Skates have become a concern in recent years due to the preponderance of these elasmobranchs that are caught as bycatch or as a directed fishery. This has raised concern because skates have life history characteristics that may make them vulnerable to over-exploitation. It was due to this concern that prompted Drs. David Ebert and James Sulikowski to organize an international symposium on the 'Biology of Skates'. The aims and goals of the symposium were to bring together an international group of researchers to meet, discuss, perhaps develop collaborations, and present their most recent findings. The symposium was held over two days, on 13-14 July, 2006, in conjunction with the 22nd annual meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society in New Orleans, LA. A total of 31 authors from four countries contributed 16 papers that appear in this volume. The papers are broadly arranged into four separate categories: systematics and biogeography, diet and feeding ecology, reproductive biology, and age and growth. This is the first dedicated book on the biology of skates. We hope that readers will find this volume of interest and that it helps encourage and stimulate future research into these fascinating fishes.