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Shark Toxicology

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.

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Laura García Barcia is a Ph.D. 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.

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