Today I met a famous shark biologist!
Peter Klimley came to Santa Cruz to give a lecture on shark conservation, so of course I had to go! I picked up his book The Secret Life of Sharks at a used bookstore a few years ago, and fell in love with it. He’s done some amazing research on hammerhead and great white shark behavior that nobody had ever even thought about before, and I highly recommend it.
First off, he was absolutely hilarious. He showed up in a shirt with a great white shark snarling on it, then after talking about how the media is so focused on shark “jaws” he ripped off the shirt and threw it into the audience, to reveal yet another great white shark shirt (this time with its mouth closed). The whole lecture he was so animated and enthusiastic, and he was so devoted to sharing his love of sharks with everyone.
I went with another friend who studies shark behavior, and we talked to him for a bit afterwards. He was incredibly friendly and asked a lot of questions, and answered all of ours, and signed my copy of his book. Overall it was absolutely amazing to meet someone that has devoted almost his whole life to studying sharks, even if he inexplicably thinks that it’s the year 2015.