Introduction to the Biology of Sharks, Skates, and Rays Section 1

Course Dates

July 3, 2023 to July 10, 2023


Two year-long high school courses in science, and completion of grades 10, 11 or 12.

You do not need to have taken SML's Marine Environmental Science courses (section 1 or 2) to enroll in Sharks, Skates, and Rays!

Course Description

Scalloped Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) and Atlantic torpedo ray (Tetronarce nobiliana). Photo by Jan Factor.

Elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays) are the subjects of numerous headlines and blockbuster movies, but what do we really know about them? Join us for the opportunity to learn and separate the myths from the reality to better understand these fascinating animals. During this course, you will find opportunities to immerse yourself in the study of marine science, elasmobranch biology, and conservation, and put your scientific knowledge and experiences into action while learning to look at the world around you from new perspectives. Expect dissections and boat-based exercises! SML courses combine laboratory work and field work to expose students to real-world marine science.

This course is a university level course, designed for advanced high school students. Students will earn one Cornell University credit.


Dr. Ashley Stoehr:

Dr. Ashley Stoehr began her career in marine biology as an undergraduate at the University of Rhode Island where she studied the mechanics of feeding in small sharks, skates, and rays. She later received her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth studying the anatomy, physiology, and ecology of large, open-ocean fishes like swordfish and bigeye thresher sharks. Her research involves analysis of temperature tagging data, exploratory dissections of the heart and blood vessel anatomy, measurements of gills, and mechanical and biochemical experiments using isolated muscle tissue. She currently teaches lectures and labs of Anatomy and Physiology and Marine Biology at Sacred Heart University. This is her sixth summer returning to Shoals Marine Laboratory – previously Dr. Stoehr has served as both TA and lead faculty and is ecstatic to return to SML in 2022!

Photo of students at the dissection table during Anatomy and Function of Marine Vertebrates
Dr. Stoehr with one of her favorite elasmobranchs, a bigeye thresher shark.



Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 1640 (1 Credits)