The Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Restore America’s Estuaries have awarded a $165,111 grant to New College of Florida to fund shark research being conducted by Dr. Jayne Gardiner, associate professor of biology and director of the Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center at New College. The project will assess population trends for Tampa Bay shark species that are not currently included in long-term monitoring efforts, addressing data gaps that currently hinder conservation and management efforts.
With a focus on blacktip, blacknose, bull and great hammerhead sharks in lower Tampa Bay, Gardiner will use long-term acoustic transmitters to discover the sharks’ nursery areas and study their habitat use. The findings will help measure the impact of climate change and coastal development on the areas of the bay inhabited by these sharks. Gardiner will be joined by Havenworth Coastal Conservation president Tonya Wiley, who will lead the public outreach and education components of the project.