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Amanda joined the MGL as a doctoral student in July 2014. Her dissertation work focused on population and conservation genetics of scalloped hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini). She will use next-generation sequencing techniques to conduct a high-resolution stock assessment of S. lewini in the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Amanda’s research also involves describing baseline genetic diversity parameters for a sympatrically distributed cryptic species, the Carolina hammerhead (Sphyrna gilberti). Using ecological and genetic data, Amanda is working to characterize both species’ usage of nursery habitats on the east coast of the US, as well as investigate potential mechanisms of speciation in these morphologically conserved species.


Amanda received a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution at the University of California, San Diego. She remained at UC San Diego to 

Current Projects: 

complete her M.S. in Biology, where she studied the genetic population structure of leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) in the Burton Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

  1. Composition of the Sphyrna lewini/gilberti complex in the eastern and southern coastal U.S.

  2. Philopatry, genetic monitoring and stock structure of blacktip sharks, using high throughput next-generation sequencing

  3. Population structure of the western Atlantic scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini)

  4. Paternity analysis in a species (Carcharhinus acronotus) with variable reproductive periodicity


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