Biologist Alison Towner has been tracking great white sharks off the coast of South Africa for 15 years. Until 2017, numbers in the region she was studying were pretty consistent. Then, suddenly, sightings became much less frequent. And something else had been spotted in the area: a pair of killer whales.

Killer whales are known to target great whites, but the proximity to shore where this is happening in South Africa has given Towner and colleagues a unique, if grizzly, opportunity. They have been able to study the carcasses of the sharks that were attacked by the whales. In this fascinating episode of our African edition’s podcast , Towner tells the story of a fascinating research project.

Britain’s Conservative Party, meanwhile, is trying to move on from Boris Johnson to select its next leader and the country’s prime minister. Simon Torney at the University of Bristol, though, explains why Johnson is having to depart Downing St.

Stephen Khan

Executive Editor, The Conversation International


Killer whales are hunting great white sharks in South Africa’s waters

Ozayr Patel, The Conversation

A pair of killer whales are hunting and preying on South Africa's great white sharks, forcing the sharks to flee.


Boris Johnson’s ignominious end: the difference between ‘big tent’ politics and personalised populism

Simon Tormey, University of Bristol

The scandals attract all the attention but the real problems in Johnson’s administration ran much deeper.

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after their meeting on June 30. Getty Images

A trade deal with the EU makes sense for NZ, but what’s in it for Europe? Symbolically, a lot

Serena Kelly, University of Canterbury; Mathew Doidge, University of Canterbury

For the EU, the recent trade deal with New Zealand is about a lot more than money. Climate change and expanding its role and influence well beyond European borders are major motivations.