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Expedition 77:
Coastal Ocean Explorers: Sharks - Oxbridge Academy

Oxbridge Academy students and teachers spent the day onboard R/V ANGARI working with Florida International University scientists as part of our Coastal Ocean Explorers: Sharks hands-on education program.

Nurse Sharks
Tiger Sharks



March 4, 2024


Palm Beach County, FL


Science Team

Sara Casareto
Sophia Hemsi
Rainer Moy-Huwyler
Sara Schoen
Davon Strickland

All sharks were fished for, caught, studied and released for research purposes under Florida permits held by Florida International University scientists.

ANGARI crew and scientists from Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Arts, Sciences and Education welcomed high school students and teachers from Oxbridge Academy aboard R/V ANGARI for a day of hands-on marine science research and education. The expedition participants eagerly worked with the FIU scientists to employ two different field methods for studying sharks. The methods included the assembly, baiting, deployment and recovery of a baited remote underwater video system (BRUVS) for non-invasive observation of sharks and other marine life in their natural habitat. While the BRUVS was in the water, the participants practiced and honed their species identification and evaluation skills on curated BRVUS footage in R/V ANGARI‘s lab and pilothouse.

The majority of the expedition was spent drumline fishing for sharks. Drumlines are a specialized type of shark research fishing gear designed to allow the shark to swim freely once caught. The Oxbridge Academy students and teachers spent the day working side-by-side with the FIU scientists to bait, assemble, deploy and recover drumlines. All onboard were thrilled to catch a total of five sharks over the course of the day, including three nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) and two tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) each over 7 feet in total length! The students diligently helped the scientists conduct quick and efficient workups on the sharks prior to their release, collecting measurements and small tissue samples, and applying a uniquely numbered identification tag from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Shark Tagging Program. The expedition not only provided the Oxbridge Academy participants with a unique opportunity to learn about marine science and shark research methods firsthand, but also allowed them to explore the important role sharks play in marine ecosystems and potential career marine-oriented paths with the both the FIU scientists and ANGARI crew.

This expedition was supported by Oxbridge Academy. 


Sara Casareto

Sara Casareto is a Ph.D. candidate in the Marine Community and Behavioral Ecology Lab at Florida International University.  Her work focuses on behavioral ecology and trophic interactions. Her current research centers around elasmobranch biology and ecology, looking at different factors that affect juvenile shark behavior and decision making in coastal waters. The specific questions she is interested in involve risk from larger sharks, abiotic factors like salinity and temperature, and the presence/absence of different shark species. Originally from Maryland, Sara has been in Florida since 2016. She holds a B.S. in Biology-Marine Science from the University of Tampa and has studied marine species ranging from sharks to photosynthetic sea slugs. Sara hopes to further her career in predator-prey interactions to help elucidate management and conservation strategies for shark and ray populations. A passionate educator, Sara is involved in outreach through National Geographic and The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and ANGARI Foundation.

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