Published: June 14, 2022

Location: Umkomaas, South Africa


Closing Date: Ongoing

SharkWise Marine Internship

The SharkWise Project was founded by Dr Sara Andreotti and Walter Bernardis. Dr Sara Andreotti is a marine biologist specialising in shark research. She is a lecturer extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University Department of Botany and Zoology and co-founder of The SharkWise Project. She has been developing a management and conservation plan for great white sharks since 2009. Dr Andreotti is an established marine biologist specialising in shark population dynamics, ethology and conservation genetics, Extraordinary Lecturer at Stellenbosch University and Founding Director of SharkSafe Barrier Pty Ltd. Mr Bernardis is a world-renowned shark behaviour expert who has been diving with large sharks for over four decades: he pioneered shark eco-tourism in South Africa, and he is the Founding Director of local dive centre African Watersports.

The programme

The SharkWise Marine Internship is based in Umkomaas, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa and is aimed at young students wanting hands-on experience in marine biology, focusing on shark research

Key responsibilities

The interns work with Masters and/or PhD students that are registered at Stellenbosch University. The interns assist with data collection for the postgraduate research. Current postgraduate research includes:
– Genetic sampling
– Shark fin photo identification
– Underwater photogrammetry
– Reef biodiversity assessment

Interns also analyse data using various software, undertake photo and video equipment care, enjoy fun dives and have the opportunity to meet local and international people with similar interests


Interns are expected to have a passion for the natural world and have a hands on attitude towards academic research. Current or prior studies in the natural sciences are preferred


The internship costs R30 000 (ca EUR 1,700) per month for a duration of 2-3 months.

The program includes:
– 12 dives per month in the Aliwal Shoal MPA.
– Diving training
– Equipment care
– Marine biology fieldwork training
– Lectures provided by Dr Sara Andreotti
– Seafront accommodation

How to apply

Find out more about The SharkWise Project here