Organizers: Gavin Naylor1 & David Ebert2

Affiliations: 1/ Hollings Marine Lab, Charleston, USA, 2/ Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, California, USA

Email: gjpnaylor@gmail.com; debert@mlml.calstate.edu

Lead contact: Gavin Naylor

Description: The past 20 years has seen an intensified interest in the role that Chondrichthyes, the sharks, rays, and chimaeras, play in marine ecosystems. This has been catalyzed by concerns about environmental degradation, a decline of global shark populations and an appreciation of the important role these apical predators play in keeping the dynamics of marine ecosystems in balance. As a result, there has been a renewed interest in chondrichthyan biology, in documenting their diversity, in understanding their life histories and in reconstructing their evolutionary relationships in an effort to better predict how they may respond to future human impacts. Sharks and rays tend to be long-lived, slow growing, and produce small litters of well-developed offspring. Their patterns of life history and evolution are more similar to those of mammals than they are to those of teleost fishes. Thus, their response to environmental perturbations will likely differ from teleosts. The symposium will bring together researchers looking at chondrichthyan biodiversity, from the perspective of life history, demography, population biology and phylogenetics.

Expected Audience: We anticipate the symposium will be of interest to those with a focus on Indo-Pacific marine biodiversity, historical biogeography, life history, evolution and conservation biology as well as those with specialist interest in chondrichthyans.