Sea Turtle Conservation & Research

Kristen Mazzarella

Kristen Mazzarella

Senior Biologist

Kristen joined the Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program in 2008 as Staff Biologist monitoring nesting loggerheads (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) on 35 miles of sea turtle nesting beach. She was promoted to Senior Biologist in 2009. Since then, she has managed more than 250 turtle patrol volunteers (2009-2011), served as Interim Program Manager (2013-2015) and currently leads the coordination of the nighttime tagging research program.

A field biologist at heart with an affinity for the beach and nearshore habitats, she has studied behavior and environmental ecology of primates, cetaceans and sea turtles. Since 1998, she has researched sea turtles in North Carolina, South Carolina and now Florida and her varied experience includes genetics, stranding response, rehabilitation, necropsy, satellite tagging, and live trawl and seine captures. She holds a Florida Marine Turtle Research Permit and has held several Nesting Survey Permits for the STCRP. At Mote, her interests lie in analyzing the movement patterns of adult male loggerheads and nesting green turtles as well as investigating anthropogenic disturbances to nesting turtles to aid in development of better light and predator management strategies.


M.S. Marine Biology, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. Thesis: Analysis of stranded loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in North and South Carolina: Genetic composition and effectiveness of newly implemented TED regulations.

B.S. Biology/Animal Behavior, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA


Mazzarella, K.T. 2020. Carapace Tag Recaptures from the 1980s. Marine Turtle Newsletter 161:22-23.

Mazzarella, K.T., Stacy B.A., Kabat, L.J. and H. J. Swanson. 2020. Bacterial Dermatitis Affecting the Carapace of Nesting Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas). Marine Turtle Newsletter 161:24-27.

Borgwardt, C, Tucker, A.T. and K. Mazzarella. 2013. Meeresschildkröten als Opfer der Strandbeleuchtung. In T. Posch, Franz Hölker, T. Uhlmann, A. Freyhoff (Eds.), Das Ende der
Nacht: Lichtsmog: Gefahren - Perspektiven – Lösungen, 2nd Edition. pp. 139-156. J. Wiley.