What is your connection to the Shark Lab?
I was PI at the Shark Lab from Nov 1999 to March 2003.
Tell us a story about Doc?
There really are too many to recount (although I do have some great ones I’m not sure how well they would fit in – or whether people would want stories about accidentally tagging themselves in the butt, or being on the boat that was sunk by a tiger shark in print!), and it was also some time ago. Rather than an individual story, I think it is worth sharing a perception of the experience. If I think of one that will be appropriate I will send it through at a later date, but during my time at Bimini Doc rarely came over (maybe every 2-3 months).
Tell us a story about the Shark Lab?
Sleepless nights, cuts and bruises on your hands, body aching, itching from the multitude of mosquito bites. At times, pure exhaustion. Some people miss home, there were new interactions between different cultures and sometimes clashes of personalities in such a small space, where you live in a pseudo-community with people brought together by a passion and interest for sharks. It’s a hard experience to describe. But what I remember most are long nights gillnetting or longlining for sharks under skies clear and full of stars, those days when the surface of the ocean is a mirror and you can see the ripples from dorsal fins from miles away, swimming in a pen with 100 juvenile sharks milling around you, or dropping in the water with bullsharks, hammerheads or pods of dolphins on the way to the North Sound to work.
How did meeting Doc and working at the Shark Lab change your life?
Working on my PhD in Bimini is still one of my best experiences, and one that was at times difficult to move on from. Doc is a pioneer, he forged his own path, challenging popular perceptions and overcoming great odds…. and he finally got his Porsche! Not to mention an amazing career, and I will always have great respect for him and what he has accomplished.