The 2016 International Sea Turtle Symposium (ISTS) recently took place in Lima, Peru. I attended and presented a poster on the issue of sargassum accumulation on our nesting beach in Antigua and the rest of the eastern Caribbean. We have touched on this issue in previous posts, including a natural history note that came out in September.
ISTS Lima proved to be an eventful and productive experience. There were nearly 700 participants representing all 6 continents where sea turtles occur. This provided for incredible networking opportunities with participants ranging from local conservation volunteers to leading scientists in the field (including Bahamas colleagues Dr. Karen Bjorndal and Dr. Alan Bolten).
A wealth of invaluable information was presented in posters and oral presentations on everything from cutting edge temperature dependent sex determination science (very relevant to my M.S. work), to plastic debris ingestion, to updating our knowledge base on basic biology such as diet composition. Soaking in this knowledge was extremely helpful to “map out” the field, identify more knowledge gaps, and will hopefully help me with my own directions in Antigua!