I was born and raised in the most land-locked region of the UK (where the most famous tropical wildlife is the lesser spotted, Port Vale supporting knuckle-dragger), suffering chronic asthma problems, an insurmountable fear of water and general aversion to anything that wasn’t related to computers or drawing.
So it makes perfect sense that my favourite animal would be a ginormagantuan, razor-toothed, swimming machine of death – the great white shark.
I’ve no idea why, nor do I question it. The simple fact is that my love of sharks predates my earliest memory and has been the driving force behind some of my most important (and in most cases, utterly reckless) life decisions.
We (myself and my better half) moved to South Africa in 2009. I was originally based in Mossel Bay, helping to establish an independent research company before moving to the town of Gansbaai in 2012, where I first became a scientific co-author for my work on Gauging The Threat, a population study of Dyer Island.
In both areas I’ve tracked great white sharks in the wild (during the day and at night), provided technical assistance on a number of research projects, assisted on several film productions, developed student internship programs, educational materials for community outreach and confused the living hell out of locals with my mumble-based dialect.
We moved back to the UK in 2013 to setup EDNA, a creative agency dedicated to wildlife research and conservation.
I remain active in shark research as a technical assistant and am in the early stages of a project designed to combine shark research with gaming.
Sharks are the shit – absolutely perfect.