You are here: HomeResearchResearch Infrastructure for marine biological resourcesAquarium UnitProjectsResearch and Conservation of Marine Turtles

Research Area
Life Sciences – Evolutionary, population and environmental biology: population genetics; conservation biology, ecology; animal behaviour

Principal Investigator
Sandra Hochscheid

Marine turtles face increasing threats arising mainly from the degradation of marine ecosystems, such as overfishing and climate change. Six out of each seven existing species are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. The main objective of the project is to provide a sound scientific basis for the development of effective management strategies of these charismatic animals. The research activities focus on the Mediterranean population of the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta, an iconic species of priority interest to the European Union under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. The project explores different aspects of biology and ecology of the species, through studies conducted at many different scales, from the molecular to the ecosystem, from studies of the population structure to the influence of environmental parameters on the distribution of the species; from the monitoring of nesting activity to the recovery, rehabilitation and release of injured specimens. An integral part of the activities is the transfer of research results to the public and managing authorities to promote the conservation of marine turtles.

The project is developed in four complementary themes:

  • Population structure and connectivity
  • Dispersion, movements and behavior
  • Health and physiology
  • Human impacts including climate change

What we do
We recover marine turtles in difficulties, re-store their health status and release them back into the wild whilst conducting fundamental research serving the cause of knowledge-based conservation. 

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno – Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria e Produzioni Animali, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II – DEKAMER Sea Turtle Rescue Research and Rehabilitation Center, Dalyan, Turkey - IAMC-CNR Oristano - IAMC-CNR Napoli – ISPRA - National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan - Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Italy – National Institute of Sea Sciences and Technologies, Sfax, Tunisia

Sandra Hochscheid
Andrea Affuso
Mariapia Ciampa
Fulvio Maffucci
Antonino Pace
Andrea Travaglini
Gianluca Treglia

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