Our research focuses on sharks. By studying these iconic predators, we work to unveil the mysteries of their behaviour, ecology and core habitats. We track changes over time and contribute to the management and conservation of vulnerable species. We focus on changing public perceptions about sharks through science-based education projects.
In collaboration with WWF SA, SASC developed a community-based research project using Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) methods to assess the effectiveness of the Betty’s Bay marine protected area. This project established a positive partnership with small-scale fishers from the Kogelberg Biosphere Region. Through field-based training, community members become skilled in using cameras, data analysis and database management. This project facilitates co-governance and -management of marine spaces and species.
Cortelezzi, P., Paulet, T. G., Olbers, J., Harris, J. & Bernard, A.T. F (2022) Conservation benefits of a Marine Protected Area on South African chondrichthyans. Journal of Environmental Management 319(1)
Pollom, R., Cheok, J., Pacoureau, N., Gledhill, K.S., Kyne, P.M. et al. (2022) Overfishing and Climate Change Elevate Extinction Risk of Endemic Sharks and Rays in the Southwest Indian Ocean Hotspot and Adjacent Waters.
Pollom, R., Bennett, R., Da Silva, C., Ebert, D.A., Gledhill; K., Leslie, R., McCord, M.E. & Winker, H. (2020) Dasyatis chrysonota. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Pollom, R., Gledhill, K., Da Silva, C., McCord, M.E. & Winker, H. (2020) Poroderma africanum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Pollom, R., Da Silva, C., Gledhill, K., McCord, M.E. & Winker, H. (2020) Triakis megalopterus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Pollom, R., Da Silva, C., Gledhill, K., Leslie, R., McCord, M.E. & Winker, H. (2020) Acroteriobatus annulatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Van Staden, M., Gledhill, K., Gennari, E., McCord, M. E., Parkinson, M., Watson, R., Rhode, C. & Bester-van der Merwe, A. (2020). Microsatellite development and detection of admixture among three sympatric Haploblepharus species (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae). Aquatic Conservation Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 30(12).
Osgood, G. J, McCord, M. E. & Baum, J. K (2020) Chondrichthyans as an umbrella species-complex for conserving South African biodiversity. African Journal of Marine Science, 42(1), 81-93.
Osgood, G. J, McCord, M. E. & Baum, J. K (2019) Using baited underwater video (BRUV’s) to characterize chondrichthyan communities in a global biodiversity hotspot. PloS One 14(12), e02258959.
Mannheim, S.L., Childs, A.-R., Butler, E.C., Winkler, A.C., Parkinson, M.C., Farthing, M.W., Zweig, T., McCord, M.E. et al. (2018) Working with, not against recreational anglers: Evaluating a pro-environmental behavioural strategy for improving catch-and-release behaviour. Fisheries Research 206.
Bester-van der Merwe, A.E., Bitalo, D., Cuevas, J.M., Ovenden, J. et al. (2017) Population genetics of Southern Hemisphere tope shark (Galeorhinus galeus): Intercontinental divergence and constrained gene flow at different geographical scales. PLoS One 12(9)
Da Silva, C., Booth, A.J., Dudley, S.F.J., Lamberth, S.J., Leslie, R.W. et al. (2015) The current status and management of South Africa’s chondrichthyan fisheries. African Journal of Marine Science 37(2)
McCord, M.E. & Lamberth, S.J. (2009) Catching and tracking the world’s largest Zambezi (bull) shark Carcharhinus laucas in the Breede Estuary, South Africa: the first 43 hours. African Journal of Marine Science 31(1)
At the Shark Academy, interns and volunteers contribute to ongoing research by undergraduate and postgraduate students. Take a peek into current and recent projects that people are contributing to.
Current Student Projects
Past Student Projects
Shark population abundances and trends: Improving estimates and inference.
Conservation benefits of a marine protected area on South African chondrichthyans.
The effects of diver presence on shyshark and catshark behaviour
The effects of lipid and urea extraction treatments on stable isotope ratios in coastal demersal shark tissue
Occurrence, distribution and conservation status of Batoidea in the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot, South Africa
An examination of behavioural responses in four Scyliorhinidae shark species to a changing geomagnetic field
Biodiversity, distribution and abundance of fish species within the Cape Whale Hope Spot, South Africa
Occurrence of cetaceans in Walker Bay using opportunistic data
Effects of marine bioelectric fields on shark behavioural patterns
Developing the Walker Bay Elasmobranch Survey project and collect baseline data on the population dynamics, seasonal and environmental influence on inshore demersal elasmobranchs in the Walker Bay area using rock and surf angling
A comparative analysis of accumulation rates, composition and distribution of micro- and macro-debris on a blue flag and non-blue flag beach in Walker Bay, South Africa