Meet Sharks4Kids Ambassador Tatyana Dacostagomez
Hello! My name is Tatyana. I was born and raised in Florida where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Marine and Coastal Biology at the University of North Florida. During my understudies I was able to conducted research on elevated levels of mercury in scalloped hammerheads. Now I live in Virginia Beach working at my local dive shop working towards my instructor certification. During my free time I am an illustrator using my art to educate the importance of these animals. My favorite series I’ve created for Sharks4kids is my prehistoric shark series! By using my art, I hope it continues to spread awareness and inspire others to protect sharks.
Check out Tatyana's Artwork HERE
Follow her on Instagram
1. What is your favorite shark and why?
Wow! That’s a tough one! I have lots of favorites but if I had to narrow it down it would be the wobbegong and scalloped hammerhead. I love wobbegongs for their impressive camouflage but I love scallops because I was lucky enough to work with them during my undergrad so they have a soft spot in my heart!
2. What is one species of shark you would like to dive with?
I would love to dive with a Port Jackson Shark!
3. Tell us a little about why you started diving/shark diving?
I knew at a young age I wanted to become a shark biologist and I thought it would be beneficial to be scuba certified so I could get a closer encounter. Let me tell you! Scuba diving is so much fun, it feels like you are part of the marine life.
Tatyana ready to release a tagged shark during a research trip
4. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about sharks?
Although the media portrays sharks as the villain, they are far from it. The real interactions with sharks are magical and peaceful!
5. What is your favorite shark/ray fact?
The electric ray has this amazing ability to produce an electric current strong enough to stun their prey or discourage predators from eating them!
6. Why is shark education important to you?
As an educator, I have this amazing opportunity to change the viewer’s perspective about sharks. Instead of seeing sharks as villainous/monstrous animals, they learn how important they are to the ocean’s ecosystem. It's always fun to watch my students' faces light up when they learn all the different and cool adaptations sharks have! I hope I can continue to change as many perspectives so we can work together to protect sharks.