Congratulations to Katrina Aleksa, PhD

Katrina Aleksa successfully defended her PhD dissertation on Wednesday, making her the newest PhD in the USM Division of Marine Science. Her project examined the ecology and behavior of leatherback sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. Some exciting findings were that these large predators of gelatinous organisms tended to forage near sea-surface lows, which are generally sites of upwelling and anomalously high biological productivity (determined from a combination of satellite tags on turtles and remote sensing data). Turtles also foraged near the shelf break, especially around the Florida panhandle. These findings have direct applications to conservation of these large charismatic animals that make massive reproductive and foraging migrations. Congratulations to Katrina! Be on the look out for more publications from her dissertation coming soon.