2020 SERSTM Program is Now Available!


Make plans to join sea turtle researchers, academics, volunteers and conservationists traveling from Virginia to Texas to attend the 5th Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Meeting, 3-6 February 2020!


Three informative and inspirational Keynote Presentations will be highlights of the meeting.


On Wednesday, February 5th, we will hear from Dr. Thane Wibbels, Professor, Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Thane’s distinguished career has included four decades of focus on sea turtle research and conservation. He has been a first-hand witness to, and integral part of, the evolution of Kemp’s ridley conservation in the Gulf of Mexico. His presentation will include a historic perspective of how sea turtle conservation efforts and will conclude with how technology is expanding the frontiers of our conservation capabilities.


On Thursday, February 6th, there will be a combined Keynote focusing on efforts by Texas-based researchers working to quantify and educate the public about marine debris. The first presentation will be by Christine Figgener, a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University, who changed the world with a single video that she recorded of her research team removing a plastic straw from the nares of an olive ridley. This video and Christine’s associated public education efforts led to a worldwide movement to eliminate the use of plastic straws and many accolades for Christine. Her presentation will focus on the importance of our actions and daily choices concerning plastic products. Following her presentation will be Jace Tunnell, Reserve Director at the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. Jace has produced and directed more than 100 short videos about science, nature, and research. He has served on over 20 science and environmental committees across the United States and has received several awards for his work. Jace’s presentation will focus on his Citizen Science Nurdle Patrol, the impacts of plastic pellets on sea turtles, and the future direction of the program.