Sharks In Perspective


Sharks In Perspective: From Fear To Fascination

June 12-14, 2002
Tampa, Florida
Contributor Biographies
B. Chris Brewster
U.S. Lifesaving Association
3850 Sequia Street
San Diego, CA 92109
Office Phone: (858) 581-1221

Chris Brewster serves as president for the Americas Region of the International Life Saving Federation ( He also volunteers his time as liaison officer, national textbook committee chair, and national certification committee chair for the United States Lifesaving Association ( (USLA's national certification committee sets minimum recommended standards for lifeguard training.) Brewster is one of 25 life members of USLA and a life member of the California Surf Lifesaving Association. In 2001, he retired from his position as lifeguard chief for city of San Diego, and , concurrently, harbormaster for Mission Bay after 22 years of service as a professional ocean lifeguard. Brewster is editor of The United States Lifesaving Association Manual of Open Water Lifesaving (1995), Guidelines for Open Water Lifeguard Training and Standards (1993), Guidelines for Training and Standards of Aquatic Rescue Response Teams (1996), and a contributing author of Better Beaches - Management of Safe and Enjoyable Swimming Beaches (Griffiths 1999). He is the primary author of USLA's position statement on shark bite prevention and response. He holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Colorado, writes extensively on lifeguard matters, and lectures regularly, both domestically and internationally.

George H. Burgess
Director, Florida Program for Shark Research
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
P O Box 117800
Gainesville, FL 32611
Office Phone: (352) 392-2360
Fax: (352) 846-0287

George Burgess is coordinator of museum operations at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, and director of the Florida Program for Shark Research. He also serves as Director of the International Shark Attack File, the long-standing (established 1958) comprehensive scientific database that is recognized as the definitive source of information on shark attacks. Burgess, who has studied sharks for more than 30 years, is active in the field of elasmobranch (sharks and their kin) conservation and is a founding member and vice chair of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group, the world's leading shark conservation organization. Burgess has been engaged in the management of U.S. shark fisheries over the last two decades as a member of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's Special Shark Scientific and Statistical Committee, and the National Marine Fisheries Service's Sawfish Status Review Team; as a participant in the National Marine Fishery Service's shark evaluation workshops; as an advisor to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and as the leader of the Commercial Shark Fishery Observer Program. The latter is a research program that has monitored the U.S. East Coast commercial longline shark fishery since federal and state regulatory actions were enacted in the early 1990s, and provides baseline data used in fishery management. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Rhode Island and earned his masters degree from the University of Florida.

Merry Camhi
Acting Director, Living Oceans Program, National Audubon Society
President, American Elasmobranch Society
Deputy Chair, IUCN Shark Specialist Group
550 South Bay Avenue
Islip, NY 11751
Office Phone: (631) 581-2927
Fax: 631-582-5268

As acting director of the Living Oceans Program, Camhi oversees the Audubon Society's work on sustainable fishing, including large pelagic fish conservation, marine protected areas, seabird-fishery interactions, and Pacific salmon. She specializes in domestic and international shark conservation and management policy. Camhi is president of the American Elasmobranch Society (2002-2003) and serves as deputy chair of the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group. She co-organized the International Pelagic Shark Workshop and is co-editing the proceedings for publication. She is author of Audubon's state-by-state shark reports (Sharks on the Line) and other marine fish conservation articles, and co-author of the IUCN's report, Sharks and Their Relatives: Ecology and Conservation. Camhi earned her Ph.D. in ecology from Rutgers University, with an emphasis in sea turtle research and conservation.

Enric Cortés
Southeast Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service
3500 Delwood Beach Road
Panama City, FL 32408
Office Phone: (580) 234-6541

Enric Cortés has been a research fishery biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center since 1998. He presently heads the Shark Population Assessment Group at the Panama City laboratory and is responsible for the assessment of shark stocks in U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters. Cortés has worked and published extensively on feeding ecology, life history, and demography of shark populations. His present areas of interest and expertise include population dynamics, fisheries, and stock assessment of shark resources.

