Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

The ACCSTR has a very active graduate student program with students from a number of departments at the University of Florida. The involvement of graduate students in our research ensures that, while answering critical questions in sea turtle biology, we are also educating future sea turtle biologists and conservationists.

Examples of the type of research conducted by ACCSTR graduate students can be seen in the following link: Theses and Dissertations of the ACCSTR

Graduate Students

Nichole D. Bishop

Email: n00051891@ufl.edu
Department: School of Natural Resources and Environment
Major Professor: Ray Carthy and Karen A. Bjorndal

Nichole is interested in reptile nutritional ecology. Specifically, she is focusing on herbivory in turtles. Her dissertation research is investigating the gut structure and function of the critically endangered Central American River turtle (Dermatemys mawii), a freshwater turtle endemic to Belize, Guatemala and Mexico.


Nerine Constant

Email: nconstant@ufl.edu
Department: Biology
Major Professor: Karen A. Bjorndal

Nerine’s research focuses on the effects of green turtle grazing on ecologically and economically important fish communities in Caribbean seagrass meadows. Understanding how green turtles impact the structure and function of seagrass ecosystems is critical to ecosystem-based fishery management. Nerine’s research incorporates her broader interests, which include studying the roles of sea turtles in marine ecosystems and contributing to conservation efforts and sustainable management of coastal resources.


Daniel Evans

Email: dantheturtleman@gmail.com
Department: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Major Professor: Ray Carthy

Dan’s research is using satellite telemetry to determine migration pathways and identify foraging areas used by marine turtles, and employing research as an educational tool to raise awareness about sea turtle conservation.


Rogério Ferreira

Email: coriacea@gmail.com
Faculty of Science and Technology
University of Algarve, Portugal

Rogerio’s research is centered at Principe Island, a recent UNESCO Biodiversity Reserve in West Africa. By using several methodologies (nesting and in-water census, telemetry and isotopic and genetic analyses), in collaboration with other researchers, he aims to gain understanding on the distribution and abundance of the sea turtle populations in this region, including their connectivity with other foraging and breeding areas. As an overall goal, Rogerio hopes to contribute to the conservation of sea turtles in the region.


George GlenGeorge Glen

Email: george.glen@ufl.edu
Department: Biology
Major Professor: Karen A. Bjorndal

George is interested in the reproductive biology and foraging ecology of sea turtles, particularly the intersection between the two. For example, how will ecological change on foraging grounds affect migrations, age at maturity, and fitness. Currently, George is looking at the possible role of biological senescence in green turtles with the aim of improving population models to better inform management decisions.


gulickAlexandra G. Gulick

Email: alexandra.gulick@ufl.edu
Department: Biology
Major Professor: Karen A. Bjorndal

Alexandra is interested in the ecological roles of sea turtles in tropical seagrass and coral reef ecosystems. More specifically, Alexandra studies the foraging and behavioral ecology of green turtles and wants to evaluate the potential impacts of increased grazing pressure on seagrass ecosystem function and community dynamics.


Richard M. Herren

Email: rherren@ufl.edu
Department: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Major Professor: Ray Carthy

Rick’s research is focused on spatial distribution and habitat selection by juvenile sea turtles in Florida’s nearshore waters. In particular, he is interested in determining the biotic and abiotic factors driving turtle aggregations using predictive models. Other interests include examining temporal and spatial changes in juvenile sea turtle movements, diet, growth and disease in response to climate change.


Tomo Hirama

Email: Tomo.Hirama@MyFWC.com
Department: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Major Professor: Ray Carthy

Tomo’s research goal is to understand how abiotic factors, including artificial light, impact seaward orientation of loggerhead hatchlings.


Robert JohnsonRobert Johnson

Email: johnson.robert@ufl.edu
Department: Biology
Major Professor: Karen A. Bjorndal

Robert is interested in the role that sea turtles play in their habitats. In particular, he is interested in their impacts at the ecosystem level, and he is studying how green turtle foraging influences carbon and nitrogen dynamics in tropical seagrass systems. Robert is also interested in differences in growth dynamics between populations of juvenile sea turtles.


Marco SantosMarco Santos

Email: msantos@uac.pt
University of the Azores, Portugal

Marco is studying the movements and distribution patterns of oceanic juvenile loggerheads in the waters around the Azores. Marco is using satellite telemetry and remote sensing technologies.


Luciano Soares e SoaresLuciano Soares e Soares

Email: lsoares@ufl.edu
Department: Biology
Major Professor: Karen A. Bjorndal

Luciano’s research focuses on the biology of loggerhead / hawksbill hybrids in Brazil, in particular their foraging ecology, reproductive output, and migratory patterns. His goal is to understand the consequences of hybridization on sea turtle populations.


ACCSTR Postdoctoral Fellow

Marco GarciaMarco Garcia

Email: marcogarcia@ufl.edu
Department: Biology
Postdoctoral Supervisor: Karen A. Bjorndal

Marco is a Fulbright Fellow. His work focuses on understanding feeding habitat use and post-reproductive behavior in the reproductive population of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Isla de Aves, Venezuela, determined through stable isotope analysis. His research interests have focused on questions about how to promote conservation of sea turtles through ecology, genetics and demography.