Keynote speakers

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag is a marine ecologist and Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy. He also serves as Director of the Shark Research & Conservation Program at the University of Miami. His current research centers broadly on the behavioral ecology, conservation biology and movement ecology of marine predators, primarily focused on sharks.

Neil’s current research projects include investigating predators-prey interactions between sharks and their prey, identifying shark critical habitats, examining the effects of urbanization on shark movement and health, evaluating effects of ecotourism and fishing capture stress on shark behavior and physiology, examining the ecosystem impacts of overfishing and also evaluating how sharks may respond to climate change stressors.

In addition to his scientific research, Neil is dedicated to community outreach and public education. In 2010, Neil developed the Shark Research and Conservation Program (SRC) as a community outreach platform to provide high school students as well as public citizens with hands-on experiences in marine biology. Deeply committed to promoting STEM education and marine conservation, his team is joined by over 1000 students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds each year on shark tagging expeditions. Neil has also developed broader impact online outreach tools, including webinars, curricula, videos, blogs, twitter teach-ins, and social media, to ensure that students from around the world have access to engaging scientific experiences.

Dr. Robert Hueter

Dr. Robert E. Hueter is a Senior Scientist and Director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, where he also occupies the Perry W. Gilbert Chair in Shark Research. The Mote CSR is a national research center established by the U.S. Congress in 1991, to conduct research and outreach on diverse aspects of shark biology ranging from biomedical applications for human health to shark ecology, fisheries and conservation. Dr. Hueter has been a marine biologist for more than 40 years, has published about 200 scientific articles and reports on sharks, and has edited six volumes on shark biology. His current research includes field and laboratory studies of shark abundance, behavior, ecology and fisheries in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, including in Mexico and Cuba. He has studied hundreds of shark species including blacktip, bull, great hammerhead, whale, mako and white sharks. In 2004, Dr. Hueter was selected by Florida Trend magazine as one of Florida’s most influential people, in 2007 he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Conservation by Sarasota County, Florida, and in 2008 he was awarded the Eugenie Clark Scientific Explorers Award.

Dr. Hueter earned his 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 and currently serves on the AES Board of Directors. For the past 20 years Dr. Hueter has served on the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and has testified before the U.S. Congress on issues relating to shark fisheries management and conservation. He also serves as the Chief Science Advisor for OCEARCH, a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative ocean research and education. In addition to his research activities, Dr. Hueter has led educational efforts to promote better public understanding of sharks as a marine resource, through numerous interviews in national publications and hundreds of television and radio appearances. He has been a leader in science-based conservation of sharks since 1988, and today is an internationally recognized proponent of sustainable shark fishing practices in commercial and recreational fisheries. Much of his current work involves marine science policy as a diplomatic bridge between nations for the betterment of shared environments and human populations.

Dr. Kim Friedman

Dr. Kim Friedman, an Australian national working as a Senior Fisheries Resources Officer for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome, Italy. His main responsibilities include leadership of fisheries issues for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), fisheries and biodiversity, threatened species related matters and FAO’s FishFinder commercially exploited species identification program.

Kim holds a Bachelor of science (Hons) in Marine Biology, a Master’s degree in Aquaculture and Fisheries, and was awarded a Doctorate from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. Kim has experience salmon farming in Scotland, as well as working with New South Wales and Western Australian Fisheries Departments in Australia. Kim has led research programs for ICLARM (now WorldFish) in the western Pacific (Solomon Islands and Fiji), work that was written up as a PhD before Kim returned to the Pacific (working at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in New Caledonia) surveying and assessing subsistence, artisanal and commercial coastal and inshore fisheries across 17 Pacific Island countries. Directly before working at FAO, Kim led the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Marine Science Program that oversaw research across 12,000km of Western Australia’s coastline. Kim also worked as a consultant for FAO back in 2008, but now holds a Senior Fisheries Resources Officer position at headquarters in Rome.