BEHIND THE SCENES
DR. JAWS is the brainchild of American author, artist, educator, and SCUBA diver ZACHARY WEBB NICHOLLS. The core series of books are published by DEEP SEA PUBLISHING of Herndon, VA and Gainesville, FL. Educational collaborators include members of the NATIONAL MARINE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (NMEA) and the MID-ATLANTIC MARINE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (MAMEA).
HISTORY: Zachary Webb Nicholls
Zachary Webb Nicholls was born in 1991 and moved to Virginia in 1994 (where he would later receive the entirety of his education in film and biological science). During his high school years, Nicholls became heavily involved with the documentary film preservation nonprofit, Folkstreams. The nonprofit's founder, filmmaker Tom Davenport, had a profound artistic and philosophical influence on Nicholls, and contributed to his highly visual style of storytelling.
In 2010, Nicholls attended The College of William & Mary as a student in biology and marine science, with a focus on research during his first two years. While training with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Nicholls began to concern himself with the merits of artistic outreach, and shifted his focus towards poetry, illustration, and literature. Specific development with Dr. Jaws began in his third year of college, and by May 2013, Nicholls published his first book, Carcharhinus obscurus.
HISTORY: Publication & Media
During the 2013 development of Carcharhinus obscurus, Nicholls contacted six small traditional publishing houses, while still maintaining his studies at William & Mary. The first house to reply was the Florida-based Deep Sea Publishing, founded by author, fellow SCUBA diver, and Detection Monitoring Technologies (DMT) president, Eddie R Hughes. Fascinated by the eclectic mix of art, marine science, and storytelling, Hughes agreed to publish Carcharhinus obscurus, and thereby establish the Deep Sea Publishing Dr. Jaws series.
By November 2013, Nicholls produced a second book with Deep Sea Publishing, Carcharias taurus. At this point, Dr. Jaws attracted the attention of the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association, which subsequently invited Nicholls to membership. By 2014, Nicholls progressed into formal membership with the National Marine Education Association, and published two additional books: Carcharhinus leucas and Carcharhinus plumbeus.
After graduation from The College of William & Mary (Class of 2014, B.S. Biology), Nicholls focused his efforts on two creative projects that deviated from the core series of Deep Sea Publishing books: Tidescapes, an ecology-based board game, and The Bull Shark Compendium. By the close of 2015, Tidescapes transitioned into a video game collaboration, while The Bull Shark Compendium grew into a massive literary project, composed of 200 empirical works on Carcharhinus leucas, spanning 20 nations and 175 years.
PRESENT AND FUTURE EFFORTS
With the dawn of 2016, Nicholls released two Deep Sea Publishing books, Mustelus canis and Squalus acanthias, alongside a new marine life podcast entitled Sharks & Coffee. Season 1 premiered in March 2016 with three episodes discussing the science, cultural significance, and philosophical implications of the Bull Shark (Ep.1), Dusky Smoothhound (Ep.2), and Sand Devil (Ep.3). May 2016 saw the establishment of the official Dr. Jaws website, which synchronized all existing social media efforts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as traditional news articles and online stores carrying the currently available Dr. Jaws merchandise.
In November 2016, Nicholls completed The Bull Shark Compendium: a unprecedentedly massive tome of 100,000 words dedicated to the science and culture surrounding the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas. The Bull Shark Compendium will be released in paperback and Kindle editions on June 17th, 2017.