Meagan in Shark BayI am a faculty member in the Marine Science and Conservation Division of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. I direct the Rachel Carson Scholars Program and teach Marine Megafauna on Duke University’s Main Campus.

I am a marine conservationist and my research focuses on the effectiveness of marine reserves for pelagic predators, such as sharks, tuna, and billfish. Prior to joining Duke University as faculty, I was a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. I received my Ph.D. from Duke University under Dr. Andy Read in 2015. During my time in coastal North Carolina, I also carried out a field project investigating the abundance and habitat use of bull sharks in the Neuse River Estuary.

Prior to beginning my doctoral studies at Duke, my Master’s Degree research focused on the spatio-temporal variation in dwarf sperm whale habitat use and group size off of Abaco Island in the Bahamas. After completing my Master’s Degree fieldwork, I conducted research in the seagrass ecosystem of Shark Bay, Western Australia to study the non-lethal effects of tiger sharks on multiple prey species (dolphins, marine turtles, dugongs, stingrays, cormorants, sea snakes). Additionally, I carried out research in the Florida Everglades to study factors driving the distribution of bull sharks.  I also conducted a laboratory study of the influence of predation risk on the diving behavior of red-eared slider turtles.