Sharks exhibition 2022, Saving Sharks Grey Fin Shark banner
Sharks exhibition 2022, Saving Sharks Grey Fin Shark banner. Image: Supplied by Getty Images
License supplied by Getty Images

Get a chance to engage with scientists, experts and educators during this onsite and online panel talk for primary and secondary students. With links to the Curriculum, our Meet the Expert series offers a special opportunity to hear directly from Australian Museum and industry experts and have all your questions answered!

With rising temperatures, industrial fishing and oceans choked by pollution, sharks are in great danger. Our attitudes and our actions will decide the fate of these ancient survivors. In this Meet the Experts panel talk, students will hear from scientists on what is being done to protect our sharks from the threats they face, how the environments they live in can best be managed and preserved, and how humans can stay safe when entering their habitats.

This panel talk will be held onsite in the Australian Museum Theatre and streamed online via Zoom. An email with the link to join Zoom and any further information will be sent to you by the Australian Museum at least a week before your session.

  • Audience: This program is bookable for school students in Stages 3–5
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Capacity: Onsite: 100 participants
    Online: 300 participants


Dr Sophie Calabretto

Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG)

Dr Sophie Calabretto is an applied mathematician, fluid mechanist, and science writer. She currently works as a Defence scientist with the Department of Defence having transitioned from academia as part of the Defence NAVIGATE program. Dr Calabretto is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University, and Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Leicester. She also hosts ‘The Science Briefing’, a podcast about the science of everything, produced by LiSTNR and The Royal Institution of Australia. She’s been recognised for her excellent work as a science communicator, being awarded one of the ABC's 'Top 5 Under 40' researchers in 2017, and a finalist in the Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science in 2019 and 2020.

Learn more.


Meet the experts headshots – Sharks
Headshots of the three speakers in the Meet the Experts – Sharks panel talks for Term 1 2023. Image: Department of Primary Industries
© Department of Primary Industries

Dr Amy Smoothey

Dr Amy Smoothey, is a Marine Ecologist working at New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, who spends her days (and nights) researching these fascinating animals to understand when, where and why sharks are in certain areas to help protect sharks and keep people safe. For over 12 years, Dr Smoothey has led research projects to understand aspects of the biology and ecology of sharks along the east coast of Australia and is involved with various aspects of the NSW Shark Management Program which aims to increase protection for beachgoers while minimising harm to sharks and other marine life.

Dr Paul Butcher

Paul is a Principal Research Scientist with the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Paul’s career has included the successful development of expertise in the fields of gear testing (commercial and recreational fishing gears) and teleost, elasmobranch and crustacean survival, welfare, and movement (tagging). Paul continues to lead research projects associated with the NSW Government’s Shark Management Program.

Dr Vic Peddemors

Dr Vic Peddemors is the senior scientist for shark research in the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, providing scientific leadership for the group’s research and advisory effort. Vic has over 35 years scientific research experience in Antarctica, Australia, England, Holland, Mozambique and South Africa. His research interests cover a wide range of marine apex predators, but have inevitably had an over-riding theme of ensuring human impacts on their populations are sustainable. At the NSW DPI, Vic is also responsible for the scientific component of investigating and managing human-shark interactions and mitigation of these events, both for shark bites of humans and human fishing interactions with sharks. Vic currently sits on the IUCN Shark Specialist Group and is a past Chairman of the Scientific Committee for the IMOS Animal Tracking Facility.

NSW Syllabus (for the Australian Curriculum)

Stage 3
Science and Technology Years K–6 Syllabus

  • ST3-4LW-S examines how the environment affects the growth, survival and adaptation of living things
  • ST3-11DI-T explains how digital systems represent data, connect together to form networks and transmit data

Stage 4
Science Years 7–10 Syllabus

  • SC4-14LW relates the structure and function of living things to their classification, survival and reproduction
  • SC4-15LW explains how new biological evidence changes people’s understanding of the world

Stage 5
Science Years 7–10 Syllabus

  • SC5-14LW analyses interactions between components and processes within biological systems
  • SC5-15LW explains how biological understanding has advanced through scientific discoveries, technological developments and the needs of society

Please ensure you read the Group Bookings Terms and Conditions before making a booking and refer to our Privacy statement outlining how we deal with your personal information.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Group Bookings Monday - Friday via email or phone +61 2 9320 6222, or visit our group bookings office page.

To connect your classroom to the Australian Museum via virtual excursion you will need:

  • A reliable internet connection;
  • A camera and microphone connected to your device;
  • A device with a display, e.g. Laptop, Chromebook, iPad, Desktop.

If connecting a whole class or group together, you will also need:

  • A projector or screen connected to your device;
  • Working speakers connected to your device. Make sure they are switched on and the volume is up.

If connecting on individual devices, you will need:

  • Working speakers or headphones connected to your device. Make sure they are switched on and the volume is up.

The simplest way to connect is through a direct connection using Zoom. The connection does not require any software to be downloaded, but does require a computer (PC or Mac) with an internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone.

The Zoom connection to the Australian Museum is secure and private.

After confirming your school’s booking you will receive an instructional email during the week prior your session. This will contain the link to the Zoom room and the passcode required to enter the room. Click on the link to open the connection in your chosen web browser. Zoom will automatically activate your device’s camera and microphone.

For your Zoom username, please add your First Name, Class, and School, e.g. Thomas 5C Australian Public School. If you are joining as a whole class or group, just use your Class and School name. Once you have joined you will be in the waiting room until the host admits you to the room. If you are joining individually, the teacher will be admitted to the room first.

When you join, your camera will automatically be switched off and microphone muted. You will need to unmute your microphone to speak during the session and switch your camera on to be visible to the presenters and the other groups in the session.

Students need to be supervised at all times during the virtual excursion. If students are connecting via individual computers, please remind them to turn their cameras and microphones off unless asking a question.

During the virtual excursion

  • Follow any instructions from the presenter/host or your teacher.
  • The presenter will let you know how you can be involved in the session.
  • Keep your microphone turned off unless you are speaking.
  • If connecting on individual devices, you may like to blur your background or set it to a static picture if your video is on.
  • Student discipline and online behaviour is integral for a quality session. If a student or group is deemed to be acting in a disrespectful manner, they will be disconnected from the session.