MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech shark biologist Toby Daly-Engel is once again gracing our televisions as she appears in National Geographic’s 2022 SharkFest series, “Shark Attack Files.”
Daly-Engel, who established and heads Florida Tech’s Shark Conservation Lab, conducts research using a combination of genomics, field ecology and modeling to study shark mating systems and habitat use, and the impacts of climate change on shark populations.
She has been on SharkFest and Discovery’s Shark Week programing multiple times, most recently last year when she appeared on three programs across both networks.
Her latest appearance is on “Shark Attack Files.” This eight-part SharkFest series that debuted this week uses cutting-edge tools to investigate many aspects of shark attacks around the world.
“Footage from actual attacks, shark interactions or bizarre behavior (both professional and user-generated) kicks off each mystery. Our investigation then takes us to new attacks, new footage, and the deeper we dig, the more we uncover. By the end, what started as one mystery becomes multiple events that lead to a single stunning revelation,” according to National Geographic.
Daly-Engel is featured in the episode, “City Bites.” The synopsis: “City waters are primed with hungry sharks ready to encounter residents. A global group of scientists investigate what’s driving these predators into our metropolitan neighborhoods. Their findings reveal alarming truths about city sharks…and that perhaps they’ve been there all along.”
She appears starting around 37 minutes into the hour-long program, discussing her work as a geneticist.
“What we are seeing from shark DNA is that there are connections between sharks that you wouldn’t expect,” she says on camera. “One of the things my research has found is not only are these animals coming back to the same areas over and over and over, but they are doing it generation after generation.”
That could indicate that sharks inherit a “genetic roadmap” that leads them to urban areas with waterways, which in turn leads to the occasional shark attacks on which the show is focused.
“Shark Attack Files” episodes are available for online viewing through TV and cable providers at www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/shows/shark-attack-files.
The 2022 SharkFest programming overall features a “treasure trove of new original content that dives into details on over 15 different shark species and features footage from all over the world, including the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Australia, Hawaii, South Africa, The Maldives, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, and more,” according to the network.
For the first time, the programming will be shared across Disney platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ABC and ESPN, in addition to Nat Geo, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo MUNDO.