Dr. Nick Whitney

Title: Staff Scientist; Program Manager — Behavioral Ecology & Physiology Program

Phone: 941-388-4441, ext. 217
Fax: 941-388-4312

Dr. Whitney joined the Center for Shark Research as a Postdoctoral Scientist in 2009 after completing graduate school at the University of Hawaii. There he focused on movements, reproductive behavior, and population genetics of the whitetip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, while also working on a number of other projects with various shark species. At Mote, Nick’s work is focused on quantifying fine-scale aspects of shark behavior, physiology and ecology using accelerometers and other emerging technologies. This work has also expanded to non-shark species including rays, sea turtles, pythons and sturgeon.
Nick was promoted to Staff Scientist in 2011.


Ph.D. Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI (Major Professor: Kim N. Holland)

M.S. Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI (Major Professor: Kim N. Holland)

B.S. Biology, Albion College, Albion, MI (Advisor: Jeffrey C. Carrier)

  • NSF Biological Oceanography Program (PI, w/ Co-PIs R. Hueter, A. Gleiss, and S. Gruber), 2012-2014
  • NOAA/NMFS Cooperative Research Program (PI, w/ Co-PI R. Hueter), 2011
  • Albion College “Top Ten in Ten” Young Alumni Award, 2010
  • National Geographic Society CRE Grant (PI, w/ Co-PI W. Pratt), 2010
  • National Science Foundation EAGER Grant (Co-PIs Gleiss, Pratt, Wilson), 2010
  • National Geographic Society Waitt Grant (Co-PI W. Pratt),  2008
  • PADI Project A.W.A.R.E. grant, 2007    
  • Lerner-Gray Marine Research Grant, American Museum of Natural History, 2004
  • University of Hawaii Seagrant Project Development Funds (Co-PI B. Bowen), 2004
  • PADI Project A.W.A.R.E. grant, 2004
  • University of Hawaii Arts and Science Advisory Council Award, 2004
  • Budweiser Conservation Scholarship, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 2003
  • National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, 2003-2006
  • PADI Project A.W.A.R.E. grant, 2003
  • Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research, 2002
  • PADI Project A.W.A.R.E. grant, 2002
  • Ralph S. Wadley Memorial Scholarship in the Biological Sciences 1997 - 2000
  • Upjohn Stipend for Undergraduate Research. 1998
  • Albion College Presidential Scholarship, 1996
Whitney NM, Papastamatiou YP, and AC Gleiss. In Press. Chapter 9 Integrative multi-sensor tagging of elasmobranchs: emerging techniques to quantify behavior, physiology, and ecology. In: Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives Vol 2. Ed. Carrier JC, Heithaus MR, and JA Musick. CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.

Whitney NM, Robbins WD, Schultz JK, Bowen BW, and KN Holland. In Press. Phylogeography of the whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus): oceanic dispersal in a sedentary reef predator. Journal of Biogeography.

Whitney NM, Pyle RL, Holland KN, and JT Barcz*. 2012. Movements, philopatry, and reproductive seasonality in the whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) from community-based photo-identification. Environmental Biology of Fishes 93: 121-136.

Fossette S, Gleiss AC, Myers AE, Bartlett PW, Doughty H, Garner S, Liebsch N, Whitney NM, Lutcavage ME, Wilson RP, and GC Hays. 2010. Diving strategy and buoyancy regulation in the deepest diving reptile: the leatherback turtle. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 4074-83.

Whitney NM, Pratt HL, Pratt TC, and JC Carrier. 2010. Identifying shark mating behavior using three-dimensional acceleration loggers. Endangered Species Research 10: 71-82.

Meyer CG, Dale JJ, Papastamatiou YP, Whitney NM, and KN Holland. 2009. Seasonal cycles and long-term trends in abundance and species-composition of sharks associated with cage diving ecotourism activities in Hawaii. Environmental Conservation 36: 104-111.

Meyer CG, Clark TB, Papastamatiou YP, Whitney NM, and KN Holland. 2009. Long-term movement patterns of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in Hawaii. Marine Ecology Progress Series 381: 223-235.

Whitney NM, Motta PJ. 2008. Cleaner host posing behavior of whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) in a swarm of hyperiid amphipods. Coral Reefs 27: 363.
Whitney NM, Papastamatiou YP, Holland KN, Lowe CG. 2008. Use of an acceleration data logger to measure diel activity patterns in captive whitetip reef sharks, Triaenodon obesus. Aquatic Living Resources 20: 299-305.

Whitney NM, and GC Crow. 2007. Reproductive biology of the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) in Hawaii. Marine Biology 151: 63-70.
Whitney NM, Pratt HL, and JC Carrier. 2004. Group courtship, mating behaviour, and siphon sac function in the whitetip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus. Animal Behaviour 68: 1435-1442.

Department: Directorate of Marine Biology & Conservation

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Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, we incorporate public outreach as a key part of our mission. Mote is an independent nonprofit organization and has seven centers for marine research, the public Mote Aquarium and an Education Division specializing in public programs for all ages.

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