Ideas for Sea Change: Innovation for Shark Conservation
Sharks represent much of what draws us to the oceans, inspiring curiosity, respect, & calls for conservation. Yet, their populations remain in decline. Join experts from University of Miami Shark Research & Conservation, Beneath the Waves, & Juice Robotics as we explore innovations for gathering data to save these apex predators.
Shark and ray populations around the world have declined over 70% over the past 50 years — and scientists say humans are to blame. If nothing changes, overfishing could soon wipe them out completely. A study, published last month in the journal Nature, also determined that three-quarters of the species are now threatened with extinction, with true population collapse likely to be even worse than their findings.
With such an urgent push for conservation, there is an even more critical need to develop innovative technologies to gather the data needed to drive policy and better our understanding of sharks. Whether from academia, a non-profit, or a tech startup, these innovations can truly make a difference in changing the trajectory of human driven impact on these majestic animals.
About our panel:
Dr. Neil Hammerschlag
Research Associate Professor
Director of the Shark Research and Conservation Program
Dr. Neil Hammerschlag is a marine ecologist and Research Associate Professor at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy. His current research centers broadly on the behavioral ecology, conservation biology and movement ecology of marine predators, primarily focused on sharks.
Dr. Hammerschlag is also Director of the Shark Research & Conservation Program (SRC) at the University of Miami. SRC conducts cutting-edge shark research while also inspiring scientific literacy and environmental ethic in youth through unique hands-on field research experiences. Every year, SRC brings out thousands of people from the public, mostly school-children, on research vessels to survey, sample, tag and study sharks.
Christine De Silva
Co-Founder and Business Advisor, Juice Robotics
Research Associate, Beneath The Waves
Christine de Silva is a marine scientist focused on predator-prey ecology and science communication. She has spent the majority of her recent years studying how the various shark species of the Northwest Atlantic influence local food webs. She helped launch Beneath the Waves work in the Atlantic Ocean, and served as the Manager of Field Operations from 2017-2018. In this role, she helped develop a core field research program, forged relationships with local communities, mentored graduate students and led classes for high school students. She is also a semi-professional photographer and was featured in the 2020 Shark Week episode Tiger Shark Abyss. Christine believes science is meant for the public and brings her business expertise, art, and passion for the ocean together to spread science to a wider audience.
She combines her passion for the ocean with her experience working at tech startups to bring a blend of excitement and business acumen to Juice Robotics. In her current position at Tidelift, Christine is learning the ins and outs of running a startup, especially from a sales and marketing perspective, and brings that experience to Juice Robotics. Her passion for the deep sea and ocean education shines through on episodes of Shark Week and she is able to continue to use that platform to further the Juice Robotics name.
Founder & CEO, Seaworthy Collective
Daniel Kleinman is Seaworthy Collective's Founder and CEO, and a marine roboticist. Daniel received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, focusing on ocean technology while following a passion for exploring and understanding the oceans. As an undergraduate, Daniel interned with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and became a University Innovation Fellow. After graduating in 2015, Daniel spent two years as a Pilot and Test Engineer for Bluefin Robotics' unmanned underwater vehicles in Boston. Daniel spent the following three years in San Diego as a Navy Contractor contributing to mechanical engineering research and development for maritime systems. Daniel recently started his Master's in Exploration Science at The University of Miami RSMAS and was recognized as a Miami Global Shaper. Daniel launched Seaworthy Collective in the fall of 2020, channeling his passion, network, and industry knowledge to empower a community of current and aspiring ocean innovators and entrepreneurs.