Western Ecology Tour

I am delighted to be joining an awesome expedition team this June, developed and led by professional diver Andy Clark ( The UK’s marine environments are under more pressure than ever before. From the plastic pollution littering our beaches to the damage done by discarded fishing gear and intensive or sometimes illegal fishing practices. It […]

How do Sharks Grow?

Over the years I have been asked all sorts of questions about sharks, covering a broad range of pretty much everything, from; “Do sharks fart?” to “How do sharks grow?” Let’s start with the latter, this was asked by an Ecologist friend; Heather Lyons, and is a particular favourite of mine, not least because the […]

What is Biofluorescence? Shining a light on biofluorescence in UK waters.

Biofluorescence is essentially the ability of an organism, to absorb electromagnetic wavelengths from the visible light spectrum by fluorescent compounds, and the subsequent emission of this at a lower energy level. In this blog piece for the BiOME Ecology webzine i talk to plant pathologist James Lynott about this incredible phenomenon:

Stars in their eyes (well, skin).

“Tonight Matthew i’m going to be…..” OK, enough of the British TV show references (of a particular era)! I actually want to talk about Smooth-hound sharks, Starry Smooth-hound identification to be exact (Mustelus asterias). Recently i was given a box of trawl captured smooth-hound sharks from a local fish wholesaler for fecundity research as well […]

Beach Cleaning

I have been taking part in, organizing and coordinating beach cleans for over 7 years now, my actions are a direct result of what i see on a daily basis; more and more rubbish ending up around our coastline. Having spent a reasonable amount of time frequenting some of the most remote Scottish beaches and […]

Life After Death: How we hatched live shark pups from dead females

Here I report on a conservation project by Sharklab-Malta that i became involved with; removing eggcases from trawl captured sharks, hatching them out and releasing them back into the wild.

Glow in the dark shark!

In my tenth shark piece for the Guardian I report on a recently discovered deep sea shark that glows in the dark… Light emitted by a new species of lanternshark, Etmopterus lailae, is camouflage and helps them to hunt, communicate and find partners. But how does it work?

Shark Conservation in the UK

This is my third blog for The Guardian, this time I am looking at Shark Conservation within the UK following on from the success of Fin Fighters organisation and the first ever “Shark Fest” held in the UK: “Sharks fascinate us but are we prepared to protect them from extinction”  

A Dangerous Delicacy

Here is my second blog piece for The Guardian, this time I am discussing Shark Fin Soup following a trip to Hong Kong which coincided with the Chinese New Year: “Shark fin soup – a dangerous delicacy for humans and sharks alike”  

School Outreach; Shark Program

An interactive shark program is now available for children of primary school age, from P2 through to P7 (ages 5-11). This specially designed outreach program enables pupils to understand basic shark biology, ecology and conservation. By identifying what makes a shark different from other fish – with a special investigation into the shark senses, looking […]