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Toby S. Daly-Engel

Assistant Professor | College of Engineering and Science - Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences

Contact Information

Personal Overview

Dr. Toby’s research uses a combination of genomics, field ecology, and modeling to study mating systems, habitat use, and the impacts of climate change on shark populations.  She is interested in how reproductive behaviors, particularly from a female fitness perspective, interact with the environment to influence species, populations, individuals, and genomes. Dr. Toby (she/her) grew up in upstate New York and got her BA in Biology at Oberlin College. She worked in Boston for two years before going on to get her Master’s and PhD in Zoology with a specialization in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology at the University of Hawaii. She won accolades as an Assistant Professor at the University of West Florida, where she ran a shark tagging field program and helped found the West Florida chapter of the Association for Women in Science, before moving her research to the Florida Institute of Technology. As director of the Florida Tech Shark Conservation Lab, Dr. Toby and her students work with collaborators from state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and public groups to study how reproduction and rising temperatures shape movement patterns in large migratory fishes, identify cryptic species, and work to increase representation for women in science, especially women of color.

Educational Background

Ph.D. Zoology, specializing in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Hawaii (2009)

M.S. Zoology, University of Hawaii (2007)

B.A. Biology, Oberlin College (2000)

Current Courses

BIO 1020_02, Advanced Biological Discovery (Honors)

MAR 3701, Evolution

MAR 4411/5031, Conservation Genetics

MAR 4100/5511, Elasmobiology (Biology of Sharks, Skates, and Rays)

Selected Publications


McClain, M.A.*, N. Hammerschlag, A. Gallagher, M. Drymon, R.D. Grubbs, T. Guttridge, M. Smukall, B.S. Frazier, and T.S. Daly-Engel. Age-dependent dispersal and relatedness in tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier). Frontiers in Marine Science, Marine Megafauna Section doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.900107


Knotek, R.J., B.S. Frazier, T.S. Daly-Engel, C.F. White, S.N. Barry*, E.J. Cave*, and N.M Whitney. Post-release mortality, recovery, and stress physiology of blacknose sharks, Carcharhinus acronotus, in the Southeast U.S. recreational shark fishery. Fisheries Research 254:


Shiffman, D., Arguedas Alvarez, T., Bangley, C.W., Boyt, R., Cote, I., Daly-Engel, T.S., Davis, A.C., Gaskins, L.C., Graham, J., Graham, R. and Johri, S., What can Professional Scientific Societies do to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? A Case Study of the American Elasmobranch Society. In Frontiers in Education (p. 302)


Phillips N, F. Devloo-Delva, C. McCall**, and T.S. Daly-Engel. Reviewing the genetic evidence for sex-biased dispersal in elasmobranchs. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries


Nash, C.S.*, P.C. Darby, J. Hendon, B.S. Frazier, J.M Higgs, E.R. Hoffmayer, and T.S. Daly-Engel. Multiple paternity in two populations of the finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon, with varying reproductive periodicity. Ecology & Evolution, 11(17), 11551-12231


Drymon, J.M., K.E. Schweiss, E. Seubert, R.N. Lehman, T.S. Daly-Engel, M. Pfleger*, and N.M. Phillips. Swimming against the flow – testing the potential for environmental DNA to detect bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) across a dynamic deltaic interface. Ecology and Evolution,


Weber, H.K., C.M. Jones, M.J. Ajemian, M.K. McCallister, B.L. Winner, G.R. Poulakis, L.D. Hollensead, D. Zapf, J.D. Swenson, J.M. Hendon, T.S. Daly-Engel, and N.M. Phillips. Genetic evidence supports a range extension of the Brazilian Cownose Ray, Rhinoptera brasiliensis, in the western North Atlantic. Env. Biology of Fishes, 98(2), 577-582


Eble, J.A., T.S. Daly-Engel, J.D. DiBattista, A. Koziol, and M.R. Gaither. Chapter 1. Marine Environmental DNA: Approaches, Applications, and Opportunities. In: Advances in Marine Biology 85:1-23


Shiffman, D., M. Ajemian, J. Carrier, T.S. Daly-Engel, M. Davis*, N. Dulvy, R.D. Grubbs, N.A. Hinojosa, J. Imhoff, M. Kolmann, C. Nash*, M. Paig-Tran, E.E. Peele, R. Skubel, B. Wetherbee, L. Whitenack, and J. Wyffels. Trends in Chondrichthyan research: An analysis of three decades of conference abstracts. Copeia 108(1), 122-131


Davis, M.M.*, P. Suárez-Moo, and T.S. Daly-Engel.  Genetic structure and congeneric range overlap among sharpnose sharks (genus Rhizoprionodon) in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 76(7): 1203-1211


Rowley, A., L. Locatello, A. Kahrl, M. Rego, A. Boussard, E. Garza-Gisholt, R. Kempster, S.P. Collins, E. Giacomello, M.C. Follesa, C. Porcu, J. Evans, F. Hazin, F. Garcia-Gonzalez, T.S. Daly-Engel, C. Mazzoldi and J.LFitzpatrick. Sexual selection and the evolution of sperm morphology in sharks. Journal of Evol. Biology, 32(10), 1027-1035


Rowley A., T.S. Daly-Engel, and J.L. Fitzpatrick. Testes size increases with sperm competition risk and intensity in bony fish and sharks. Behavioral Ecology Dec. 27, 1–8. doi:10.1093/beheco/ary174


