DYLAN BAKER

From: San Diego, California, USA.

Education/Background: Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley (Spring 2020). Previous research completed had focused on evolutionary physiology, specifically pertaining to life history traits and immune responses.

Reasons for coming: Having been incredibly fortunate enough to grow up in San Diego, just a few blocks from the beach, my life was constantly enveloped by the ocean and I soon fell deeply in love with it. As an avid surfer and spearfisher, I have had an intimate relationship with sharks that most people do not have the opportunity to experience. Yet, most of my fellow surfers/spearos are afraid of sharks and the unknown waters below their floating piece of epoxy. This simple fact/fear has always intrigued me beyond compare; why do such majestic creatures receive such disdainful treatment and bad PR? This initial curiosity was what sparked my passion for sharks and for their conservation.
In the past, I have worked in an evolutionary physiology lab at Berkeley, where I focused on life history traits and immune responses. I was lucky enough to get field experience during my time at the Williams lab, but I am looking forward to gaining even more applicable knowledge through the extensive field work that we will be conducting here!
I had first heard about the Shark Lab from one of my buddies who had initially volunteered with the lab and was later asked to be a manager. After seeing and hearing more about his experience, I decided to do some further research on my own. This led to a multiple hour-long rabbit hole through the invigorating and inspiring papers/projects that the lab has undertaken in the past. After pulling myself back to reality, I realized that I had to do everything in my power to attempt to get down to the BBFS and participate in the critical work being done. So here we are! I am ecstatic about the incredible growth opportunity I have been given by being down here, not only as a scientist, but also as a human being. I look forward to learning and absorbing as much as I can while I am here so that I may share my love and passion for marine life to others and hopefully future generations! 

DYLAN BAKER