Mark tagging a tiger shark for the HIMB Shark Lab
Mark Royer (Shark Mark) grew up in Severna Park, Maryland and has had an interest in the ocean since his earliest childhood years. Frequent family trips to Ocean City, Maryland and to the National Aquarium in Baltimore led Mark to an early interest in the marine environment and it’s inhabitants. Mark first learned to snorkel in Hawaii at the age of five and became SCUBA certified at age thirteen. Since then he has explored coral reefs in places such as Hawaii, Bonaire, North Carolina and the French Polynesian Islands.
His college years at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Scripps Institution of Oceanography kept him in close contact with a diversity of marine life in the Florida Keys, Honduras and southern California. While photo-documenting research projects on coral reef ecology and leopard sharks, Mark also documented the rich biodiversity in the various marine habitats he explored. After graduating with a degree in Marine Biology from UNCW, Mark now lives in Kaneohe, Hawaii while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa to pursue his PhD in biology while conducting shark research at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB).
During his time in Hawaii, Mark has helped photo-document the works of various researchers, most specifically the research for the HIMB Shark Lab under the direction of Dr. Kim Holland and Dr. Carl Meyer. Mark uses his photographs and videos to help scientists engage the public in marine conservation issues and the need for scientific research to address them. He hopes that his work will continue to foster public interest in marine ecosystems and their inhabitants and will promote awareness of current environmental issues that threaten their survival.
Mark's photos and videos of sharks and other marine life have been used for public outreach. His footage of shark tagging studies by the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Shark Lab have been used by several local and national news outlets, Time Magazine, GEO Special, and network TV shows such as Jeff Corwin's Ocean Mysteries and Nat Geo Wild's Aloha Vet. Mark's first gallery showing was in his home town of Severna Park, Maryland at the Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church public art gallery. The gallery was titles "Wonders of the Deep", named after the verse Psalms 107:24.