Skip to Local Navigation
Skip to Content
California State University, Long Beach
Shark Lab banner


The California State University Long Beach Shark Lab has had a long and rich history in the area of elasmobranch research.

The Shark Lab was established in 1966 when Dr. Donald Nelson joined the faculty at CSULB as part of Marine Biology program. Don's commitment to the study of sensory biology and behavior of sharks was instrumental in furthering our understanding of these animals.

The CSULB Shark Lab, through the direction of Don Nelson produced over 50 scientific publications and trained 21 Masters and 1 Ph.D. student during his 30-year tenure. Many of the research projects conducted by the CSULB Shark Lab ventured to locations like Tahiti, Enewetak Atoll, and Baja, Mexico with funding from the Office of Naval Research and National Geographic Society.

Unfortunately, Don passed away on March 7, 1997 after a long battle with melanoma skin cancer. Dr. Christopher Lowe, one of Don's former Masters students was hired as Don's replacement in 1998. Chris took over the CSULB Shark Lab and keeps the legacy going. We invite you to enjoy a pictorial history of elasmobranch research at the CSULB Shark Lab. For more information about current research at the CSULB Shark Lab check out the Research pages.

Shark Lab circa 1970 Don Nelson tagging silky shark Dick Johnson observing horn sharks in tanks horn shark swimming through the activity sensing bars preparing for a dive gray reef sharks circling a hydrophone speaker at Enewetak Dick Johnson towing shark observation board at Enewetak Observer laying on s.o.b. Tim Tricas holding open the jaws of a large tiger shark Jeff Landsman holding a pop-up radio/acoustic transmitter blue shark with a pop-up radio/acoustic transmitter at the surface Don Nelson with a scalloped hammerhead shark off El Bajo Seamount, La Paz Don Nelson showing off the SOS II, Shark Observation Submersible, at Enewetak James N. McKibben tracking gray reef sharks at Enewetak Don Nelson and Pete Klimley viewing video tapes of hammerhead schools at a seamount off La Paz Larry Smith and Jim McKibben running experiments to test chemical repellents on swell sharks at the CSULB Shark Lab Bob Johnson, Andy Stull and Don Nelson conducting field tests of chemical shark repellents in the Catalina Channel Joe Sisneros, Don Nelson, Rodney Fox and Eugenie Clark in the CSULB Shark Lab watching Joe's experiments on chemical shark repellents The renovated CSULB Shark Lab under Chris Lowe's management Chris Lowe with a tagged gray reef shark and acoustic monitor at Bikini Atoll Graduate student, Megan Marcotte, conducting her electro repulsion experiments in Hawaii Undergraduate student, Tiffany Royal, measuring the metabolic rates of round stingrays in the CSULB Shark Lab Graduate student, Yannis Papastamatiou, measuring the gastric pH of a juvenile scalloped hammerhead shark in Hawaii Chris Lowe, Brad Wetherbee, and Carl Meyer tagging tiger sharks Brad Wetherbee, Josh Wetherbee, Chris and Gwen Lowe, the shark tagging crew on Midway Island The entire CSULB Shark Lab out doing a beach seine for round stingrays at Seal Beach Greg Hoisington and Marc Hardy measuring and tagging a stingray collected at Seal Beach
Previous slide Next slide