MEET THE SHARKSERVATION TEAM!
At Sharkservation we are passionate about sharks and their conservation, and want to share that passion with you! Here is some info so you can get to know us, what we do and why!
Co-founder and Recruitment Manager
Amanda is a driving force behind Sharkservation. She runs our project recruiting and will be ready to answer any questions you have about getting out and volunteering on our projects!
Alongside her shark conservation efforts she works as an elementary school teacher in the US, which has led her to a passion for education; designing cross curicular lesson unit plans tiering art with conservation to edcuate and empower young people to grow up and make a difference and conserve the precious ecosystems which support our planet.
She has travelled and dived around the world, including on the Great Barrier Reef, cage diving with Great White sharks in Port Lincoln South Australia and swimming with Galapogos sharks in Hawaii. This summer she worked on a shark research project in South Africa and during this time captured an awe-inspiring photo of a white shark which proceeded to become GoPro's most popular photo of the day and go viral across the internet! See our links section for the full story...
The photo has since been featured in TIME magazine's photo blog, on Yahoo, Redditt, newspaper headlines world-wide, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. It will also be featured in National Geographic text books and scholatic magazine.... Going on Fox News, Inside Edition, Good Morning America and The Today Show to share the story of how this came about she found a platform to promote Sharkservation and conservation of sharks worldwide. She continues to speak about sharks and conservation and will be giving talks at numerous venues in the US this year.
"For as long as I can remember, I’ve worked hard to give animals a voice in a world that has turned them into objects rather than living, breathing creatures. As a child, I spent my days reading books about sharks, finding and watching documentaries about sharks, and reaching out to scientists and experts who specialized in sharks. It’s been an unexplainable life-long passion. With populations in trouble, I felt it my mission to continue my education in the field. I’ve been lucky enough to dive with multiple shark species all around the world including the Great White Sharks in Australia and South Africa. After gaining attention from the “most liked” GoPro photo of the day, I knew it was time to team up with a fellow shark lover Ollie Putnam to begin our journey in making a difference for these beautiful animals. Now, I get to combine my profession in education with my passion for sharks. It is my goal to educate a misinformed public, introduce skeptics to the realities in regards to shark behavior, and save our ocean’s apex predators. I’m so thrilled to share my enthusiasm in what will be a movement that changes the world."
Co-founder, Media and Operations Manager
Ollie is the backbone of Sharkservation, working tirelessly to keep followers informed via social media outlets, website design, running the day to day busines of the organisation and the logistics of getting access to shark projects around the world. You may find him working and diving alongside you on a project you join!
Having worked in the scuba diving industry for the last 8 years in Australia, Asia and the UK he is an experienced diver with over 2000 dives. As a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer he has certified more than 500 divers, managed numerous dive centers and operations and worked with UK charities teaching diving to people with physical and learning difficulties. He has worked on liveaboard dive boats in remote places like Australia's Coral Sea, and has run shark experience dives and conservation ventures, including marine clean up dives and turtle protection and hatching projects. He is also a Project Aware and First Aid Instructor.
With a passion for shark and other marine conservation, scuba, freediving and underwater imagary, he pushes to introduce people to the wonders of our oceans and encourage participation in volunteer projects. His Goal; to give back to the marine world and life he loves and preserve it for future generations.
Outside his role at Sharkservation he is currently completing a International Tourism Management degree in the UK, specialising in voluntourism and eco-project management. He has travelled extensively around the world, diving with numerous types of sharks in some of the best locations; Oceanic White-tips, Hammerheads, Tiger and Reef sharks in Australia, Whalesharks and Thresher sharks in the Phillipines and Thailand, and Ragged Tooth, Oceanic Black-tips and Great Whites in South Africa.
"I have been drawn to the water since a young age... from swimming to snorkelling, and scuba to freediving. The underwater environment has always intrigued me, leading me to explore it through every avenue available. But until the first time I swam with sharks I had never experienced anything like the breath taking and mesmerising feeling of seeing these perfectly evolved creatures commanding their natural environment. That feeling returns every time I am in the water with sharks of any kind, from the smallest Reef sharks to the largest Whale sharks, but with none more so than the venerable Great White shark.
These apex predators are the pinnacle of evolution however are erroneously portrayed as man-eaters, lying in wait for us to enter their territory. This is not the case however, and by encouraging people to experience these creatures first hand and promoting safe interaction, we can educate people of the reality and facts, and challenge the misconceptions.
We have a chance to do this through promoting volunteer work where people can be a part of a conservation initiative; the experience of which brings them together with other like-minded individuals in a common goal. In this case, to protect the sharks and help with research into their behaviours, activity and biology. This is something Amanda and I, the founders of Sharkservation, experienced during our last project, and combined with our previous love for sharks and passion for bringing their plight to the attention of the public, we hope to make a difference in the fight to save the sharks and our oceans."
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