Topic: A closer look at newborn blacktip reef sharks in French Polynesia – One of the most common reef-associated shark species in the lagoon of Moorea, in French Polynesia, is the blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus). Between September and March, the parturition of this species occurs, and neonatal sharks spend the first year in the nursery areas surrounding the island. In these shallow waters newborn sharks daily experience temperature variations up to 8°C. This variability could be intensified by short-term changes, as heat waves and cold snap events, are expected to be more frequent and intense with future climatic projections. In addition, the shallow waters around Moorea show different anthropogenic impacts due to land- and sea-based activities. The aim of this research project is to investigate how climate change impacts the physiology of newborn and juvenile reef sharks. In light of the current climate change and ocean warming and the increasing impact of human activities is crucial to understand the susceptibility of newborn sharks exposed to multiple stressors. Understanding how human and environmental influences affect neonates sharks is crucial knowledge for developing effective shark conservation strategies. Elena will also share more about my experience as a guiding biologist and the research project I am working on at Marine Dynamics Shark & Whale Tours.
Speaker: Italian Marine Biologist, Elena Milanesi. BSc Environmental Sciences & Technology University of Milano-Bicocca MSc University of Milano-Bicocca Various Marine Research Volunteering projects Guiding Biologist for Marine Dynamics Shark & Whale Tours