Dr Riley Elliott is often known by his more adventurous moniker, the Shark Man! Riley is a an academic, author, popular speaker and TV documentary maker, and he’s on a mission to change your perception of sharks. A passionate environmentalist, we’d like to introduce Dr Riley Elliott in our first profile on our keynote speakers at the 2024 NZPI Conference.

Waikato born, Elliott has a passion for surfing, diving and adventure. He studied Zoology and Marine Science at Otago, before heading to South Africa on an internship program to (quite literally) jump in with sharks in order to understand why they are so feared by humans. With obvious passion and talent in the field he was invited to stay on and help run the globally renowned Oceans Research Great White Shark program.

Riley has not only dedicated almost a decade of academic research to these animals for their conservation, but has written his own book, spoken at over fifty public events, appeared in countless radio, TV and magazines articles, giving him the media experience to film a documentary series on sharks - two of which went direct to Governments to improve legislation.

He says that conservation goals have been achieved by communicating science to the public, because “science is for people”. Riley’s stories are vivid, backed by endless amazing photos and video that are directed at his conservation and research achievements. He’s driven by an extreme passion, something necessary to risk life and limb. We’re anticipating an exciting session at NZPIC24.

Dr Riley Elliott’s keynote session, An Adventure of Holistic Storytelling is sponsored by Boffa Miskell. Boffa Miskell are long-time supporters of NZPI. They are our Silver Sponsor of the 2024 Emerging Planners Congress at NZPIC24 and sponsor the Lance Leikis Emerging Planner Award. Recently, Boffa Miskell has supported NZPI to provide feedback to government on climate adaptation. We welcome their support in bringing the Shark Man to conference.

Registrations are coming soon for the 2024 NZPI Conference in Kirikiriroa – Hamilton, March 20 – 22.

Learn more about Riley and our other keynote speakers here

Join Dr Riley Elliott - aka the Shark Man - on an adventure of holistic storytelling. From swimming with sharks, gathering kai and sharing scientific insight through modern media; he will inspire us to work with nature cohesively, especially in the face of climatic turbulence. See videos and pictures @thelifeofrileynz