Karina Jones

Environmental influences on the epidemiology of fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and consequences for management of inshore areas of the Great Barrier Reef.

Fibropapillomatosis is a tumour-forming disease in marine turtles. Despite being discovered in 1938, the origin and mode of transmission of this disease is still unclear. However, current research suggests that it is likely to be caused by chelonid herpesvirus 5. This project aims to identify variants of this virus on the Great Barrier Reef using molecular methods. This work may help provide clues as to how this virus spreads from one population to the other. Karina is also looking at links between this disease and environmental factors as the virus seems to require co-factors in order to develop full scale lesions and disease.