SES student spends summer observing sharks
Y13 student George Gutteridge-Smith spent a month of his summer volunteering at the Bimini Biological Field Station (BBFS). The BBFS is a world-famous shark lab in the Bahamas where observation and field research is carried out on different shark species.
George has always been interested in the sciences, and is currently studying for A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Business Studies. Working at the shark lab has enabled George to completely immerse himself in cutting edge biological research.
Every day on Bimini Island is completely different depending on the scientific project that they are working on. George was lucky enough to participate in much of the hands-on research, such as spending time in shark pens studying juvenile lemon sharks, which meant observing the sharks’ behaviour and eating habits. He also carried out such tasks as gillnetting, long-lining, rod and reel fishing, shark handling/transport, and shark tagging.
George said of his experiences at the Station “I greatly enjoyed my time on Bimini and feel lucky to have had the opportunity to be so close to such amazing creatures. It was exhilarating to work with sharks ranging from timid juvenile lemon sharks to large bull sharks, which are amongst the most aggressive of the species. I hope to return again next summer to continue helping with the research.”
Jill Brooks, Station Manager at BBFS said, “George was an outstanding volunteer. It really did not matter what task we asked him to do – large or small, strenuous or fun – he always managed to do it with a smile on his face and to the best of his ability. The research can be challenging at our remote field station with intense sun and biting insects; however, I did not hear George complain once.”