News Archive

GIAR Award Recipient Profile: Brendan Talwar

December 12, 2018

Sigma Xi’s Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) program awards research grants to undergraduate and graduate students. Application deadlines are March 15 and October 1 annually.


Brendan Talwar Grant recipient: Brendan Talwar

Grant awarded: Spring 2015 

Education level at the time of grant: Master’s student

Research Discipline: Conservation Biology

Project results: Talwar and his collaborators successfully estimated the postrelease survivorship of two focal species, the Cuban dogfish and the gulper shark, after deep-sea longline capture. They found that postrelease mortality is high for deep-sea sharks and recommended that fisheries carefully consider that finding when deciding whether or not to discard these animals. More than 300 students participated in the fieldwork. The project’s results were published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, ICES Journal of Marine Science for the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, and Conservation Physiology.  

How this project influenced him as a scientist: “The opportunity to develop research ideas from the fundraising stage to publication has been invaluable. Thanks to support from groups like Sigma Xi, I’ve been able to meet my goals in outreach, teaching, and research and am now excited to continue my education in pursuit of a PhD.”

Where is he now? Talwar graduated from Florida State University in May 2016 with a master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. He taught a shark studies course in Fiji and in 2017 accepted the Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship in marine policy from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, serving in Washington, D.C., for a year before returning to the Bahamas, where he currently conducts research and teaches at The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute. He is also pursuing a PhD in biology at Florida International University.