We are excited to announce the #TurtleJournalProject. Twelve field journals will be migrating around the world. Each one is unique. Researchers and sea turtle biologists from around the globe will contribute their thoughts, pictures, and messages. The first journals will be released at the Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Meeting on Jeckyll Island, Georgia next week! At the end of their 2-year migration, we will collect and compile the journals into an electronic book to share with participants. Follow this project on Facebook and Twitter!
MTRG summer intern (2014), Kali Mills, is featured in this video from the UCF Athletics Department. Kali is also an assistant rowing coach at UCF. Her ability to excel at turtle research, athletics, and academics is incredible. Great work Kali!
Big news! Dr. Kate Mansfield will be leading the global sea turtle ontogeny project for the ICARUS Initiative.
The mission of the ICARUS Initiative is to establish a global remote sensing platform that will allow scientists to track small organisms using newly-developed and miniaturized GPS satellite tags. This new, low-orbit tracking system will first be tested experimentally using receivers deployed on the International Space Station starting in 2016. The UCF MTRG will be beta-testing these small GPS tags on wild-caught sea turtles starting in ~2016.
Lower-orbiting receivers will enable observations and experiments over large spatial scales on organisms that have historically been too small to remotely observe due to size/weight limitations of available technologies (shorter transmission distances = smaller batteries and tags). Super-exciting!
Our local PBS station just aired a fun, short video on our work!
We are having a good year so far in 2014. Here’s the nest count through 7/23/2014 on the Brevard County portion of the Archie Carr NWR:
Leatherbacks: 52 (tied for peak year!)
Loggerheads: 11,072 (after a sluggish start, we are having an average to good year)
Greens: 578 (slow, but considering how many we had in 2013, not surprised)
A huge congratulations to Celine Mollet-Saint Beniot, UCF undergrad and MTRG intern who won runner-up Archie Carr Student Award for Best Biology Poster at the International Sea Turtle Symposium in New Orleans last week! She was competing against ~50 other student posters, the majority of which were presented by graduate students. We are very proud of Celine!
Tune in at ~2:40 to hear more about a collaborative project (FAU, NOAA) to track the sea turtle “lost years”!
Paper is available online (open access):
Dr. Ken Lohmann is visiting UCF and the Marine Turtle Research Group through the generous travel support of the Florida Sea Grant Elise B. Newell seminar series. His second seminar will be held at the Barrier Island Center at Melbourne Beach starting at 6pm with light refreshments.