The loggerhead Northern Gulf of Mexico Recovery Unit (NGM RU) is the second smallest RU in the northwest Atlantic Ocean by abundance with nesting beaches spanning from Franklin County, Florida, west through Texas, including Alabama. Nesting beaches within this RU face a range of chronic (e.g., predation, tidal inundation) and stochastic disturbances (e.g., major hurricanes, catastrophic oil spills). Projects within our lab focus on collecting information on the nesting ecology of turtles within this RU and determining factors that may be impacting nesting and hatchling success. We conduct nighttime surveys at St. George Island, one of the most important nesting sites for the loggerhead NGM RU, where we collect information on nesting dynamics and the health and morphometrics of nesting females within this RU.

Specific Projects

  • Assessment of Marine Turtle Nesting Habitat at Pocket Beaches in Florida
  • The effects of local climate on Caretta caretta hatchling output in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Reproductive output of loggerhead turtles in Alabama: implications from nest relocation
  • Marine turtle nesting at St. George Island
  • Integrated epibiosis study to assess foraging behavior, reproductive success, and habitats of Northern Gulf of Mexico loggerheads


Silver-Gorges, I., Ceriani, S. A., Ware, M., Lamb, M., Lamont, M., Becker, J., . . . Fuentes, M. M. P. B. (2021). Using systems thinking to inform management of imperiled species: A case study with sea turtles. Biological Conservation, 260, 109201.
Ware, M., Ceriani, S. A., Long, J. W., Fuentes, M. M. P. B. (2021). Exposure of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nests to Waves in the Florida Panhandle. Remote Sensing, 13(14).
Drobes, E. M., Ware, M., Beckwith, V. K., Fuentes, M. M. P. B. (2019). Beach Crabbing as a Possible Hindrance to Loggerhead Marine Turtle Nesting Success. Marine Turtle Newsletter, 159, 1-4.


  • Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division
  • Sea turtle license plate
  • Waterlust
  • PADI Foundation