Barbara Block Ph.D.

Stanford University


My research aims to monitor the Indian Ocean region's sentinel species using tagging technology

Specifically I focus on how large pelagic fish utilize the open ocean around the Chagos Archipelago. My team and I have pioneered the successful development and deployment of electronic tags on tunas, billfishes and sharks in the Indian Ocean region and around the world.

Our team studies bluefin and yellowfin tunas from a whole organism to genome perspective with interests in physiology of migrations, thermogenesis, cardiac biology, energetics and reproduction.  The combination of lab and field research has led us to increase our understanding of movement patterns, population structure, physiology and behaviors of pelagic fish and sharks, enabling us to better inform conservation management actions.

Human technology has made it to Mars. We are transmitting gorgeous pictures from it. Yet we have not explored our own planet. Two-thirds of it is covered with oceans that are still mysterious places.

Barbara Block


2006 Present
Founder, Tag-A-Giant Foundation
1994 Present
Lecturer, Stanford at Sea program, Stanford University
2008 2008
Scientific Advisor, Superfish, BBC
1994 1994
Helped establish the Tuna Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium
1989 1993
Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
1977 1980
Bachelor of Arts in Zoology, University of Vermont

My Projects

  • Tackling Illegal Fishing
    Shark Genomics Seascapes
  • Species Distribution and Ecology
    The Ecology and Ecosystem Roles of Reef Sharks in the Indian Ocean MPA
  • Species Distribution and Ecology
    The Importance of the Chagos Archipelago for Pelagic Predators in the Indian Ocean

Other interests

I am the Founder of the Tag-A-Giant Foundation which aims to inspire the conservation of bluefin tuna while supporting scientific research informing fisheries management. Additionally I am running the Dr. Barbara Block Lab at the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay, where my team of researchers and I are involved in several projects such as the Blue Serengeti Initiative, the Animal Telemetry Network, the management of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center as well as the aforementioned Tag-A-Giant project.

My Publications

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