I am very excited to finally start our fieldwork on sea turtles and seagrass in the Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao! What started as a proposal (initiated by Lisa Becking and me) in August 2013, finally resulted in a research project May 2015 entitled  “Ecology and conservation of Green and Hawksbill turtles in the Dutch Caribbean”. Jurjan van der Zee (the PhD student in the project) will focus on sea turtle population dynamics. During his first fieldwork ever he will collect loads of DNA samples of hatchling and (sub-)adult turtles. My part of the research focuses on sea turtle migration (using satellite tracking, isotope studies), and sea turtle habitat use (turtle exclosure studies on seagrass meadows, GIS habitat mapping). Sandra Striegel is joining us for her MSc. project on temperature effects on sea turtle hatchling sex ratios. Now hopefully the satellite trackers arrive next week in Bonaire, and our extensive planning together with our counterparts – Sea turtle conservation Bonaire, TurtugAruba, and Carmabi – will result in a successful fieldwork campaign! Thanks also to Per Palbøll (PI of the project) and our funding agency NWO. I will be back in 2 months and hopefully posts some updates about the fieldwork here!

Map Bonaire in Caribbean

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