I am the Founding Director and Research Director at the South African Shark Conservancy (SASC), where my research has focused on holistic approaches to the conservation and management of living marine resources, with a special interest in sharks and their relatives. I have developed and supervised numerous research projects including: ecological impacts and socio-economic value of shark fishing, human-wildlife conflict mitigation using telemetry and spatially explicit management models, ecological baselines on mobile marine species and habitats using baited remote underwater video (BRUV), quantifying the role and effectiveness of varied marine management paradigms using a multi-pronged research approach, and more. I have a proven track record of effective stakeholder engagement, having built long-standing relationships with commercial and artisanal fishing communities, International NGOs, academic institutions, eco-tourism industry partners and governmental organizations.
I am passionate about training early career scientists and conservationists, and developed the Shark Academyin 2018. The Shark Academy is the formal skills development and training division of SASC. I also started the Women in Shark Science program – a flagship outreach and training program specifically targeted at young women in marine science. I currently serve as an Advisor to numerous governmental organizations, am the Vice Chair of the Network of Women in Marine Science (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association) and am an active member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. I also started The Shark Company – a responsible ecotourism company focused on experiences with Africa’s diverse sharks.
In 2020, I will lead the first African Shark Expedition along the southern African coastline. This expedition will focus on collecting baseline data on sharks in South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar using cutting edge scientific techniques. Citizen scientists, divers and explorers can join each leg of the expedition and contribute to real shark science in wild and unexplored places. Interested in joining our expedition team? Get in touch with me today.