Hart

Sophie Hart

Media Manager

At lab since: June 2018

From: Cambridge, England

Education/Background: I graduated with a BA(Hons) in Marine & Natural History Photography from Falmouth University in Cornwall, England.

Reasons for coming:
I have loved the oceans for as long as I can remember, and I came to the lab to learn and gain experience in a place where I am surrounded by passionate, like-minded people. I hope that through my work I can inspire people to protect the beautiful sharks that are so important to our oceans.

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Matthew

Matthew

Project Student

Matthew is our most recently adopted pitbull. He was rescued in Freeport after hurricane Matthew. We could not resist adopting him and he has now been living a happy life with us at the lab! Matthew is PI Matt's PhD Project Student, assisting him in data collection, paper writing, and daily tasks around the lab!
Matthew's catch phrase: Tag A TIger!

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Marie Gruber

Marie Gruber

Lab Mother from Miami

I'm a former fashion designer married to "Doc". Doc says they tie boats to him, so I guess I'm a boat! I help run the Shark Lab by cooking for special events and classes or whenever I go to the Shark Lab. I help organize all the volunteers and keep the files back in the Miami office. I came to Florida back in the '60s from Los Angeles, California on a designing job and met the "Doc". The passion he has for sharks kind of rubbed off on me (not to swim with them or kiss them) but to help him with his work and studies. We raised our own "Mini-Shark Docs", 2 daughters. They both love Bimini and the Shark Lab. They were both instrumental in building and training the early staff. Although they return frequently, they are off on their own careers.

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Matthew Smukall

Matthew Smukall

Principal Investigator

At Lab Since: July 2015

From - Orlando, Florida / Kenai, Alaska

Education/Work Experience - PhD student, University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

BSc University of Florida, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Masters University of Florida, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

2009 - Florida Keys, caribbean spiny lobster research project, University of Florida
2009 to 2015 - Fisheries Technician/ Biologist, Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association, Kenai Alaska. Studying salmon populations in Southcentral Alaska, movement patterns of invasive northern pike, and the impact of pike on native salmonids.

First came to the lab in January 2012 and volunteered over 3 winters during leave from work

Research Interests - Movement patterns of sharks. In particular the residency time, dispersal patterns, and philopatry of tiger sharks around Bimini. I am also interested in the use of longlines to assess shark populations and how sharks are interacting with the longlines.

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Maurits van Zinnicq Bergmann

Maurits van Zinnicq Bergmann

Principal Investigator

At lab since: June 2015

From: Vught, the Netherlands

Educational background/Work experience:
2015 - Principal Investigator, Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation; title: Movement networks and habitat preferences of a multi-species elasmobranch assemblage in Bimini, Bahamas. Florida International University, USA.
2011-2013 Master of Science in Marine Biology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Masters Research Projects:

University of Groningen, in cooperation with the Bimini Biological Field Station foundation; title: Testing the acoustic detection range of submersible ultrasonic receivers in relation to environmental factors at two shallow-water environments in Bimini, Bahamas
University of Groningen; Elucidating the relationship between the spatio-temporal distribution of close relatives and dispersal rate
University of Groningen; Is a sexy life also a shorter life? Manipulation of reproductive effort using nest manipulation and female stimulation in the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus


Research interests: movement and behavioural ecology of free-roaming organisms, movement and co-occurence networks, drivers of movement

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James Whicheloe

James Whicheloe

Maintenance Manager

At lab since: Volunteer/Intern January-July 2015;
Assistant Lab Manager June 2016 - July 2017
Lab Manager April 2018 - Present
From: Kings Hill, Kent (UK)

Educational Background:
BSc Marine Geography, Cardiff University (UK)

Research Interest: UAV Drone Survey population assessments, Dietary Analysis and feeding patterns of sharks, hydrographic and bathymetric surveys.

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Raquel Braun

Raquel Braun

Assistan Lab Manager

From: Miami, FL (USA)

Education/background: I am currently attending undergrad at Boston College as an environmental studies major with a concentration in food and water sustainability. At school I am a research assistant in one of the earth science department clean labs studying past climate and I spend my free time working for the outdoor adventures program taking other students hiking, camping, paddle boarding, and climbing.

Reasons for coming: I am here in Bimini at the lab because I wanted to gain invaluable field experience while also enjoying this beautiful island.

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Collin Davis

Collin Davis

Outreach Co-ordinator

At lab since: Volunteer/Intern January-June 2017; Outreach Coordinator October 2017

From: Chester, VA (USA)

Educational Background:
BA in the Biological Sciences with a focus is Marine Conservation and Ecology from Christopher Newport University (USA)

Research Interest: Conservation strategy and implementation, Marine Ecology, Levitation

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Sasha

Sasha

Sasha has been with us since late 2014. A Pitbull at heart, she has a lot of love and licks to give around. Sturdy and surprisingly speedy in the sand, Sasha is proving a well-suited play buddy to rough-house outdoors with her canine compatriots at the lab.

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