Marine species like sea turtles, seabirds, and some marine mammals spend about as much time on land in their lives that you spend at the barbershop, while most species spend no time on land at all. Even for non-marine species, we tend to know surprisingly little about how they really live, move, behave, and survive. So, understanding of what animals do in their natural habitats is vital to creating effective conservation strategies. And it’s also just plain cool to understand more about how animals live their lives.
My research in this area has been extremely collaborative, with lots of folks much more technicologically-minded than me, such as Brett Dickson, Miranda Gray, Rick Scherer, Amanda Kissel, Alexander Gaos, Jeff Seminoff, George Shillinger, and many others. We’ve used various electronic, satellite, and video gadgets as well as isotopic tracers to figure out how animals do what they do, wherever they might be.
Discovery of novel habitats for hawksbill turtles (see related media coverage)