Research - General Information
The research focuses primarily on shark-human interaction and influencing environmental factors. For example, an on-going project, launched in 2005, deals with human stress and its effect on shark approach behavior. Shark accident research indicates that the mental and physical state a person is in before a bite seems to be a relevant trigger. Shark accident research is the very field that Erich Ritter and his group made some astonishing findings. They found out that the “mistaken identity” theory (a shark mistakes a surfer for a seal) is incorrect, that play behavior and target practice are accident triggers, that a bite motivation reveals itself in a wound and others. Further projects at SERC likewise show that the environment, directly and indirectly, affects the behavior of a shark, e.g., moon phases, sharksuckers…
Much of the on-going research, especially accident analysis, reconstruction, and recommendations, are added continuously to ADORE-SANE, the shark-human interaction concept.
Students may participate in some of our research projects, or even do small internships (over the summer for a 3-4 weeks duration). Dr. Ritter also supervises projects on a "bachelor," "master," or "Ph.D." level. Since there is quite a response for these type of positions, potential candidates must first participate in a regular workshop. Please contact us for more information.
Shark Accident Research
Probably the most crucial task is the actual reconstruction of an incident in a similar setting with sharks of the involved species. Reconstructions create the basis for recommendations of how humans should act and react in comparable situations.