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Richard Dreyfuss is an American actor who collaborated with some of the greatest filmmakers of the 1970s, including the film that for all intents and purposes invented the summer blockbuster, and was for awhile the youngest man to ever win an Oscar for Best Actor. George Lucas cast Dreyfuss in the lead role of his second feature, "American Graffiti" (1973). In the film, a nostalgic look back at a group of high school friends over one pivotal night towards the end of summer 1962, Dreyfuss played Curt, a bright but conflicted young man who is debating whether or not he really wants to leave his hometown to go to college out on the East Coast, and spends the film trying to chase down an elusive blonde in a white T-Bird.,For his next film, Dreyfuss hooked up with Steven Spielberg, a buddy of his "American Graffiti" director George Lucas, to play Matt Hooper, a brash, Ivy League-educated shark specialist who embarks on a fateful journey alongside a squeamish local sheriff (Roy Scheider) and a drunken eccentric fisherman (Robert Shaw) to try and kill a bloodthirsty great white shark. While the production of the film was notoriously troubled, when "Jaws" (1975) was unleashed onto moviegoers in the summer of 1975, the response was seismic. "Jaws" became the highest grossing film of all time, all but cemented the summer blockbuster into culture, and made Spielberg one of the most popular directors in film history. Naturally, Dreyfuss decided to reunite with Spielberg for his next project, a moody yet hopeful sci-fi film about a family man whose life changes after he encounters alien lifeforms. "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977), was another box office phenomenon, praised by critics and audiences alike, nominated for multiple Oscars, and went on to gross over $300 million worldwide. Dreyfuss became the youngest man in history to take home the award for Best Actor. Recently, he appeared in the big budget disaster remake "Poseidon" (2006), and playing Vice President Dick Cheney in Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic, "W." (2008). After both of those films failed to make much of a mark, Dreyfuss returned to TV, where he enjoyed an arc on the drama "Weeds" (Showtime, 2005-2012), playing Warren Schiff, an old high school teacher of lead character Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), to whom she lost her virginity as a teen. He then went from playing a fictional old creep to playing a real life one, when he was cast as the notorious Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff in the miniseries "Madoff" (ABC, 2016), a performance which earned him rave reviews. Dreyfuss could next be seen in two Netflix original films: the comedy "The Last Laugh" (2019) and the action thriller "Polar" (2019).
Dr. Mike Heithaus is dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education (CASE) and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University (FIU). A marine ecologist specializing in predator-prey interactions and the ecological importance of sharks and other large marine species, Heithaus is the principal investigator and co-principal investigator on grants totaling $28 million. His research leverages a number of cutting-edge technologies, including drones and animal-borne cameras, to unravel the mysterious lives of hard-to-study marine creatures. His work in Shark Bay Australia is the most detailed study of the ecological role of sharks in the world. Working with several prominent non-governmental organizations, it has been used as the underpinning for affecting positive policy changes.
Prior to joining FIU, Heithaus was a scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory's Center for Shark Research. He also worked with National Geographic's Remote Imaging Department where he conducted studies using their "Crittercam." Heithaus has been involved in the production of more than a dozen natural history documentaries, including two featured on Shark Week and has hosted a National Geographic Channel television series. He has dedicated his career to bringing the excitement of scientific exploration and discovery to audiences of all ages. He received a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College in 1995 and completed his Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University in 2001.f Mike is featured in this year's National Geographic’s SharkFest 2021.
Tanya Houppermans is an underwater photographer and conservationist best known for her images depicting the grace and beauty of sharks. You can check out her work at Blue Elements Imaging. A former mathematician and research operations analyst, she left the corporate world behind in 2015 to concentrate full time on conservation after learning that over 70 million sharks are killed every year, with many species being on the verge of extinction. Her articles and images have been published around the world, and she is the recipient of several international awards for her photography including two First Place awards in the Sharks category in the World Shootout, First Place in the Portrait category in the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition, and the Grand Prize in the California Academy of Sciences Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition. She is actively involved in shark research and helped to develop the citizen science program Spot A Shark USA to study sand tiger shark populations along the east coast of the Unites States. Tanya can be seen in the program ‘Shark Gangs’ that highlights her work with sand tiger sharks as part of National Geographic’s SharkFest 2021.
