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Postdoctoral Research with Sharks and Rays

Southern Stingray Sperm

Approximately 25% of elasmobranch species are threatened with extinction. Application of assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination, can aid in the genetic management of endangered shark and ray species. The systematic collection and cryopreservation of sperm from in situ and ex situ populations can permit the long-term storage and/or immediate transfer of genes between threatened populations. In collaboration with SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Dr. James Gillis’ current research is focused on shark sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination. With whitespotted bamboo sharks as a model species, James and his colleagues are investigating new technologies to cryopreserve shark sperm! They hope this research will provide conservation scientists with tools to store the genetics of endangered shark and ray species!