Shark Sciences: A Conversation with Carlee Jackson


Today’s book is Minorities in Shark Sciences: Diverse Voices in Shark Research (CRC Press, 2022), edited by Jasmin Graham, Camila Caceres and Deborah Santos de Azevedo Menna, which showcases the work done by Black, Indigenous and People of Color around the world in the fields of shark science and conservation. It highlights important research by people who were historically excluded from STEM, and the unique perspectives these scientists bring to their field. The contributors to this book hope to stimulate innovation and transformative change in the field of shark conservation and marine science.

Today’s other book is Sharks (A Day in the Life) (Neon Squid, 2022), by Carlee Jackson, which is set over a 24-hour period, undersea. Marine biologist and shark conservationist Carlee Jackson weaves the story from whale sharks to tiny epaulette sharks in the style of a nature documentary. She also includes shark science facts perfect for future biologists. Readers witness incredible moments including a giant hammerhead hunting stingrays, and a nurse shark asleep in a coral reef. Beautifully illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat and packed with animal facts, Sharks (A Day in the Life) encourages humans to look at sharks as endangered animals who play a key role in the ocean’s ecosystem.

Our guest is Carlee Jackson-Bohannon, who is a marine biologist studying sharks and sea turtles in Florida. She is a co-founder and the Director of Communications for Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), an organization dedicated to increasing diversity and accessibility in shark sciences. Carlee was the recipient of the 2022 Justice in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion award by the Florida Marine Science Educators Association and makes appearances in National Geographic Channel’s Sharkfest. She is the author of Sharks (A Day in the Life), and Green Sea Turtle: A First Field Guide to the Ocean Reptile from the Tropics. Her research interests mainly revolve around the different ways sharks and humans interact and how this affects shark behavior and diversity. She is passionate about her field work and research, and sharing this with marginalized communities. Carlee hopes to inspire more diversity in marine science and spark a passion for sharks in others.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who is the producer and show-host of the Academic Life podcasts. She holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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