UCF Biology

Archie Carr Sea Turtle House

The UCF Marine Turtle Research Group has been studying all aspects of marine turtle biology since 1982, helping to create the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge and working to conserve these threatened turtles. They have been located at what is affectionately known as the “beach house” since 2005, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generously allowed them to use their facility after UCF’s previous facility was destroyed during a hurricane. Currently, the beach house is the base of operations for studying the nesting ecology of three species of marine turtle: the loggerhead, green, and leatherback turtles. This work is conducted in southern Brevard County, including the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge and north through Patrick Air Force Base. This area hosts the densest nesting of loggerheads in the Western Hemisphere, the densest green turtle nesting in the United States, and a growing population of leatherbacks, the largest marine turtle (sometimes over six feet long and over 900 pounds!). In addition to their work with nesting females, the Marine Turtle Research Group conducts studies of juvenile turtles at three sites around Florida, which can host turtles that hatched on beaches as far away as Costa Rica and South America.