Jillian Morris

Jillian Morris

Hails from: Sebec Village, Maine
Currently lives in: Miami, Florida
Favorite Place: The quiet of the ocean and Fiji for a surface interval
Favorite Things to Do: Filming, freediving, traveling, yoga and photography
Favorite Shark: Great Hammerhead

What shark are you most like and why?
Probably a lemon shark because I am highly social and flexible because of all the yoga. ( A lemon sharks can bite its own tail)

If you could tell people one thing about about sharks and/or the oceans, what would it be?
Go swim with a shark. Every person should see one in the wild and up close. This is the best way to change perceptions about these animals.

How did sharks draw you into their watery world?
I was the kid that watched Jaws in the YMCA swimming pool while floating on an inner tube and loved the shark! My first dive with sharks was in 2003 and I was hooked. There is nothing like being in their world, on their terms; such an intoxicating experience.

I have combined my science background with my love for film/photography and now create media that reflects shark education and conservation. I am also an advisory board member for the Shark Free Marina Initiative, a program that encourages catch and release if people insist on catching sharks. I also lead shark diving trips and love the opportunity to show someone their first shark. Whether in a cage or not, everyone should get in the water and see these animals and anyone can! I also go into classrooms across the country and speak to children about sharks and how they can help. It is easy to feel small and insignificant, but there really are things that every person can do. I love the energy that kids have and the inspiration I walk away with.

Organizations I support:
The Shark Free Marina Initiative

Learn More:
www.shark-girl.com
www.oceanicallstars.com
www.facebook.com/sharkgirl

Short Bio:
Explorer, Educator & Ocean Advocate:

My love for the water started at an early age and has continued to play an integral role in my adult life.  As I traveled the globe for shark research and diving expeditions I was never without a camera. The collaboration of my love for the ocean and the ability to capture stunning images was a natural progression.

As a child my parents would have to drag me out of the ocean because I was literally turning blue. The Maine Coast provided hours of tide pool exploration and was where I took my first breath underwater on a regulator. I have migrated to warmer climates, but my love of the ocean has only strengthened.

In this underwater world I wear many hats; I am a free diver, scuba instructor, photographer, educator, outreach coordinator, rebreather diver, videographer, writer, underwater model, marine biologist and ocean advocate.

I have grasped every opportunity possible to wrap my life in and around the ocean. I believe that it runs through my veins. Sharks have been my primary focus, consuming most of my time and energy. Without them our oceans will die. I have been fortunate enough to spend 1000s of hours in the water with these incredible creatures from remote parts of Western Australia to the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas.  I have swum out of the cage with great whites at Isla Guadalupe, donned a chain mail suit to hand feed Caribbean reef sharks 40 ft below the surface and even kissed a few sharks (not on the mouth).

The goal of my work is to get as many people in the water with sharks as possible. This is the most powerful tool in changing the monster perception that society has of these animals. Looking into the eye of a 15 ft tiger shark will change your life. I want to continue creating media that educates the world about the importance of the ocean environment. Images are powerful tools that speak all languages and transcend barriers and I hope that mine inspire others to slip beneath the surface and explore the incredible underwater world, anxious to have their own life changing experience.