Spending hours engrossed in the adventures of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Australian shark experts Ron and Valerie Taylor, Alison Towner wanted nothing more than to study sharks. She grew up in Lancashire, England, where the weather was wet and it was a long drive to the coast.
She created shark fact sheets with her typewriter, read from her ceiling high collection of shark books and watched shark videos. Her deceased father was a journalist and an angler and she still feels a ocean connection to him. Ever since she saw an underwater video of a great white shark she knew she had to work in the ocean and study sharks. Alison graduated from the University of Wales with an honours degree in marine biology and went to work on a Greek island and then in the Red Sea as a scuba-diving instructor.
She the took the position of marine biologist for the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Gansbaai, South Africa. She wrote her MSc thesis on white sharks in Gansbaai through the University of Cape Town and Marine Dynamics Shark Tours. Alison has presented at various international shark conferences and has authored multiple
publications on white shark regional population dynamics, wound healing, movement ecology, tagging, as well as shark diet studies and global review papers.
Alison has worked extensively with the media and her research has been featured with National Geographic, BBC, Discovery channel among various other productions.
She has appeared on shows such as Expedition Unknown, Shark Week (from 2012-present), Josh Gates Tonight, Shark Attack Files, Air Jaws: Going for Gold and Mega Jaws of Bird Island. She is working on her P.H.D. and publishing a paper on the impact of killer whales have on sharks. Alison is researching great whites in this hotspot of shark cage diving to uncover how the industry affects the animals’
behavior and what other factors make Gansbaai the white shark capital of the world. She is the project leader of the Save Our Seas Foundation.