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Florida Tech Shark Biologist Hosts Free Lecture April 27

Toby Daly-Engel to Discuss
Shark Conservation, Attacks

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Sharks – their reproduction, conservation and yes, attacks – will be the focus of a free lecture at 8 p.m. Friday, April 27, as Florida Institute of Technology concludes its Spring 2018 Public Science Lecture Series.

Toby Daly-Engel, assistant professor of biological sciences, will offer the presentation in the auditorium (Room 118) at the Olin Engineering Complex on Florida Tech’s Melbourne campus.

Daly-Engel’s Shark Conservation Lab at Florida Tech studies the molecular ecology and evolution of sharks and other marine megafauna. Through her work in the field and lab, as well as through outreach, she is raising awareness about the species and its key contributions to ocean ecology.

She has done extensive research into shark reproduction, a process that makes them unique from other fish. Like mammals, most sharks get pregnant and give birth to live young. The species also grows and reproduces very slowly, which makes them vulnerable to both climatic and man-made disturbances. As a result, many shark species are disappearing rapidly.

Her work has also clarified misconceptions about sharks. While 100 million sharks are killed every year as bycatch and due to sport fishing and the removal of their fins for shark fin soup, their impact on humans is far smaller. The  U.S. averages approximately 15 shark attacks per year with an average of one fatality every two years, and globally, sharks kill about five people annually. Daly-Engel will discuss what people can do to help conserve sharks and their ocean ecosystem, and both the myths and realities of shark attacks.

Following the lecture at approximately 9 p.m., weather permitting, Florida Tech’s Student Astronomical Society will open up the university’s 32-inch Ortega telescope for public viewing and also offer three smaller telescopes.

For more information, call 321-674-8795.

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