CUSA Research Associate and 2nd-year doctoral student at UCI, Tera Dornfeld, began collecting data on olive ridley sea turtles in 2009 while working in Costa Rica. Her first publication, a study of the nesting ecology of these turtles entitled, “Ecology of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles at Playa Grande, Costa Rica” has just been released by the academic journal, Marine Biology.
Globally, sea turtles are some of the most threatened animals on the planet with losses in nesting numbers – due to pollution, fisheries by-catch, illegal harvest, and development- in the tens of thousands each year. Tera’s work will offer insights into the ecology of these animals at a globally important nesting site as well as provide much needed information on solitary nesting olive ridley turtles – a behavior shown by this species though rarely studied.
Tera seeks to return to Playa Grande to conduct her dissertation research. She aims to work with the local community to understand how people and sea turtles can live together in a mutually beneficial relationship. Though this is a living arrangement that is common around the world, it does not often result in success for sea turtles.
To learn more, her publication and abstract are available online for viewing and/or purchase.