Our Director: Catherine Macdonald

Dr. Catherine Macdonald is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist and Research Assistant Professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science at the University of Miami. She is the Director of the Shark Research and Conservation Program (SRC), which focuses on shark research and public science engagement and education.

Catherine is also the Track Coordinator for the Marine Conservation track of the Masters of Professional Science Program, and teaches courses in Marine Conservation Biology, Shark Ecology and Conservation, and marine field research skills. Her interdisciplinary research encompasses science-based conservation of marine environments and species, especially in highly human-impacted habitats.

Find Catherine online on Instagram (@drcatmac) and Twitter (@dr_catmac)

Dr. Macdonald is also the co-founder of Field School, a marine field science training program with a focus on conducting safe and responsible marine field work in an inclusive and supportive environment. She has more than a decade of research experience with sharks and rays and is an internationally recognized trainer in animal handling and restraint. She conducts social, biological, ecological, and fisheries research at field sites in South Florida and the Caribbean. Dr. Macdonald is a 2021 National Geographic Explorer through a grant supporting her research following her team’s discovery of the first known nursery for the Critically Endangered great hammerhead on the east coast of the United States. Her work has been covered in national and international media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Geographic.

Catherine works to increase safe and welcoming field research opportunities for historically (and often currently) excluded groups in STEM, particularly scientists of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ scientists. She is a “Friend of MISS” (Minorities in Shark Science) and was the 2021 winner of the Student-Led Evaluations and Development Committee (SLED) Mentor of the Year award.