PhD Research on Sea Turtles

$11,360 of $75k goal

Raised by 310 people in 12 months

I am a second year Marine Biology PhD student with Texas A&M University doing research on sea turtles in Costa Rica.

Part of my work is in collaboration with Dr. Nathan J. Robinson from Purdue University.

Recently, a video I posted showing a straw being removed from a sea turtle's nostril received worldwide attention.
This sea turtle is just one example of many.
No biologist, regardless of his or her location, is actively seeking out injured wildlife as seen in my video. But we are on the front-lines of reality looking at thousands of animals and we are consistently witnessing the by-products of human consumerism, and its consequences.

There are many more things we want to do and CAN do, but funding is difficult to come by, and there are consequences to this fact.
People forget that in order to protect any species effectively, this protection must be based on observations of the species' biology, ecology, and behaviour.

Many people asked me how they could support my work after seeing the video or where they could donate and it inspired me to launch this campaign to ask for funding to continue my research to reveal the secrets of sea turtles and protect them and their habitat. 

Over the course of the next three years I will visit numerous sites worldwide to discover important mating strategies and foraging habitats of sea turtles and investigate alternative reproductive behaviours of sea turtles.
My findings will help inform conservation management plans and help to ensure that sea turtles continue to swim freely in our oceans for generations to come. Your funds will help to pay for my research and fees, as well as provide essential equipment for this study.


Coming across injured sea turtles in our line of work is very common. So after talking to my university veterinarian about the incident we have come up with the idea to develop a first-aid kit for sea turtles together with a guide-book and a training, which researchers can take with them into the field, when they are working on studies with sea turtles in remote areas. The first aid kit would be for cases like ours where a sea turtle is found with injuries or foreign objects attached to them, such as fishing hooks or fishing line or -as in in our case - a straw, and medical attention is unavailable or too far away. I will use money from this GoFundMe campaign to develop the first-aid kit together with our vet.


Plastic Pollution Coalition launched a "No Straw" campaign in collaboration with us in November 2015.

Have a look and take the No-Straw Pledge here:


Research @ Texas A&M has produced a video telling our story. Enjoy!
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Update 10
18 days ago
Almost exactly one year ago my research team found an olive ridley turtle with a plastic drinking straw embedded in its nose.
Two days ago we found another olive ridley turtle in distress. A female was severely entangled in a bulk of ghost net and we had to cut her lose.
The video can be seen here.
Sea Turtle Entangled in GhostNet Rescued
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Update 9
1 month ago
More news from the field. If you would like to know what we have been up to the past two weeks, have a look at our new blog post.!Field-Freezer-Explained-and-More-Updates/j2hz9/5792c7330cf2779eabf49602
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Update 8
1 month ago
Our field season has officially started and we just spent our first week on the boat in Costa Rica. If you are interested in reading more about our work, check out our blog entry.!First-Week-on-the-Boat/j2hz9/577ff7970cf21e6e1ebe22a5
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Update 7
2 months ago
Today we were filming interviews for the documentary movie STRAWS, which is documenting the NO-STRAW movement. I am super excited to be part of this project, and hope it will spread even more awareness about the danger of plastics in our oceans, and especially plastic straws.
If you are interested to learn more about the project check out their webpage ( and my blog post about the filming!Filming-for-the-Documentary-STRAWS/j2hz9/576b48a60cf2816ad170e69f

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 2.0K total shares

$11,360 of $75k goal

Raised by 310 people in 12 months
Created August 14, 2015
7 days ago
Alicia Carrillo
15 days ago
John Dimatos
17 days ago
Ben Harris
17 days ago

Keep up the great work!

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Barbara Futter
17 days ago
Gray Russell
1 month ago

Please keep up the good work, and thank you for doing this work.

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1 month ago (Monthly Donation)
Floris Kemper
1 month ago (Monthly Donation)
Lanya Wu
1 month ago
1 month ago

Contribution based on 15% of our second quarter 2016 sales of sea turtle print biodegradable paper straws.

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