My journey into shark research began in 2007 when I volunteered on a cage diving boat in Gansbaai, South Africa. I had recently graduated and begun work as a website designer, with the purpose of this trip being to see an animal I’d love since childhood. I figured that by getting that out of my system I would be able to finally ‘grow up’ and focus on a real job.
I was foolish for believing this would work as I fell in love with white sharks even more than I could’ve ever been prepared for. I immediately refocused my career goals around their existence and spent the following eighteen months looking for potential collaborators.
This culminated in moving to Mossel Bay in 2009 to help found and develop Oceans Research, an independent company built around graduate training, marine research, conservation and outreach. I assisted in every facet of the company’s development and played an activate role in most of our research projects, before moving to Gansbaai in 2012 to help on ‘Gauging the Threat: The First Population Estimate for White Sharks in South Africa Using Photo Identification and Automated Software’.
The launch of that paper in 2013 represented the first ever population estimate for great white sharks at Dyer Island, during the development of which I likewise assisted on our tagging and tracking programs.
In the years that followed I focused more attention on the business side of things, running my own creative agency dedicated to organisations involved with wildlife research and conservation. While I continue to do so, my operations in this respect have been downsized to afford more time spent working on projects directly involved with the animals I love.
Today, most of my wildlife related work revolves around the establishment of the Marine Dynamics Academy in Gansbaai, a program designed to serve as a gateway for graduates who need practical experience to further their careers. I continue to be involved with Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s white shark camera tagging and tracking project, while my own research involves real-time visualisation and exploration of digital shark models captured via 3D photogrammetry.
SharkStuff is my first formal appointment for a charity and I am mega, mega chuffed to be involved.Previous Page