Turtles in Trinidad (Part 1) with Louise

Hey everyone! This blog is going to be running a series a short posts about the individual team members and their projects.

Let’s begin with Louise Mcmurtrie (23) who went on a similar expedition to Trinidad back in 2015. This time she is on the fundraising team and she will be carrying out her own zoology dissertation work on the trip.


  1. Why do you want to go back to Trinidad?

I would love to do my honours project and I am keen to gain a better understanding of field and conservation work. This time I would also like to learn more about the island and its’ people.

  1. What are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to working with the wildlife that the island has to offer. I also look forward to getting work with the turtle’s village trust who have the best knowledge of the leatherback turtles for my project.

  1. What are you least looking forward to?

I’m not looking forward to the mosquitoes as last time I was bitten very badly on the feet but that can be saved by wrapping up more when out in the field.

  1. What is your project about?

I will be leading one of the turtle projects in which I will be investigating whether body mass decreases over nesting season in leatherback turtles. Additionally, I will be researching if the turtle nests decrease over the summer due to body mass and energy loss.

  1. Why are you interested in this?

I’m keen to understand the turtles better on the island as they are being more endangered as the years go on. Doing a project on them may give us a better understanding of the potential reasons for this.

Trinidad is a unique place to carry out a project like this as it is home to many leatherback turtle nesting sites. The species is severely threatened by climate change as increasing temperature could cause an gender imbalance as the female population would rise as the temperature does (due to temperature designating gender), and the changing ocean currents could impact migration and hunting (Earthwatch Institute, 2017).

Louise isn’t the only one who will be leading a turtle project on this expedition. Be sure to follow this ‘Turtles in Trinidad’ series as more projects and their leaders will be introduced in the coming weeks. After this, the other projects that focus on bats, geography, lizards and frogs will be coming soon – each following the same format as this.

Remember to also keep updated with our expedition and fundraising events on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TrinidadExpedition2018/

And please donate to us! https://www.gofundme.com/uofg-trinidad-expedition-2018

We’re actually running a competition on our GoFundMe page. So please check it out, read the information about it, and donate in order to win a goody! As always, all funds go directly towards this expedition and the environmental research efforts.


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