Dr. Barbara Block from Stanford University, a well-known comparative physiologist and member of The American Physiological Society, has been in the news recently for her work tracking sharks. She has spent her career studying the physiology and migratory habits of ocean wildlife. In a prior blog, I talked about her work tracking bluefin tuna and posted an audio clip of an interview with her talking about how she measures their body temperature, heart rate, etc, using sophisticated tracking devices.
Now you can become part of her exciting ongoing research on shark behaviors through Shark Net, a new iPhone/iPad app. User’s of the program are able follow the tagged sharks as they swim about the ocean through a network of underwater acoustic receivers (some fixed, others mobile) that pick up signals in real time from tracking devices.
The Shark Net app currently tracks 15 sharks including photos, histories and bios. Researchers involved in the project are expecting the number of sightings and data to pick up in October as the sharks begin to gather off the California Coast to hunt the many seals and other prey that collect there from the changing currents. To see images of Dr. Block and her team setting up some of the receivers, click here.
This research is so exciting that I am in the process of loading this app into my iPad now…
To read a recent paper published in Nature by Dr. Block on her work tracking sharks from 2000-2009, click here.
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