The work of Drs. James Sulikowski and Taylor Chapple of the Big Fish Lab centers on marine apex predator conservation, especially sharks. Together, they have built a team of international collaborators and a unique community, bringing complementary expertise in climate science, ecology, behavior, and physiology that are critical to advancing the mission to conserve sharks and the ecosystems they inhabit.
For the last 20 years, Sulikowski, Chapple, and their partners have led scientific, technological, and data-driven advancements in how sharks and other marine predators are studied and protected, helping us better understand the numerous complex challenges facing these fish. This work has resulted in nearly 400 scientific publications, new insights into shark movements and behavior, and groundbreaking new technologies to observe these animals and learn more about their reproduction remotely. This collective research has also produced a substantial media impact, including features on national and international news channels, as well as science-based productions by the BBC, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic, bringing much-needed recognition to these misunderstood animals. In addition, Sulikowski and Chapple have trained hundreds of students from all demographic backgrounds, with a dedicated and ongoing emphasis on increasing diversity in this field. These actions are deliberately designed to build the next generation of shark- and oceans-focused STEM ambassadors in coastal communities worldwide, equipped with knowledge of cutting-edge scientific and technological innovation in shark research.