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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Southampton Marine Biology Graduate to join the famous explorer Mike Horn for a Shark Project in South Africa

Published: 23 September 2016

Zofia Drapella is on her way to the shark capital of the world - Western Cape in South Africa. As a marine biologist, she will take part in the Shark Project, the first socio-environmental project of Mike Horn’s Pole to Pole 360 expedition.

Together with a group of young environmentalists from around the world they aim to banish the stereotypes associated with sharks. During the Shark Project they will work with Dr Alison Kock from Shark Spotters helping with research on the mysterious sevengill sharks. Follow the project here.

Mike Horn's Pole to Pole 360 expedition changing perceptions of sharks
Mike Horn's Pole to Pole 360 expedition changing perceptions of sharks

Aboard the ECO yacht PANGAEA, the team will sail the waters of the Southern Atlantic. They will be documenting the wildlife, helping with shark tagging and finally sharing their experiences with those who haven’t had a chance to observe sharks in the wild.

‘My degree at the University of Southampton has equipped me with a variety of skills that will be very useful on this expedition. Aside from the specialist knowledge, I gained various practical skills during laboratory assignments and extensive fieldwork.’ admits Zofia.



Zofia Drapella highlighting the problems with Ghost nets
Zofia Drapella highlighting the problems with Ghost nets

Zofia is passionate about preserving the marine environment. She has participated in various projects around the world, aiming to raise the awareness about multiple issues our oceans are facing, namely climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, shark finning and pollution. Pictured right, she is educating others about the threats caused by the problem of ghost nets. ‘Ghost nets are the lost, abandoned or discarded nets that pose a serious threat to sharks, rays, turtles and other marine life. These nets can continue to entangle marine animals long after they have entered the ocean and can remain doing so even for decades,’ she says.

Zofia Drapella (@Zofia Drapella, Instagram AQUEDU) holds a first class Masters degree in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton. Zofia has demonstrated on the University of Southampton Oceanography field course in Falmouth, working aboard the R/V Callista.

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