Post-degree OE proved a thriller
Witnessing a huge great white shark ripping through the ocean’s surface would intimidate most people but this was all in a day’s work for researcher Rodney August.
The 22-year-old from Tokoroa spent three months in South Africa studying great white sharks.
‘‘I finished University (Victoria, Wellington) at the end of last year and a friend told me about this job over in South Africa working with great white sharks which is something I have always wanted to do,’’ he says.
Rodney applied for the internship and left in January. He spent three months in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
He worked as a research assistant for two doctorate students who run a group called Oceans Research.
‘‘Basically what I did was I went out on the boat everyday and we took genetic samples of the sharks. We did photo identification, we put GPS trackers on them and followed them around for 40 to 50 hours at a time.’’
The research team also focused on population dynamics and internal temperatures of sharks.
Rodney said the experience was incredible.
‘‘ It was too much fun, I thoroughly enjoyed it. You would go out there for eight hours on the boat and see sharks jumping out of the water.’’
Next year he plans to study for a masters in science communications and his long-term goal is to shoot wildlife documentaries.
SHARK MAN: Great white shark researcher Rodney August.