June 15, 2017
On July 24, 2017 at 8 p.m., Discovery will air an episode of its iconic “Shark Week” series titled, “Shark Vortex.” Portions of the episode were shot off the coast of Maine and in the marine science labs at the University of New England.
Each summer the Gulf Stream pushes north into the waters of southern New England, bringing with it thirty species of shark. Massachusetts shark biologist Greg Skomal and cinematographer Joe Romeiro study the annual spectacle, focusing on three sharks – makos, great whites, and porbeagles – that can out-swim, out-think, and out-compete all the others.
The episode brings them to Maine and the University of New England, where they join UNE Professor James Sulikowski, Ph.D., to study the porbeagle, a shark Sulikowski has extensive research experience with.
Sulikowski says it was rewarding to bring the production here to Maine. "The sharks in the Gulf of Maine are incredibly important to our ocean ecosystems, and the research we are conducting will help to protect them for generations to come. I am so thankful to Discovery and Shark Week for the opportunity to share this work with not only UNE and our local community, but millions of people around the world."
This is the second time Sulikowski has been part of “Shark Week.” Last year he was featured in “Tiger Beach,” the premiere episode of the Discovery series. The episode followed a team of researchers in the Bahamas as they searched for clues about why tiger sharks were congregating in one specific area. They studied their reproductive habits using sonogram technology – allowing them to get clear images of baby sharks inside their mothers’ wombs.
To learn more about the University of New England’s Department of Marine Sciences visit www.une.edu/cas/marine
To learn more about the University of New England’s Center for Excellence in Marine Sciences, visit www.une.edu/research/msc
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions