James Sulikowski

Dr. James Sulikowski is a marine biologist and professor at the University of New England. He has 25 years of experience working with cartilaginous and bony fish. He has more than 65 peer-reviewed publications and his research has garnered more than $9 million in external grant funding. James has appeared on numerous local and national television shows including NBC’s “Today Show,” “Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin” and the BBC series “Rise of Animals.” His research was featured on the Discovery Channel's Shark Week in both 2016 and 2017.

James has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Denison University, masters’ degrees in marine biology (Nova Southeastern University) and physiology (DePaul University), and a P.h.D in Zoology (University of New Hampshire).



DePaul University


University of New Hampshire


Dennison University


Nova Southeastern University

Post-Doctoral Training


University of New Hampshire


New Hampshire


Life history and population dynamics of sharks


and rays

composition and spatial/temporal distribution of fish communities

physiological responses to stress and how this influences by-catch mortality

environmental adaptations in fish; conservation of fish communities

and trophic interactions between fish species


Current Research

  • Movement and habitat preference of sharks, sturgeon and other charismatic species
  • Post-release mortality in commercial and recreational fishing gear
  • Evaluating the Saco Bay estuary system as a nursery ground for commercially valuable and ecologically important fish species
  • Shark, skate and ray life history

Research Interests

My research focuses on the biology and physiology of fish. This research includes aspects of fisheries biology such as reproduction, maturity and age and growth in elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and stingrays). Interests also include the physiological responses to stress and how this influences by-catch mortality in commercial and recreational fishing gear and the composition, movements, and spatial/temporal distribution of fishes and fish communities.

Selected Publications

Knotek R.J., Gill S.M., Rudders D.B., Mandelman J.W., Benoît H.P., and Sulikowski J.A. 2015.  The development of a refrigerated flow-through seawater system for at sea operation and estimation of post-release mortality. J. Fish. Res. 170, 152–157.

Wippelhauser G.S., Zydlewski G.B., Kieffer, M., Sulikowski J.A., and Kinnison M.T. 2015. Shortnose sturgeon in the Gulf of Maine: use of spawning and wintering 1 habitat in the Kennebec System and response to dam removal. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 144:4, 742-752,. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2015.1037931

Sulikowski, J.A.,  Wheeler, C.R. Gallagher, A.J., Prohaska, B.K., J.A., Langan and Hammershlag, N.  2015. Seasonal and life-stage variation in the reproductive ecology of a marine apex predator, the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), at a protected female aggregation site. Accepted, Journal of Aquatic Biology. 

Capizzano C.W, Mandelman J.W., Hoffman W.S, Dean M.J, Zemeckis D.R, Benoît HP, Stettner M.J., Kneebone J., Buchan N.C., Langan J.A., and Sulikowski J.A. 2015. Estimating and mitigating post-release mortality of Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine’s recreational rod-and-reel fishery. Accepted ICES

Smith K.M., Byron C.J., Sulikowski JA. 2016. Modeling Predator-Prey Linkages of Diadromous Fishes in an Estuarine Food Web. Accepted, Mar. and Coas. Fisheries.

Rudnicky, B.R., Smith K.M., and Sulikowski, J.A. 2016, First Observation of YOY Paralichthys dentatus (Summer Flounder) in a Southern Maine Estuary. Accepted, N. E. Naturalist. 

Other Scholarly Activity


  • 3 organized symposia
  • 22 interviews on mass media including BBC, National Geographic, ABC's Ocean Mysteries Series, and Shark Week 2016
  • 24 invited lectures to academic, government and industry audiences on subjects including fishery management, shark biology, and conservation
  • 131 conference presentations in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, including the American Elasmobranch Society, the American Fisheries Society, International White Shark Symposium, and International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (details below)

Funded Grants

2015-2017: Determining the discard mortality rate and best capture-handling methods for Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) captured in the Gulf of Maine commercial lobster industry. 
NOAA/NMFS BREP in the amount of $244,000

2015-2017: Quantifying and reducing post-release mortality for Dusky sharks discarded in the commercial pelagic longline fishery. NOAA/NMFS BREP in the amount of $249,000. CO-PI: Walt Golet (GMRI)

2015-2017: Biological Sampling to Determine Age and Growth of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in the NW Atlantic III.  NOAA/NMFS in the amount of $220,000. UNE portion $34,105. CO-PI: Walt Golet (GMRI)

2014-2016: Evaluating the Condition and Discard Mortality of Skates Following Capture and Handling in the Sea Scallop Dredge Fishery: Scallop Research Set Aside Program: NOAA/NMFS in the amount of $1,657,181; UNE portion $261, 000 CO-PI: Dave Rudders (VIMS)  and CO-PI John Mandelman (NEAQ)

2014-2016: Evaluating the Condition and Discard Mortality of Winter Skate, Leucoraja ocellata, Following Capture and Handling in the Sink Gillnet Fishery: NOAA/NMFS in the amount of $1,700,000.

Research Topics

James Sulikowski

James Sulikowski



Professor of Marine Science

Biddeford Campus

Marine Science Center


(207) 602-2730

On Campus