R. Aidan Martin — Director

7 October 1965 - 13 February 2007

Curriculum Vitae

Post Secondary Education:


University Degree Subject Area(s) Dates
University of Queensland B.Sc. (Hon.) Marine Biology (major)
Biochemistry (minor)
University of Queensland M.Sc. Ichthyology 1983-1986


Employment History:


University, Company or Organisation Rank or Title Dates
Oceanographic Center, Nova Southeastern University Adjunct Professor 2003-2007
Fish Museum, Zoology Department, University of British Columbia Research Associate 2003-2007
IUCN Shark Specialist Group Information Officer 2003-2007
Shark Research Institute (Canada) National Director 2000-2007
ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research Director 1990-2007
University of the South Pacific, Guam/Cook Islands Natural History Society Research Associate 1995-1997
FAO Fisheries Development Programme Contracted Biologist 1988-1989
New Century Science LLC/Gulfstar Fisheries Inc. Chief Scientist 1987-1988
University of Miami Visiting Researcher 1987



Graduate Students Supervised

Summary:  2 students supervised over three years

University Student Program Type Year(s) Principal Supervisor Co-Supervisors
Oceanographic Center, Nova Southeastern University Neil Hammerschlag M.Sc. 2002-2004 R.A. Martin A. Rogerson, 
E. Keith
St. Andrews University Kathryn Hodgson M.Sc. 2002-2003 R.A. Martin S. Hubbard


Post Secondary Teaching:

Summary:  Scheduled to teach a graduate level course in 2005, four invited guest lectures

University Program Type Course Format Year(s)
Oceanographic Center, Nova Southeastern University M.Sc. Biology of Sharks and Rays 12-week on-line course 2005
University of British Columbia Post Doctoral E. Taylor Lab Invited lecture, "Overview of Chondrichthyan Research at UBC Fish Museum" 2004
University of Washington, School of Fisheries B.Sc. Biological Oceanography Invited lecture, "White Sharkj Research at Seal Island, South Africa: Methods and Preliminary Results" 2004
University of Washington, School of Fisheries Ph.D. Fisheries Management Invited lecture, “Sharks of the Pacific Northwest: Research Opportunities” 2003
University of British Columbia B.Sc. Animal Behaviour Guest lecture on agonistic displays in sharks 1991


Secondary School Teaching

Summary:  2 courses taught repeatedly over 7 years

School Program Type Course Format Year(s)
Crofton House,
Collingwood Private School
Credit Course Coral Reef Ecology & research Methods 12-day intensive course consisting of lectures and supervised in-water activities, taught on-site in Rarotonga, Cook Islands 1996-1997
Virtual High Elective, non-credit course90-1993 Think Tank A weekly 2- to 3-hour session featuring exercises in critical thinking and scepticism 1990-1993


Non-Credit Courses

Summary:  2 non-credit courses taught repeatedly through Vancouver School Board’s Continuing Education Program over 4 years

Organisation Program Type Course Format Year(s)
VSB Continuing Education Non-credit Course Marine Biology for the Amateur Naturalist 10-week course consisting of weekly lectures 1991-1993
VSB Continuing Education Non-credit Course Introduction to Shark Biology 4-week course consisting of weekly lecture and guided dissection 1990-1991



Summary:  my major research interests are the evolutionary biology of chondrichthyan fishes, with particular emphasis on systematics, zoogeography, functional morphology, life history, predatory and social behaviour, ecology, and conservation of elasmobranchs.  My individual projects may seem disparate, but I continually strive to place my work in an evolutionary context, to better understand how present patterns of elasmobranch diversity and distribution came to be.


Canadian Cultural Heritage Fund grant of CDN$200,000 to team composed of Musée du Fjord , R. Aidan Martin (SRI Canada) and Jeffrey Gallant (Aqualog Society) to develop a travelling exhibit on Canada’s chondrichthyan fauna, featuring life-sized models, specimens, artefacts, research equipment, film and still images; organized through a consortium of six Canadian museums, including Canadian Museum of Nature, the Royal Ontario Museum, Quebec Aquarium, and the Musée du Fjord.


Summary: Over 130 scientific and popular articles on a wide range of marine natural history topics, which have appeared in at least eight languages. Published work has appeared in, among other periodicals, Ocean Realm, Sea Frontiers, Nereus, SCUBA Diver, The Dolphin Log, DIVER, Australian Geographic, and Rodale's Scuba Diving. Recently completed a feature article on shark intelligence for BBC Wildlife magazine, published May 2003. Contributed chapters and illustrations to books, including the 2nd edition of Sharks, edited by J.D. Stevens (Owen Weldon, Sydney).

