Research in the Heithaus lab is focused on understanding the ecological importance of large predators, especially in ocean ecosystems, and the consequences of human-induced declines in their populations. Mike is best-known for his work on sharks – which has included studies on their wider ecosystems (including potential prey like marine mammals and sea turtles) – and the importance of behavioral responses of prey to predators in structuring ecosystems (the ecology of fear).
Much of the work in the lab is field-based and includes developing and employing new technologies to ask answer important questions. This includes developing animal-borne cameras, satellite and acoustic telemetry, and – more recently – camera- equipped unmanned aerial vehicles. The lab uses mathematical models and laboratory studies to address general questions and inform field work. Follow the Heithaus lab on Facebook or keep up with their research on the lab blog.