Eugenie Clark

The Shark Lady

"I have always been to intrigued and awed by sharks to be scared of them, but it's important to understand their behavior and to learn how to behave when you visit their home."

-Eugenie Clark

Research

Eugenie Clark is best known for her extensive research on sharks. However, before she researched sharks, Clark was a student at New York University. It was here that she met Charlers Breder, who helped spark her career in the ichthyology field. Breder had given Clark a research assignment on blowfish, which she completely blew him away with. He had been so amazed by her work that he published it in his own paper and mentioned her as the co-author. Further in her career, Clark met another man who would have a great impact on her life. Professor Carl Hubbs, who was so impressed with Clark's work that he invited her to join him on his research in order to work towards a doctorate's degree. Hubbs taught Clark how to dive and use scuba equipment, which opened her to an entirely new world.


At some point in her explorations with Hubbs, Clark was given a job to go to the Middle East and study the sea life. It was there that, in the Red Sea, Clark collected over one thousand fish species and discovered three new fish. After her successful career there, she went back to college to finish her doctorate's. It was around this time that she fell in love with sharks. With help from other scientists, she discovered a way to experiment on sharks while they were still alive. She had killed hundreds of sharks beforehand just to experiment on them and didn't want to anymore. This allowed her to study the learning behaviors of sharks.

Significance

"Why does her work even matter, all she did was play around with sharks."


If this is what you're thinking, then you are horribly wrong. In today's day and age, we have the ability to explore space and the ocean. In neither area do we have extensive knowledge, though some would argue that we know more about the latter. We've never visited the deepest parts of the ocean, and the chances of us ever achieving such a thing is slim. With space, we have taken extra precautions to ensure that we know what's happening that can harm Earth at any moment. When it comes to the ocean, however, we may never know. Sure, we can tell a tsunami is coming, but what about the unidentifiable creature that just crawled out of the water? That fish that keeps changing colors with googly eyes? The ocean holds secrets that man doesn't know, and most of the time secrets that man is glad it doesn't know.


But there are people who identify these creatures, discover them. They record information on them, determine whether they're a threat or helpful. Eugenie Clark was one of those people, who furthered the world's knowledge on not only sharks, but also the fish species of the world. She taught us more about one of the most feared specimen in the ocean. She showed us how they act in certain environments and around one another.