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Michael Heithaus

Marine Ecologist - FIU

Research Locations: Western Atlantic Region, French Polynesia, Madagascar

Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, Florida International University


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 150 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.

During the next phase of Global FinPrint, Mike will lead the team in using the dataset from the BRUVS and combining it with other data sources to resolve the ecological role and importance of sharks and rays on coral reefs.


  • 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.
  • Publications


  • Postdoctoral research: Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University
  • B.A. Biological Sciences, Oberlin College