Paul J. Clerkin is a researcher with a master’s degree from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories currently working on his PhD at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Clerkin specializes in rare and deep-sea chondrichthyans and focuses on new species descriptions, taxonomy, life histories, genetics, and tagging of poorly understood shark species. His outside-the-box approach combines working with local fishers and high-tech innovative research techniques such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), specialized deep-sea cameras, and satellite archival tags.
His research has granted him a variety of opportunities including leading workshops for the United Nations, serving as a shark expert for a Food and Agriculture Organization’s research cruise, and producing several shark documentaries. He has conducted research projects aboard ships in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. Clerkin has discovered over a dozen new species of sharks and has gotten in the water to tag some of the rarest sharks on the planet including the ultra-rare Megamouth Shark.
Paul Clerkin is currently describing new species that he has discovered, preparing a workshop for the Republic of Mauritius regarding their National Plan of Action for sharks, and organizing an international research program for sharks.
His research interests include: shark taxonomy, robotics, artificial intelligence, eDNA, biologgers, and marine conservation policy.