A Shark-​​infested Co-​​op Experience

• from Meisha Swaby

When given the chance to study and swim with sharks for a few months, most people would prob­ably politely—or more likely impolitely—decline.

Not North­eastern stu­dent Eva Hayes, S’16. When she found a posi­tion avail­able at the Bimini Sharklab in the Bahamas, she imme­di­ately applied for what she called her “dream co- op.”

“Growing up in Cal­i­fornia I’ve always been fas­ci­nated with sharks,” said Hayes, a com­bined major in inter­na­tional affairs and envi­ron­mental sci­ences. “We’d swim in the ocean and were aware there could be sharks in there.”

Her work at the lab

The Sharklab, a non­profit estab­lished in 1990, works to advance knowl­edge of marine animal biology, espe­cially sharks and rays, through cutting- edge field and lab­o­ra­tory research. Hayes has been working there since March, and her many respon­si­bil­i­ties range from non- invasively tag­ging sharks for tracking pur­poses, to helping advanced degree stu­dents with their research projects.

A pri­mary focus of the lab is studying the habits of juve­nile lemon sharks. To help the lab col­lect data, Hayes worked some 12- hour night shifts at a lemon shark nursery tag­ging all of the lemon sharks they catch and release.