Bradley Wetherbee


My research is focused on habitat use, movement patterns and migration of sharks and other marine fishes with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable management of their populations. I study movement ecology using telemetry methods such as satellite and acoustic tracking to quantify and characterize movements of marine fishes. Understanding population-wide characteristics of movements of sharks and marine fishes illustrates their responses to environmental conditions, delineates boundaries of their population, reveals distribution of different demographics within populations, identifies interactions with fisheries and distinguishes jurisdictional management responsibilities of management agencies. This information ultimately contributes to better informed and more effective management of populations of marine fishes. Both coastal and oceanic species are being studied at locations including New England, Bermuda, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands and Mexico.

One of my major goals at URI is to involve undergraduate students in my research through independent study during the school year, fellowship and volunteer opportunities during the summer through the Coastal Fellows program, Science and Engineering Fellows program and the Shark Undergraduate Research and Education program at URI. There are also opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in my research through my Faculty Led Program on Field Methods in Shark research, which includes a week-long expedition to Mexico to study whale sharks.


B.S. 1982 (Biological Sciences, Environmental Science), Willamette University
M.S. 1988 (Biology and Living Resources), University of Miami
Ph.D. 1998 (Zoology), University of Hawaii

Selected Publications

  1. Queiroz N., N.E. Humphries, B.M. Wetherbee, D.W. Sims et al. 2019. Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries. Nature.
  2. Byrne M., J. Vaudo, G. Harvey, M. Johnston, B. Wetherbee, M. Shivji. 2019. Behavioral response of a widely distributed apex marine predator to environmental variables differs across ecoregions. Ecography 42:1-10. doi: 10.1111/ecog.04463.
  3. Barkley A.N., M. Gollock, M. Samoilys, F. Llewellyn, M. Shivji, B.M. Wetherbee, N.E. Hussey. 2019. Complex transboundary movements of marine megafauna in the Western Indian Ocean. Anim. Conserv.
  4. Francis M.P., M.S. Shivji, C.A.J. Duffy, P.J. Rogers, M.E. Byrne, B.M. Wetherbee, S.C. Tindale, W.S. Lyon, M.M. Meyers. 2019. Oceanic nomad or coastal resident? Behavioural switching in the shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus). Mar. Biol. 166(5):
  5. Haulsee, D.E., M.W. Breece, D.A. Fox, L.M. Brown, B.M. Wetherbee, M.J. Oliver. 2018. Spatial ecology of Carcharias taurus in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 597:191-206.
  6. Daly, R., M.J.Smale, S. Singh, D. Anders, M. Shivji, C.A.K. Daly, J.S.E. Lea, L.L. Sousa, B.M. Wetherbee, R. Fitzpatrick, C. Clarke, M. Sheaves, A. Barnett. 2018. Refuges and risks: evaluating the benefits of an expanded MPA network for mobile apex predators. Divers. Distrib.
  7. Crow, G.L., B.M. Wetherbee, R. Humphreys, R. Young. 2018. Distribution, diet and reproduction of the velvet dogfish Zameus squamulosus (Squaliformes:Somniosidae) based on captures in Hawaiian fisheries. Fish. Bull. 116:207–214.
  8. Sequeira A.M.M., J.P. Rodríguez, V. Eguíluz, R. Harcourt, M. Hindell, D.W. Sims, B.M. Wetherbee et al. 2018. Convergence of movement patterns of marine megafauna in coastal and open oceans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.
  9. Lea, J.S.E, B.M. Wetherbee, L.L. Sousa, C. Aming, N. Burnie, N.E. Humphries, N. Queiroz, G.M. Harvey, D.W. Sims, M. S. Shivji. 2018. Ontogenetic partial migration is associated with environmental drivers and influences fisheries interactions in a marine predator. ICES J Mar. Sci. Co-first author.
  10. Vaudo, J.J., M.E. Byrne, B.M. Wetherbee, G.M. Harvey, A. Mendillo Jr, M.S. Shivji. 2018. Horizontal and vertical movements of white marlin, Kajikia albida, tagged off the Yucatán Peninsula. ICES J Mar. Sci. 75(2), 844–857. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsx176


BIO 262 Ecology
BIO 360 Marine Biology
BIO 422 Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives
BIO 491 Faculty Led Program Field Methods in Shark Research