Shark expert Dr. Greg Skomal and writer Ret Talbot discuss new book, Chasing Shadows, and return of white sharks to New England waters

Free Lecture: Thursday, November 2, 6:30 p.m. at the Aquarium’s Simons Theatre


Chasing Shadows with Greg Skomal and Ret Talbot

WHAT: From the fascinating early days of shark research on the East Coast to the consequences of the so-called Jaws effect to the newest white shark hot spot off Cape Cod, shark researcher Greg Skomal and writer Ret Talbot explore the remarkable conservation success of this species in their new book, Chasing Shadows: My Life Tracking the Great White Shark. Skomal has spent decades on a quest to tag, track, and demystify this animal, using every high- and low-tech method at his disposal, including those he invented, and he frequently comes face-to-face with these shadows of the deep.

In their upcoming lecture, Skomal and Talbot will frame the restoration of this apex predator to an ecosystem as a conservation win, but one that brings with it serious challenges, drama, and controversy. They ask: Will we welcome the return of these ancient and marvelously evolved creatures, or revert to viewing them as competitors, invaders, and monsters?

WHEN: Thursday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Copies of Chasing Shadows will be available for purchase during this event and a book signing will follow the lecture. Doors open and cash bar available at 6:00 p.m. The lecture begins promptly at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: In person at the New England Aquarium’s Simons Theatre, 1 Central Wharf, Boston. The lecture will also be livestreamed via Zoom.

HOW: Register here for the free lecture. Advance registration is required. The New England Aquarium Lecture Series is presented free to the public through the generosity of the Lowell Institute.


Greg Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, underwater explorer, photographer, author, and a leading white shark expert in the Atlantic. He is a senior fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and currently directs the Massachusetts Shark Research Program. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Intercampus Marine Science graduate program; an adjunct scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts; and a member of the Explorers Club and the Boston Sea Rovers. He has authored dozens of scientific research papers and has appeared in several film and television documentaries, including programs for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, PBS, and numerous television networks. He is a regular on Shark Week and Shark Fest and is the author of The Shark Handbook. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD from Boston University. He lives with his family in Marion, Massachusetts.

Ret Talbot is an award-winning freelance journalist who covers ocean issues at the intersection of science and sustainability. His work can be found in publications such as National Geographic, Discover, Mongabay, and Yale Environment 360, among others. As a science writer, he has embedded with marine scientists around the world, including places like Papua New Guinea, Sulawesi, and Belize, and he frequently works closely with scientists like Greg to bring compelling stories about science to a general audience. He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife, Karen Talbot, who provided the illustrations for Chasing Shadows.


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