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Frances Farabaugh

Marine Ecologist - FIU

PhD Student: Florida International University

Research Locations: French Polynesia, New Caledonia

Frances Farabaugh is a native of San Diego where she grew up exploring the beaches, tide pools and kelp beds of southern California. She graduated with a B.S. in 2014 from Humboldt State University with a double major in Marine Biology & Zoology and a minor in Scientific Diving. Her passion for biology and science outreach has taken her all over the world and included work as an instructor at Sea Camp San Diego, a scientific blogger for the Smithsonian’s NMNH in Washington, D.C., and research internships with STRI in Panama and OTS in Costa Rica. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Heithaus Lab at Florida International University. Her research focuses on behavioral ecology of marine predators. In particular, she hopes to elucidate the role sharks play in structuring reef communities by investigating predation risk effects and the functional redundancy of top predators.


  • Investigates factors affecting shark distribution in French Polynesia.
  • Investigates the role of multiple predators in one community.
  • Studies how prey change their behavior in response to predators on coral reefs.
  • Publications


  • B.S. Marine Biology & Zoology, Humboldt State University, California, USA