Shark Biologist

Examine how sharks live and function.

What does a Shark Biologist do?

Did you swim a lot in the ocean growing up? Do sharks fascinate you? Why don’t you pursue a career as a Shark Biologist then? Shark Biologists face the elements of nature and the sea, expertly wield electronic sonar equipment, and rule over their lab and research facility.

As a Shark Biologist, you know everything about sharks-what they eat, how they mate, and how fast they grow. Generally, you specialize in one type of shark. You strive to learn how the animal reacts in different situations; how currents, temperature, and light affect them; or why they struggle with disease or reproductive problems. You often work for years on one experiment as sharks are difficult to locate and even more challenging to observe.

Your work location is divided between the water, the lab, and the library. You observe behavior, test gathered samples, and dissect whole sharks to obtain knowledge.

Projects are often funded by grant money, which means you spend some time vying for the limited funds available for your research. You might work for a conservation group or university, both of which rely on grants or donations to keep programs afloat. In addition to research and paper-pushing, you also teach. You might educate committees about the need to save an endangered species, or how the development on the coast is lowering the number of sharks in the area.