Laura Garcia Barcia

PhD Student

Biological Sciences


RFA: Impacts and Visualization

Adviser: Mike Heithaus

Laura García Barcia is a PhD candidate at FIU’s Predator Ecology & Conservation Lab. She is an environmental biologist particularly interested in marine wildlife conservation. Her current research focuses on two main topics: the shark fin trade and the impacts of heavy metal pollution on coastal shark species. Through the use of genetics and toxicology, she explores fascinating questions such as identifying where shark fins sold in Hong Kong come from, whether shark fin soup is a safe product to consume for humans, or at what life stage sharks are more vulnerable to pollutants found in our waters. Currently, she is also involved in projects that include other marine taxa such as squids or marine mammals. The ultimate goal of Laura’s research is to inform conservation measures that help improve the status of shark populations. In the future she hopes to keep working on exploring the effect of pollutants on marine animals and the associated health risks for people that consume them.