Author of Shark Smart: the Divers’ Guide to Understanding Shark Behaviour (Diving Naturalist Press, 1995). A new book, Field Guide to the Great White Shark was published by the ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research in October 2003. My agent, Dean Garner of KNI Literary Agency, has sold Secret Life of the Great White Shark to University of Hawaii Press and is presently negotiating two other book deals with Oxford University Press, Academic Press, University of California Press, and Knopf. My organization’s website at www.elasmo-research.org is widely regarded as the most comprehensive and authoritative on the Internet, receiving an average of 28,300 “hits’ and over 5,000 unique visitors (individual users) every day.

Scientific Papers

Papers are available under "Publications".

Public Outreach and Service:

Public Speaking

Have given talks on various aspects of marine biology at aquaria, museums, schools, universities, and dive trade shows all over North America, including the Vancouver Aquarium, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Washington School of Fisheries, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, Underwater Canada, Beneath the Sea, and Our World Underwater. In June 1995, presented Keynote Address, “Regulating Dive Eco-Tourism in the Indo-Pacific Region” at the United Nations in New York.

Television Appearances:

Featured as a diver, researcher, and on-camera presenter in numerous documentary films and television programs, including the documentaries, "Return of the Dolphins" for Discovery Channel, "Maneaters: Sharks" for Tigress Productions, about 15 Shark YAFI's for @discovery.ca television program, an episode of "Liars and Legends" for Turner South, and appeared as the "wildlife expert" on The Learning Channel's Ultimate Survival Quiz. Recently completed green screen work in “Jaws: the True Story” for CineNova, broadcast during Shark Week, August 2002 on the Discovery Channel (US) and in September 2002 on Discovery Channel (Canada). In May 2002, filmed “Air JAWS2” with Shark Productions for the Discovery Channel (US). In November 2002, completed filming “Kill Zone”, featuring my on-going research on White Shark predatory and social behaviour at Seal Island, False Bay, South Africa, for National Geographic Television; broadcast in Europe and South Africa in July 2003 and in the US in August 2003. Presently completing work on “Mano Aumakua: the Story of Hawaii’s Sharks” for Escape Entertainment.  Have just been engaged to feature in a film (no title yet) on pelagic sharks for National Geographic Television and “Jaws Junior”, a documentary on small, underappreciated sharks for a BBC Natural History Unit/Discovery Channel co-production hosted by Mike De Gruy.


Consultant to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Shedd Aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium, the South African Museum, Marlin magazine, the Shark Research Committee, Aqualog Society, the Shark Research Institute’s Global Headquarters, the Sierra Club, WildAid, BBC Natural History Unit, the Discovery Channel, Discovery Channel On-Line, the National Geographic Society, National Geographic on-line; Time magazine on-line, NOAA Fisheries Enforcement, the National Academies Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C., numerous shark book authors (including consulting on the contents of Richard Ellis’ Encyclopedia of the Sea [Knopf, 2001]), and even TV's The Weakest Link and CSI: Miami.

Scientific Conferences Attended:

August 2004, American Fisheries Society, Physiology Section, co-organizing an international conference on the biology and conservation of freshwater elasmobranches (with Don MacKinlay) in Manaus, Brazil; will present paper, “Evolution and distribution of freshwater elasmobranches”.

March 2004, Seattle Aquarium, spoke on “Agonistic displays in Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks (Hexanchus griseus) and attacks on divers by this species”, as part of an international Sixgill Conservation Workshop organised by Sean Larson.

November 2003, IUCN Shark Specialist Group, Special Session on conservation of deep-sea Chondrichthyans in Aukland, New Zealand; will present paper “Commercial exploitation of the bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus) in British Columbia, Canada”.

July 2002, American Fisheries Society, Physiology Section; co-organised the first international conference on the biology of deep-sea elasmobranchs (with Don MacKinlay); presented paper, “Biology of Deep-Sea Sharks: a Review” (with Jason Treberg)

March 2001, 6th Conference on Indo-Pacific Fish Biology, Durban, South Africa; presented collaborative paper (co-authored with Dosay, Shivji, & Stanhope), “A Molecular Phylogenetic Perspective on the Possible Paraphyly of the Shark Genus Carcharhinus.”

June 2000, American Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/American Elasmobranch Society, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, Mexico

November 2000, Sixgill Shark Conference, Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, BC; presented “Deep Mysteries: Biology of the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus).

June 1998, American Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/American Elasmobranch Society, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

June 1987, American Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/American Elasmobranch Society, University of the State of New York, Albany, New York, USA

June 1986, American Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/American Elasmobranch Society, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Professional Organizations:

Active member of the American Elasmobranch Society, the Shark Research Institute, the Shark Research Committee, the Physiology Section of the American Fisheries Society, the Eco-Tourism Society, the National Writer's Union, Professional Association of Diving Instructors, British Columbia Underwater Council, and the National Association of Marine Educators.


ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations © R. Aidan Martin
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