Meet Sharks4Kids Regional Ambassador Cailla Strobel
We are thrilled to welcome Cailla as an official Sharks4Kids ambassador. Cailla has been traveling around the state of Florida to educate students about sharks. She has hosted beach clean ups and worked at various events. Cailla's passion for sharks and the oceans is apparent and we are excited to have her spreading our message.
1. What is your favorite shark and why?
My favorite shark would have to be the Bull Shark because of its reputation. People are afraid of bull sharks and talk about how aggressive they are, yet they are my favorite shark to dive with because they give you space and they allow you observe them. Bull sharks have always been my favorite shark to dive with.
2. What is one shark you would like to swim/dive with and why?
I would LOVE to swim with a basking shark! Their mouths open so wide and they are such large fish, I just know it would be a humbling experience to be in the water with a fish so large, and to see its the filter feeding mechanisms.
3. Can you tell us a little about your current work and experience with sharks?
I started my Fin Obsession diving with sharks growing up, so I make sure to keep that in my routine. I am also in the University of North Florida's Shark Biology Program where I conduct field and lab work. Field work includes surveying the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia estuaries to locate shark nurseries and to assess the local shark population. I also conduct lab work where I am looking at the abundance of microplastics in the Atlantic Sharpnose shark.
4. Why do you think shark education important for conservation?
Shark education is important to me because I believe that education is the best step toward conservation. One cannot fix an issue until they are aware of the issue. I began college as a Psychology major, and after taking a semester of classes and realized the unsteady state of the ocean I switched my major. Everyone deserves a chance to be educated, and sharks are so much fun to learn about it can easily grab the attention of anyone in the room.
5. What is your favorite shark fact?
My favorite shark fact is that shark skin is modified teeth, and are called dermal denticles. That means that they have been on this planet for so long, that their teeth were able to be modified into skin. Due to this adaptation, shark scales are different than other fish and they are called placoid scales.
6. What has been one the coolest/most interesting moments you've had with sharks?
The coolest moment I have had with a shark would have to be my most recent dive, where the visibility was terrible, you could barely see two feet in front of you and the water was dark due to the storm above. We were chumming the water to try and get sharks around, and out of no where I saw an eleven foot bull shark right in front of me. A large silky shark and a massive sandbar shark also joined the party and it was humbling. Humbling because I am aware that sharks are not targeting humans, but in a murky and dark environment accident can happen. It was humbling to know that the sharks were okay with us being there, they didn't seem threatened or bothered by our presence.