Summer 2014 has been a wet and wild one for the Beneath the Waves crew! As always, we are hard at work to bring you the best in ocean films and stories. However, with summer coming to a close we wanted to recap what we have accomplished not only at BTW HQ but what some of our team members are contributing to their respective fields.



Beneath the Waves:

This summer Beneath the Waves hosted six festivals all over the United States, including one in Australia.  We established our 501©-3 non-profit status! We were also busy bees on social media, starting a quarterly newsletter, this blog, and launching a successful #SharkWeek campaign that engaged thousands of shark lovers the world over. In addition, we are gearing up for next year and will be taking submissions for our main festival shortly. Youth Making Ripples has just received their first submissions and are hungry for more! Check out our pages for more updates on all we have to offer.




Austin has published numerous papers including:

“Vulnerability of oceanic sharks to pelagic longline by catch” in Global Ecology and Conservation  PDF

“Evolved for Extinction? The price of specialization in apex marine predators” in BioScience  PDF

“Social behaviors in open ocean sharks at a Bahamian reef” in Ethology, Ecology, and Evolution  PDF

But none of these compare to Austin’s biggest accomplishment this summer, asking BTW co-director Erica to be his lady. Forever. (She said yes!)



IMG_0755 - 2014-05-22 at 04-57-42Erica:

Erica traveled to Africa (with Austin) on an epic journey to the deserts of Namibia, the sharky waters off of Cape Town, and Kruger National Park.

Erica also published a portion of her PhD research in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series entitled Celestial Patterns in Marine Soundscapes. pdf



Phil has continued his on-going research with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looking at the influence of ocean acidification on stone crab hatchlings. His work was recently covered by Business Insider.




Xmas (35)In June Lauren started as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow at USGS in St. Petersburg. Over the next two years she will be developing a comprehensive reconstruction of coral-reef development in the Florida Keys over the last 6000 years.

She also published two papers:

“Do no-take reserves benefit Florida’s corals? 14 years of change and stasis in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary” in Coral Reefs. pdf

“A depth refugium from catastrophic coral bleaching prevents regional extinction” in Ecology. pdf





At the beginning of the summer, Andy joined Fabien Cousteau and the Mission 31 crew for his second mission as an aquanaut continuing his ongoing research on coral reefs in the Florida Keys.




IMG_5119Alex joined BTWaves friends, PangeaSeed, on the Mexican island of Isla Mujeres to frolic with whale sharks, manta rays, and turtles for their annual feeding convergence. She spent the rest of her summer finishing up the final experiments of her graduate research looking at the influence of copper on chemical communication between marine critters and publishing an upcoming paper in the journal PLoS on how to effectively communicate science. Stay tuned!





Along with combating misinformation regarding Shark Week, David and Austin recently published a paper focusing on the impact of Trophy Species.

“Trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction: a way forward building on a history of conservation” in Marine Policy PDF





Evelyn is currently a part of the B.E.A.R.S. program at the Virginia Zoo assisting with animal enrichment, husbandry, and breeding. She is also on the Board of Old Dominion University’s Marine Biology Student Association and has been working with the Elizabeth River Project doing wetland restoration projects.




Betsy has just finished two months in Tanzania where she was working in various schools teaching an alternative teaching method called Literacy Through Photography (LTP) with seven other students. She and the rest of her team taught different subjects while incorporating photography, as well as holding collaborative teacher workshops to brainstorm and discuss how teachers can implement LTP in the classroom.






Keep up the great work team!!