Dean of Natural Sciences
Jennifer Schmidt, PhD
Director of Science and Research
The Shark Research Institute
Science Café: "Whale Sharks: What we know...and how much we don't...about the biggest fish in the sea"
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
to 7:30 PM
Black Labrador Pub
4100 Montrose Blvd
Houston, Texas, USA
The whale shark, Rhincodon typus
, is the largest fish in the sea and the largest living shark, reaching lengths of 18 meters or more. These beautifully patterned filter feeders are a wide-ranging species found in tropical waters around the globe, and believed to undertake trans-oceanic migrations. While whale sharks are largely solitary animals, groups of as many as 500 sharks can occur during periods of abundant food. These aggregations provide not only an amazing natural history spectacle, but an opportunity to study an otherwise rare species that is threatened by fisheries and the shark fin trade. Dr. Schmidt's research uses both fieldwork and genetic analysis to study the ecology, reproduction and migratory behavior of these enigmatic animals. Since whale sharks frequently cross geographic and political boundaries, biological information that can shape international conservation policy is needed to ensure the survival of this species.
Seating is first come, first serve. Free parking in the garage behind the Black Lab.