2005: The Great White Shark project – Mossel Bay, South Africa
In 2005, I assisted a shark research team in South Africa for my Master Degree for a 6 month white shark study. We investigated behaviour of white sharks in Mossel Bay including predation, residency patterns, movements and impact of chumming activities on sharks. We conducted real time acoustic tracking including a record breaking of 103 hours continuous tracking of a 4.3 meter female white shark, as well as remote acoustic monitoring.
My Master thesis study was focused in investigation of interactions of cage diving operations and chumming activities on the white shark behaviour.
Ryan Johnson that I assisted in 2005 and Enrico Gennari, founded a new lab to investigate behaviour of large African marine predators, particularly the great white shark. You can find information about the studies undergone by the lab SAMPLA on the link below:
2006: The Basking shark project – Britany, France.
In 2006, I joined a French association (APECS) that study mainly basking shark behaviour and residency patterns in Britanian waters. I was involved in field work to investigate behaviour, residency patterns and feeding habits of basking sharks using techniques such as photo-identification, biopsies for genetic analysis and plankton analysis.
This Association is also actively involved in educative and sensibilation works towards public. They also organised the 11th European Elasmobranch Association meeting in November 2007.
I am member of this association since 2006.
For more information about APECS activities, see the link below.
2007: The Sicklefin lemon shark project – Moorea, French Polynesia
In 2007, I started an other Master project in French Polynesia on the study of genetic structure of sicklefin lemon shark population of Moorea Island.
The aims of this study was to estimate the genetic structure of a small sicklefin lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens) population of Moorea Island and to find out genetic relatedness between individuals in order to assess contributions to the population turnover and estimate their vulnerability. We used microsatellite loci to characterise and genetically differentiate each individual and determine their relatedness. This study permitted us to collect samples from 18 adults and 8 juveniles. The 14 microsatellites were not polymorphic enough to obtain robust parentage assignment. Two pregnant females have been observed in 2006 when three litters have been sampled suggesting a lack of samples of female that reproduced.
This study was conducted at the CRIOBE station (link below) and will be continued during my PhD.