Dr. Lisa Hoopes Update

Dr. Lisa Hoopes Update

In addition to ensuring that the live collection at Georgia Aquarium receives the best diet available, Nutritionist Dr. Lisa Hoopes carries out multiple field research projects throughout the year. Two of her most recent ventures included her partnership with the OCEARCH crew in search of great white sharks and collaborating with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida studying spotted eagle ray nutrition.

In early March Dr. Hoopes, along with the crew on the OCEARCH research vessel embarked on an expedition out of Hilton Head, South Carolina in the hopes of finding Great White Sharks. Dr. Hoopes joined 10 researchers from public and private institutions including South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Mote Marine Laboratory, Georgia State University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute for the second half of a two-week voyage. Although the weather wasn’t ideal, the full two-week expedition yielded two great white sharks and two tiger sharks. Dr. Hoopes was on board for the second tiger shark. All four animals were given a full assessment before being safely released, the crew was even able to collect sperm from the one mature male white shark, and Dr. Hoopes will be testing collected samples for vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. This was Dr. Hoopes third time joining the OCEARCH crew and she is enthusiastic about her relationship with OCEARCH and looks forward to future opportunities. “It’s always a great time when you can collaborate with peers, while also working with some really amazing animals in such a remarkable setting.”

OCEARCH

Around the Memorial Day holiday, Dr. Hoopes traveled to Sarasota, Florida to join researchers from Mote Maine Laboratory to perform health assessments on spotted eagle rays that inhabit Sarasota Bay and the surrounding Gulf of Mexico. Biological samples from the rays as well as samples from potential prey items are being analyzed in the hopes of understanding the nutritional requirements of this species. 

Lisa SER