Our Council


Dr. Brittany "Brit" Finucci


Position: President
Occupation: Fisheries Scientist

Institution/Organisation Affiliation: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand

Research Interests: deep-sea, bycatch, chimaeras, life history, sustainable fisheries management

Highest impact/most proud of paper from your research:

  • Coming out soon! 

Most influential chondrichthyan publication(s) to your research:

  • Garrick, J.A.F. (1954-61) Studies on New Zealand Elasmobranchii Part I-XIII. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

  • Simpfendorfer, C.A. and Kyne, P.M. (2009). Limited potential to recover from overfishing raises concerns for deep-sea sharks, rays and chimaeras. Environmental Conservation, 36: pp.97-103.

  • Didier, D.A., Kemper, J.M., and Ebert. D.A. (2012). Phylogeny, Biology, and Classification of Extant Holocephalans. In: Carrier, J.C., Musick, J.A., Heithaus, M.R. (Eds). Biology of Sharks and their Relatives, Edition 2. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida: pp. 97–124.

Why are you involved with OCS?: OCS has always been a great introduction to the chondrichthyan community regionally and globally, particularly when you’re stuck in a more isolated part of the world. I’m excited to help the society continue to grow and look forward to connecting more shark-loving researchers across Southeast Asia and the Pacific.


Dr. Justin Rizzari

Position: Vice President
Occupation: Fisheries Scientist and Lecturer in Fisheries Science
Institution/Organisation Affiliation: School of Life and Environmental Sciences,

Deakin University, Australia

Research Interests: Justin’s research interests span a diverse portfolio encompassing fisheries biology, quantitative fisheries science, assessments of commercial and recreational fisheries, marine conservation, spatial ecology, and the impacts of global change on fisheries. He has a particular interest in elasmobranch communities.

Highest impact/most proud of paper from your research:

  • Rizzari JR, Bergseth BJ, Frisch AJ (2015) Impact of conservation areas on trophic interactions between apex predators and herbivores on coral reefs. Conservation Biology 29(2): 418-429

Most influential chondrichthyan publication(s) to your research:

  • Last PR, Stevens JD (2009) Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO Publishing

  • Heupel et al. (2014) Sizing up the role of sharks as predators. Marine Ecology Progress Series 495: 291-298

  • Hussey et al. (2014) Rescaling the trophic structure of marine food webs. Ecology Letters 17(2): 239-250

Why are you involved with OCS?: The community and members! While I love all things sharks, rays, and chimaeras, when it comes to the OCS community it always feels like you are catching up with true friends rather than just colleagues. Connecting with others to share ideas and network with those who are passionate about similar things as you is always great!



Asia Armstrong


Position: Treasurer
Occupation: PhD candidate/Research Assistant

Institution/Organisation Affiliation: Project Manta, The University of Queensland
Research Interests: Conservation biology, habitat use, animal behaviour, feeding ecology

Highest impact/most proud of paper from your research:

  • Armstrong, A. O., et al. (2016). "Prey Density Threshold and Tidal Influence on Reef Manta Ray Foraging at an Aggregation Site on the Great Barrier Reef." PLoS ONE 11(5): e0153393.

Most influential chondrichthyan publication(s) to your research:

  • Marshall, A. D., et al. (2009). "Redescription of the genus Manta with resurrection of Manta alfredi (Krefft, 1868) (Chondrichthyes; Myliobatoidei; Mobulidae)." Zootaxa 2301: 1-28.

Why are you involved with OCS?: I wanted to join the OCS council to expand my research network within the chondrichthyan community, and be part of this society that fosters collaboration and promotes sharing of research ideas, methods and discoveries.



Dr. Samantha Sherman


Position: Secretary

Occupation: Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Institution/Organisation Affiliation: Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada and TRAFFIC, Cambridge, UK

Research Interests: fishery management, bycatch, batoids, distribution patterns, movement,  baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS), ecology, Southeast Asia

Highest impact/most proud of paper from your research:

  • Sherman CS, Heupel MR, Moore SK, Chin A, Simpfendorfer CA (2020) When sharks are away rays will play: effects of top predator removal in coral reef ecosystems. Marine Ecology Progress Series 641: 145-157 doi: 10.3354/meps13307 

Most influential chondrichthyan publication(s) to your research:

  • Espinoza, M., Cappo, M., Heupel, M. R., Tobin, A. J., & Simpfendorfer, C. A. (2014). Quantifying shark distribution patterns and species-habitat associations: implications of marine park zoning. PLoS ONE, 9(9), e106885. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106885

  • Dulvy, N. K., Fowler, S. L., Musick, J. A., Cavanagh, R. D., Kyne, P. M., Harrison, L. R., . . . White, W. T. (2014). Extinction risk and conservation of the world’s sharks and rays. eLife, 3.

Why are you involved with OCS?: OCS was the first conference I went to during my Masters and I met a great group of impressive and welcoming people. Being involved in OCS I am looking forward to being part of a community of shark scientists that I can learn from and collaborate with.


Naomi Clark Shen

Edy Setyawan

Gonzo Araujo

Neil Hutchinson

Mabel Matsumoto

Barbara Wueringer

Richard Reina

Madi Green

Bonnie Holmes

Cassie Rigby

Maddie Cooper 

Sushmita Mukherji

Luciana Ferreira


Newsletter Editors
Brit Finucci

Michael Heldsinger

Sultans of Social Media

Lachlan George

Sushmita Mukherji​

Website Editor
Brooke D' Alberto

Darren Wong

Adam Barnett
Cynthia Awruch

© 2019 Oceania Chondrichthyan Society