Hola, hola everybody!
Vicky Vásquez here. I study chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fish) with a focus on their taxonomy and ecology. I grew up in San Diego with a Mexican-American mom and a Venezuelan-born dad, then it was off to University of California, Davis to for a B.S. in Evolution & Ecology — with a pit stop at their Bodega Bay Marine Lab — with additional classes to achieve double minors in Art Study (for photography) and Psychology (for animal behavior). Prior to going back to school for a Masters in Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories with the Pacific Shark Research Center, I worked for a number of non-profits focused on marine science education such as the Marine Science Institute, Ocean Odyssey, and the Seven Tepees Youth Program.
What has been really cool and unexpected throughout my career have been the collaborations along the way to bring marine science and especially SHARKS to a wider audience. I have had the opportunity to present and discuss my research both locally and internationally including TV appearances for several episodes of Discovery Channel's Shark Week and other documentary programming.
The research I am most proud of includes: discovering a new species of shark that my little cousins (8-12 at the time) helped name- the Ninja Lanternshark, being part of the team to tag a Goblin Shark for the first time EVER, and my contribution to IUCN Red List Assessments (this is the where terms like 'Endangered' & 'Critically Endangered' originate from).
During the majority of my 18-year career, I have donated a lot of my time to bringing marine science to kids and communities of low socioeconomic status and especially Spanish-speakers. I have been able to accomplish this outreach work through social media but most importantly through in-person events. Donating to my Patreon not only helps me continue that outreach, it allows me to continue my research endeavour and in doing so, communicate my results to a wider audience! If you can't support financially (no worries) you can still make a HUGE impact by spreading this website around. Thank you!!!!