Marine turtles and climate change

The 2019 invited speaker was Professor Annette Broderick from the University of Exeter.

Understanding how climate change will impact species and ecosystems is critical for the conservation and management of our natural environment.

Some species may be able to adapt to new environments, however, for long-lived species with long generation times, there is concern that adaptation may not be possible within a relatively short time-scale when the greatest rate of change in global temperature is predicted to occur. One such group is marine turtles; most species are wide ranging, occupying entire ocean basins during their life cycle, taking 20-50 years to reach maturity, returning to breed at the same coastal area where they hatched and have temperature-dependent sex determination. 

This talk provided an overview of the predicted impacts of climate change on marine turtles, and explored how marine turtles may be adapting to changing climate, drawing on results from Ascension Island and Cyprus where research has been ongoing for over 20 years.