Matt PotenskiDirector of Field Operations for the Shark Research Institute

Matt Potenski, Director of Field Operations for the Shark Research Institute

    Professional Biography

    Matthew Potenski graduated from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA, in 2002 with a double major in Biological Sciences and Marine Sciences. He has since pursued his primary interest in the biology and ecology of marine elasmobranches. Matthew is currently completing his masters degree at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). He is a researcher for the Guy Harvey Research Institute and co-principal investigator for the Cayman Islands Stingray Ecology & Conservation Project.

    He has spent the last 2 ½ years working with southern stingray (Dasyatis americana) populations in Grand Cayman, BWI. The goal of the project is to compare the biology and ecology of separate populations of stingrays; one that is supplementally-fed by tourists and the natural population that is non-provisioned. This study uses mark-recapture techniques and will be the first study of its kind, in which the effects of an interactive marine experience on animal biology will be quantified. In addition to his studies at NSU, Matthew also participates in studies on several species of sharks. He has been involved with Dr. Samuel Gruber’s work on lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) in both the Bahamas at the Bimini Biological Field Station-Sharklab and the Marquesas Keys, FL for the past 6 years.

    Matt is also Director of Field Operations for the Shark Research Institute and is currently completing his masters degree at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). He has worked with southern stingray, Dasyatis Americana, populations in Grand Cayman, BW, and studied lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris, in both the Bahamas at the Bimini Biological Field Station-Sharklab and the Marquesas Keys, FL.

    As an SRI field researcher, Matt has studied whale sharks in the Bay Islands (Honduras), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Cocos Island (Costa Rica), and Mafia Island (Tanzania) – a joint project with the World Wildlife Fund. He also has led SRI field expeditions and conducted both visual ID and satellite transmitter tagging of whale sharks. An avid photographer, Matt recently formed MDP Productions, Inc. as he begins his career as a professional photographer. His work can be seen in several publications, most recently in SRI patron Sylvia Earle’s new book Defying Ocean’s End.

    Samples of Matt’s great photography can be seen on his site www.matthewdpotenskiphoto.com/

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