Kimberly Andrews, a graduate faculty member at the Odum School of Ecology, and her graduate student, David Zailo, received $59,000 from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the nesting behaviors of turtles living in the marshes of Georgia’s Jekyll Island in collaboration with the Jekyll Island Authority.
The researchers will attach small GPS units to the turtles’ shells and track their movements as females leave the relative safety of the saltwater estuaries to create nests on the mainland. During this process, many turtles, such as the diamondback terrapin, are struck and killed on roadways. The researchers hope their data will serve as the foundation for sustainable development and roadside management along coastal regions. Zailo also has created a funding page (www.jekyllisland.com/terrapin) to support their research project.