I have been conducting research at Ostional, Costa Rica since 2010. I first came to Ostional to conduct independent research on nest density in conjunction with a research assistantship studying hatching success. I continued to complete a Masters thesis on the microbiology of nest sand at Ostional and I am now conducting my dissertation research at the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. My coursework and research has trained me in field techniques, experimental design, statistical analysis, and the presentation and publication of scientific research. Additionally, my language skills and 5 years of experience conducting research at Ostional, Costa Rica allow me to collaborate closely with local conservation management.
My research assistantship in Ostional, Costa Rica assisting a Master’s student and conducting independent research of my own provided me with an in-depth field research experience and allowed me to mature and develop as a scientist. In addition to gaining experience working with mass nesting eventsand nest inventories, I designed and carried out a study to determine the nest density at Ostional and developed new methodology for monitoring the density of nests .
I returned to Ostional soon thereafter to complete a Masters thesis on the microbiology of sea turtle nest sand. My results were published in two open-access peer-reviewed journals [2,3] and featured in The Conversation , an online periodical that aims to connect the wider public to the latest research.
My doctoral dissertation research investigates the mass nesting behavior and possible mechanisms behind the synchronization of nesting in olive ridley sea turtles. I hope that my research will begin to answer some of the mystery behind this natural phenomenon through various behavioral observations and manipulative experiments and provide the data necessary to inform management and protect the future of this natural phenomenon.