Known as the "Mother of Sharks," Melissa Cristina Márquez is a Latina marine biologist and conservationist who studies sharks and their relatives (the skates, rays, and chimaeras- collectively, this groups of animals are known as 'Chondrichthyans'). Márquez specifically studies their habitat use (why they are where they are) and how their portrayal in the media influences attitudes towards marine predators and conservation initiatives. She founded The Fins United Initiative (TFUI; www.finsunited.co.nz) a program that introduces audiences worldwide to the diverse sharks and scientists who study them. You may have seen her on Shark Week in 2018 or watched her TEDx talk on Youtube, "Sharks & Female Scientists: More Alike Than You Think." She is also a freelance wildlife writer, and regularly covers marine science in regards to sharks as a Forbes contributor.
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