Meet our Team!

David working up a lemon shark in the Everglades with another research team member.

David working up a lemon shark in the Everglades with another research team member.

David Shiffman (Event Organizer) is a Ph.D. student at the University of Miami, where he studies the biology and conservation of sharks and how this information is communicated online by different stakeholder groups. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Elasmobranch Society, the largest professional society of shark and ray scientists. He writes for the marine biology blog Southern Fried Science, and you can follow him on twitter @WhySharksMatter. Please feel free to contact him with any questions related to ScienceOnline Oceans- his e-mail address is WhySharksMatter at Gmail dot com.

karyn_camilla2Karyn Traphagen is the Executive Director and co-founder of ScienceOnline. Karyn’s life mission is echoed in the name of her blog: “Stay Curious.” For her, communicating science is not simply about giving answers; it is about highlighting the things that people sometimes miss. By asking questions, she helps others discover for themselves more about their own world. As the co-founder and Executive Director of ScienceOnline, Karyn is the steward facilitating the ongoing atmosphere where like-minded people are able to find each other. She is passionate about cultivating the ways that science is conducted, shared, and communicated online. Karyn’s entire career has been dedicated to learning complex subjects and then successfully communicating these challenging topics to all levels of students. She is an accomplished educator of Physics (HS, Undergrad, Grad), Algebra (HS), Ancient Languages (Grad), and even violin (beginning and intermediate students). Karyn’s love of learning is evidenced by her diverse studies: a BS in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Religion, and a Master’s in physics from the University of Virginia, with whom she still has a teaching affiliation. She also studied at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) in a doctoral program in the department of Ancient Studies (for ancient languages). While Karyn’s house and part of her family are in Durham, NC, she lives online at Twitter (@kTraphagen) and Google+ and continues to challenge others to Stay Curious on her blog.

LogosThe co-hosts of ScienceOnline Oceans are the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy and the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, both at the University of Miami. The mission of the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy (Abess Center) is to create innovative, interdisciplinary initiatives that bridge the gap between science and environmental policy. The mission of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program is to advance ocean conservation and scientific literacy by conducting cutting edge scientific research and providing innovative and meaningful outreach opportunities for students through exhilarating hands-on research and virtual learning experiences in marine biology.

Board of Advisers: 

jarrett-byrnes-field-ecologistJarrett Byrnes is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  His research focuses on the consequences of human driven changes to the biodiversity of life in the oceans.  As a participant in early experiments in online social networking, he has long been fascinated by how online science communication can foster better links between scientists and between science and society.  He is one of the co-founder of the #SciFund challenge, an organization that is helping scientists try crowdfunding for their research


sonjaSonja Fordham founded Shark Advocates International as a project of The Ocean Foundation in 2010 based on her two decades of shark conservation experience at Ocean Conservancy.  Her work focuses on publicizing the plight of sharks and advocating science-based remedies before fishery management and wildlife conservation bodies.  She has been a leading proponent of landmark shark conservation actions, including U.S. and European protections, international fishing limits, various finning bans, and listings under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Convention on Migratory Species.  Ms. Fordham is Deputy Chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group and Conservation Committee Chair for the American Elasmobranch Society, has co-authored numerous publications on shark fisheries management, and serves on most U.S. government advisory panels relevant to sharks and rays.  Her awards include the U.S. Department of Commerce Environmental Hero Award, the Peter Benchley Shark Conservation Award, and the IUCN Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership.

Knowlton Red Sea Dive 012_Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where her research focuses on the diversity and conservation of life in the ocean. She has also held positions at Yale University, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she was the founding Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. She is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, winner of the Peter Benchley Prize and the Heinz Award, the author of Citizens of the Sea, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal website.

CraigCraig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate broadly synthetic research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 14 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems.  He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

f_Parsons2Dr. Chris Parsons has been involved in whale and dolphin research for over a decade and has conducted projects in South Africa, India, China and the Caribbean as well as the UK. He is currently involved in research projects on coastal dolphin populations in the Caribbean and the effectiveness of marine conservation policy. Dr. Parsons started teaching at George Mason University in 2003 and is currently the Undergraduate Coordinator for marine biology, environmental science and conservation biology.An acknowledged international expert on cetaceans, Dr Parsons has been a member of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission since 1999. He was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Geographical Society in 1997, won a Scottish Thistle Award in 2000 for his work in Environmental Tourism, and was acknowledged a young achiever in Scotland for his achievements in cetacean conservation by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1999. He is currently the Marine Section President and a Governor of the Society for Conservation Biology. In addition, Dr Parsons has published over 100 scientific papers and reports and has recently published a textbook on marine mammal biology & conservation.
CVick Red Background PhotoCharlotte Vick has extensive experience working in the Pacific region on fisheries, coastal management, and ocean technology.  In 2008, she joined the Sylvia Earle Alliance, Google and spent the last five years working with hundreds of ocean partners in building Explore the Ocean in Google Earth. She has been an officer and member of numerous for profit and non profit boards. Currently, she serves on the steering committees and advisory boards of numerous organizations, coalitions and initiatives including the High Seas Alliance, the Sargasso Sea Alliance, the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, Tara Expeditions, the Blue Ocean Film Festival, SXSW Eco and the Savannah Ocean Exchange.  Charlotte is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and did her marine studies at the University of Hawaii Manoa.

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