Inspired from a young age by her late father's ambition to dive with White Sharks, Alison graduated from UK’S Bangor University in 2006 with a BSc Hons degree in Marine biology. After working in the Red Sea and Greek Islands as a PADI instructor, she joined the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, South Africa, in January 2007 and has remained on site ever since!
Alison Towner is the senior shark scientist. Alison spent the first five years as a guide for Marine Dynamics Shark Tours, interacting daily with divers. This opportunity enabled her to collect extensive observational data on white sharks, from which she completed her Masters through the University of Cape Town. With fellow colleagues at the DICT, Alison has co-authored and led publications on white shark regional population dynamics, wound healing, hunting behaviour, movements, tagging, and Orca predation. Alison Towner is about to complete her PhD studies on white sharks with a focus on tracking and telemetry. Alison led the necropsies on white sharks post orca predation and the subsequent research around this topic. Her philosophy is that science can save sharks and is committed to research that helps us better understand sharks and in turn better protect them. She has contributed to two global papers – one on the future directions of white shark research, as well as the one addressing the global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries.
Alison Towner has worked extensively with the media, and her research has been featured with National Geographic, BBC, Discovery channel among various other productions. She is one of the few female regular hosts on Shark Week, which has a viewership of 40 million. Alison co-hosted ‘Air Jaws: The Hunted’ following the intriguing and unprecedented events of orca predation on white sharks in South Africa. Alison also represented Marine Dynamics as the South African Tourism marine guide in the SA Tourism UK campaign and hosted presentations at the Wildlife & Safari Show UK.
Make sure to catch Alison Towner in action on Shark Week 2022.
To access the published research by Alison see www.dict.org.za