The Heithaus Lab for Marine Community and Behavioral Ecology is a research group directed by Dr. Michael Heithaus within the Institute of Environment at Florida International University (FIU).
The lab is focused on understanding the ecological importance of large predators, especially in the ocean, and the consequences of human-induced declines in their populations. Research in the lab has included studies on wider ecosystems (including potential prey like marine mammals and sea turtles) - and the importance of behavioral responses of prey to predators in structuring ecosystems (the ecology of fear).
The lab is field-based and includes developing and employing new technologies to ask answer important questions. This includes developing animal-borne cameras, satellite and acoustic telemetry, and - more recently - camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles. The lab uses mathematical models and laboratory studies to address general questions and inform field work.