UCF Biology

Erin Seney

Research Area(s): Marine turtle ecology and conservation biology, including population dynamics, diet, movements, and threats, and implications for protected species policy


Erin Seney is an Assistant Research Scientist and non-teaching faculty member in the Department of Biology. She holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University, and a professional certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from George Mason University. Following completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Seney held an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship comprised of placements at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation. More recently, she has run her own consulting business and has been contracted by the federal government and aquarium research programs.

Dr. Seney’s areas of expertise include marine turtle movement and diet research, conservation biology, fisheries, and policy. She has conducted marine turtle research and nesting, in-water, stranding, and rehabilitation activities in Virginia, Texas, and Florida and developed a satellite transmitter attachment method for small neritic Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. Dr. Seney has authored and co-authored publications on marine turtle diet, movement, and stock assessment; implications of climate change on Endangered Species Act decisions; and fishery bycatch. She is currently a member of the University’s Marine Turtle Research Group and contributes to long-term monitoring and research at central Florida nesting beaches and in-water habitats.


Refereed Publications

Benaka LR, Seney EE. 2015. Highlights from the First Update to the National Bycatch Report. In: Kruse GH, An H, DiCosimo J, Eischens CA, Gislason GS, McBride DN, Rose CS, Siddon CE (editors), 29th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium: Fisheries Bycatch: Global Issues and Creative Solutions. NOAA Sea Grant (doi: 10.4027/fbgics.2015.13).

McClure MM, Alexander M, Borggaard D, Boughton D, Crozier L, Griffis R, Jorgensen JC, Lindley ST, Nye J, Rowland MJ, Seney EE, Snover A, Toole C, Van Houtan K. 2013. Incorporating climate science in applications of the U.S. Endangered Species Act for aquatic species. Conservation Biology 27:1222-1233 (doi: 10.1111/cobi.12166).

Seney EE, Rowland MJ, Lowery RA, Griffis RB, McClure MM. 2013. Climate change, marine environments, and the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology 27:1138-1146 (doi: 10.1111/cobi.12167).

Seney EE, Landry AM. 2011. Movement patterns of immature and adult female Kemp’s ridley sea turtles in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 440:241-254 (doi:10.3354/meps09380).

Seney EE, Higgins BM, Landry AM. 2010. Interactions between platform terminal transmitters and turtle excluder devices. Marine Fisheries Review 72:44-47.

Seney EE, Higgins BM, Landry AM. 2010. Satellite transmitter attachment techniques for small juvenile sea turtles. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 384:61-67 (doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2010.01.002).

Seney EE, Landry AM. 2008. Movements of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles nesting on the upper Texas coast: implications for management. Endangered Species Research 4:73-84. (doi: 10.3354/esr00077)

Seney EE, Musick JA. 2007. Historical diet analysis of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Virginia. Copeia 2007:278-289.

Seney EE, Musick JA. 2005. Diet analysis of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in Virginia. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 4:864-871.

________________________________________________________________________________     Selected Non-Refereed Publications and Reports

Seminoff JA, Allen CD, Balazs GH, Dutton PH, Eguchi T, Haas HL, Hargrove SA, Jensen MP, Klemm DL, Lauritsen AM, MacPherson SL, Opay P, Possardt EE, Pultz SL, Seney E, Van Houtan KS, Waples RS. 2015. Status review of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NOAA-NMFS-SWFSC-539, 571 p.

Ballance LT, Barre L, Bengtson J, Bettridge S, Bisack K, Brown S, Fahy C, Ford M, Garrison L, LeBouef N, LeRoux R, Parrish F, Seney E, Simpkins M, Srinivasan M, VanAtta L, Vardi T. 2014. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Protected Resources Science Investment and Planning Process (PRSIPP): Highlights and significant outcomes of the September 2013 Steering Committee Meeting. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-F/SPO-140, 13 p.

Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification [editor]. 2014. Strategic plan for federal research and monitoring of ocean acidification. National Science and Technology Council, 86 p.

National Marine Fisheries Service. 2013. U.S. National Bycatch Report First Edition Update 1 [Benaka LR, Rilling C, Seney EE, Winarsoo H, Editors]. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 57 p.

National Marine Fisheries Service [writing team member]. 2013. Sea turtle assessment status and research needs. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-F/SPO-131, 52 p.

Simpkins M, Srinivasan M (editors) [with contributions by Ballance L, Bengtson J, Bisack K, Brown SK, Ford M, LeBoeuf N, Parrish F, Richards P, Seney E]. 2013. Report of the Protected Resources Science Investment Plan Workshop. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-F/SPO-130, 34 p.


  • B.A., Biology, University of Virginia, 2000
  • M.S., Marine Sciences, College of William and Mary, 2003
  • Ph.D., Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2008
  • Science and Technology Policy Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2009-11
  • Professional Certificate, Geographic Information Systems, George Mason University, 2014



Knight Life: The UCF Turtle Team

It’s 9:30 p.m., the sun is down, and your shift is about to start. You put on your long pants, long-sleeved shirt, bug jacket and fanny pack with your nightly turtle kit. Out on the beach in Brevard County, in t... Read more

Hurricane Impacts Threatened Sea Turtle Nests

Story by Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, UCF Today As many as 200 loggerhead sea turtle nests and 550 green turtle nests were estimated to have been lost in central and southern Brevard County because of Hurricane Matthew. Each ... Read more

UCF Meets the Conservation Challenge

On Feb. 9–12, a group of UCF faculty, staff, and graduate students from the Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG) attended the 3rd Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Meeting, hosted by the Southeast Regional Sea Tu... Read more

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