We first announced our partnership with the Shark Research & Conservation Program (SRC) at The University of Miami on Earth Day 2018. What began as an unlikely friendship between coffee enthusiasts and shark researchers, scientists, and students has solidified into a partnership that helps advance our collective understanding of shark behavior and an ocean environment in flux.
Twenty eight research papers published and four Shark Week specials later, we’re proud to announce the renewal of our financial commitments to the Shark Research & Conservation Program for the third year. Thanks to the support of our community and loyal customers, SRC is able to continue scaling outreach, education, and research around the globe aligning with our own efforts to preserve natural ecosystems.
Directed by Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, SRC’s science focuses broadly on understanding the effects of environmental change on the behavioral ecology and conservation biology of sharks in a human‐altered world. The Program conducts cutting-edge shark research while also inspiring scientific literacy and environmental ethic in youth through unique hands-on field research experiences. Opportunities are especially made available for under-served populations in the sciences, such as females through the F.I.N.S. Program (Females in the Natural Sciences). Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and the SRC Program reside in the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, recognized as one of the top collegiate programs for marine research in the world.
“There is nothing more satisfying than helping to create positive change, whether it is through science or inspiring the next generation ocean ambassadors.” - Dr. Neil Hammerschlag Director, Shark Research & Conservation Program
© Josh Liberman
Below is a snapshot of accomplishments made possible in part by Ruta Maya Coffee between 2018-2019:
The SRC lab expanded their depth of research, such as projects on Urban Sharks, White Shark Predatory Behavior, Evaluating the Efficacy of Marine Reserves for Threatened Sharks, and Ecosystem Impacts of Overfishing.
The Shark Research & Conservation Program designed two new college credit-bearing summer courses for high school students participating in the University of Miami’s Summer Scholars Program. This included a lecture-based shark biology course taught by Dr. Hammerschlag and a practical hands-on course based in the lab and field.
SRC spent a month in the Dry Tortugas National Park conducting shark surveys of this amazing protected area.
SRC launched new research projects exploring subject matter such as shark immunology, studies of the effects of climate change on sharks, and the Urban Shark Project.
Further reading: Notable studies published in scientific journals that stand out for breadth and scale
Queiroz N, et al. (2019). Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries. Nature, doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1444-4
Merly L, Lange L, Meÿer M, Hewitt AM, Koen P, Fischer C, Muller J, Schilack V, Wentzel M, Hammerschlag N. (2019). Blood plasma levels of heavy metals and trace elements in white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and potential health consequences. Marine Pollution Bulletin; 142: 85-92.
Hammerschlag N, Barley SC, Irschick DJ, Meeuwig JJ, Nelson ER, Meekan MG (2018). Predator declines and morphological changes in prey: evidence from coral reefs depleted of sharks. Marine Ecology Progress Series 586:127-139.
Ruta Maya and SRC, Shark Tagging Trip 2018 © Josh Liberman
“Conservation begins with people: people cause the problems and people can solve them.” - Defying Ocean’s End