NURSE SHARK

Ginglymostoma cirratum

During our marine turtle population studies and reef dives we noticed a number of juvenile nurse sharks inhabiting the nearshore and artificial reefs which led us to want to learn more about their population, movements, and genetic origins focusing on juvenile nurse sharks. Our study will help determine if east-central Florida nurse sharks are local residents or if they originated from other known nurse shark populations. Since some shark species have extended their nursery grounds hundreds of miles northward due to impacts of climate change, we want to determine if a similar trend is occurring with nurse sharks. This information will be used to better understand the effects of human impacts, including climate change, on sharks and aid in making future decisions toward taking care of our coastal areas.