Andrew P. Nosal, PhD 2013
Postdoctoral Researcher and Birch Aquarium
DeLaCour Fellow in Ecology and Conservation


Thesis:
Demography, Movement Patterns, and Mating System of Leopard Sharks (Triakis semifasciata) Aggregating along the Open Coast of Southern California, USA

Undergraduate Degree:  B.S. Biology, Specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation 

Undergraduate University:  University of Virginia

 



Research Interests

I am interested in the spatial ecology of elasmobranch fishes (sharks and rays), particularly the mechanisms governing movement phenomena, such as aggregation behavior, sexual segregation, seasonal migration, navigation, and diel activity patterns.  I am also interested in the biological and ecological consequences (e.g., effects on population structure and mating systems) and conservation implications of these phenomena (e.g., effectiveness of existing and future reserves)

Ongoing Studies

Social and non-social forces governing aggregation behavior in the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata). 
Collaborators:   P. Hastings (SIO, UCSD), I. Couzin (Princeton)

Mechanisms enabling navigation and homing in the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata). 
Collaborators:  P. Hastings (SIO, UCSD)

Circadian rhythms and biological clocks in the swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) and horn shark (Heterodontus francisci). 
Collaborators:  P. Hastings (SIO,UCSD)

Population structure of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata). 
Collaborators:  R. Burton and A. Barker (SIO,UCSD), E. Lewallen (U. Toronto – Scarborough)

Psychology of fear and willingness to conserve sharks. 
Collaborators:  E. Keenan and A. Gneezy (Rady School of Management, UCSD)

Recent Publications

Nosal AP, Royer MA, Caillat A, Kisfaludy E, Wegner NC (2014). "Aggregation behavior and seasonal philopatry in male and female  leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata)  along the open coast of southern California, USA."Marine Ecology Progress Series. 499: 157-175.

Nosal AP, Lewallen EA, Burton RS (2013). "Multiple paternity in leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) litters sampled from a predominantly female aggregation in La Jolla, CA, USA. " Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 446:110-114

Nosal AP, Cartamil DC, Long JW, Luhrmann M, Wegner NC, Graham JB (2013).  Demography and movement patterns of leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) aggregating near the head of a submarine canyon along the open coast of southern California, USA."  Environmental Biology of Fishes.  96:865-878

Recent Presentations

Nosal AP, Keenan EA, Gneezy A.  2013. " Happy and playful sharks? The effect of background music in nature documentaries on viewer's perception of and willingness to protect sharks."   Oral presentation at the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society, Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Albuquerque, MN, USA

Nosal AP, et al. (2012). Low incidence of multiple paternity in leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) sampled from a predominantly female aggregation. Oral paper presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society, World Congress of Herpetology, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Nosal AP (2012).  Local legends: the leopard sharks of La Jolla Shores.  Invited oral presentation at the Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Sciences Lecture Series, Birch Aquarium, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Nosal AP, et al. (2011). Aggregation behavior of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) at thehead of La Jolla Submarine Canyon, La Jolla, California, USA. Oral paper presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society, Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Minneapolis, MN, USA.  *Samuel H. Gruber Award for Best Student Oral Paper

Nosal AP, et al. (2011). Aggregation behavior of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) associated with the head of La Jolla Submarine Canyon, La Jolla, California, USA. Oral paper presented at the First International Conference on Fish Telemetry, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. *Award for Best Student Oral Paper

Nosal AP, et al. (2010). Movement patterns of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) along the open coast of San Diego County, California. Oral paper presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Elasmobranch Society, Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Providence, RI, USA.

 

Selected Awards

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) – 2007

NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) – 2007
NSF Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) – 2007
NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) – 2006

Media Consulting

Print and on-camera interviews on shark behavior, conservation, and human interactions with the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, North County Times, Mail Online, La Jolla Light, Christian Science Monitor, all San Diego network news affiliates (FOX-5, CW-6, NBC-7, CBS-8, ABC-10, and KUSI), and Al Jazeera International

Additional appearances on the television series “Lifeguard! Southern California” (The Weather Channel; 2012) and the documentary “Shocking Sharks” (National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild; 2013)

Please direct media inquiries to Mario Aguilera of the Scripps Communications Office (maguilera@ucsd.edu) or Jessica Crawford of the Birch Aquarium (jzcrawford@ucsd.edu)


In the News:
Newborn Sharks


Pooling Support for the Next Generation

Andy is talking to a group of middle school science students about his leopard shark dissertation research. He's addressing them from atop a small homely-looking boat docked on the Scripps pier.