Author Esther Jacobs Overbeeke

Esther Jacobs is a shark conservationist, originally from Scotland, now living in South Africa working with sharks and other marine life. Esther works with Oceans Research (www.oceans-research.com), a marine research facility in Mossel Bay, South Africa and runs a shark conservation campaign called Keep Fin Alive (www.keepfinalive.com), which features a hand puppet shark called Fin, who is on a mission to be photographed with as many people as possible holding a sign that says “I hugged a shark and I liked it… Keep Fin Alive”. Fin has already been photographed with lots of celebrities and scientists. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to take a light-hearted approach to help change the common misconception of sharks and drive more attention to the problems of shark overfishing, finning, shark fishing tournaments, bycatch and longlining.

Scientist Interview: Lauren Peel, University of Western Australia

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Lauren Peel has a BSc (Hons.) in Zoology from University of Western Australia. She is currently a PhD candidate in marine biology at University of Western Australia and project leader for The Manta Trust and Save Our Seas Foundation’s Seychelles Manta Ray Project. How did you end up in science and research? I have always been in awe of the natural world and when I was five years old, my parents took me to the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. I could not get enough of snorkeling the reefs and exploring the intertidal pools to see what new creatures I…

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Scientist Interview: Dr Nathan Hart, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University

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Dr Nathan Hart is an expert in comparative neurobiology and specialises in animal sensory systems. He completed his PhD on colour vision in birds at the University of Bristol, UK, before moving Australia in 1999. He’s since worked on the visual systems of various animals, and more recently has been working with sharks. We interviewed him about his very interesting career history. How did you end up in science and research? I’ve always loved the natural world, and so I went to Bristol University to study Biology. After completing my degree, I did a PhD, also at Bristol, that combined…

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Scientist Interview – Charles Klingler, Fisheries Observer

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Charles Klingler, from Maryland, US, works as a fisheries observer in various locations around the USA. He’s spent four months interning with us at Oceans Research in South Africa, so we took the opportunity to interview him about fisheries observation and management. Charles also delivered a presentation on fisheries management at a public ocean conservation evening while he was in South Africa. Where did you graduate from, and what is your degree? I graduated from Coastal Carolina University in May 2014, with a degree in Marine Science with a focus in Marine Biology. How did you get into fisheries observation?…

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Interview with Fiona Ayerst, Africa Media

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Fiona Ayerst is a specialist stills underwater photographer. She’s also a writer, public speaker, tour guide and a passionate conservationist who speaks up for animal rights. How did you get into underwater photography? I have always been passionate about water and being immersed in it. I feel safe and happy in water. It is my ‘ go to’ place if I am ever stressed. As a child, I spent many holidays in the blue, warm Indian Ocean around  Mombasa. My parents say I could swim before I could walk. I definitely prefered being in water from a very young age.…

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Interview with Paul von Blerk, Project Specialist, Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board

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Paul von Blerk specializes in electronic shark repellents with the Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence. He’s worked with the Shark’s Board for 34 years, and for the last couple of decades, he’s dedicated his life to creating and testing an alternative, eco-friendly system that keeps both bathers and sharks safe. Throughout April, Oceans Research assisted Paul in testing an electronic device on our Mossel Bay white sharks, with incredible results. Can you give a brief overview of your shark deterrent? In the very late eighties / early nineties, our previous CEO, Graham Charter, hit on the idea of…

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Interview with Dr Ryan Kempster, University of Western Australia

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Mossel Bay, 2016:  Dr Ryan Kempster is a shark biologist and founder of the non-profit organisation Support Our Sharks (SOS). He obtained his B.Sc. (2005) and M.Sc. (2007) in marine biology in the UK, and went on to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in the sensory biology of sharks. Dr Kempster recently spent a month with Oceans Research working on his shark deterrent project. How did you end up in science and research? I’ve always had an interest in animals and science, although, my path has changed quite a lot, which was dictated by how…

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Interview: Advances in Electronic Shark Repellents

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Recent advances in electronic shark repellents and their potential to control shark-human interactions non-lethally are discussed in this interview with Paul von Blerk, a Project Specialist at Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board in South Africa. Paul von Blerk specializes in electronic shark repellents with the Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence. He’s worked with the Shark’s Board for 34 years, and for the last couple of decades, he’s dedicated his life to creating and testing an alternative, eco-friendly system that keeps both bathers and sharks safe. Throughout April, Oceans Research assisted Paul in testing an electronic device on our Mossel Bay white sharks, with…

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