Jack Musick Home Page

John A. Musick

Faculty Emeritus

Retired: 2009
Department: Fisheries Science
Status: Professor Jack Musick passed away in 2021. We archive his VIMS home page in commemoration of his many accomplishments. Read his {{,obituary}}.

Research Interests
  • Chondrichthyan ecology and conservation
  • Marine fisheries management
  • Sea turtle ecology and conservation
  • Salmonid diversity and conservation
  • Fish community structure
Current Projects
  • Sustainability in marine fisheries
  • Sexual conflict in chondrichthyan fishes
  • Bathymetric limits of chondrichthyans in the deep sea
  • Anthropogenic impacts on sea turtle populations
  • Conservation status of North American salmonid fishes
Selected Publications

Dr. Musick has published more than 150 scientific papers and co-authored or edited 22 books focused on the ecology and conservation of sharks, marine fisheries management, and sea turtle ecology.

Cotton C. F.,  R. D. Grubbs, J. E. Dyb, I. Fossen, and J. A. Musick. In Press.  Reproduction and embryonic development in two species of squaliform sharks, Centrophorus granulosus and Etmopterus princeps: evidence of matrotrophy?  DeepSea Research II:

Musick, J.A. In Press. Conservation Status,in: Salmonidae. Diversity of NORTH AMERICAN Fresh Water Fishes, Natural history, Ecology, & Conservation. M. L. Warren, Jr. and B. M. Burr, eds.

Musick, J.A., and C.F. Cotton. In Press. Bathymetric limits of chondrichthyans in the deep sea: a re-evaluation. Deep Sea Research II. Topical Studies in Oceanography, Available online 29 October 2014

Sagarese, S. R., M. G. Frisk, Thomas J. Miller, K.. Sosebee, J. A.. Musick,and P. J. Rago, .2014. Influence of environmental, spatial, and ontogenetic variables on habitat selection and management of spiny dogfish in the Northeast (US) shelf large marine ecosystem. Can. J. Fish. Ocean.

Wallace, B.P. AD DiMatteo, BJ Hurley, EM Finkbeiner, AB Bolten, MY Chaloupka, BJ Hutchinson, FA Abreu-Grobois, D Amorocho, KA Bjorndal, J Bourjea, BW Bowen, RB Dueñas, P Casale, BC Choudhury, A Costa, PH Dutton, A Fallabrino, A Girard, M Girondot, MH Godfrey, M Hamann, M López-Mendilaharsu, MA Marcovaldi, JA Mortimer, JA Musick, R Nel, NJ Pilcher, JA Seminoff, S Troëng, B Witherington, and RB Mast.  2010.  Regional management units for marine turtles: a novel framework for prioritizing conservation and research across multiple scales .PLOS ONE, 5, e15465, 2010

Bolten, A.B., L. B. Crowder, M. G. Dodd, S. L. MacPherson, J. A. Musick, B. A. Schroeder, B. E. Witherington, K. J. Long, and M. L. Snover. 2010. Quantifying multiple threats to endangered species: an example from loggerhead sea turtles. Frontiers in Ecology and The environment.   

Musick, J.A. and  S. Musick. 2010. Sharks (Special Topics C3) in: Review of the state of the world marine fishery resources. FAO Fisheries Tech. Paper, 457

Musick, J.A. 2010. Chondrichthyan Reproduction. Ch.1in: Reproduction  and phylogeny of Marine Fishes, K. Coles  ed. University of  Cal. Press

Romine,J.G., J.A.Musick, and G.H.Burgess. 2009. Demographic analysis of the dusky shark,Carcharhinus obscurus in the Northwest Atlantic incorporating hooking mortality estimates,and revised reproductive parameters. Env Biol Fish. 84 (3) 277-289

Grubbs, R.D. and J.A. Musick  C. L. Conrath, and J. G. Romine.2007. Long-term movements, migration, and temporal delineation of summer nurseries for juvenile Carcharhinus plumbeus, in the Chesapeake Bay region. American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, MD. American Fisheries Society Symposium 50:87-108

Portnoy,D.S.,  A.N.Piercy, J.A. Musick, G.H. Burgess,and J.E.Graves.2007. Genetic polyandry, and sexual conflict in the sandbar shark,Carcharhinus plumbeus, in the western North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Mol. Ecol. 16:187-197

Saba, V.S., Santidrián-Tomillo, P., Reina, R.D., Spotila, J.R., Musick, J.A., Evans, D.A., and Paladino, F.V. 2007. The effect of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on the reproductive frequency of eastern Pacific leatherback turtles. Journal of Applied Ecology 44, 395-404

