Turtles are a unique group of vertebrates. Their most striking feature is by far the shell. It is what makes them so easily recognizable as turtles, but how did turtles end up with their shell? This is still an area of great research interest and strongly debated in the scientific community. In this article, we will show you some of the highlights surrounding the research of turtle evolution.
Leah Mainye, a young Marine Biologist from Kenya, joined ORP’s team in December 2019 as an in-water turtle monitoring assistant. Find out how she started her career in Marine Biology, her experience working with ORP’s team in Diani Beach, and some of the ups and downs of choosing this career.
IPNLF and ORP pledge to jointly tackle the scourge of lost and abandoned fishing gear that’s haunting environmentally critical marine life and habitats. The partnership builds on the recently announced initiative to collect and upcycle ghost gear, funded by the inaugural Joanna Toole Ghost Gear Solutions Award.
Karam is a 23-year-old veterinary student at University of Sydney, Australia. She has wanted to be a vet for as long as she can remember and in 2016 she became the first government sponsored veterinary student in the Maldives. Karam chose to spend part of her university required placement interning at the Rescue Centre.
Worldwide less than 30 percent of researchers are women. And according to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 5 per cent of all female students select the natural science fields in higher education globally. Here at ORP we have 85% female scientists on our team! They come from 6 different countries with varied backgrounds. But they all love sea turtles.
A big part of our mission is marine education and raising awareness about the need for sea turtle conservation. We particularly focus on reaching out to school children. Last November, One & Only Reethi Rah and ORP launched a new Marine Education Programme with students from Immaduddin School.
Designer Waqar J Khan Nasheman established Nasheman, an ethical fashion brand, in 2017. Nasheman works with skillful female artisans, who have learned the ancestral craft of embroidery passed down through generations. ORP and Nasheman collaborate on using ghost gear in fashion.
Dr. Shiva Sawmy spent 3 weeks as a Visiting Vet at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in September 2019. He called the experience “An otherworldly adventure in the Maldives – veterinary care, rehabilitation and release of injured wild sea turtles”.
Asif Baloch, ORP Field Coordinator in Pakistan, has provided surface support for many scuba diving excursions to remove ghost gear but he had never actually scuba dived before. He recently got PADI certified along with his younger brother, Alam, and ORP Pakistan Project Coordinator, Usman.
Our Visiting Vet Program has been a great success! In our first season, we welcomed five visiting vets who brought new skills, medications and equipment that benefited our turtle patients and resident vets alike. In return, they got hands on experience working with wild sea turtles in a tropical location.