research | conservation priorities

leatherback turtle, Playa Grande Costa Rica

Geographically widespread animal species encounter variation in environmental conditions and anthropogenic pressures across their distributions that can influence differential expression of life history traits as well as population trends.

My research has focused on identifying drivers of intra-specific variation among sea turtle populations to facilitate targeted research and conservation efforts.

This research area is all about synthesizing information from various sources to try and get a coherent picture of status and priorities. All of my work in this area has been extremely collaborative, as shown by the long author lists on the publications below. Shout out to: Rod Mast and Brian Hutchinson, and the entire IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group Burning Issues Working Group for inspiring, fun, challenging, and productive meetings and collaborative work; Project GloBAL and other colleagues at Duke University for taking on huge challenges like assessing fisheries bycatch and migratory connectivity at a global scale; and for conservation networks ICAPO and Laúd OPO for bring people together around common goals and making discoveries and conservation gains together.

Publications:

The importance of migratory connectivity for global ocean policy

Global conservation priorities for marine turtles

Multi-scale Regional Management Units (RMUs) for marine turtles worldwide (access all maps and files here)

Signs of hope for eastern Pacific hawksbills

Regional variation in leatherback populations

Environmental drivers of life-history variation in marine vertebrates

Resource limitation of Eastern Pacific leatherbacks

Leatherbacks as oceanographic indicators 

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