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  • In Gansbaai, the largest white shark ever caught was at Danger Point and measured up to 5.9m. The exact world record white shark is a contested issue, but chances are it is between 6-7m.

  • If you see a white shark in the water don’t panic. Chances are high that the shark has already detected you and isn’t interested. White shark attacks are normally associated with poor visibility, so avoid murky conditions.

  • White sharks have a unique system called a “counter current heat exchange”, which keeps their body  tempreture +/- 7C above the surrounding water temperature. 

  • All sharks have an incredibly unique system on the tip of their nose called the “ampillae of Lorenzini”. These are small pores filled with a gel that transmits the electrical currents in the water to the shark’s brain so that it can assess its environment.

  • White sharks give birth to live young (not eggs), and they give birth to 6-8 pups at one time. Pups are usually between 1.0-1.5m in length and are born with teeth.

  • Body language has been a well documented form of shark communication and has identified body arching, jaw gaping, and other postures as specific social tactics.

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Our Marine Biologists

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Alison Towner - Marine biologist DICT, PhD Candidate.

Inspired from a young age by her late father’s ambition to dive with White Sharks, Alison graduated from UK’S Bangor university in 2006 with a BSc Honours in Marine biology. After working in the Red sea as a PADI instructor, she joined the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, South Africa, in January 2007 and has remained on site ever since! Alison spent the first 5 years as a guide for Marine Dynamics Shark Tours interacting daily with divers.

Oliver Jewell - Past Marine Dynamics Biologist

Born in London, England, Oliver has been in South Africa for the past 4 years after earning a BSc (hons) in Oceanography from the University of Southampton. His first experience with Great White Sharks was similar to many people's only experience – watching the film Jaws. Since that day, he has been dedicated to learning everything he could about sharks and ways of protecting them.

Michelle Jewell - Past Marine Dynamics Biologist

To Michelle, a born and bred American from Michigan, the sea resembles another planet within Earth where intelligent "extraterrestrial" beings and thriving systems flourish in the depths where there is neither oxygen nor sunlight. "So many of us gaze at the stars in wonder when we should be looking into our oceans!"

Georgia French - Visiting Biologist

UK - University of Sussex

Georgia is involved in biopsies of great white sharks in Gansbaai and visits throughout the year to obtain the necessary data.

Marlena Sturup - Visiting Biologist

UK - University of Sussex

Marlena completed her Masters in Evolutionary Ecology with the University of Copenhagen, DK. She is now a PhD student with the University of Sussex under the supervision of Professor William Hughes.

Simone Rizzuto - PhD student - Stellenbosch University

Simone is a PhD student - Stellenbosch University. “I have always been fascinated by the marine environment and its inhabitants, especially large predators such as sharks and cetaceans (dolphins). For this reason I decided to use this love for sea to make a career of it. Moreover, I really wanted to find out how I could be useful in safeguarding the marine environment against all anthropogenic actions that sadly cause great environmental disasters. That’s why I chose to get a degree in Marine Biology.