Big Fish Lab

Taylor Chapple brings years of research concerning one of nature’s most engaging apex predators – the (great) white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) - to COMES.  A marine ecologist, Taylor has studied sharks across the globe, including in one of the world’s largest marine protected areas located in the British Indian Ocean Territory, off the coast of South Africa, and off of the California coast.  Through the use of different types of electronic tags (acoustic, satellite, and biologging), Taylor studies shark migration and movement patterns as well as behaviors, foraging ecology and population dynamics.

White sharks are a critical component of many healthy marine systems, but are often vilified in popular media. In truth, as apex predators, they serve as the “managers” in marine communities, keeping marine mammal populations in check and helping maintain the balance of ecosystems. A balanced ecosystem supports economically important fisheries, such as salmon, and can create direct and indirect economic value for coastal communities. Increased research coupled with science-based education and outreach can help tip the scales towards appreciation of their biological and economic value.

Taylor’s research at OSU will continue to focus on white sharks, concentrating specifically on how they are using the coastal waters off Oregon, particularly in relation to rapidly changing ocean conditions. He will continue to use tagging technologies to evaluate their seasonal presence and unique behaviors in this region, as well as how these animals contribute to the larger northeast Pacific population of white sharks.

He also plans to study salmon sharks (Lamna ditropis) from Alaska to California, researching their movements, feeding ecology, and impacts on coastal marine ecosystems throughout the region.


Taylor's Lab Website

In the News

Sharks 101 - (2023)

There are more great white sharks on the California coast: Why it’s a good thing - (2021)

As the number of great white sharks off the California coast grows, experts say it’s a good thing - (2021)

Great white shark population off California's coast is growing - (2021)

Great white shark population increasing off California coast, researchers say it's a good thing - (2021)

Small White Shark Population Continues to Thrive in the Coast of Central California - Nature World News (2021)

Innovating for a Better Understanding of Oceans - Washington Post (2021)

Whale sharks may live up to a century, Cold War bomb dating reveals - National Geographic (2020)

The Secret Life of Great White Sharks in Kelp – Forbes (2019)

Shark cams capture great whites in kelp for the first time – Scimex (2019)

Sharks! – Science Vs. on Gimlet (2019)

Exploring the State of Shark Management, Conservation – Wisconsin Public Radio (2019)

Are white sharks doing something different this year? Or are we? – KALW Public Radio (2015)

Researcher Taylor Chapple keeps focus on white sharks – Santa Cruz Sentinel (2015, updated 2018)

Now It’s Personal – Hakai Magazine (2015)

Scientist Video: Taylor Chapple – Tagging White Sharks – EDC Oceans of Data Institute (2015)

Close Encounter with a Great White – National Geographic TV (2014)

Dangerous Mission Tags Great White Sharks with Cameras – CBS This Morning (2014)

Deploying Camera Tags on Sharks in Chagos – Bertarelli Foundation (2014)

Struggling to Save Sharks from Extinction – Discover (2013)

‘Shark Week’ scientist: Great whites ‘get a bad rap’ – NBC’s The Today Show (2012)

‘Der Hai ist kein Monster’ – Südkurier (2012)

California study finds low number of great white sharks - Associated Press (2011)

Few great white sharks than scientists expected - San Francisco Chronicle (2011)

Short Shark Supply: Great White Population Low, Census Finds - (2011)

Great white shark population lower than previously believed - Christian Science Monitor (2011)

Great white sharks swimming to extinction? - (2011)

Census Finds Just 219 Great White Sharks Off California Coast - Fox News (2011)

Calif. Great White Shark Count Down to 219 – Seeker (2011)

This research was also covered in Forbes, United Press International, Kansas City Star, The Columbian, Star Tribune, The Telegram, Seattle Times, Outdoors, action and adventure, PoliJAM Times, SeaGrant California , Davis Enterprise, Monterey Herald, Mercury News, e! Science News, The Daily Journal, Marin Independent Journal, Central Valley Business Times, All Headline News, The Bay Citizen, Cleveland Plain Dealer as well as other internet locations.

Beyond Jaws: Fathoming the Ways of the White Shark - Bay Nature (2010)

Great white sharks move predictably, mate mysteriously - Point Reyes Light (2009)

White sharks of the Northern Pacific - Point Reyes National Seashore Podcast (2008)

White Shark Café – A film by Sean Aronson (2008)

In search of the Great White Shark – Point Reyes National Seashore (2007)