Dr. Chapman addresses critical conservation issues by exploring pressing biological questions. He combines molecular and field-based approaches to better understand the population biology, evolution and ecology of large marine vertebrates, particularly sharks and their relatives. His work contributed to the establishment of marine reserves in Belize and The Bahamas. He is the author of numerous conservation articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Molecular Ecology, PLoS ONE, Biology Letters, and Science.
How do marine reserves affect sharks and rays?
What anthropogenic, environmental, and habitat features influence the local abundance and diversity of large marine predators on a global scale?
What is the species composition of the global shark and ray fin trade and how is this changing over time?
Combines tracking studies with baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys of reef shark abundance to directly assess the effectiveness of marine reserves for these species.
Conducts genetic market surveys in Asia to asses the species composition of the global shark and ray fin trade and how it is affected by new regulations (e.g. listing of sharks and rays on the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species).
Assesses the role of philopatry (i.e. residency or return migration) in structuring shark and ray populations.
Works to delineate management units, scale management interventions, and source wildlife products in trade back to their geographic area of origin.
Discovered that female sharks are able to reproduce asexually in captivity. Recently discovered that female rays are doing so in the wild.
Member of the Science Advisory Committee for Pew Environment’s Global Shark Program.