Musick J.A. and J.K. Ellis. 2005. Reproductive Evolution of Chondrichthyes. pp. 45-79. In: Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Chondrichthyes: Sharks, Batoids and Chimaeras. William C. Hamlett. ed. Science Publishers, Inc. Plymouth, U

Musick, J.A. 2004, Management of Sharks and Their Relatives (Elasmobranchii). Chapter 1 pp.1-8. In: Elasmobranch Fisheries Management Techniques. J. Musick and R. Bonfil, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Singapore: 370pp (electronic publication available at

Musick, J.A. 2004 Shark Utilization. Chapter 14 pp.223-236.In: Elasmobranch Fisheries Management Techniques. J. Musick and R.Bonfil,  Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Singapore: 370 pp. (electronic publication available at

Musick, J.A., M.M. Harbin, L.J.V. Compagno. 2004. Historical Zoogeography of the Selachii Chp.2, pp 33-78. In: Biology of Sharks and their relatives. J. Carrier, J.A. Musick. And M. Heithaus, eds. CRC Press       

Musick, J.A. and J.K. Ellis. 2004. Constraints on Sustainable Marine Fisheries: A Look at the Record. pp. 45-66. In: Sustainable Management of North American Fisheries. Knudsen, E.E., D.D. MacDonald, and Y.K. Muirhead, eds. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD

Musick, J.A. 2003. Sea Turtles. In: The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 3: Bony fishes part 2 (Opistognathidae to Molidae), sea turtles and marine mammals.  K.E. Carpenter (ed.) FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5. Rome, FAO. pp. 1426-1468

Musick, J. A. and seventeen co-authors. 2000. Marine, Estuarine, and Diadromous Fish Stocks at Risk of Extinction in North America (Exclusive of Pacific Salmonids). Fisheries 25 (11):6-30

Musick, J. A.  1999.  Ecology and conservation of long-lived marine animals.  pp. 1-10. In: J. A. Musick. (ed.) Life in the Slow Lane: Ecology and Conservation of Long-Lived Marine Animals.  American Fisheries Society Symposium 23, Bethesda, M.

Musick, J. A.  1999.  Criteria to Define Extinction Risk in Marine Fishes.  Fisheries 24(12): 6-13

Musick, J. A., S. Branstetter and J. A. Colvocoresses. 1993.  Trends in shark abundance from 1974-1991 for the Chesapeake Bight of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coast.  NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS.115:1-18.

Middleton, R. and J. A. Musick.  1986.  The abundance and distribution of the family Macrouridae in the Norfolk Canyon Area.  Fish. Bull. 84:35-62.

Musick, J. A., J. A. Colvocoresses, E. J. Foell.  1986.  Seasonality and distribution, availability and composition of fish assemblages in Chesapeake Bight pg 451-474.  Chapter 21, In:  A. Yanez y. Arancibia (ed.). Fish Community Ecology in Estuaries and Coastal Lagoons:  Towards an Ecosystem Integration.  Univ. Mexico Press., Mexico City.

Selected Books
Trade Books

Murdy E.,and  J.A.Musick,  2013. A guide to the fishes of Chesapeake Bay. Johns Hopkins Press.

McMillan, B. and J.A.Musick. 2008. Insiders, Sharks. Simon and Schuster, NY, NY

McMillan, B. And J. A. Musick. 2007. Insiders, Oceans. Simon and Schuster, NY, NY

Musick, J.A. and B. McMillan. 2002. The Shark Chronicles. Henry Holt NY, NY

McMillan, B. and J. A. Musick.  1997.  Oceans, Life in the Deep.  Metro Books/Michael Freedman Publishing Group, Inc., N, NY.

Edited Volumes

Wyneken, J., K Lohman,, and J. A. Musick. 2013 The Biology of Sea Turtles Vol. III. CRC Press, Boca Raton Fl.

Carrier, J., J.A. Musick, and M. Heithaus.2013, Biology of Sharks and their Relatives. 2nd  revised edition.CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl.:

Carrier, J., J.A.Musick, and M Heithaus. 2010. The Biology of Sharks and their Relatives II. Biodiversity, Adaptive Physiology, and Conservation. CRC Press, Boca Raton FL

Nielsen, J.L., J.J. Dodson, K.D. Friedland, T.R. Hamon, N.F. Hughes, J.A. Musick, and E. Verspoor. editors. 2006. Proceedings of the Fourth World Fisheries Congress: reconciling fisheries with conservation. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 49, Bethesda, Maryland.

