Carlos Jaramillo

Catalina Pimiento

Catalina Pimiento

Catalina Pimiento


Masters in Zoology
206 Dickinson Hall
Museum Road & Newell Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 273-1931


My interests are in the fields of marine biology and paleontology; with emphasis in the study of sharks. I’m interested in their migrations routes, population ecology, development, paleo-ecology and conservation. I would like to approach these issues mainly with telemetry using satellite and acoustic devices to track their movements and paleo-ecological studies using data from fossils reconstruct the ecosystems.

I’m also interested in Science Education in biology and distribution of scientific information to kids thru the web. I propose to develop a bilingual web site especially for kids where they can discover about fossil sharks from Panama. I plan to develop this web in an engaging kid-friendly way. There kids will learn in fun way and they will become skilled at scientific concepts through inquiry


Fossil Sharks of Panama
The Panama isthmus was formed about 3.1-2.8 Ma, is a narrow strip of land that separates the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Before the isthmus arose, the two oceans coexisted in that area forming the Central America Seaway. The fossil record indicates that in the past, different shark species inhabited this seaway. Several changes in oceanographic conditions associated with the geologic processes of the formation of the isthmus had different effects in shark fauna. I’m updating sharks fossil record of the Gatun Formation in Panama and comparing the taxa found with previous studies and with similar faunas in the Caribbean. By the use of the fossil data collected, I would like to know: what was the effect of the Panamanian Isthmus uplift in Sharks Fauna? How sharks (especially Carcharocles megalodon) used this extinct environment in the past? Was this doorway used as part of their migrations routes and how the closure of this affected sharks populations current distribution?

Public Outreach

For my Masters research, and in collaboration with STRI and the FLMNH, approximately 400 new fossil shark teeth specimens from the Miocene Gatun Formation of Panama, were collected. This large collection has a great potential to be used not only for scientific proposes, but also as a teaching tool for young learners. I therefore dsigned a broader impact deliverable of my master research: a bilingual website about fossil sharks from Panama to engage young learners to science: WEB.

Published articles

Pimiento C and Pringle R. (2011). Fossil sharks: Learning from and about the past. Science Scope 34 (6): 52-59.

Uhen, M.D., Coates, A.G., Jaramillo, C.A., Montes, C., Pimiento, C., Rincon, A., Strong, N., Velez-Juarbe, J. (2010) Marine mammals from the Miocene of Panama. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 30 (3-4): 167-175

Pimiento C, Ehret DJ, MacFadden BJ, Hubbell G (2010) Ancient Nursery Area for the Extinct Giant Shark Megalodon from the Miocene of Panama. PLoS ONE 5 (5): e10552. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010552 

Media Coverage

September 30th in Discovery Channel News Online: Prehistoric Shark Nursery Spawned Giants