Why sharks with Sophie Maycock?
Sophie found her love for sharks when she volunteered on a cage diving boat in south Africa in 2008. Ever since, she has studied sharks through her Bachelors degree in Biology, and with her Masters degree (by research) in Biodiversity and Conservation. Sophie has a broad knowledge about many different species of sharks, but she specialises in shark behaviour and conservation. Alongside White Shark Africa and the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL), Sophie has worked on papers investigating behavior, personality and homing abilities in great white sharks. She also collaborates with Sharks and Rays Australia (SARA) as a statistical analyst; helping to monitor population trends and habitat use of endangered species of sawfish, wedgefish and rays.
Whilst her training is as a research scientist, Sophie has become increasingly passionate about the communication of shark conservation to the general public. Through her studies she has noticed the gap between scientists and the people, and the general inaccessibility of science to the public.
Therefore, after completing a training course in Achieving Public Dialogue, Sophie started her own website to communicate shark science to a wider audience. Focusing on recent scientific discoveries and shark conservation issues, at SharkSpeak, you can find a slew of articles, which translate complicated scientific publications into pieces accessible to everyone. She also contributes science communication content to several NGOs, including Ocean Research Conservation Ireland (ORC) and the Shark Angels.
Sophie is extremely passionate about changing people’s perception of sharks. Her goal is to use science communication and education to encourage people to push for better sharks conservation and management initiatives. Since 2021, Sophie has become our Sharks Educational Institute representative in the UK.