Featuring a post film discussion with Field Museum expert Kevin Feldheim.
When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.
Kevin Feldheim is the A. Watson III Manager of the Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution. His research focuses on inferring the mating system and population biology of sharks using genetic markers called microsatellites, although he is broadly interested in many organisms. Microsatellites are short, tandem repeats in DNA that are extremely useful in identifying individuals. In fact, these are the same types of genetic markers that are used in court cases and paternity tests. The Field Museum use these markers in their DNA lab to answer similar questions in other animals, plants, and fungi.