2019 Turtle Conference

FAU Sweeps Awards at the 2019 International Sea Turtle Symposium

ISTS PicMany FAU Biology faculty and students, both graduate and undergraduate, attended the 2019 International Sea Turtle Symposium (ISTS) that took place in Charleston, South Carolina. From its modest beginning as a small gathering in the southeastern U.S., the ISTS has grown into the premier annual event of global sea turtle conservation, attracting hundreds of participants from an ever-expanding list of countries around the world. This year's conference attracted over 850 attendees from 52 different countries.

The theme of the symposium this year was "Navigating the Future." This forward-looking theme encouraged many to envision future conservation problems before they arise, acquaint themselves with the emerging frontiers of sea turtle biology, and honor the covenant to the natural world by steering toward a bright future for sea turtles and humanity. The symposium featured a record number of workshops encompassing a wide range of topics, as well as a full suite of regional meetings, which allowed participants from over 50 countries to discuss region-specific issues. The main days of the symposium featured nearly 400 oral and poster presentations in eight traditional categories, but also included four special sessions unique to the 2019 Symposium: (1) The Future of Sea Turtle Conservation, (2) Genetics and Genomics of Sea Turtles, (3) Using Science to Inform Conservation, and (4) Navigation, Migration, and Natal Homing

Dr. Sarah Milton, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Integrative Biology Ph.D. program, attending this year's conference with three of her graduate students. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken accompanied the event along with a postdoctoral fellow, four graduate and two undergraduate students. Dr. Michael Salmon and his three graduate students and post doc also attended the symposium. FAU swept the awards competition with Boris Tezak, a Ph.D. candidate who works in the laboratory of Dr. Wyneken, winning first place in the Biology Orals Competition from a total of 36 participants. Dr. Jeanette Wyneken was awarded the Sea Turtle Champions Award for her scientific achievements in effective conservation of sea turtles and relentless efforts in mentoring and training students in marine biology. Finally, Dr. Salmon was given the Lifetime Achievement Award honoring his contributions to sea turtle research and conservation throughout the course of his career. The award recipients are pictured to the left.