Laura García Barcia, PhD Candidate
Predator Ecology and Conservation Lab,
Florida International University
Laura García Barcia shares her field and laboratory research on sharks and its impacts on conservation and policy work, including that tied to the shark fin trade.
Select Supplemental Content:
[REFERENCE & READING] NOAA Fisheries – International Affairs – Shark Conservation
[READING] NOAA – How Our Shark Finning Ban Helps Us Sustainably Manage Shark Fisheries
[READING] FIU – She saw a scary shark movie as a little girl — now she studies sharks up close
[READING] Mongabay – Mercury with that? Shark fins served with illegal doses of heavy metals
[VIDEO SHORT] NOAA, Smithsonian Institution & History Channel – Ocean as a Lab: Shark Finning
[PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATION] Barcia, L. G., et al. (2020). Mercury and arsenic in processed fins from nine of the most traded shark species in the Hong Kong and China dried seafood markets: The potential health risks of shark fin soup. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 157, 111281.
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Laura García Barcia is a PhD candidate at FIU’s Predator Ecology & Conservation Lab. She is an environmental biologist particularly interested in marine wildlife conservation. Her current research focuses on two main topics: the shark fin trade and the impacts of heavy metal pollution on coastal shark species. Through the use of genetics and toxicology, she explores fascinating questions such as identifying where shark fins sold in Hong Kong come from, whether shark fin soup is a safe product to consume for humans, or at what life stage sharks are more vulnerable to pollutants found in our waters. Currently, she is also involved in projects that include other marine taxa such as squids or marine mammals. The ultimate goal of Laura’s research is to inform conservation measures that help improve the status of shark populations. In the future she hopes to keep working on exploring the effect of pollutants on marine animals and the associated health risks for people that consume them.
Ocean Expert Exchange is a live educational webinar series featuring experts in marine science and technology, many of whom have participated in expeditions onboard R/V ANGARI. The 30-minute live events welcome audiences of all ages and include a presentation on the speaker’s area of expertise followed by Q&A with participants. The series is co-hosted by ANGARI Foundation and the University of Florida Thompson Earth Systems Institute’s Scientist in Every Florida School program.