The Turtles Survival Alliance Conference was held Aug. 4-8 in Tuscon, Arizona.
Several biology faculty, students and alumni attended:
- Melisa Blasky, graduate student
- Anthony Grate, undergraduate
- Sam Hannabass, graduate student
- Ethan Hollander, graduate student
- Day Ligon, professor of biology
- Donald McKnight, alumnus
- Denise Thompson, research associate at Missouri State University
- Kammie Voves, graduate student
Several people also presented their research:
- Demographics and Recruitment Patterns in a Reintroduced Population of Alligator Snapping Turtles (Macrochelys temminckii). Blasky, Brian Fillmore and Ligon.
Assessing Fertility Patterns in a Captive Population of Alligator Snapping Turtles (Macrochelys temminckii). Grate, Thompson and Ligon.
- A Comparison of Hematology and Plasma Biochemistry of Alligator Snapping Turtles in Wild, Reintroduced, and Captive Populations. Hannabass, Voves, Alesha Dodd, Sarah Freudenthal, Kay Backues and Ligon.
- Relocating Traps within a Wetland Increases Trapping Success. Hollender, McKnight and Ligon.
- Where are the Turtles? Looking for Western Chicken Turtles in Mississippi. McKnight, Hollender and Ligon.
- The Role of Gut Microbial Symbionts in Alligator Snapping Turtle Hatchling Growth and Digestive Efficiency. Kristen Sardina, Paul Schweiger, Thompson, Fillmore, Kerry Graves, Terry Engle and Ligon
- Assessing Suitability of Alligator Snapping Turtle Reintroduction Sites in Eastern Oklahoma. Voves, Thompson and Ligon.
About the conference
Grate received the best student poster award.
Grate is part of MSU’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP), which is funded by the National Science Foundation. LSAMP partially funded Grate’s research.
Ligon is Grate’s adviser.
Dr. Alicia Mathis, department head of biology, likes this conference for the student and faculty opportunities.
“The conference is the premier gathering of turtle conservation biologists in the world,” Mathis said. “This is a great opportunity for students to interact with giants in the field of animal conservation.”