Emeritus biology professor receives award for shark research

July 24, 2023

By Jake Weber

Albion College biology professor emeritus Jeffrey Carrier was recently named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Elasmobranch Society, or AES.

AES is an international organization that advances the scientific study of living and fossil sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras while promoting education, conservation and wise utilization of natural resources. Since 1987, only 12 AES members have received this honor for outstanding contributions to the research and understanding of elasmobranch fishes.

During his 31-year tenure at Albion, Carrier established an international reputation as a shark researcher, making the first video recordings of nurse shark mating behaviors, the only study of its kind to ever investigate reproductive behaviors of wild sharks. He has been featured on numerous programs created by National Geographic Society and the Discovery Channel, and written and edited seven texts on sharks, one of which won an American Library Association CHOICE Award.

Closer to home, Carrier involved dozens of Albion students in summer research work in Florida and the Caribbean and served several years as Albion’s associate provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Carrier’s work has continued into retirement with four publications in the last four years, including co-authorship of papers in the journals Science and Nature.

“It is so humbling to have my life’s shark research and service to the Society recognized, and I can think of no higher honor,” Carrier said. “I will be forever grateful.”

Carrier credits Albion College for its interest in the work he did literally an ocean away.

“I was fortunate to receive both the A. Merton Chickering and W.W. Diehl endowed professorships, as well as numerous Faculty Development Grants,” he said. “These not only provided the funding to conduct the research, they also allowed me to involve our students in field research I trust they will never forget.”