David Acuna Marrero

Doctor of Philosophy, (Ecology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Spatial ecology and human perceptions toward sharks in the Galapagos marine reserve

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Current research shows a global decline in shark populations. To increase our knowledge about the spatial ecology of sharks, Mr Acuna Marrero used telemetry technology to study their movement dynamics and stereo-video cameras to understand their distribution and abundance patterns. He found that sharks have variable spatial requirements for particular habitats and food resources, reducing the spatial extent of their movements in the presence of a predictable source of prey, thereby enhancing the potential effectiveness of marine protected areas. His research also proposed a new method to provide more accurate estimates of shark densities than underwater visual techniques. In addition, a social study identified specific attitudes and associated factors having the greatest influence on human behaviours towards shark conservation. Mr Acuna Marrero’s research provided timely and critical information for identifying effective strategies for the management and conservation of sharks to ensure their long-term survival.

Distinguished Professor Marti Anderson
Professor Euan Harvey
Dr Pelayo Salinas De Leon
Dr Raquel De La Cruz Modino
Dr Mat Pawley
Dr Adam Smith