Starting in 2001, I switched the focus of my USF laboratory from superconductivity to the electric sense of sharks (and their relatives). These fish use electricity as a type of sixth sense to navigate their murky worlds, including hunting for prey, since living things give off small electric signatures.

Though we never actually swam with sharks, we collected gel from their electrosensitive organs, and we also used computer modeling to imagine what “electric vision” might be like for a shark. Between 2002 and 2010, we published a number of papers.

The science media become excited about some of the work in 2003 primarily because we had a short paper in Nature and because sharks are a gee-whiz kind of animal. You can still catch us occasionally on Shark Week, if they rerun a show called Perfect Predators.

Here are some examples of our work: