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Gavin Naylor - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Gavin Naylor

Director | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Gavin Naylor studies the diversity of the world's sharks and their biology, movement, genetics and evolution.


Gavin Naylor is director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Gavin is interested in evolution, genetics, biogeography and the natural history of sharks. Gavin is also interested in the exploration of the biodiversity chondrichthyan fishes, phylogenetic inference, protein folding, molecular evolution and the origin of architectural novelty.

Areas of Expertise (4)


Shark Evolution

Shark Biology

Shark Attack Files

Media Appearances (4)

America's One Fatal Shark Attack of 2022

Nesweek  online


Sharks have a fearsome reputation as deadly predators but attacks on humans are rare. Sharks don't actively seek out humans as prey and prefer to hunt fish or seals.

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47 years later, Spielberg says he regrets impact ‘Jaws’ had on sharks

The Washington Post  online


Months after “Jaws” debuted in June 1975, the thriller became the highest-grossing film ever. Critics still classify director Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster as one of the most influential pictures in movie history.

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Welcome to shark class

Florida Museum  online


Last summer, the University of Florida and Florida State University set aside their longstanding rivalry to offer students a unique opportunity – a sharks field course.

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Submarine diving with giant deep-sea sharks (bigger on average than great whites)

OceanX  online


Hundreds of meters below the surface lurks a predator older than the dinosaurs and bigger on average than the great white. This is the story of a group of scientists who came together to achieve the unthinkable: tagging the cryptic bluntnose sixgill shark in its natural environment using a submarine.

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Articles (3)

Tiger shark attack on a scuba diver in New Caledonia

Wilderness & Environmental Medicine

Claude Maillaud, et. al


Herein we report an unprovoked shark attack on a scuba diver in New Caledonia. The species responsible for the attack was identified as a tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), based on both the victim’s testimony and forensic examination. The victim suffered significant loss of soft tissues from one thigh, which resulted in hemorrhagic shock.

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The phylogeny of rays and skates (chondrichthyes: elasmobranchii) based on morphological characters revisited


Eduardo Villalobos-Segura, et. al


Elasmobranchii are relatively well-studied. However, numerous phylogenetic uncertainties about their relationships remain. Here, we revisit the phylogenetic evidence based on a detailed morphological re-evaluation of all the major extant batomorph clades (skates and rays), including several holomorphic fossil taxa from the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic and an extensive outgroup sampling, which includes sharks, chimaeras and several other fossil chondrichthyans.

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Deciphering reticulate evolution of the largest group of polyploid vertebrates, the subfamily cyprininae (Teleostei: Cypriniformes)

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

Lei Yang, et. al


Despite the rarity of polyploidy in animals, some groups with polyploid species exhibit complicated and interesting patterns of reticulate evolution. Here we focus on fishes in the subfamily Cyprininae, the largest polyploid group of vertebrates. The large number of polyploid taxa poses significant challenges for phylogenetic and evolutionary studies on this subfamily. In this study, we cloned and sequenced three single-copy nuclear loci to investigate the evolution of polyploidy in the Cyprininae.

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Submarine Diving with Giant Deep-Sea Sharks (Bigger on Average than Great Whites)