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Student Interns at CTF for Research Projects
Friday, January 16, 2015……In addition to being the Cayman Islands most popular land-based tourist attraction, the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter is one of the world’s foremost facilities in the research and conservation of Green sea turtles.
The Turtle Centre is regularly instrumental in academic research studies, and over 150 scientific research papers involvoing CTF have been published over the years.
We also regularly host educators, students and interns.
In 2014, we hosted two university interns – Aimee Hoover from UMCES Maryland and Jennifer Swiggs from Purdue University. Both are graduate students and were working on their theses for their Master’s degrees.
Jennifer was in Cayman for 6 months and was studying the effect of incubation conditions on the growth rate of hatchlings. Aimee was studying the effect of attachments on the behaviour of hatchlings. While working at CTF, both Jennifer and Aimee benefitted from the guidance of CTF Chief Research Officer Walter Mustin and resident Veterinarian Martha Keller.
Both young women are also volunteers with the Leatherback Trust, led by George Shillinger, Ph.D. , who was also in Cayman to replicate the experiments he plans to conduct in the wild with critically endangered Leatherback turtles in Costa Rica this year.
The population of Green sea turtles at CTF allowed Mr. Shillinger and his interns to evaluate the study methods they plan to use in their work in the wild.