Yannis Papastamatiou is an Assistant Professor at FIU in the Department of Biological Sciences. With over 80 research publications, Yannis is one of the world's leading shark behavioural ecologists. His work has will be featured on 2021 Nat Geo WILD's SharkFest, BBC, and Discovery's Shark Week. Yannis' use of new tag technologies on species ranging from pelagic oceanic whitetips to home-ranging reef sharks has advanced the field of predator ecology and led to evidence-based marine protected area zoning. Yannis has appeared in the following shows: Shark vs. Predator Cannibal Sharks Shark Week Sharks of the Bermuda Triangle
Frances Farabaugh is a native of San Diego where she grew up exploring the beaches, tide pools and kelp beds of southern California. She graduated with a B.S. in 2014 from Humboldt State University with a double major in Marine Biology & Zoology and a minor in Scientific Diving. Her passion for biology and science outreach has taken her all over the world and included work as an instructor at Sea Camp San Diego, a scientific blogger for the Smithsonian’s NMNH in Washington, D.C., and research internships with STRI in Panama and OTS in Costa Rica. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Heithaus Lab at Florida International University. Her research focuses on behavioral ecology of marine predators. In particular, she hopes to elucidate the role sharks play in structuring reef communities by investigating predation risk effects and the functional redundancy of top predators. Frances has appeared in Sharks vs. Dolphins: Blood Battle. She will also appear in National Geographic's SHARKFEST.
Jasmin Graham is a shark scientist and environmental educator who specializes in elasmobranch (shark and ray) ecology and evolution. Her research interests include smalltooth sawfish movement ecology and hammerhead shark phylogeny. She is a member of the American Elasmobranch Society and serves on their Student Affairs Committee as the Early Career Representative. She worked as an instructor for the Saturday at the Sea program through the Florida State University Office of STEM Teaching Activities. Jasmin has a passion for science education and making science more accessible to everyone. She is project coordinator for the MarSci-LACE project, which is focused on researching and promoting best practices to recruit, support and retain minority students in marine science. Jasmin is the President and CEO of Minorities in Shark Sciences, an organization dedicated to supporting women of color in shark sciences. She is excited to help open doors for more underrepresented minority students to join the exciting field of marine science.
Jasmin’s work encompasses the areas of science communication, social justice, outreach, education and conservation. She cares deeply about protecting endangered and vulnerable marine species, particularly elasmobranchs. She works in collaboration with Havenworth Coastal Conservation to study movements of elasmobranchs in Sarasota Bay. She has been featured on "Dive In with Sylvia Earle" and "StarTalk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson" as well as several other podcasts and webinar series. She was also an organizer for the 2020 “Black in Marine Science Week” and is a member of Black Women in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Science (BWEEMS). Jasmin is also featured on this year's National Geographic's SHARKFEST
Dr. Tracy Fanara is an engineer and research scientist with a BS, ME, and PhD from the University of Florida’s Department of Environmental Engineering. Tracy spent almost a decade as a project engineer designing water systems for projects around the world, before and during her research at UF, she focused on sustainable design retrofit of urban areas and water treatment through stormchasing to collect data. Tracy the was the design engineer on two nationally winning EPA design teams, was a National Science Foundation SPICE fellow, subcontracted for the United States Geologic Survey , and was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow by the US Federal Government.
For the past 6 years, Tracy has been managing the Environmental Health research program at Mote Marine Laboratory where she designed and developed models, tools and programs to protect wildlife and water quality. At Mote, her program focused on technology development for community science programs as she redeveloped a website (visitbeaches.org) and developed three apps for publicly available environmental data reporting with over 1.6 million users. Among the citizen science programs she managed, she was on the development team for HABscope (NASA funded, NOAA and GCOOS led), a citizen science program for Florida red tide quantitative monitoring.
Tracy has taken on projects from led contamination at military sites to designing an aquaponics system for wastewater treatment in space. Now Tracy is the Coastal Modeling Manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), developing systems in pursuit of a Unified Earth Systems model to answer big questions (for example biodiversity, climate change impacts and hurricane tracking).
Tracy spends time outside of work on communicating science (TV, podcasts, classroom visits and public speaking), was recently Xylem YSI’s Mission: Water, Water Hero, and was featured in Marvel’s Unstoppable Wasp which led to her co-produced comic series, Seekers of Science. You may have seen her on Mythbusters the Search and can see her on The Weather Channel as an expert guest on AMHQ and on the show Weird Earth, on CBS Mission Unstoppable as an expert, or Science Channel’s What on Earth. Currently, Tracy works for NOAA. In addition, Tracy is also featured on National Geographic's SHARKFEST
Ryan Walton is a Professional Shark Diver, Brand Ambassador, Scuba Instructor, Athlete, Cameraman and Entreprneur.
