Neil Hammerschlag, Ph.D., director of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami was awarded funding by the The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) for his research on the decline of apex predators of the world’s oceans. It is hoped that Hammerschlag’s research, “Assessing the Cascading Ecosystem Impacts of Marine Apex Predator Declines” will showcase how the effects of the decline that these top of the food chain predators, such as sharks, tunas, and billfish, will impact the health of the oceans and seas in which they swim. The funding will help Hammerschlag, who has worked with GHOF previously on several shark research projects, to conduct field and laboratory studies and surveys, stable isotope analysis, genetic studies and blood hormone analysis of these animals.
“The ocean’s top predators are under unprecedented pressure from unsustainable fishing practices and changes in the ocean chemistry,” said marine artist and biologist Dr. Guy Harvey in a prepared statement. “Dr. Hammerschlag’s research will give us great insight into how their removal will impact the entire marine ecosystem.”
Hammerschlag project’s will further previous research funded by the GHOF in an effort to promote the conservation of these important fish species. For more information, visit www.rjd.miami.edu.