Miss Naomi Westlake
School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Project title: 'Genotyping and satellite tracking of green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in Grenada, West Indies'. ResM project is part of a UoP collaboration with the non-profit NGO Ocean Spirits Inc. and St. George’s University (SGU), both situated in Grenada, and is part-funded by the Oscar Montgomery Environmental Foundation.
Supervisory team: Dr Clare Embling (Director of Studies; UoP), Dr Martin Attrill (UoP), Dr David Marancik (SGU).
Project summary: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/international-project-aims-to-understand-and-protect-endangered-sea-turtles
Project blog: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/resm-marine-sciences/working-to-understand-and-protect-endangered-sea-turtles
BSc. Marine Biology - University of Plymouth (2017-2021)
- BSc. Marine Biology case study: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/bsc-marine-biology/naomi-westlake
- HSE Professional SCUBA Part IV (2018)
I am a teaching and support assistant for the following modules:
- MBIO123 Marine Biology Field Course (1st Year; 2022/23)
- MBIO223-5 Methods in Marine Biology (2nd Year; 2022/23)
I will also be part of a guest lecture on MBIO339 Ecology & Conservation of Marine Vertebrates (2022/23).
My current research involves assessing the genetic composition and movement of green and hawksbill turtles found nesting and/or foraging within Grenada, West Indies. I will be using a combination of fieldwork, lab work and bioinformatics to 1) investigate turtle population health, and 2) examine the extent of connectivity with other green/hawksbill turtle populations within the Wider Caribbean and Atlantic regions. These data will subsequently be sent to the Grenada Fisheries Division and used to inform local policy.
For my undergraduate dissertation, I assessed the composition and distribution of fish and invertebrate communities within seagrass/reef zones across three Marine Protected Areas in Zamboanguita, Philippines using dive survey methods. This included estimates of species diversity, fish abundance and biomass, as well as dissimilarity assessments. The project was carried out with the non-profit NGO Marine Conservation Philippines (MCP), and was supervised by Dr Stacey DeAmicis (UoP) and Alan Kavanagh (MCP). The final report was then sent to the municipal government unit in the hope of informing local policy.
I previously volunteered as a research assistant for the coral conservation NGO Seeking Survivors. This entailed a part-funded field trip to the Costa Rica involving coral health surveys, sample collection from tagged coral colonies, and preparing coral tissue samples for subsequent protein assays. I also assisted in setting up and developing a clonal anemone farm based at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, the anemones from which were to be later used in experiments to investigate the link between immunity, microbiota and tolerance to adverse conditions.