Keynote speakers 2023

We are very excited and honored to introduce two Internationally recognized elasmobranch researchers as this year’s Keynote Speakers; Dr. David A. Ebert from the Pacific Shark Research Center / Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, in America and Dr. Malcolm Smale, Director and Chair of the Bayworld Centre for Research and Education and Management Committee member of the Nelson Mandela University Institute for Coastal and Marine Research.

Dr. David A. Ebert

Presentation title: Searching for Lost Sharks.

Dr. Dave Ebert has devoted his life to studying the ocean’s most elusive, dangerous and yet fascinating predator – the shark! Author of 35 books and over 700 publications, including the popular “Sharks of the World” and “Sharks and Rays of Southern Africa”, Dave holds numerous positions including Director of the Pacific Shark Research Center, past President of the American Elasmobranch Society, Scientific Advisor to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences and South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, and the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. A popular television guest, Dave has appeared on various programs for the BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. As a regular on Shark Week, Dave has lead expeditions in search of the rarest, most elusive sharks in the world. He has even discovered new shark species while filming on location. Dave is founder of the Lost Sharks project and co-host of the popular podcast Beyond Jaws!

Dr. Malcolm Smale

Presentation title: South African shark research – Past, Present and Future.

Dr Malcolm Smale is a marine biologist who worked on a number of marine taxa during a career of more than 45 years. His research has covered rock lobsters, cephalopods, and fishes. Initially employed at the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban, he subsequently took up a post at the Port Elizabeth Museum as marine biologist and curator of the fish otolith and cephalopod beak collections. In addition to his research into the biology and ecology of fishes, these collections were central to his studies of trophic relations of several marine apex predators. He participated in numerous research cruises along the South African east and west coasts. He has done surveys of fishes at many of the islands of the Western Indian Ocean with colleagues from SAIAB and other research institutions to build these collections. In addition to these studies, he has investigated aspects of the biology and ecology of several sharks and rays. Aspects of those studies will be described in his keynote presentation.  He qualified as a scientific diver and dive supervisor which facilitated his fish collecting, research of marine protected areas, and behavioural research of sharks and their prey. He has published more than 120 papers in peer reviewed journals, and contributed to 30 book chapters, reviews, or popular articles. Current research includes movement studies of sharks using satellite and ultrasonic tags, with students he has supervised. He is Director and Chair of the Bayworld Centre for Research and Education and is on the Management Committee of the Nelson Mandela University Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, where he continues his research as a Research Associate of the university.