SFU prof’s worldwide influence on sharks and rays research leads to accolade and a new conservation program

Researchers around the world cited SFU biology professor Nick Dulvy's research papers 2,345 times between 2006-2016, earning him recognition as a "highly cited researcher."

December 04, 2018

It has been a good week for both marine conservation and Nick Dulvy, SFU professor of biological sciences.

On Nov. 27, Clarivate Analytics recognized Dulvy as a “Highly Cited Researcher.”

Clarivate analyzed thousands of published academic papers from 2006 – 2016 and found that Dulvy’s were cited by other researchers a whopping 2,345 times. This puts Dulvy’s papers in the top one per cent of citations and shows the worldwide influence of his research.

Dulvy is the only SFU faculty member from this global survey of researchers to make the list.

Dulvy also holds a Canada Research Chair in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at SFU.

“Until now, there has been no academic acknowledgement or recognition of the value of global change science,” says Dulvy. “I have been working on the battlegrounds of shark and ray conservation, fisheries and climate change for two decades.

“It is important to see that the kind of interdisciplinary science needed to save the Earth is now measured and tracked.”

Dulvy introduces new conservation training program

On Dec. 4 Dulvy is launching EDGE Sharks —a new training program for conservation fellows. It is focused on building capacity to conserve the most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) sharks and rays in the world.

The initiative came about through a project that saw Dulvy team with fellow biological sciences professor Arne Mooers to devise the first evolutionary tree of sharks and rays. (See SFU News)

The two developed a complete family tree of every species of shark and ray according to each of their unique evolutionary histories. They hoped to identify the most evolutionarily distinct species. These are threatened species that have no close relatives on the tree of life, such as sawfishes and angel sharks.

“The potential of extinction of any of these species would prune an average of 26 million years of distinct evolutionary history from the shark and ray tree of life,” says Dulvy.

EDGE Sharks is the newest program under the EDGE of Existence program, which is sponsored by the Zoological Society of London. The program is the only global conservation initiative that focuses specifically on saving threatened species that represent a significant amount of unique evolutionary history.

EDGE educates and trains a global network of scientists and conservationists to identify and carry out expeditions to save species that are on the verge of extinction.

Dulvy, who also co-chairs the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Shark Specialist Group, is delighted to see these important species added to the EDGE program.