Musick, J.A. and R. Bonfil. 2005, Management Techniques. For Elasmobranch Fisheries. FAO Fisheries Technical paper 474.Rome:370pp (hard copy of 2004 e-publication)           

Carrier, J., J.A. Musick, and M. Heithaus. 2004, Biology of Sharks and their Relatives. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl.: 596pp

Musick, J. A., M. Bruton, and E. Balon (eds.).  1991.  The Biology of Latimeria chalumnae and

the evolution of coelacanths.  Env. Biol. Fish. 11(1-4).  446 pp.  (Also published as separate book by Kluwer Press).

Past Students

Dr. Musick is an Emeritus Professor, therefore he no longer accepts graduate students. However, he may serve on their academic committees.

M.S.: L. Pace, 2007; J. Romine, 2004; W. Dowd, 2003; J. Ellis, 2003; E. Seney, 2003; R. Pemberton, 2000; C. Conrath, 2000; R. Kraus, 1998; W. Jones, 1997; M. Terwilliger, 1996; L. Ayres, 1995; S. Moein, 1994; H. Banford, 1993; M. Rybitski, 1993; J. Brown, 1991; S. Bellmund, 1988; R. Klinger, 1988; R. Siegfried, 1988; B. Bowen, 1987; M. Armstrong, 1987; G. Delaney, 1986; S. Smith, 1986; T. Sminkey, 1986; J. Hoff, 1985; G. van Housen, 1984; M. Nammack, 1982; M. Lutcavage, 1981; J. Gartner, 1980; R. Middleton, 1979; E. Lawler, 1976; D. Byrne, 1976; G. Sedberry, 1975; C. Cooke, 1974; L. Pushee, 1973; C. Wenner, 1972; D. Markle, 1972; L. Haines, 1971.

Ph.D.: C. Cotton,  2009; P. McGrath 2009; A. Horodysky (co-chair) 2008;  J. Romine 2008; D. Portnoy 2008; V. Saba, 2007; T. Gedamke (co-chair) 2007; K. Mansfield D, Ha 2006; C. Conrath 2005; K. Goldman, 2002; D. Grubbs, 2001; T. Orrell, 2000;  S. Bartol, 1999; W. Coles, 1999;  H. Banford, 1998; J. Gelsleichter, 1998; D. Nelson, 1996; J. Desfosse, 1995;L. Daniel (co-chair), 1995; E. Grogan, 1994; E. Heist, 1994; T. Sminkey, 1994; R. Teixeira, 1994; C. Tabit, 1993; J. Keinath, 1993; D. Hata, 1993; C. Baldwin, 1992; J. Ferreira, 1991;  J. Luo, 1991; C. Monterio-Neto, 1990; R. Byles, 1988; S. Szedlmayer, 1988; R. Middleton, 1986; T. Munroe, 1986; J. Colvocoresses, 1985; R. Rosa, 1985; M. Anderson, 1984; H. Carter, 1984; R. Crabtree, 1984; W. Raschi, 1984; K. Sulak (co-chair, Un. of Miami), 1982; G. Sedberry, 1980; L. Mercer, 1978; C. Wenner, 1978; L. Chao, 1976; D. Markle, 1976; K. Able, 1974; J. McEachran, 1973.

