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Research Students

Sheila Villora
James Cook University
Checklist - Mozambique
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Sheila Villora is a postgraduate student from Germany studying Fisheries Science and Management at James Cook University. She is interested in improving the current knowledge on Shark and Ray importance to the marine ecosystem and further understanding the human aspects involved in shark conservation. Her close relationship to the Philippines shaped her view on shark conservation. Sheila is currently working on the shark and ray checklist for Shark Search Indo-Pacific in Mozambique.

Small scale fishers in the Philippines

Students 2019

Metavee (May) Chuangcharoendee
James Cook University
Checklist - Singapore
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Metavee Chuangcharoendee or May is a Thai post graduate student at James Cook University studying Marine Biology and Ecology. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at Mahidol University International College in Thailand. She has always been passionate about sharks and the ocean since she was young. She would like to improve her knowledge on sharks and fisheries for the purpose of conserving her country’s natural resources in the future. She is also volunteering with the Global FinPrint project to enhance her knowledge in identifying elasmobranch species. May is now working to create a checklist of elasmobranchs species and review the trends of populations in Singapore for Shark Search Indo-Pacific project. 

2019 Students
Sanna Persson (2018)
James Cook University
Checklist - Kiribati
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Sanna Persson is in her third year of her Bachelor of Marine Science at James Cook University. Her passion is the ocean, and everything that inhabits it, from nudibranchs and sea cucumbers to giant trevallies and manta rays, but the favourite is of course sharks. She is interested in shark research and wants to improve fisheries in the tropics as well as shark conservation worldwide. Sanna is now working on a checklist of shark and ray species and reviewing the trends in populations in Kiribati as part of the Shark Search project.

Students 2018

Katelyn Hari (2018)
James Cook University
Checklist - Palau
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Katie Hari is a third-year undergrad from Vancouver, Canada studying a Bachelor of Marine Science. She grew up around the ocean in a family cabin and that’s where she found her passion for the water. She knew she wanted to pursue conservation when she started to volunteer at the Vancouver Aquarium in the education department and with the Marine Mammal Rescue centre.  Her passion is shark research and would like to help conserve these animals through sustainable fisheries. She is interested in shark telemetry under changing environmental conditions. She is currently working on the Shark Search checklist and overview for Palau.

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Taylor Patterson (2018)
James Cook University
Checklist - Tonga
2018 students

Taylor Patterson is a postgraduate student at James Cook University studying Marine Biology and Ecology. She has previously completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science-Biology at the University of Tampa, Florida (USA). She is interested in conducting behavioral studies which could be used to help protect marine wildlife and promote conservation in the oceans. She is passionate about sharks and is currently volunteering with Global FinPrint, hoping to help fill informational gaps and create a more complete knowledge of elasmobranchs. Taylor is now compiling a checklist for shark and ray species, and reviewing population trends in Tonga for SharkSearch Indo-Pacific.

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Yanni Smith (2017)
James Cook University
Checklist - Fiji
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Blacktip reef shark

Students 2017

Yanni Smith is currently a postgraduate student at James Cook University studying Protected Area Management, with a background in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Edinburgh. She is most interested in marine sustainability – how society can grow economically and socially without detrimental effects on our environment. With this focus, her current projects include coastal port health evaluations, and assisting in the review of trends and status of sharks and rays through SharkSearch Indo-Pacific.

Matt Knott (2017)
James Cook University
Checklist - Tuvalu & Niue

Matt Knott is a post graduate student from Canada studying marine biology and ecology at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. He is interested in advancing shark research to improve fisheries and conservation efforts throughout the tropics. He is currently working as an intern at Global FinPrint as well as working on the shark checklist for SharkSearch Indo-Pacific in Tuvalu and Niue.

Lisa Stevenson (2017)
James Cook University
Checklist -
French Polynesia
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Lisa Stevenson is a postgraduate student at James Cook University studying Marine Biology and ecology, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, Canada.  She is passionate about educating the public about the world’s oceans and how they can get involved in protecting and preserving it. She has worked as an educational interpreter at the Vancouver Aquarium and as a naturalist with Bluewater Adventures a company in Vancouver British Columbia that offers educational sailing trips. She is currently working as an intern creating shark ID charts and assisting in the review of trends and status of sharks and rays through SharkSearch Indo-Pacific.

Elizabeth Kemp (2017)
James Cook University
Checklist - Federated States of Micronesia

Liz Kemp is a postgraduate student at James Cook University (JCU) studying Natural Resource Management. She has previously completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Marine Biology) also at JCU. She is aspiring to educate the general public on the importance of conserving ecological systems, particularly marine environments. She is especially passionate about research based development of sustainable fisheries and their wider conservation management plans in both developed and developing nations. Liz is now working on compiling a checklist for sharks and rays in the Federated States of Micronesia, and reviewing trends of shark and ray populations in the region for SharkSearch Indo-Pacific. 

Students 2016

Sarah Hylton (2016)
University of Sth Carolina & James Cook University
Checklist - Solomon Islands
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Sarah Hylton studied at James Cook University in 2015 as part of her undergraduate course at the University of South Carolina. Sarah's 2016 checklist project on the Solomon Islands formed the pilot study for Shark Search Indo-Pacific, and refined the processes and protocols. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Marine Science with Dr. James Sulikowski at the University of New England, USA. She is interested in the role of elasmobranchs in long-term ecosystem health, and is passionate about creating sustainable fisheries through community involvement and education. 

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