Founded in the late 1970’s, the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG) focuses on research, education, and scientific advisory service related to sea turtle ecology, biology, and conservation. At any given time, the MTRG is comprised of up to seven graduate students, 12 undergraduate interns or research assistants, 5-8 part time employees, and volunteers.


Graduate Students



Janet Hochella

MTRG Alumni:

Advised by Dr. Kate Mansfield

  • Alexander Sacco (2024):  Multi-Scale assessment of oceanic Sargassum habitats for the sea turtle “lost years”. Dissertation.
  • Abigail Crowder (2024): Long-term trends in hatchling sea turtle size on the Archie Carr NWR. M.S. Non-thesis.
  • Gustavo Stahelin (2023): Variation in genetic structure and dispersal of juvenile green turtles. Dissertation.
  • Katrina Phillips (2022): Juvenile dispersal and genetic connectivity in the sea turtle “lost years”. Dissertation.
  • Jake Kelley (2022): Fibropapillomatosis and chelonid herpesvirus 5 dynamics in juvenile green turtles of the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA. M.S. Thesis.
  • Chris Long (2021): Long-term changes in juvenile green turtle abundance and foraging ecology in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Dissertation.
  • Ryan Welsh (2019): Spatial distribution and abundance of large green turtles on foraging grounds in the Florida Keys, USA. M.S. Thesis.
  • Ryan Chabot (2018): Using biomarkers to assess the migratory ecology and reproduction of the Florida green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). M.S. Thesis.
  • Kendra Cope (2015): A socio-economic assessment of marine turtle eco-tourism. S. Thesis.

Co-advised by Dr. Llewellen Ehrhart, Emeritus (retired) and/or Dr. John Weishampel

  • Chris Long (2013)Testing for indirect benefits of polyandry in the Florida green turtle. S. Thesis.
  • Cheryl Sanchez (2013): Sex Ratios of Juvenile Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) In Three Developmental Habitats Along The Coast Of Florida.S. Thesis.
  • Andrew Sterner (2013): Modeling Survival of Immature Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) and Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) From 10 Years Of Mark-recapture Data at the Florida Power And Light St. Lucie Plant. S. Thesis.
  • Simona Ceriani (2012): Migratory connectivity and carry-over effects in Northwest Atlantic loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta, L.). Dissertation.
  • Allison Hays (2012): Determining the impacts of beach restoration on loggerhead (Caretta caretta)and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting patterns and reproductive success along Florida’s Atlantic coast.S. Thesis.
  • Tonya Long (2010): An Assessment Of Sea Turtle Nesting Behavior In Relation To Hurricane- And Restoration-induced Beach Morphodynamics. M.S. Thesis.

Advised by Dr. Llewellen Ehrhart

  • Kelly Brock (2005): Effects of a shore protection project on loggerhead and green turtle nesting activity and reproduction. M.S. Thesis.
  • Eliza Gilbert (2005): Juvenile green turtle (Chelonia Mydas)foraging ecology:  feeding selectivity and forage nutrient analysis. M.S. Thesis.
  • Karen Frutchey (2004): Plasma levels of vitamins A and E in marine turtles (Chelonia mydas andCaretta caretta). M.S. Thesis.
  • Ann Marie Maharaj [Lauritsen] (2004):  A comparative study of the nesting ecology of the leatherback turtle(Dermochelys coriacea) in Florida and Trinidad. M.S. Thesis.
  • Dean Bagley (2003): Characterizing juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas)from three east central Florida developmental habitats. M.S. Thesis.
  • Stacy Kubis (2003): Growth rates of juvenile green turtles, Chelonia mydas, from three developmental habitats along the east central coast of Florida. M.S. Thesis.
  • Joseph Weidlich (2002): A survey of the mammals of the Archie Carr and Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuges. M.S. Thesis
  • Shigetomo Hirama (2001): Epizootiology of fibropapillomatosis in green turtle on the Atlantic coast of Florida. M.S. Thesis.
  • Karen Holloway-Adkins (2001): Comparative study of the feeding ecology of Chelonia mydas(Green Turtle) and the incidental ingestion of Prorocenrum spp.S. Thesis.
  • Karen Osegovic (2001): Hatching success, embryonic mortality, and infertility in loggerhead (Caretta caretta)and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles nesting in Brevard County Florida. M.S. Thesis.
  • Richard Herren (1999): The effect of beach nourishment on loggerhead (Caretta caretta)nesting and reproductive success at Sebastian Inlet, Florida. M.S. Thesis.
  • William Redfoot (1997): Population structure and feeding ecology of green turtles utilizing the trident submarine basin, Cape Canaveral, Florida as developmental habitat. S. Thesis.
  • Steve Johnson (1994): Reproductive ecology of the Florida green turtle (Chelonia mydas). M.S. Thesis.
  • Lawrence Luepschen (1987): Seasonal variation in serum testosterone of immature sea turtles in Central Florida.S. Thesis.
  • Blair Witherington (1986): Human and natural causes of marine turtle clutch and hatchling mortality and their relationship to hatchling production on an important FL nesting beach. M.S. Thesis.
  • Paul Raymond (1984): The effects of beach restoration on marine turtles nesting in South Brevard County, FL. M.S. Thesis.
  • Richard Demmer (1981): The Hatching and Emergence of Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) Hatchlings. S. Thesis.
  • Mary Mendonca (1981): Movements and Feeding Ecology of Immature Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Mosquito Lagoon, Florida. S. Thesis.
  • Angela McGehee (1979): Factors Affecting the Hatching Success of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Eggs (Caretta caretta caretta). M.S. Thesis.