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Lacey Williams ‘16: A Shark (Fin)atic

Lacey loves to talk about her passion for sharks while enjoying some tasty noodles from her favorite restaurant on campus, N13! Catch her with her shark phone case and you’ll know how serious she is about these underwater (slightly terrifying) creatures!

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Major:  Bio and French (double major..holla)

Activities on campus: Senior Admissions Fellow, Co-President and Co-Founder of Club Swimming, Hamilton Central School tutor, certified scuba diver, Hamilton community Outreach volunteer

Fun fact:  She is the 14th member of her family to come to Colgate since 1847

Favorite place to eat in Hamilton: N13

Favorite thing to eat at N13: “I love the dumplings and the sweet summer stir fry. And the steam buns are fantastic! There’s also a bunch of new things I need to try.”

Favorite quote/ personal motto: “Life is the bubbles”- Sebastian the crab in little mermaid; “Sharks are friends not food, DON’T EAT SHARK FIN SOUP”- Lacey

How did you first discover your passion for sharks? “I’ve loved sharks since I can remember, I read about them all the time when I was a kid. When I wasn’t even in 6th grade yet, I had my mom take notes on all of the most deadly sharks and then gave a presentation on it in 6th grade and they subsequently filled my school’s library with books on sharks.”

Feelings about Shark Week? “Of course I’m excited… But honestly I don’t like the way that shark week has evolved, it doesn’t accurately represent what scientists are doing anymore.”

Favorite fun fact about sharks: “All facts are fun!! That’s a tough one. I really like how… this is something really new… sharks actually have different body postures to signal different things. I also really like Ampullae of Lorenzini,  which are basically jelly-filled pores around their noses that can detect minute electrical pulses in the water. They are the tiny dots in pictures, they send signals to the brain which is something that humans don’t have…  This is how they can distinguish struggling fish or creatures hiding under the sand. Also another interesting fact is that of the nearly 500 species there are less than 50 that are actually dangerous to humans.”

Favorite kind of shark: “ People always ask me that!!! Another hard question… I would say Hammerheads because of the electrical stuff (mentioned above), but I also really love Megamouths because less than 30 have ever been seen. They are very primitive. They were discovered in mid 70’s so there is virtually nothing known about them. They are very rubbery and weird looking, and have bioluminescent sparks that are thought to attract prey. Also the Epaulette shark can walk on land when the tide gets low in reefs in Australia which is super cool.”

What type of shark do you think you resemble most: “Another hard question… No one has ever asked me this before. This is difficult and I’m taking it very seriously… Maybe Blue Sharks because they love to swim and they’re also blue which is my favorite color. But the fishing industry is decimating them which is super wrong and not okay… Or a more docile one that’s like a puppy cuz I’m harmless. So maybe a blacktip reef shark, because they get to swim around all the cool reefs and I want to do that… Or maybe whale sharks because they are huge and lazy and they get to eat massive amounts of food without even trying. Actually I take all of that back. My spirit animal is the shark that will be named after me.”

Bucket list:

  1. Free dive with tiger sharks, bull sharks, and great white sharks

  2. Discover a new species

  3. Have a species named after me

  4. Create a new marine park

  5. Get at least three new species protected under national and international conservation laws

  6. Help eradicate shark finning industry

  7. Live to see several species improve their ranking in the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) endangered list

  8. Change national perception of sharks from man-eaters to important and pivotal members of the sea

How do you feel about being campus celebrity? “Oh heavens… I’m honored that so many people are gonna get to learn about sharks, and finally without me being reprimanded for talking about it too much.”

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