The Big Fish Lab
Shark and Fish Ecophysiology

Dr. James Sulikowski's Shark and Fish Ecophysiology Lab is a part of The Big Fish Lab, housed within Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station at Oregon State University

The lab’s research is dedicated to the study of charismatic fish such as sharks, skates and rays. By studying movement patterns, growth rates, reproductive biology, resiliency to climate change and fishing pressure, Sulikowski and his team of student researchers discover ways to more effectively manage, conserve and utilize fish populations.

Our group is diverse and promotes equity and inclusion. Undergraduate and graduate students are critical to the lab’s research. The involvement of dedicated, responsible, and motivated students is not only essential to advance understanding of the ecology of fishes, but it also provides a stepping-stone for the training of future marine scientists.

Sulikowski team

About James Sulikowski

In addition to being the Director of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Dr. James Sulikowski is a marine biologist and professor at Oregon State University. He has 25 years of experience working with cartilaginous and bony fish. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and his research has garnered more than $13 million in external grant funding.

James has appeared on numerous local and national television shows including the Today Show, Ocean Mysteries, the BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. Dr. Sulikowski has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Denison University, masters’ degrees in marine biology (Nova Southeastern University) and physiology (Depaul University), as well as a Ph.D. in Zoology (UNH).

In The News

OSU-Cascades to host science pub talk on sharks

Oregon State University-Cascades will host a science pub talk Nov. 14 on sharks and research at the Chapple Big Fish Lab at the university's...

Dr. James Sulikowski on Cavuto Coast to Coast, FOX Business.

Humans are not on sharks’ ‘menu’ despite sighting surge: Dr. James Sulikowski

Shark expert Dr. James Sulikowski joins ‘Cavuto: Coast to Coast’ to discuss the surge of shark sightings and its impact on Northeast beaches...

James Suilikowski and team realing in a baby shark

In Search of the Baby Sharks

Scientists are helping bring back shark populations that were overfished in the 1980s and studying baby sharks in an effort to better understand...

Did you know...


Sevengill sharks are capable of "spy hopping," a behavior where animals elevate their head out above the water. This behavior is thought to help in prey detection.

(Ebert 1991)

Soupfin Sharks are critically endangered on the IUCN red list, because of overfishing and habitat degradation.

(Walker et al., 2020)

salmon shark. *Photo credit to Alaska Department Fish & Game

Similar to humans, Salmon sharks (Lamna ditropis) have a 9 month gestation period 

(Goldman, 2002)