Eleanor Spencer


Why is shark protection or marine conservation important to you?

Sharks are top-down predators. If we let them disappear, they could trigger a top-down cascade that would lead to mass extinctions at the lower levels of the food chain, down to the smallest marine organisms like zooplankton.

Do you have any special skills, experiences or adventures?

  • I am very talkative by nature and love talking to people about the oceans. I particularly enjoy talking about the many misconceptions people have, including sharks being terrible man-eaters. Firstly, they are not and secondly, some sharks are filter feeders like the basking shark.
  • I have a bachelor's and master's degree in marine biology from the University of Southampton. Even though I wrote my thesis on sea turtles, I have worked with many organisms, from sticklebacks to freshwater fish to oysters, during my internships at other institutions.
  • Previously, I worked with other non-governmental organizations such as the Blue Marine Foundation. This has given me a better understanding of how NGOs work to protect our environment.

And which is your favourite shark?

Cetorhinus maximus (lat.)

Riesenhai (dt.)

Basking shark (engl.)

People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure.

David Attenborough - British wildlife filmmaker, naturalist and writer