Sonja Fordham
The Ocean Conservancy
1725 Desales Street N.W.
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Office Phone: (202) 429-5609 ext. 273

Sonja Fordham has worked for The Ocean Conservancy (formerly known as the Center for Marine Conservation) since 1991. As a fish conservation project manager, Fordham monitors and publicizes key marine fish conservation issues and advocates for precautionary, science-based policies before Atlantic regional fishery management bodies and the federal departments of State and Commerce. She is especially active in shark conservation issues, both domestically and internationally. Fordham currently serves on the executive committee of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group, the National Marine Fisheries Service Highly Migratory Species advisory panel and elasmobranch advisory committees for the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Fordham served on the US delegation to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization meeting where the International Plan of Action (IPOA) for Sharks was adopted. She now works on initiatives to promote Shark IPOA implementation, including projects under the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Fordham is co-author of the Ocean Conservation/TRAFFIC International report, Managing Shark Fisheries: Opportunities for International Conservation, and the IUCN paper, Sharks and their Relatives: Ecology and Conservation. She is a member of the American Elasmobranch Society and American Fisheries Society.

Bob Hite
P.O. Box 1410
Tampa, FL 33601
Office Phone: (813) 221-5788

Bob Hite is among the senior news anchors of the Tampa Bay area. He has been with WFLA Newschannel 8 since the summer of 1977. He now anchors the station's 5:30, 6 and 11 pm newscasts. He served in the Marines from 1967-69, then worked in radio and industrial film before joining WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as a broadcast journalist. Hite is an avid boater, a Coast Guard licensed captain, a pilot, diver, horseman and marksman. He is a life member of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association, the Marine Industries Association and the Broadcast Pilots Association. He has won several awards for his reporting and videography, including seven Emmy awards, and the environmental reporter of the year award presented by the Florida Coastal Management Conference.

Randy Honebrink
Division Of Aquatic Resources
1151 PunchBowl Street
Room 330
Honolulu, HI 96813
Office Phone: (808) 587-0111

Randy Honebrink is the head of education programs for the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources. As coordinator and spokesman for the state's Shark Task Force, he has been involved in shark issues for the last 10 years. He is also an adjunct professor of marine biology for Chaminade University in Honolulu.

Robert E. Hueter
Mote Marine Laboratory
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
Office Phone: (941) 388-4441
FAX: (941) 388-4312

Robert Hueter is director of the Center for Shark Research (CSR) at Mote Marine Laboratory. Established by Congress in 1991 as a national research center, the CSR is the world's largest scientific research program focusing on the biology and behavior of sharks. The CSR's ten doctoral-level scientists conduct studies of shark anatomy, physiology, biomedical applications, behavior, ecology, environmental biology, population biology, fisheries and conservation. Hueter has been studying sharks for over 25 years, has published over 75 scientific articles and reports on sharks, and has edited four volumes on shark biology. He has been on the Mote staff since 1988. His current research projects include studies of life history and ecology of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico's Sea of Cortez, shark senses and muscles, and shark fisheries biology. In 2001, Hueter was awarded Mote's newly established Perry W. Gilbert Chair in Shark Research, in honor of former Mote director and world-renowned shark researcher Perry Gilbert. Hueter holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Miami, and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He is past president of the American Elasmobranch Society, an international society dedicated to the scientific study of sharks. He serves on the Highly Migratory Species advisory panel of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Special Shark Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, and the Shark Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union. Hueter has testified before Congress on issues relating to shark fisheries management and conservation.

Kevin P. Lollar
Ft. Myers News-Press
PO Box 10
2442 Anderson Avenue
Ft. Myers, FL 33902
Office Phone: (941) 335-0389

Kevin Lollar has been senior writer and environmental reporter for the Fort Myers News-Press since 1990. He has also been a feature writer for the Marin County (California) Independent Journal; science reporter, education reporter, sports writer, and copy editor for the Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Argus Leader.; campus sports stringer for the Kansas City Star; and sports writer and copy editor for the Lawrence (Kansas) Daily Journal-World. He holds a B.A. in English from Tulane University and a M.A. in English from the University of Kansas. He also taught English at the University of Kansas. He reports that he "developed a fascination for sharks in the late early 1960s when my family lived on Siesta Key and my brother and I used to sneak onto the grounds of Cape Haze Marine Laboratory (now Mote Marine Laboratory) every Sunday to watch the sharks swim in the shark pen."

