Jessica Gwilliam with a rig shark (above), and Malcolm Francis dissecting skates (below left).
There are about 75 shark species found in New Zealand waters, and rig shark is one of the smaller species. Each spring, rig come into estuaries such as Wellington's Pauatahanui Inlet to breed. PhD student Jessica Gwilliam , from Macquarie University in Australia, is collaborating with NIWA's Malcolm Francis, winner of the 2008 Marine Sciences Society medal, in a study that aims to unravel some of the genetic mysteries about rig and other closely related species, as well as understand how rig use the estuaries. Find out more about rig (which was previously called spotted dogfish or smoothhound) and other shark species at Te Ara, the online Encyclopaedia of New Zealand.