This research topic recognizes that an understanding of species ecological roles and how they use space is fundamental for their conservation. Thus, the Marine Turtle Research, Ecology and Conservation Group uses a variety of approaches (e.g., photo ID, satellite telemetry, animal borne-cameras, oceanographic dispersal models, aerial surveys) to determine the spatial ecology of marine megafauna, and to explore how environmental parameters influence the spatial distribution and demographic parameters of species. We use information on the spatial and temporal distribution of marine megafauna to identify key habitats, critical resources, and discrete aggregation areas to inform their management.
All seven species of marine turtles have complex life cycles, using terrestrial and marine environments throughout different life stages during which they are exposed to an array of threats, impacting the persistence of their populations. Our lab undertakes several projects to better understand the impacts of different threats to marine turtle population both at their terrestrial and marine habitats.
The goal of this research area is to provide managers with tools to enhance the effectiveness of conservation and to identify stressors that if reduced will provide the most benefit to species persistence.