I am a PhD candidate at the University of Western Ontario in my second year. My supervisors are Dr. William J. Turkel and Dr. Alan MacEachern. In my research I hope to expand on my Masters degree. My MRP focused on how the immediate public response in the United States to the 1916 New Jersey shore shark bite incidents influenced elasmobranch ichthyology research at the American Museum of Natural History. In my PhD I hope to broaden on this research. I am pre-proposal, and my research is evolving. Right now, I am exploring how to integrate environmental, scientific, and colonial history. I hope to research the rise of elasmobrach ichthyology as a specialised scientific field at the turn of the twentieth century in the colonial context, and in response to established human-shark interactions. I want to know how the field benefitted from the privileges of the British Empire. I also want to know if and how it responded to cultural interpretations of sharks on the Atlantic coasts of the United States and South Africa. Finally, I hope to follow its development through the development of empire and a changing human-shark relationship in mid-twentieth century. The negative media representations of sharks of the period coincided with a rising conservationist ethic that sought to save sharks from over-fishing and government culling programs. I want to know where, why, and how, these threads of shark history intersect.
My research aim is to develop a broader understanding of scientific research in the British colonial world existed in the imperial context, and responded to cultural interpretations of sharks in the Atlantic world. I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how Western scientific practices developed in two inter-linked societies, South Africa and the United States, as government regulation contented with the real and perceived threats of sharks to the public, and fishing and tourism industries.
This site is where I share my experiences learning to use Mathematica, which I integrate increasingly integrate into my research as my knowledge base expands.