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Master's student | James Cook University
Martina is an MPhil candidate at James Cook University. Her research focuses on shark population ecology and physiology, looking at optimising new field and laboratory techniques for shark science to obtain accurate and representative data.
Martina has been working in the field of elasmobranchs science for the past six years, working with leading scientists from Fiji to South Africa, to Australia. Thanks to all the experiences and to her amazing mentors, she gained experience in underwater surveys on scuba, looking for sharks, and working for the Crown of Thorns control program, logging over thousands of hours of scientific diving. She learnt how to engage with local stakeholders and communities for the establishment of marine reserves. She contributed as a volunteer to the Global Fin Print project, which resulted in many scientific publications, and she was trained in shark photographic identification and observation of predatory behaviour through the deployment of seal decoys (Micarelli et al., 2021a, Micarelli et al., 2021b). Martina is now working with Dr Jodie Rummer, managing the Physioshark lab in Townsville and helping the students with ongoing experiments. Finally, she is currently working with the F&F Lab on her thesis, specifically looking at the impact of time, and the temporal constraints of data collection for shark research. For example, elasmobranch research is mostly relying on daytime sampling, and researchers have been questioning whether current knowledge truly represents elasmobranch’s abundance and behaviour.
Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) & Epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum)
Martina is now enrolled in a Master of Research studying methods and field techniques to monitor shark populations in the Great Barrier Reef. She is focusing on reef species, such as white tip sharks (Triaenodon obesus), black tip sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus), grey reef sharks (Charcharhinus amblyrhynchos), and epaulette sharks (Hemiscyllium ocellatum).