Dr. Chapman is an internationally recognized shark expert and has published papers on shark genetics, virgin births, the shark fin trade, and shark tracking, among other topics.
How did you get passionate about sharks?
Dr. Chapman has had a passion for sharks since he was a child in New Zealand. And now they need more protection than ever. As he told Popular Science, to conserve sharks, the individual countries where they are fished need to have laws in place to protect them. “The problem with the shark-fin trade is that so many different countries are participating,” he says. “Anyone can do whatever they want. It’s a Wild West show.”
On working in Belize
“Our volunteers interact with Belizeans involved with the project and local stakeholders,” Dr. Chapman told Earthwatch. “They will be important project ambassadors and can assist us maintain a dialogue with local people. Our project is unusual in that our research staff is composed almost entirely of local Belizeans, many of which have been working with the project for more than a decade. Volunteers will learn the importance of including local people in all aspects of scientific research and have a chance to work as part of a diverse team immersed in a rich Caribbean culture.”