Thursday 29. March 2012

Shark Research at the University Centre

Vincent Gallucci is a professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. He has been staying at the University Centre the past couple of months as a visiting researcher and instructor. Professor Gallucci specializes in the conservation, management, and population dynamics of elasmobranchs, especially sharks. He has studied sharks all around the world, but his main research area is the Pacific, ranging from the tropical ecosystems to the cold water environments of the North Pacific and Alaskan ecosystems.

The most common shark in the waters around Iceland is the Greenland shark (Somniosus microephalus). This species of shark has an analogous species in the Pacific called Sleeper shark (Somniosus pacificus), which is currently one of professor Gallucci's focus points. "What I want to do is to take advantage of the similarities that exist between the two species that occur in both the North Atlantic and the Pacific. The data and sampling done on the Greenland Shark here in Ísafjörður can be useful to provide us with information that can help develop models to understand the Sleeper shark of the Pacific better", says professor Gallucci.

Fishermen in Ísfjörður have volunteered to help collect samples of the reproductive organs of the female Greenland shark. These samples will then be brought to the laboratories of the Marine Research Institute in Ísafjörður, which has provided professor Gallucci with facilities to dissect and process the samples.

The sleeper shark and the Greenland shark are not the only species that interest professor Gallucci. Next week he will be in Italy studying reef sharks in the Mediterranean before returning back to Ísafjörður.

 Professor Gallucci examines the samples with assistance from CMM students.
Professor Gallucci examines the samples with assistance from CMM students.