Dr Jessica da Silva
I met Michael in 2003 when I was accepted to work as one of his research assistants at the White Shark Trust (WST). During my time at WST, Michael’s enthusiasm, knowledge and experience with white sharks was unsurpassed. He showed exceptional leadership, engaging assistants in all aspects of the work and maintaining order while still creating a pleasant working environment. He took the time to associate and get to know each assistant’s strengths and weaknesses so as to better manage the collection of data and the interactions of the assistants. Michael always went beyond his mandate to ensure that all of his assistants received a holistic experience not only with his shark research, but with the Gansbaai community and South Africa as a whole. In fact, it was largely because of Michael and my time with WST that I chose to pursue further studies at the University of Cape Town.
Dr Jessica da Silva | Postdoctoral Researcher at South African National Biodiversity Institute