Science Education / Zoology

Every marine biologist I’ve ever known has been a bit crazy

I had many a great lecturer back in the day, but one I remember for his arduous field trips. Professor Roland Emson was much loved by his students and respected by his colleagues. He loved nothing better than endangering his students on rocky shore ecology field trips, in sub-arctic temperatures, torrential rain and hurricane-force winds, but even he never got up to anything quite like this (as far as I know)…

The Shark Detectives

The Shark Detectives

Carcharodon carcharias favourite prey… marine biologist (Homo sapiens nex votum)

Title:    Shark detectives
Author:   Michael C. Scholl & Thomas P. Peschak
Publication:   Africa Geographic
Volume:   Vol.13, No.8
Date:    September 2005

Surprisingly little is known about great white sharks, considering that in some quarters they are regarded as a public enemy and extremely dangerous to humans. But think about it – they don’t survive in captivity and they are not easy to see, let alone track, in their ocean environment. When researchers do see them they are, understandably, reluctant to get too close. To this day, the sharks’ migration patterns and mating habits, even their population status, remain a mystery. In south-western South Africa, though, biologists Michael D. Scholl and Thomas P. Peschak are going to great lengths to learn more about one of the ocean’s greatest predators.

Full article:
Quickie Summary:

I know this is a bit old (and we know considerably more about C. carcharias these days – not least due to  Scholl and Peschak), but when I came across this picture on Hoax Slayer the other day, it made me think of my days mucking around with lions, tigers, bears, wolves and the like and think – I may moan about my students, but at least they’re not likely to rip my legs off if I give a bad lecture.


7 thoughts on “Every marine biologist I’ve ever known has been a bit crazy

  1. Glad to hear that our summer holidays spent trialing your field trips were not in vain! Lovely to hear that Dr Emson, or dad as we know him, made such a mark. To reassure you, he has been known to snorkel, but has not encountered any sharks in the Kent countryside where he now resides!


    • What a wonderful world the internet is! Great to hear from you – and I’m so sorry you had to test out our field trips, but they were worth it! Please pass on to dad how much he and they were valued (despite the moaning and groaning at the time).

      He and they are held in great regard.


  2. Hi Eleni,

    Sorry I haven’t got back to you sooner. I don’t really have any news on Dr. Emson per se, except that he I believe he retired from King’s some years back, just after the Biological Sciences lab’s moved campus.

    I do have the e-mail address of a relative of his and I shall contact the person and ask if I can either have details or pass something. You’ll hear back from me within two or three weeks, whatever the response.


    • Thanks a lot. I think he lives in Kent now and he is involved in volunteer nature campaigns, etc..
      If you have any news I will be glad to have them.


  3. Hi Eleni. Neil Sanderson here. Do you remember me? Are you still in contact with Debbie? I’d also be interested to find out about Roland Emson


    • Hi Neil!!! Yes I remember you alright. I have not seen Debbie since 2012 maybe. Her parents died and I have tried to contact her by email, but there is no reply. sorry about this late message I just got in back here. my linkedIn account is:\
      How are you? what are you doing?
      I will be back to the UK soon, as austerity hit Greece and both my children work in London now. I am looking for any job!!
      If you have Roland’e email please send it to me.


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