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Demian Chapman

Molecular Ecologist and Conservation Biologist - Mote Marine Laboratory and FIU

Research Locations: Western Atlantic Region, Maldives, Hong Kong

Adjunct Professor, Florida International University


Demian Chapman is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at FIU and the director of the Sharks and Rays Conservation Program at Mote Marine Laboratory. A molecular ecologist by training, he led the Global FinPrint project and studies the global trade in shark fins and meat.

He has published more than 100 scientific papers and appeared on the BBC and the Discovery Channel. His efforts have contributed to species protection in the form of a shark sanctuary in the Bahamas, improved shark and ray management in Belize, and the listing and implementation of trade restrictions for multiple shark and ray species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to name a few. In the next phase of the project, Demian will continue to lead the FinPrint team in using the results to better protect sharks and rays.


  • 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.
  • Predator Ecology & Conservation Lab
  • Publications 


  • 2014 Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation
  • Postdoctoral research: Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami
  • Ph.D. and M.S. Oceanography and Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University, Florida
  • B.S. Zoology and Ecology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand