Current Research

The Pacific Shark Research Center studies diverse aspects of chondrichthyan biology in the Eastern North Pacific and around the World

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Looking for Lost Sharks: An Exploration of Discovery

When people hear about the word ‘sharks’, they automatically think of white sharks, hammerheads, blue sharks, or whale sharks. These majestic large sharks represent a very small proportion of the sharks present in the world. More than 520+ species of sharks have been discovered and many more are still waiting to be identified. If you add the rays, skates, and chimaeras, around 1400+ species of elasmobranchs have been discovered. Unfortunately, a recent study has suggested that 25% of these species are under threat of extinction. Why? Many species of sharks are heavily fished in regions where fishing regulations are poorly managed. Endemic species that were found in certain areas, decades ago are rare now, if they are seen at all!

#1 pic Caption: The number of new Chondrichthyan species described by half century from 1750 to 1999, and from 2000-2017

PSRC Researchers name 10 newly discovered sharks in 2017!

#2 pic Caption: Kristin Walovich (M.S. 2017) with her recently described Robin’s Ghost Shark Hydrolagus erithacus, from southern Africa

#3 pic Caption:Paul Clerkin (M.S. 2017) with one of the new Ghost Shark species he described from the southwestern Indian Ocean

The PSRC has actively been involved with the IUCN Shark Specialist Group in assessing the conservation status of chondrichthyans through the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

#4 pic Caption: PSRC grad students Amber Reichert and Jessica Jang conferring on a species assessment at the Northeastern Pacific IUCN Shark Specialist Group red list workshop

#5 pic Caption: PSRC Director Dr. David Ebert in Abu Dhabi for the northern Indian Ocean IUCN Shark Specialist Group red list workshop

Biodiversity, Life History, and Conservation of Eastern Pacific Chondrichthyans

An evaluation of mercury offloading in three central California elasmobranchs. Kelley van Hees (2014) Masters of Science  [#6 pic of Kelley]

A taxonomic revision of eastern North Pacific softnose skates (Arhynchobatidae: Bathyraja Ishyama). James Knuckey (2017) Masters of Science [#7 pic of James]

Spatial and habitat associations of eastern North Pacific catsharks Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae). Amber Reichert, thesis project

Changes in the elasmobranch assemblage in Elkhorn Slough, California. Catarina Pien, thesis project

Multiple paternity in Big Skate Beringraja binoculata (Girard, 1855):  post copulatory sexual selection in offspring development.  Jessica Jang, thesis project

Habitat association of San Francisco Bay elasmobranchs. Vicky Vásquez, thesis project


Biodiversity, Life History, and Conservation of Western Indian Ocean Chondrichthyans

Life history aspects and taxonomy of deep-sea Chondrichthyans in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Paul Clerkin (2017) Masters of Science

Taxonomic Revision of the short-nose chimaeras (Genus Hydrolagus)   from the southern African region. Kristin Walovich (2017) Masters of Science

A systematic revision of the genus Apristurus Garman 1913 (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Pentanchidae) from the southwestern Indian Ocean.  Justin Cordova, thesis project [#8 pic of Justin at sea]

What are they doing down there: an investigation of multiple paternity in a deep-sea shark. Melissa Nehmens, thesis project

Spatial and habitat associations of western Indian Ocean Chondrichthyes. Marty Schmidt, thesis project