Leo Chan Gaskins

Leo Chan Gaskins

Research Interests

Leo Gaskins is a trophic ecologist, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and Duke University PhD student in the Silliman lab.

Leo investigates the impact of top predators on ecosystems through trophic cascade. By determining the relative impacts of top-down and bottom-up forces on ecosystem function and structure, his work will inform effective future management plans throughout coastal systems, and protect critical ecosystem services.

Leo graduated from Duke University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree. His previous studies have also focused on top predators, specifically on sharks. His published work focuses on measuring metabolic rate through respirometry, determining maximum sizes, and creating stronger worldwide protection for migratory sharks.


Email: leo [dot] gaskins [at] duke [dot] edu

Twitter: leogaskins


10. Gaskins LC, Paxton AB, and Silliman BR. (2020). Megafauna in salt marshes. Frontiers in Marine Science7, 975.  

9. Whalen MA, … Gaskins LC … Duffy JE. (2020). Climate drives the geography of marine consumption by changing predator communities. PNAS, 202005255, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2005255117 

8. Gaskins LC, Morton JP, Renzi JJ, Valdez SR, Silliman BR. (2020)Habitat features associated with newborn Giant Shovelnose Rays (Glaucostegus typus)North Queensland Naturalist50, 73-79.  

7. Gaskins LC. (2019). House finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) successful use of barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) nest. Western Birds50, 176-177.  

6. Gaskins LC. (2019). Pregnant giant devil ray (Mobula mobular) bycatch reveals potential Northern Gulf of California pupping ground. Ecology e02689-e02689. 10.1002/ecy.2689

5. Silliman BR, Hughes BB, Gaskins LC, He Q, Tinker MT, Read A, Nifong J, and Stepp R. (2018) Are the ghosts of nature’s past haunting ecology today?. Current Biology28(9), R532-R537. 

4. Whitney NM, Lear KO, Gaskins LC, & Gleiss AC. (2016). The effects of temperature and swimming speed on the metabolic rate of the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum, Bonaterre). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology477, 40-46. 

3. Kraska J, & Gaskins LC. (2015). Can Sharks Be Saved: A Global Plan of Action for Shark Conservation in the Regime of the Convention on Migratory Species. Seattle Journal of Environmental Law5, i. 

2. Gaskins LC, Silliman BR. (2015). Crab Predation by the San Salvadorian Rock Iguana (Cyclura rileyi). Herpetological Bulletin. 132, 2015: 27.   

1. McClain CR, Balk MA, Benfield MC, Branch TA, Chen C, Cosgrove J, Dove ADM, Gaskins LC, Helm RR, Hochberg FG, Lee FB, Marshall A, McMurray SE, Schanche C, Stone SN, Thaler AD. (2015) Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna. PeerJ 3:e715