My Journal



Shark Biology and Conservation

I would like to introduce you to a new book entitled «Shark Biology and Conservation: Essentials for Educators, Students, and Enthusiasts» written by Daniel C. Abel and R. Dean Grubbs and published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

This book is dedicated to students, educators, enthusiasts and naturalists who want to read a comprehensive reference book on Sharks. The authors have taught marine biology and shark biology courses at the Bimini Biological Field Station (BBFS) for over 25 years to dedicated naturalist and academic students, and this book represents the base of this collective and accumulated knowledge on Sharks.

The extensive and dedicated experience and expertise of the authors in science, conservation and education is showcased throughout the book, illustrated by great visuals – from illustrations to photographs – and complemented by references and a complete index. This book represents a comprehensive in-depth reference for the world of Sharks.


Feed your fascination with sharks! This complete resource enlightens readers on the biology, ecology, and behavior of sharks with approachable explanations and more than 250 stunning color illustrations.

Studies of shark biology have flourished over the last several decades. An explosion of new research methods is leading to a fascinating era of oceanic discovery. Shark Biology and Conservation is an up-to-date, comprehensive overview of the diversity, evolution, ecology, behavior, physiology, anatomy, and conservation of sharks. Written in a style that is detailed but not intimidating by world-renowned shark specialists Dan Abel and Dean Grubbs, it relays numerous stories and insights from their exciting experiences in the field. While explaining scientific concepts in terms that non-specialists and students can understand, Abel and Grubbs reveal secrets that will illuminate even the experts. The text provides readers with a robust and wide range of essential knowledge as it

  • introduces emerging as well as traditional techniques for classifying sharks, understanding their behavior, and unraveling the mysteries of their evolution;
  • draws on both established shark science and the latest breakthroughs in the field, from molecular approaches to tracking technologies;
  • highlights the often-neglected yet fascinating subject of shark physiology, including heart function, sensory biology, digestion, metabolic performance, and reproduction;
  • addresses big picture ecological questions like “Which habitats do sharks prefer?” and “Where do sharks migrate and for what purpose?”;
  • describes the astonishing diversity of sharks’ adaptations to their environment;
  • discusses which shark conservation techniques do and don’t work;
  • and comments on the use and misuse of science in the study of sharks.

Enhanced by hundreds of original color photographs and beautifully detailed line drawings, Shark Biology and Conservation will appeal to anyone who is spellbound by this wondrous, ecologically important, and threatened group, including marine biologists, wildlife educators, students, and shark enthusiasts.

Author Biography

Daniel C. Abel is a professor of marine science and Distinguished Honors Faculty Fellow at Coastal Carolina University. He is the coauthor of Environmental Oceanography: Topics and Analysis, Environmental Issues: Looking Towards a Sustainable Future, and Environmental Geology Today. R. Dean Grubbs is the associate director of research and a full research faculty member at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory. Elise Pullen is a marine biologist and freelance scientific illustrator. Marc Dando is a freelance scientific illustrator who specializes in marine life. He is the illustrator of the field guide Sharks of the World.

Table Of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part I. Overview  
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Evolution of Sharks 
  • Chapter 3. Diversity of Sharks 
  • Part II. Adaptational Biology: How Sharks Work 
  • Chapter 4. Functional Anatomy of Sharks 
  • Chapter 5. Sensory Biology 
  • Chapter 6. Reproduction  
  • Chapter 7. Circulation, Respiration, and Metabolism  
  • Chapter 8. Thermal Physiology, Osmoregulation, and Digestion
  • Part III. Ecology and Behavior
  • Chapter 9. Ecology
  • Chapter 10. Behavior and Cognition
  • Part IV. Human Impacts
  • Chapter 11. Fisheries
  • Chapter 12. Climate Change and Other Human Impacts
  • Appendix Conservation: Efforts to Protect Sharks and Rays
  • Index


My shelves are crammed with shark literature, from classic scientific texts to children’s books, tall stories from fishermen, identification guides, and more, but none of these volumes are as comprehensive, accessible, and amusing as this book. It is hard to stop reading long enough to write: ‘This is a classic—order your first edition copy NOW!

Sarah Fowler | OBE | Save Our Seas Foundation | Co-author of Sharks of the World: A Fully Illustrated Guide

The latest book on shark biology and conservation, written by two of the most experienced shark biologists in the business. Covering a wide range of topics, this book is both highly entertaining and informative. I was surprised at how much I learned despite my many years of shark research.

Yannis P. Papastamatiou | Florida International University

Abel and Grubbs have produced a fine contemporary account of shark biology. Written in an accessible, conversational style, this book will be of keen interest to shark enthusiasts, students, and scientists alike.

John A. Musick | Co-chair (retired), IUCN Shark Specialist Group | Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Co-editor of Sharks and Their Relatives II: Biodiversity, Adaptive Physiology, and Conservation

Written in a disarming, jargon-free style, this book is highly accessible to a broad audience. At the same time, this is an authoritative, carefully researched text. It builds on the substantial experience of two highly regarded research biologists with a passion for elasmobranchs, and for communicating what they know about these animals in a straightforward way.

Gavin J. P. Naylor | Florida Program for Shark Research | Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History

Authors write for two reasons: an overwhelming compulsion to tell a story, or to fill a void. Abel and Grubbs are uniquely motivated by both factors. They have written a much-needed story that they have been presenting to classes for more than twenty years. Read this story. It is flawless.

John F. Morrissey | Sweet Briar College | Co-author of Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life

Dan and Dean are not only experienced shark scientists, but also experienced shark educators, as readers can easily tell from their latest book—their knowledge of and enthusiasm for this subject shines through on every page! This book includes science, policy, and personal stories of the authors’ own adventures with these amazing and misunderstood animals. It would make a great textbook, but is also suitable for shark enthusiasts who want to learn more about sharks outside of a classroom setting.

David Shiffman | Postdoctoral Researcher, Arizona State University


Published by Johns Hopkins University Press | jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu

First Printing | 2020

ISBN: 9781421438368

Written by Daniel C. Abel and R. Dean Grubbs with contributions from Tristan Guttridge

Illustrations by Elise Pullen and Marc Dando



448 pages

195 colour and 6 b/w photos | 83 colour & 71 b/w illustrations

Dimensions:  7 x 10 x 1.15 in | 178 x 254 x 29 mm

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