Each day we are going to highlight one of the amazing research projects seeking funding in Round 4 of the #Scifund Challenge. Today we chat with David Shiffman, who you may know as @WhySharksMatter on Twitter. His project goes to fund (surprise!) crucial shark research, more specifically the feeding habits of sharks.
Tell us about yourself, where you are from, and where you see yourself going.
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA (go Steelers!), and I majored in Biology at Duke University (go Blue Devils!) I got my Masters in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston (go Cougars!) After I finish my Ph.D, I hope to do university-level teaching and research somewhere warm.
How did you get involved in your research project?
I’ve always loved sharks, and as I advanced in my education, I learned what kind of data fisheries managers need in order to better conserve and protect them. Stable isotope analysis is a non-lethal, minimally invasive technique that helps get the kind of diet and food web interactions that managers need.
Why is your research important to you? Why should others fund it?
Sharks are ecologically and economically important animals, but many species are in danger of extinction. The kind of data that I’ll be generating in my project can help.
Why did you decide to participate in the SciFund Challenge?
As an active online science communicator (@WhySharksMatter, Facebook.com/WhySharksMatter), I’ve seen the previous round of the SciFund challenge and how successful they were.
Tell us something random. Something funny. Something borrowed. Something blue.
There is a hot dog named after me at Pauly Dogs, a hot dog stand at Duke. It’s called a Shiffman, and it is a hot dog served on a twinkie.
Check out his project here