Get Involved in Tracking Sharks

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.

Screen Shot of Shark Net app, Stanford University

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.

Follow Dr. Dolittle on Twitter: @DrDoScienceBlog

Source:

The Scientist

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Its fustrating to see so many sharks killed by sport and commercial fishing...We need to stop killing of so many species like this...Ignorant tour guides off florida coast used to chum waters to draw them in closer to swimming and surfing areas for decades and now they have learned to frequent these areas.... last march we were in moriches inlet on waverunners and were surrounded by harbor seals (shark food) I have never seen any seals here before. The waters are warmer and they come down here now. Sharks will follow migration routes... and we dont need another "jaws" style movie to encourage shark hunting... Shalom jim ainoris

By james ainoris (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

Dr. Barbara Block is doing a great job!
Sharks are becoming rare day by day!
They need focus & Dr. Barbara is working for it!
Keep up the good work!
nifty tips