Dr. Christopher Lowe, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and renowned expert on sharks, received $3.75 million in funding from the State of California for his Shark Lab to continue its research goals. California State assembly member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) helped secure the funding.
“We are very excited about receiving this state funding to continue and expand our on-going research on white sharks off California and to work with our partners, including lifeguards, police and fire departments,” Lowe said.
Lowe said the funding will be used to increase the university’s beach shark monitoring program and develop new shark education programs for the public. The money also will be used to help fund underwater robots that can record sharks’ behavior and drones that can search for great whites from the skies. The Shark Lab researchers also will be able to purchase more receivers and tags that can track sharks’ migration.
“With more sharks along our coastline, the need for answers about their behavior and public safety have been growing,” he said. “Historically, we were limited by technology that we could use to study these amazing animals, but now we have an amazing suite of tools at our disposal to answer many of the important questions about their behavior. This funding will be essential in enabling us to deploy these tools to unraveling the mystery behind these ocean predators so that lifeguards can better advise the public.”