Introduction | Michael Scholl

Introduction

SMA_0507

Growing up in the French speaking part of Switzerland on the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) in Blonay and Saint-Légier, two small villages located above Montreux and Vevey, I have always been interested and amazed by the World that surrounds us.

As a child, I had a passion for Astronomy and our universe. A passion I thought would one day transform into a profession. I realised that instead at staring at unreachable worlds in the far corners of our galaxy, or looking at the million year old light originating from galaxies that are equivalent light years away, I preferred to concentrate on the present, the time and place our feet are standing upon. Our world. Our unique and delicate planet Earth.

Our world had become fragile. Our planet is our ecosystem and we are an integral part of this ecosystem. The symbiosis that has allowed us to thrive is on the threshold of collapse. Global warming is no longer a theory. The increasing rate of extinction of fauna and flora species is an established fact. We are polluting the world, land, air and water, at an increasing rate that will result in our doom. But there are some positive success stories that should have shown the world that, together and with a collective will, we can change and make the change happen....

SMA_8708MCS_2214

I have spent nearly two decades living and breathing Sharks... My passion for these wonderful animals and my profound concern for their conservation and survival are at the very core of my existence. From 1997 to 2007, I studied the population and ecology of the protected and endangered White Shark species. We discovered a link for these Sharks between South Africa and Australia, first using DNA then with Nicole, and we used that new understanding and the inherent fragility of their population to get White Sharks listed on CITES. But disappointments in the lack of collaboration between researchers and especially the lack of funding have forced me to move on. My focus has shifted from Shark research to Shark conservation.

In 2007, after leaving South Africa, I explored the Middle East visiting the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Yemen and the Archipelago of Socotra with my friend Sultan, and visited Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park with my friend Andy at the end of a National Geographic documentary shoot. I then returned to Switzerland where I met and settled down with my better half, Sophie.

From 2008 to 2010, I taught bilingual Biology, Mathematics and Physics at high school and IB level at the Collège Champittet in Pully.

Based at the Mike Horn Expedition Center in Château-d’Oex, I am working since 2010 with famous South African explorer Mike Horn on the Pangaea Expedition, assisting the Young Explorers and setting up Act Projects.

While remaining active in conservation through the Swiss based non-profit organisation BlueXplorer.org, organising specialised expeditions through BlueXplorer.com, I am also collaborating with scientists worldwide on the development of an automated software for finprinting, and establishing a worldwide database for White Sharks observations. I am also developing other conservation projects in Africa.

Michael Scholl


© Michael Scholl Copyright 2012