Mike Heithaus

Co-Lead Scientist


   Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education 
  Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences
  Founding Executive Director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS)


Dr. Heithaus specializes in predator-prey interactions and the ecological importance of sharks and other large marine species like dolphins and sea turtles. He has published more than 110 scientific papers, co-edited three books on sharks and attracted over $4 million in research support. He worked with National Geographic’s Remote Imaging Department conducting studies using “Crittercam” while hosting television series featuring travels around the world to deploy more than 100 devices on marine animals.

   How do predator-prey interactions, particularly non-consumptive “risk effects”, structure communities?

  What role do upper trophic level marine predators have in their communities and ecosystems, and how are ongoing reductions in their populations likely to impact marine communities?

  How important are individual foraging specializations on mediating the ecological impacts of predators, particularly what is their role in transporting nutrients across ecosystem boundaries?

  Western Atlantic Region

  French Polynesia


    Investigates the ecological consequences of overfishing large predators, predator-prey interactions, and the ecology of seagrass ecosystems, coral reefs, and deep-sea communities.

  Uses and develops cutting-edge camera technology, including some worn by animals, to conduct research on hard-to-study marine animals in their natural habitats.

  Speaks to students and their teachers, in person or virtually, at K-12 schools across the country.

  Co-wrote two high school science textbooks and is an author on a national K-8 science program.

  Member of the Science Advisory Committee for Pew Environment’s Global Shark Program.

  Involved in the production of more than a dozen natural history documentaries.

  Hosts and produces – along with Patrick Greene of SymbioStudios – science and math videos for students and teachers in K-12 classrooms.