Jack Musick
Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences
PO Box 1346
Gloucester Point 23062
Office Phone: (804) 684-7317

Jack Musick is a professor of fisheries and the head of the vertebrate ecology and systematics program at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. Musick is a well-known lecturer and researcher on marine fisheries, having presented more than 30 papers at national and international scientific meetings. He has authored or co-authored three books, and edited four more, and written dozens of articles for scientific journals. In 2001, he served on the Virginia governor's task force on shark attacks, and presently serves on the National Marine Fisheries Service recovery plan review panel for loggerhead sea turtles. In 2000 he received the distinguished service award from the American Fisheries Society. He holds a B.A. from Rutgers; an M.A. from Harvard; and a Ph.D. from Harvard.

Rich Novak
Charlotte County
25550 Harborview Road, Unit 3
Port Charlotte, FL 33980
Office Phone: (941) 764-4340
Fax: 941-764-4343

Rich Novak is marine extension agent for Florida Sea Grant and the University of Florida in Charlotte County. He provide educational programs and assistance to residents of Charlotte County to increase their understanding and enjoyment of the marine and estuarine resources the area has to offer. This includes working with boaters, recreational and commercial fishermen, divers, conservation groups, marine business owners and operators, county officials and other agencies. His programs concentrate on fishery mortality reduction, recreational fisheries, and fishery habitat development. He specializes in artificial reefs, marine and estuarine habitat enhancement, and coastal and marine recreation. Novak holds a B.S. in parks and recreational administration from Western Illinois University, and an M.S. in forest and range management from Washington State University.

Alex K. Peabody
Lifeguard Supervisor I
Santa Cruz District
665 14th Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95602
Office Phone: (831) 427-4870

Alex Peabody has served as an ocean lifeguard for the State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation, for over 23 years. He has visited and worked with lifeguard programs in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Peabody currently serves as the lifeguard supervisor for the aquatic programs of the Santa Cruz district, which encompass 24 miles of coastline in Santa Cruz County. He supervises 45 seasonal and 3 permanent lifeguard staff members, in addition to three junior lifeguard programs which train over 300 children each summer. As a state park lifeguard, Peabodyis a fully trained peace officer. Additional special skills and training include: Surf Watch rescue boat operation, IRB and PWC rescue operator, member of the state park dive team and rescue response, cliff rescue, Swift Water Rescue Technician II, Emergency Medical Technician, and instructor trainer for his departments Emergency Medical Responder program.

Eric Sander
Florida Marine Research Institute
882 Valencia Road
South Daytona, FL 32119
Office Phone: (386) 788-0830

Eric Sander is a marine researcher for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commision's Florida Marine Research Institute. He serves as a field sampler for the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey, conducting survey intercepts of recreational anglers and identifying catch species with collection of length and weight data. He also trains, verifies and proofs other samplers in the region. Sander has extensive experience in the charter boat recreational fishery and the commercial fish industry. In the 1980s, he began the first full-time year-round commercial shark longline operation on Florida's east coast. Sander has also worked since the early 1980s with researchers across the nation to provide fishery specimens and data collection support. He has provided the fishing vessel platform for the Commercial Shark Fishery Observer Program, and trains observers in shark identification.

Margo Schulze-Haugen
Highly Migratory Species Division, NOAA Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Office Phone: (301)713-2347

Margo Schulze-Haugen has been a fishery biologist with the Highly Migratory Species Management Division of NOAA Fisheries (National Marine Fisheries Service) for the past 6 years. As lead staff person on shark management issues, Schulze-Haugen is responsible for developing regulations governing commercial and recreational shark fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. She participates in and reviews shark research and stock assessments; interacts with fishermen, environmentalists, and interested constituents; conducts public meetings; develops technical and policy papers; drafts regulations and biological, social, and economic analyses; supports litigation; and participates in international shark initiatives and develops the corresponding domestic action, such as the United States National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks. Schulze-Haugen holds an M.S. in fishery biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she studied predator-prey interactions in the Connecticut River estuary.

