Southern California is one of the largest nursery areas in the eastern Pacific for white sharks, and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium have some of the world’s top experts on these elusive animals.
Professor Christopher G. Lowe, director of CSULB’s Shark Lab, and Manny Ezcurra, associate curator of elasmobranchs (sharks, rays and related fishes) at the Monterey Bay Aquarium—both CSULB alumni—are among marine biologists collaborating to learn more about where young sharks live and how they survive in the region’s urban ocean environment.
As part of the university’s Homecoming Week events, Lowe and Ezcurra will discuss their work at the next CSULB College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) Fellows Colloquium Tuesday, Nov. 5, in The Pointe conference center in the university’s Walter Pyramid. The event is open free to the public and begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.
The presentation is hosted by CNSM Dean Laura Kingsford and the CNSM Fellows, the college’s premier support group to advance CSULB science education.
Lowe began fishing and diving while growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and earned his B.A. in marine biology from Barrington College, a master of science in biology at CSULB and a Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. At Cal State Long Beach, he studied under Shark Lab founder Donald R. Nelson and later took over the program after becoming a faculty member.
Over the last 20 years he has used and developed acoustic telemetry techniques to study the movements, behavior and physiology of sharks, rays, and gamefishes. Some of his recent research has focused on developing underwater robots for autonomously tracking sharks. He and his students have co-authored numerous scientific journal articles, and he is a well-known media expert on sharks who is featured in a new IMAX film, “Great White Shark 3D.”
Ezcurra received a B.S. in marine biology at CSULB and M.S. from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey. In addition to working with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s sharks and rays and its White Shark Project, he manages the care of the pelagic (open ocean) fishes in its million-gallon Open Sea exhibit.
Space is limited and reservations are required by visiting www.beach-biology.com or calling (562) 985-7446. Guest parking permits are available for $5 from CSULB parking lot ticket dispensers.