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Toby S. Daly-Engel, Ph.D. - Florida Tech. Melbourne, FL, US

Toby S. Daly-Engel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences | Florida Tech


Dr. Daly-Engel's research uses genomics, field ecology and modelling to study shark populations.


Areas of Expertise (5)

Molecular Ecology

Shark Behavior

Marine Biology

Field Ecology



Toby Daly-Engel's research uses a combination of genomics, field ecology and modeling to study mating systems, habitat use and the impacts of climate change on shark populations.

She is interested in how reproductive behaviors, particularly from a female fitness perspective, interact with the environment to influence species, populations, individuals and genomes.

Dr. Daly-Engel (she/her) grew up in upstate New York and got her BA in biology at Oberlin College. She worked in Boston for two years before going on to get her Master’s and Ph.D. in zoology with a specialization in ecology, evolution and conservation biology at the University of Hawaii.

She won accolades as an assistant professor at the University of West Florida, where she ran a shark tagging field program and helped found the West Florida chapter of the Association for Women in Science.

In Fall 2017, she moved her research to the Florida Institute of Technology.

As director of the Florida Tech Shark Conservation Lab, Dr. Daly-Engel and her students work with collaborators from state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and public groups to study how reproduction and rising temperatures shape movement patterns in large migratory fishes, identify cryptic species, and work to increase representation for women in science, especially women of color.

Media Assets




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Media Appearances (5)

Don’t Call Them ‘Shark Attacks,’ Scientists Say

The New York Times  


Unprovoked bites sometimes take place in murky water, Dr. Daly-Engel said, as when a white shark mistakes a surfer for a seal.

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Why some scientists want to rebrand shark attacks as 'negative encounters'



Dropping the phrase "shark attack" is a great way to change the narrative about the much-maligned sea creatures, says marine scientist Toby Daly-Engel.

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Florida Tech Shark Biologist Toby Daly-Engel Will Star in Shark Week and SharkFest Programs

Space Coast Daily  


A sought-after expert interviewed by national media outlets including Fox & Friends, National Public Radio, and The Atlantic, Daly-Engel first participated in Shark Week in 2016 and made her most recent appearance in 2018. She returns in a major way in 2021.

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Expert: What to do if you spot a shark while swimming

FOX News  


Toby Daly-Engel, a shark biologist with the Florida Tech Shark Conservation Lab, offered tips on Thursday on what to do if someone spots a shark while swimming in the ocean.

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New shark species discovered by research team led by Florida Tech professor

Florida Today  


Toby Daly-Engel, a shark biologist at the Florida Institute of Technology, has helped solve a taxonomic puzzle and spearhead the discovery of a new deepwater species: the Atlantic sixgill shark.

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Education (3)

University of Hawaii: Ph.D., Zoology, specializing in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology 2009

University of Hawaii: M.S., Zoology 2007

Oberlin College: B.A., Biology 2000


Selected Articles (4)

Age-Dependent Dispersal and Relatedness in Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier)

Frontiers in Marine Science


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Reviewing the genetic evidence for sex-biased dispersal in elasmobranchs

Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries


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Multiple paternity in two populations of finetooth sharks (Carcharhinus isodon) with varying reproductive periodicity

Ecology and Evolution


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Genetic evidence supports a range extension for the Brazilian cownose ray Rhinoptera brasiliensis in the western North Atlantic

Journal of Fish Biology


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Affiliations (1)

  • Discovery's Shark Week : Presenter