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FAU, UM Scientists to Release Sea Turtles Raised at Gumbo Limbo Laboratory

Two turtles released will be the first to carry new solar-powered miniature satellite tags, which will enable researchers to track their movements

sea turtle

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Two sea turtles that have been raised at Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Gumbo Limbo laboratory for the past several months will board a boat on Saturday, May 9 at 8 a.m. at the Lake Park Marina, 105 Lake Shore Drive, in West Palm Beach, and ride 10 miles offshore to be released.  The loggerhead turtles, were part of several conservation-based research studies conducted by Dr. Jeanette Wyneken, associate professor of biological sciences in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. The turtles are released at the end of each study into currents that serve as their nursery areas. These young turtles are unique in that each will carry new solar-powered miniature satellite tags, which will enable the researchers to track their movements.

“Some of the most important questions about how young sea turtles use the open ocean habitats as they travel and grow have remained unanswered because of a lack of the ability to track or mark these rapidly growing turtles,” said Wyneken. “With new generations of tracking tag technology, we are now able to study the migratory movements of these small, very young turtles.”

With the help of several FAU independent study students in biological sciences, Wyneken and her collaborators Dr. Kate Mansfield, a remote tracking specialist at the Univeristy of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and Dr. Dan Rittchof, an expert in anti-fouling biology at Duke University Marine Lab, have developed a tagging system that doesn’t interfere with the turtles’ swimming or growth. 

About FAU
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
Founded in the 1940’s, the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.rsmas.miami.edu

Media Contacts:

Barbra Gonzalez
UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
305.421.4704
barbgo@rsmas.miami.edu
Gisele Galoustian
Florida Atlantic University
561-297-2010
ggaloust@fau.edu

Tags:
florida atlantic university •  sea turtles •  conservation •  research •  dr. jeanette wyneken •  satellite tags •