Colin Simpfendorfer
Mote Marine Laboratory
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
Office Phone: (941) 388-4441

Colin Simpfendorfer is a staff scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory. In 1993, he earned his Ph.D. in zoology from James Cook University, Queensland, Australia, investigating the life history of tropical sharks and the importance of nursery areas to shark populations. After completing his Ph.D., he worked for the Fisheries Department of Western Australia, leading a research team investigating the commercial shark fisheries of that state, including life history, populations dynamics and fisheries biology. He moved to Mote in 1998 to continue his work on the population biology of sharks. His current projects include research on the conservation biology of sawfish, stock assessment of commercially important shark species in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, the impact of environmental factors on shark populations, and the development of an ecological model for Charlotte Harbor. He has worked with sharks for 15 years and has authored several scientific, technical and popular articles on sharks.

Franklin F. Snelson, Jr.
Department of Biology
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816
Phone: Office (407) 823-5394

Franklin Snelson has been a professor of biological sciences at the University of Central Florida since 1981. He specializes in ichthyology, his primary interests being the systematics, ecology, and evolution of both freshwater and marine fishes with emphasis on the southeastern United States. His current research projects include the reproductive biology and ecology of rays; the habits and movements of juvenile sharks in nursery zones; and the biodiversity of marine fishes in the Florida keys. He is widely published in scientific journals and has co-edited the Ecology and Evolution of Livebearing Fishes. He earned his bachelor's degree from North Carolina State University, and his doctoral degree in ichthyology from Cornell University. He has also served as a curatorial assistant at the North Carolina State Natural History Museum.

Mike Spranger
Assistant Director, Florida Sea Grant
University of Florida
PO Box 110405
Gainesville, FL 32611-0405
Office Phone: (352) 392-1837
Fax: (352) 392-5113

Mike Spranger is assistant director of Florida Sea Grant Extension and assistant dean for extension in charge of environmental and natural resources programs at the University of Florida/IFAS. He has 25 years of professional experience in extension outreach programming and administration, teaching and applied research at the local, state, regional and national levels. Prior to coming to Florida, he worked at the University of Washington and University of Wisconsin. He has served in a number of leadership roles nationally, including serving as chair of the National Assembly of Sea Grant Extension Program Leaders and President of the National Marine Educators Association.

Roy Williams
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee 0
Office Phone: (850) 487-0554

I am Assistant Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. I have been employed with the Florida Marine Fisheries Commission, later to become the Fish and Wildlife Commission, since 1987.

From 1968 to 1986 I was employed with the laboratory that is now known as the Florida Marine Research Institute where I engaged in life history work on several finfish species but primarily king mackerel. I was also supervisor the the vertebrate fish section at the laboratory when I left at the end of 1986.

At the Fish and Wildlife Commission, in addition to serving as the assistant division director, I also am the agency's representative on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council where I am presently serving as Chairman. I am not a shark expert per se, and I don't think the agency actually has a shark expert even at FMRI, but I am prepared to speak on the Commission's shark feeding rule last year and if questions arise, on the rule that we did in 1992.

Joe Wooden
Deputy Beach Chief
Volusia County Beaches
440 South Beach Street
Daytona Beach, FL 32114-5004
Office Phone: (386) 239-6414 ext. 22

Joe Wooden has worked for the Volusia County (Florida) Beach Department for 29 years. He currently oversee all aspects of beach operations that include law enforcement, emergency medical services and aquatic safety-lifeguards for the estimated 10 millions visitors that frequent the Volusia County beaches each year. His office operates the largest beach operation in the state of Florida. Wooden is also the spokesperson for the beaches, and deals extensively with media coverage relating to shark bites.