Courses Taught
MS 666:  Ichthyology, 5 credits, instructor: 1970-2007
MS 664:  Conservation Biology, contribution lecturer, 2000-2004.
MS 698:  Deep Sea Biology, contribution lecturer, 2000-2008.
MS 501:  Core Course Marine Science Fundamentals, contribution lecturer, 2001
MS 618:  Marine Fisheries Science, 3 credits, team taught: 1992-2007
MS 5__:  Numerous graduate problems and topics courses since 1969-2007.
MS 6__:  Numerous graduate problems and topics courses since 1969-2007.
MS 6__:  Advanced Biological Oceanography, 3 credits:  1971-81 (alternate years);
Faculty/Student Awards
  • 2013, Excellence in Fisheries Education Award, Tidewater Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
  • 2009, Distinguished Fellow Award, American Elasmobranch Society
  • 2008, Lifetime Achievement Award in Science, Commonwealth of Virginia                                                                                                                       
  • 2002, Excellence in Fisheries Education Award, American Fisheries Society.
  • 2001, Outstanding Faculty Award, State Council on Higher Education in Virginia
  • 2000, Distinguished Service Award, American Fisheries Society [“You are recognized for your contributions toward providing understanding of the risks to long-lived marine fish species. The importance and timeliness of your contributions are bringing important new visibility and exposure to AFS, reinforcing the Society’s relevance in conserving valuable marine resources.”]
  • 2000, Distinguished Researcher Award, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary
  • 1999, Marshall Acuff Chair in Marine Science, College of William and Mary
  • 1997, Thomas Ashley Graves Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching, College of William and Mar.
  • 1994, 1995  Nominee PEW Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment
  • 1992, Conservationist of the Year Award, Virginia Beach Anglers Club
  • 1991, American Elasmobranch Society Distinguished Service and Leadership Award
  • 1989, Elected National Fellow, Explorers Club, New York
  • 1985, Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science ["For contributions to ecology and zoogeography of marine vertebrates, conservation of endangered species, and graduate education in marine science."]
Professional Membership
  • American Fisheries Society; member 1961-present; Endangered Species Committee, 1994-2002
  • Chair, Endangered Marine Fishes Committee, 1996-2007. President, Tidewater Chapter, 2008
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science; member 1967-present; Elected Fellow, 1985.
  • American Elasmobranch Society; Board of Directors, 2000-2005, 1985-1996; President-elect, 1990; President, 1991; Annual Meeting Chair, 1992; Chair, Conservation Committee, 1994-present.
  • American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists; member 1962-present, Annual Meeting Chair, 1975
  • Board of Governors, 1975-76
  • Endangered Species Committee, 1994-present.
  • Atlantic Estuarine Research Society; member 1968-2007
  • Ecological Society of America; member 1967-present.
  • Fifth International Fisheries Congress, Editorial Board: 2004-2005.
  • International Sea Turtle Society; Board of Directors, Feb 1991-2000; President-elect, Feb 1993-94; President, Feb 1994-95; Annual Meeting Chair, 1995
  • Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries; Editorial Board, 1999-2007
  • Society for Conservation Biology; member 1987-2009
  • Southeastern Fishes Council; member 1975-2005
Service to International, Federal, and Commonwealth agencies
  • Jan 2006-present ; Vice-chair for Science, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Species Survival Commission, Shark Specialist Group.
  • 2004 - 2007 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission ( ASMFC). Endangered Species  Comm.                 
  • Jan 2002 - 2008 - NMFS/USFWS Recovery Team for Loggerhead Sea Turtles
  • April 1999-presnt; ASMFC Scientific Technical Committee for Shark Management (Chair 2006-2009)
  • April 1999-present;ASMFC Scientific Technical Committee for Spiny Dogfish Management
  • Jan 1997-2007; Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council  (MAFMC)Scientific Advisory Committee for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass.
  • Dec 1997-present; MAFMC  Spiny Dogfish Monitoring Committee.
  • June 1997-Dec 2005; Co-chair, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Species Survival Commission, Shark Specialist Group.
  • June 1997-2007; Virginia State Coordinator for Essential Fish Habitat Issues (VMRC, NMFS, MAFMC).
  • July 1996-present; ASMFC Sturgeon Technical Committee.
  • Jan 1996-present; Member of Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Reptile and Amphibian Endangered Species Committee
  • Jan. 1996-present; Member of VIGIF Endangered Fishes Committee
  • Jan. 1995-present; USFWS Atlantic Sturgeon Advisory Committee for Chesapeake Bay
  • Jan. 1995-2003; USFWS Scientific Advisory Committee for the Shortnose Sturgeon Recovery Plan
  • May 1994-2007; NOAA/NMFS.  Select Scientific Advisory Panel for Shark Management
  • June 1990-present; International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Species Survival Commission, Marine Turtle Specialist Group, member. Red List Assessment Committee (2006-present)
  • September 1987-present; Ad-hoc advisor to Virginia Marine Resources Commission on Marine Fisheries Management
  • October 1986-1993; Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council Scientific Advisory Committee for Shark Management
  • May 1979-2007; National Marine Fisheries Service Sea Turtle Stranding Network, Regional Coordinator for Virginia
  • Sep 2001- Jan 2002 - Governor’s Task Force on Shark Attack
  • June 2000- 2001; NMFS Review Panel for proposed Endangered status of smalltooth sawfish.
  • Apr 2001- NOAA/NMFS. Annual Review Panel (reviewed programs and budgets for 2002-2007)
  • Mar 2000- NOAA/NMFS. Annual Review Panel (reviewed programs and budgets for 2001-2005)
  • June 1997; International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Delegate, Convention on International Trade to Endangered Species (CITES), Harare, Zimbabwe
  • July 1996-1997; ASMFC Science and Management Committee
  • September 1991-1996; International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Species Survival Commission, Shark Specialist Group, member    
  • June 1991-1996; Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council Scientific Advisory Committee for Scup and Black Sea bass.
  • May 1989-1994; Coelacanth Conservation Council, Board of Directors.  (Successfully petitioned CITES to list Latimeria chalumnae under Appendix 1.)
  • December 1988-1992; Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee.  Technical Representative for Virginia