ATLANTA (March 25, 2016) - Georgia Aquarium’s nutritionist, Dr. Lisa Hoopes, will be joining a team of 11 researchers from 10 scientific institutions as a part of OCEARCH this week in Jacksonville, Fla. This expedition intends to gather data to better understand the habitats, physiology and nutritional behavior of white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean through biological sampling and satellite tracking. The results from these studies will assist in public education about white sharks and inspire generations about our oceans and the marine life that inhabit them.

OCEARCH has been actively tracking three white sharks off the coast of Florida, Mary Lee, Lydia, and Katharine with the Global Shark Tracker. The team is returning to Florida to continue tracking sharks and compile more data. 

Georgia Aquarium is one of the only aquariums to have a full-time, on-staff animal nutritionist. Dr. Hoopes joins the OCEARCH team to assist taking samples from white sharks to be analyzed to enable researchers to better understand the nutritional data of the white sharks in this region of the Atlantic Ocean.

Dr. Hoopes will bring the samples back from the expedition to various labs to be analyzed and share the results with the OCEARCH team. The results are eventually published in peer-reviewed scientific papers and can take anywhere from 2 to 5 years.

Make sure to follow OCEARCH on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during the entire Jacksonville expedition, March 15 – April 2 using #ExpeditionJAX. For an inside look on Dr. Hoopes’ time on the expedition, follow Georgia Aquarium on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more information on OCEARCH, their expeditions, and to see real-time tracking updates, visit ocearch.org.

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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals. Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to be a scientific institution that entertains and educates, features exhibits and programs of the highest standards, and offers engaging and exciting guest experiences that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org

ABOUT OCEARCH

OCEARCH is a non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented ocean-based research on apex predators such as Great White and Tiger Sharks, supporting leading researchers and institutions seeking to attain groundbreaking data on the movement, biology and health of keystone species to protect their future while enhancing public safety. The researchers OCEARCH supports work aboard the M/V OCEARCH, a 126’ Cat powered vessel equipped with a 75,000lb. hydraulic research platform, where the ship serves as both mothership and at-sea laboratory. Scientists have approximately 15 minutes of access to live, mature sharks to conduct up to 12 studies. The sharks are measured, tissue and blood samples are collected, and satellite and acoustic transmitters are attached. Costa Sunglasses, YETI Coolers, Contender, Yamaha, SAFE Boats, MUSTAD and Landry’s, Inc. support OCEARCH expeditions.