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White Shark Trust (WST)

Chief Scientist

Worked as a shark biologist, establishing and running research and conservation projects on white sharks around Dyer Island.

  • Initiated and ran a long-term research project on the population structure and dynamics of white sharks around Dyer Island and Shark Bay
  • Developed an innovative shark population study tool (Finprinting) by designing a photograph-based identification methodology using the first dorsal fin 
  • Developed a stereo-photography technique to assess the length of free-swimming white sharks
  • Conducted the first biopsy sampling on white sharks in South Africa, which led to the first evidence of a transoceanic open-structure population, using DNA
  • Discovered the transoceanic migration of white sharks using satellite telemetry and identified the return of the famous white shark Nicole from Australia to South Africa using photographic fin-based identification
  • Established the largest white shark population database in the world
  • Published results in the renowned peer-reviewed scientific journals Nature and Science, and wrote a reference book on white sharks

Founder & CEO

Established an NPO in 2002 to research the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and foster its conservation. Major success: using media relations, exposing corruption and educating the public, we compelled a new alien species Atlantic salmon industrial aquaculture project, which threatened the local ecosystem and predator populations, to close.

  • Managed administration of organisation, e.g. secretariat and volunteer research assistant programmes; set goals and defined processes 
  • Designed, managed and administered diverse research projects; organised budgeting, fundraising and sponsorship
  • Public relations: gathered, managed and disseminated a maximum amount of information on shark biology and ecology to change public opinion about sharks and promote a positive attitude to them
  • Developed an international synergy, networking with all stakeholders, and media relations
  • Designed education and information material for print and website, and taught specialist courses on shark biology, ecology and conservation
  • Developed multimedia presentations for public as well as specialised audiences, e.g. 2005 Nuit des Musées at the Musée de Zoologie in Lausanne
  • Was invited to the 2001 IFAW African Shark Workshop in Cape Town, SA; the 2004 WCS White Shark Conservation Workshop in New York, USA, to supplement the 2004 CITES proposal; and the 2006 WWF Shark Specialist Workshop in Cape Town, SA, to define and implement solutions to resolve shark and human interactions
  • Acted as watch post for illegal poaching activities and stopped the illegal sale of white shark teeth

Team Leader

Established and led successful assistantship and internship programmes providing biologists with invaluable field research experience by integrating them into existing research projects. The assistantships lasted between one and six months, averaging two months.

  • Led a research team of up to six people
  • Welcomed 120 international research assistants, primarily from academic backgrounds
  • Established the programme as a recognised training facility worldwide
  • Enabled undergraduate university students to conduct independent projects
  • Dealt with crisis management resulting from living and working together 24/7
  • Established marketing strategies and advertising programme internationally

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