Demian Chapman

Lead Scientist

dc--Caribbean-reef-shark-in-Belize
  Associate Professor, School of Environment, Arts and Society

 Website

 Publications

Demian Chapman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at FIU. A molecular ecologist by training, he leads the Global FinPrint project and studies the Asian shark fin trade. He has published more than 70 scientific papers and appeared on BBC and the Discovery Channel. His efforts have contributed to species protection in the form of a shark sanctuary in The Bahamas, improved shark management in Belize, and the listing of multiple shark and ray species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to name a few.


  How does philopatric behaviour (i.e. individual residency or return migration) affect the population structure and genetic diversity of marine animals?

  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? 


    Western Atlantic Region

    Maldives

    Hong Kong


  Uses acoustic and satellite telemetry to better understand the movements of sharks and other large fish in relation to protected areas (e.g. marine reserves).

  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. 

   Develops wildlife forensic resources to monitor the global shark and ray fin trade. One such resource is the Shark Fin ID Guide, co-authored with Debra Abercrombie, which is used by customs and enforcement personnel from all over the world to identify the fins of five shark species of particular conservation concern. This guide was an integral part of successful proposals to list these species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in March 2013.

   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.