Who am I

Growing up in landlocked and mountain-dominated Switzerland did not preclude me from dreaming about the Ocean. On contrary, from early on I was fascinated by the underwater world and the marine life...

In order to follow this dream, I studied biology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. After graduation in 2009, I took a break from University to teach biology at my former high school, followed by a research internship at the renowned Bimini Biological Field Station (BBFS) in Bimini, Bahamas. This was the first time I saw a shark (!!) and it was also the point of no return. To make the next step, I got registered at the University of Basel, Switzerland and returned to Bimini for eight months to conduct my Master thesis on the dietary pattern of juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris). After graduation in 2012 while looking for a PhD, I was working as a research assistant in Jupiter, Florida for the BBFS - Jupiter aggregation project, the Save Our Seas Foundation - D'Arros Reserch Centre and led the long-term juvenile shark monitoring conducted at the CRIOBE in Moorea, French Polynesia.

In December 2014 I got registered as a PhD student at the French University EPHE in a collaboration with the Save Our Seas Foundation - D'Arros Reserch Centre in Seychelles. This PhD allowed me to continue my work on juvenile sharks and expand the broad set of skills I gained in Bimini and French Polynesia. Through a multi-dimensional approach (including catch and release, tagging, manual tracking, stable isotopes, and DNA barcoding of stomach contents) I investigate habitat and resource use between juvenile blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and sicklefin lemon sharks (Negaprion acutidensthat overlap in their distribution. The major aim of my PhD is to demonstrate species-specific ecological information for scientific and conservation purpose. 

Photo © Ryan Daly | SOSF

Pictures from my study sites in Seychelles and French Polynesia.

Ornella Céline Weideli (PhD Candidate)

PSL Research University


Université de Perpignan, 58 Avenue Paul Alduy, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France


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