Upon becoming a Dive Instructor, Ryan realized how damaged, and how in danger our oceans are. After meeting fellow Conservationists, Ryan began his path to be an Underwater cameraman in hopes he could share the beauty of nature with those who may not get to see it. You can book a shark dive with Ryan at https://sharktoursfl.com/
Jamin Martinelli is a 100-Ton Boat Captain and Professional Shark Diver. For the past 12 years she has worked primarily at Tiger Beach interacting with Lemon, reef, bull, nurse, great hammerhead sharks and her favorite, the Tiger Shark. She has been featured on Shark Week 2021 "MotherSharker" and 2020 "Laws of Jaws 2" She is the creator for the swimsuit line Sharkini; Inspiring a love for sharks through swimwear. She has worked on numerous other film production as the Shark Handler including 2021 Eli Roth's "Fin", 2020 Will Smith's "Bucket List", and Rob Gronkowski's "Monster Tag"
“All men are drawn to the sea, perilous though it may be.” This rings true for Brent Winner! Having grown up in a small Iowa farm town, his fascination for sharks and the sea began at a very early age and led him on a lifetime journey of scientific study and research. He received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Iowa State University and his master’s degree in marine biology with an emphasis in sharks, from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Brent has been a fisheries scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for 30 years. He has caught, studied, and published scientific papers on a variety of Florida fish species including red drum, snook, sheepshead, snappers, groupers, sharks, and rays. He has served on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Shark Technical Committee for over ten years. Brent has participated in cooperative shark studies, including numerous research cruises with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
Brent loves to teach and share with others his research interests and high seas adventures. Over the years, he has presented research results at numerous state and national scientific meetings and has shared his passion and knowledge of sharks and rays with local community organizations, primary and secondary schools, aquaria, and universities. He has also worked with local and national media on shark and ray issues throughout his career, and has appeared twice on the Animal Planet’s show Untamed and Uncut.
Brent Winner currently works as a scientist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI).
Matt Seguin is the Curator of Husbandry and Records at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. His primary duty is overseeing the health/husbandry of the fish and invertebrate collection. Matt works closely with the veterinary staff to maintain biosecurity within the aquarium, ensuring that all animals go through proper quarantine treatments before being added to the collection. He also serves as the registrar for the aquarium, securing proper permits and maintaining accurate physical and digital records of the animals in the collection. Outside of Mote, Matt is an Adjunct Professor at the Ringling College of Art and Design, teaching Environmental Science and Biodiversity.
Rich and Laura Howard are the husband and wife team behind Oceans of Images Photography, founded in 1995. Rich, an accomplished underwater photographer and former PADI Scuba instructor is the main photographer, while, Laura is lead photo editor, and videographer. Together, they have over 70 years of combined SCUBA diving experiences stemming from travels through out the world. Their 65K + image library features ocean creatures from the Caribbean to Indonesia, from Guadalupe to the Great Barrier Reef, and all places in-between. Their work has been featured in International broadcasts by National Geographic, the BBC - British Broadcasting Company, Nat Geo Wild, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the Today Show, just to name a few. Their viral video of orcas has reached over 60 million viewers on YouTube and their images can be found in museum galleries, private homes and currently, in the gallery show room of The Florida Aquarium. Active in marine conservational efforts, the couple has volunteered their time and talent to several local organizations including; The Florida Aquarium, Mote Marine Laboratory, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Coral Restoration Project. They served as expedition photographers with the late, Dr. Eugene Clark (The Shark Lady/Mote) on a research project in the Solomon Islands and presently teach underwater photography and lead dive groups to exotic locations. The couple is known for their imagery rich public presentations that feature a comedic edge, sprinkled in with fun fish facts. It is their goal that audiences not only view their wonderful images, but learn something as well. The Howard’s enjoy sharing their work and passion for the ocean and have been featured speakers at the SCUBA convention, Beneath the Sea and twice at The Florida Aquariums’ “Tide Talks” speaker series as well as on local cable TV shows. The Howard’s are residents of the greater Tampa area and enjoy traveling with their two children, Zachary, a recent FIU graduate in Marine Biology and Rachael, a Bio-Chem student at UF. Both kids are accomplished divers in their own right. More of their work maybe seen at www.oceansofimages.com.
Shark-Jeopardy - Join Oceans of Images Photography, co-founders Rich and Laura Howard for a fun filled, audience interactive game show style presentation designed to test your knowledge about sharks. Join team Great White or Team Hammerhead - and cheer on your favorites as you answer shark trivia questions based off video and photography clues. Don't miss this fun, audience interactive show featuring stunning underwater imagery, fun fish facts and who knows- maybe even win a prize or two. Don't miss Shark Jeopardy, only at SharkCon 2021.
Author (and Tampa native) Michael A. Smith will once again be a guest at SharkCON 2021 and will have (2) books available for sale. They are the 45th Anniversary Edition of Edith Blake’s “On Location – On Martha’s Vineyard: The Making of the Movie JAWS,” which Mr. Smith edited and provided an updated chapter and “JAWS 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel.”
The “On Location” book also contains over 70 new photos taken during the filming of JAWS, many never before seen. The JAWS 2 book is a special expanded edition which is limited to 1,000 copies. The book also comes with an original 1978 TOPPS JAWS 2 trading card. Both books will be hardcover. Normally both books purchased together would cost $95.00 but if you order them before the Con the price is only $75.00, a $20.00 savings!
Smith will be on hand to sign and personalize each book sold. For those not attending SharkCON you can still order the books and they will be shipped to you.