In 2012 I completed my PhD under the supervision of Colin Simpfendorfer and Andrew Tobin on the life history of hammerhead and whaler sharks caught in inshore gillnet fisheries. I still have an ongoing interest in the conservation and management of sharks and rays and am the author of more than a dozen scientific papers on the subject. Since 2009 I have been a member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group.
Data on baseline vital rates such as reproductive output, growth, and survival are essential for informing effective management and conservation. There is a misconception that such studies are uninteresting and routine. As research on sharks and rays has gathered pace in the past decade this field has largely been dismissed.
With very few exceptions there has been remarkably little empirical validation of most of the common assumptions about wild shark and ray population dynamics. Most of what we do know has been inferred indirectly from data from fisheries monitoring programs, which are often of poor quality, biased, and prone to misinterpretation.
Through my research I hope to improve how these data are collected and analysed and provide new perspectives on the life history of these taxa.