Later this month, Georgia Aquarium’s staff nutritionist, and one of the only in the world for aquatic animals, will be joining the OCEARCH Low Country expedition in South Carolina. Dr. Lisa Hoopes will be joining an expert science team studying a variety of factors associated with white sharks, including attaching satellite tags for future tracking.

Dr. Hoopes will be focusing her studies on nutritional markers in the white sharks found in the western North Atlantic region. By studying the nutritional makeup of free-ranging white sharks, researchers can learn more about what they eat in the ocean and their overall health. Information acquired from these studies can be used to compare the diets from sharks and rays in zoos and aquariums to free-ranging animals and evaluate any necessary changes. In order to find out the nutritional makeup of a shark, Dr. Hoopes and her colleagues will be performing blood draws and other biological sampling to find key markers.

Georgia Aquarium is one of the only aquariums in the world to have a full-time staff nutritionist. Dr. Hoopes is responsible for planning and monitoring the nutritional plans and diets for the animals at Georgia Aquarium, partner facilities, and during field projects.

The OCEARCH Low Country expedition began on February 22 and will conclude on March 15, 2017.

For more information on OCEARCH and to track tagged sharks real-time, visit ocearch.org. Follow the expedition with photos, video, and live interviews on OCEARCH’s Facebook page.

To see exclusive pictures from the expedition and to follow along with Dr. Hoopes during her time on the OCEARCH research vessel, follow Georgia Aquarium on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more, visit news.georgiaaquarium.org