Megan Winton, who is pursuing her PhD at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology, has been named a runner-up for the Steven Berkeley Marine Conservation Fellowship and awarded a $1,000 prize by the American Fisheries Society (AFS).
The fellowship, which honors the memory of dedicated marine scientist Steven Berkeley who was a long-time member of the AFS, is awarded to graduate students actively engaged in thesis research relevant to marine conservation. Megan is developing geostatistical methods to incorporate electronic tagging data into population assessments for white sharks, enabling improved estimates of abundance.
“This study, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, will provide the first baseline assessment of the white shark population off Cape Cod and will be used as the foundation for future monitoring and conservation efforts,” said Megan. “The research will improve our understanding of the Cape’s emerging white shark population and will be disseminated to Cape Cod towns and beach managers via the Regional White Shark Working Group to inform public safety practices.”
Megan is faculty advised by UMass Dartmouth Assistant Professor of Fisheries Oceanography Gavin Fay.