What is your connection to the Shark Lab?
I graduated as a marine biology in 1994, after doing my senior thesis on movement patterns of subadult lemon sharks in Bimini. I then got a job at the Lisbon Zoo taking care of two sandtiger sharks and went back to the Sharklab to get some more data for my Master’s, which versed on correlating the aforementioned movement patterns with Bimini’s hydrography. I then got a job at the Portuguese Marine Research Institute and did fisheries biology on deepsea sharks from 1995 until 1997. On the 1st of August 1997 I started working for the Oceanário de Lisboa (www.oceanario.pt) and quickly became curator of collections. It was a fun ride and it allowed to me to catch up with Dr. Gruber every year at the AES meeting, which I attended from 1994 until 2008. In 2005 I became a professor of multiple marine biology undergrad courses at www.estm.ipleiria.pt and in 2006 I started my own collections and consulting company, www.flyingsharks.eu. This year I’m launching the first of a series of books titled Sex, Sharks and Rock and Roll and the first one (www.sexsharksandrockandroll.com) covers stories from 1994 until 2004, which means my time at the Sharklab is featured quite prominently.
Tell us a story about Doc and the Shark Lab?
Easy! Check out the two chapters of my book Sex, Sharks and Rock and Roll where I describe my times at the Sharklab.
How did meeting Doc and working at the Shark Lab change your life?
Holy cow, it changed my life BIG TIME!! In short: when I applied for the “shark guy” position at the Lisbon Zoo, THE reason I got it is because I was THE ONE GUY in the WHOLE COUNTRY (Portugal) who had ever worked with live sharks!!
So THANK YOU, Dr. Gruber FOREVER!!
Also, the Zoo gig allowed me to meet Mark Smith, the guy who transported the sharks from South Africa to the Zoo. Mark and I became immediate friends. When he was hired to lead the opening of the Oceanário de Lisboa, he hired me to be his curator of collections which, again, changed my professional life and drove me to start Flying Sharks years after, my pride and joy!