Dr. Erich Ritter Biography

Dr. Erich Ritter photo

Erich Ritter has a Ph.D. from Zurich University in "Behavioral Ecology" and is the only professional applied shark-human interaction specialist. Ritter's main expertise is the body language of sharks, with a major interest in shark attacks and their causes. Many of the old theories of why sharks attack have been erased through his experiments, and new ideas proposed. He is the only shark attack expert to recreate many of the typical attack scenarios with the respective species. His understanding of potential reasons for shark attacks opened new doors in this field of research.

Ritter is the senior scientist of Green Marine. His research group focuses on conditioning, agonistic display and subordinate hierarchies. Most of these projects are conducted by master and doctoral students from different universities. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hofstra University.

Ritter is co-editor of Shark Info, a shark information service, located in Switzerland, serving more than 500 news stations in German-speaking Europe. Many of his mainstream articles on shark behavior have been translated in English. Ritter is co-founder of the "Hai-Stiftung" in Switzerland, and "Shark Foundation" in the USA whose main focus is the protection of sharks through better understanding. The foundation is currently sponsoring several projects.

Ritter developed the first interaction system for swimmers, divers and snorkelers (ADORE-SANE) that allows safe swimming and interaction with any potentially dangerous sharks under different conditions. He has spent the last eight years collecting data from around the world. Besides some reef species, his primary focus is on bull sharks, lemon sharks and great whites. Ritter has been extensively interviewed in magazines and on TV shows promoting and explaining his ways of shark-human interaction, and explanations of shark attacks. Ritter holds workshops in the Bahamas, South Africa and the Maldives on a regular basis.


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