Daly-Engel, T.S., A. Koch**, J.M. Anderson, C. Cotton, and R.D. Grubbs. Description of a new deep-water dogfish shark from Hawaii, with comments on the Squalus mitsukurii species complex in the West Pacific. ZooKeys 798: 135-157


Huveneers C., K. Apps, E.E. Becerril-García, B. Bruce, P.A. Butcher, A.B. Carlisle, T.K. Chapple, H.M. Christiansen, G. Cliff, T.H. Curtis, T.S. Daly-Engel, H. Dewar, M.L. Dicken, M.L. Domeier, C.A.J. Duffy, R. Ford, M.P. Francis, G.C.A. French, F. Galván-Magaña, E. García-Rodríguez, E. Gennari, B. Graham, B. Hayden, E.M. Hoyos-Padilla, N.E. Hussey, O.J.D. Jewell, S.J. Jorgensen, A.A. Kock, C.G. Lowe, K. Lyons, L. Meyer, G. Oelofse, E.C. Oñate-González, H. Oosthuizen, J.B. O’Sullivan, K. Ramm, G. Skomal, S. Sloan, M.J. Smale, O. Sosa-Nishizaki, E. Sperone, E. Tamburin, A.V. Towner, M.A. Wcisel, K.C. Weng, J.M. Werry (2018) Future Research Directions on the ‘Elusive’ White Shark. Frontiers in Marine Science 5: 455


Crandall, E., R.J. Toonen, E.A. Treml, J.L.K. Wren, O. Gaggiotti, M. Donovan, K. Andrews, I. Baums, M.A. Bernal, C. Bird, H. Bolick, B. Bowen, R. Coleman, G.T. Concepcion, M.T. Craig, T.S. Daly-Engel, J.D. DiBattista, J. Eble, I. Fernandez-Silva, E. Franklin, A. Friedlander, M.R. Gaither, J. Gove, M. Iacchei, Y. Jia, M.A.J. Rivera, L.A. Rocha, J. Reece, D. Skillings, S. Santos, Z. Szabo, M. Timmers, L. Wedding, G.J. Williams, N. Whitney, and Selkoe, K.A. A coalescent sampler successfully detects biologically meaningful population structure overlooked by F-statistics. Evolutionary Applications 2018: 1-11


Pfleger, M.O.*, R.D. Grubbs, C. Cotton, and T.S. Daly-Engel.  Squalus clarkae sp. nov., a new dogfish shark from the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, with comments on the Squalus mitsukurii species complex. Zootaxa  4444(2): 101–119


Daly-Engel, T.S., I. Baremore, R.D. Grubbs, S. Gulak, R.T. Graham, and M. Enzenauer.  Resurrection of the sixgill shark Hexanchus vitulus Springer & Waller, 1969 (Hexanchiformes, Hexanchidae), with comments on its distribution in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Marine Biodiversity 49(2), 759-768


Larson, S., T.S. Daly-Engel, and N. Phillips. Ch. 3: Review of Current Conservation Genetic Analyses of Northeast Pacific Sharks. In: Advances in Marine Biology: Northeast Pacific Shark Biology, Research and Conservation. Eds: S. Larson and D. Lowry. Vol. 77, Oxford: Academic Press, pp. 79-110


Selkoe, K.A., E.A. Treml, J.L.K. Wren, O. Gaggiotti, M. Donovan, K. Andrews, I. Baums, M.A. Bernal, C. Bird, H. Bolick, B. Bowen, R. Coleman, G.T. Concepcion, M.T. Craig, T.S. Daly-Engel, J.D. DiBattista, J. Eble, I. Fernandez-Silva, E. Franklin, A. Friedlander, M.R. Gaither, J. Gove, M. Iacchei, Y. Jia, M.A.J. Rivera, L.A. Rocha, J. Reece, D. Skillings, S. Santos, Z. Szabo, M. Timmers, L. Wedding, G.J. Williams, N. Whitney, and R.J. Toonen. Community genetics of Hawaiian reefs reflect habitat, history, thermal stress and ecology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20160354


Daly-Engel, T.S., R.L. Smith, D.S. Finn, M.E. Knoderbane, I.C. Phillipsen, and D.A. Lytle. 17 novel polymorphic microsatellite markers for the giant water bug, Abedus herberti (Belostomatidae). Conservation Genetics Resources 4: 979-981

Daly-Engel, T.S., K.M. Duncan, K.N. Holland, J.P. Coffey**, H.A. Nance, R.J. Toonen, and B.W. Bowen. Global Phylogeography with Mixed-Marker Analysis Reveals Male-Mediated Dispersal in the Endangered Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini). PLoS ONE 7(1): e29986


Fitzpatrick, J.L., R.M. Kempster, T.S. Daly-Engel, S.P. Collin, and J.P. Evans. Assessing the potential for postcopulatory sexual selection in elasmobranchs. The Journal of Fish Biology's 2012 special issue, The Current Status of Elasmobranchs: Biology, Fisheries and Conservation. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2012.03256.x


Daly-Engel, T.S., J.E. Randall, and B.W. Bowen. Is the Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) a reef fish or a pelagic fish? The phylogeographic perspective. Marine Biology 159: 975-985

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