Sea Turtle Conservation & Research URE

Internship Mentor: Dr. Jake Lasala

The Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program (STCRP) at Mote has documented sea turtle nesting trends on 35 miles of Sarasota, Florida beaches for over 40 years. Since 1982, STCRP has identified over 133,000 sea turtle crawls and estimated that nearly 3.4 million hatchlings have left these beaches. Dr. Lasala is creating and implementing research projects that focus on these nesters and their offspring to ask questions about behavioral shifts over time. The core of his projects focus on genetic proxies to identify how individual behavior affects these local and global species populations. Mote URE students will primarily assist in the field at night to collect samples, but will also learn how to enter and work with raw data, genetic analysis techniques, and statistical techniques. This population of sea turtles is growing in the region and provides an excellent opportunity to ask novel and insightful questions moving forward.