We have had many collaborating partners since we began. We have met in offices, cafes, beaches, on boats and in laboratories, on land and on sea country. The one thing that brought us all together in such a priceless cooperation has been the will to understand and conserve sea turtles for future generations. Along the way, we have learned a lot from each other and established strong friendships, and those friendships are a real driver to continue when the going gets tough.

Collaboration is key

JCU Turtle Health Research always work as a team in the field and are often cooperating with local indigenous ranger groups (Girringun and Gudjuda), authorities (GBRMPA and DES), NGOs (World Wide Fund for Nature and Sea Turtle Foundation) and other researchers of turtles. The combined efforts of the teams facilitate the collection of an amazing amount of samples for research purposes and ensures a high level of safety as we look out for each other.

Turtle health partners.

As part of the Scientists in Schools program, we cooperate with the Science Department at Kirwan State High School, Townsville and via an annual freshwater turtle monitoring fieldtrip, we let budding scientists get a taste for research. The Townsville Skindivers play an important role in catching the freshwater turtles from the depths of the pond, while the Gudjuda rangers provide traditional knowledge on freshwater turtles. It is mutually beneficial to all parties: we collect research data, the high school students have a wonderful hands-on experience, and everybody enjoys the day out in nature. See the teaching and learning video below.

Occasionally we have the opportunity to participate in community events to help create awareness of turtles and turtle conservation. One such recurrent event is the Festival of the Sea in Townsville.