Brendan Talwar

A crowdfunded ecology project byBrendan Talwar

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Spring 2015: Meet the Team

Lab Note #15
Mar 03, 2015

We're excited to get started on another semester of research here in Eleuthera, and all of us are pleased to welcome the newly arrived field and lab assistants. The shark program is fortunate to have four new faces among us and equally happy that Alp chose to stay here in pursuit of further research and teaching responsibilities. Here is a bit about each team member as well as a short time lapse of our recent cage construction- we went for a larger, lighter cage this time as our new target species, the gulper shark, is around 30cm larger than the Cuban dogfish.

Alp Gokgoz, Research Technician, CEI Shark Research & Conservation Program

My name is Alp Gokgoz and I am currently working as the research technician for the shark research and conservation program at the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Previous to this, I was working at a dive center where I would spend the whole day on a boat. I have worked with various aquatic animals including sea turtles and rainbow trout and these experiences have really complemented my work in the post-release survivorship program. I have been working on this project ever since I started my internship in the Fall 2014 semester and since then have taken on more responsibility in assisting Brendan with the project. Apart from this, I am very interested in shark behaviour, whether looking at migrations or personality. Prior to this, my knowledge of deep sea sharks was almost non-existent so not only have I learned the biology surrounding these elasmobranchs, but I have gained an understanding of the preparation, skills and focus involved with the nature of this and related projects.

Christina Grossi, Intern, CEI Shark Research & Conservation Program

Hello! My name is Christina Grossi, and I am an intern here at CEI with the Shark Research and Conservation Program. I grew up in Cranford, New Jersey and have a B.S. in Biology from Salisbury University and a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. I have always been absolutely fascinated by the sea, and have always wanted to work with sharks ever since I was a little girl! Working with CEI has jumpstarted my career in research regarding elasmobranch conservation and I cannot believe that I get to work with stingrays, deep-water critters, and bull sharks! I am also really excited about gaining teaching experience through working with the Island School students. Teaching is my favorite way to learn, and I relish having the opportunity to share my passion for these remarkable animals with such amazing people.

Katalina Magnenat, Intern, CEI Shark Research & Conservation Program

Hello, I am Katalin Magnenat. Originally from Switzerland, I have always wanted to work with sharks and to contribute to their conservation. As a result, I have directed my studies towards that goal and completed a Master at James Cook University, Australia. My Master consisted of a small research project on the diversity and abundance of coral reef sharks of the Great Barrier Reef. My research interests are reefs sharks and the interactions they have with other shark species and their environment.

The deep blue sea as always been one of my strongest fears so it was quite a surprise when I arrived at CEI as a shark intern and realised that I would have to go out there and confront it. To my surprise, I find the possibility to learn about a research area with which I am not familiar really refreshing. Besides, the work is very challenging and pushes me beyond my boundaries, which is exactly what I am looking for.

Christopher Ward, Intern, CEI Shark Research & Conservation Program


My name's Chris Ward, and I'm a graduate of Zoology from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Throughout my undergraduate career, I dabbled in a broad range of subjects, such as insect taxonomy, avian migration, and marine invasive species. After my undergraduate degree, I completed my dive masters in North Cyprus and worked at a whale shark monitoring and conservation facility in Honduras. Through those experiences, I gained a deep respect for field work and a keen interest in migration and animal behaviour. Working with the shark team affords me unique opportunities to work closely with scientists such as Brendan to conduct valuable research and learn new skills and field methods, all while engaged in an actively sustainable and supportive community.

Caroline Ronveaux, Gap Year Student, CEI Educational Programs


My name is Caroline Ronveaux. I am interning for the shark team for only two weeks, but I hope to come back in the future. I am new to scientific research and I have learned so much in the past couple days! I am really excited to be working with the shark team, helping with where I'm needed. I am really interested in getting out in field, helping bring up isopods and Cuban dogfish. I am going to college in the fall where I hope to study marine biology. This experience has made me realize how much I want to become a marine biologist.


Have a great week!

-Brendan


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