Every year the Boyd Lyon Sea Turtle Fund hosts a scholarship for a marine biology student whose research is focused on sea turtles. This year’s winner is Natalia Teryda.

Natalia Teryda is a PhD student advised by Dr. Ray Carthy at the Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit. Originally from Mar del Plata, Argentina, Natalia received her B.S. in Biology from Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (Argentina). After graduating, she was able to continue her career by pursuing a Master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego in California as a Fulbright Grantee. At UF, Natalia’s excited to continue her research and work on sea turtle ecology and conservation, by studying leatherback and green turtles using drone technology along the coasts of Argentina and Uruguay. 

Natalia’s project aims to combine drone technology and conservation of green turtles in Uruguay. She will develop and consolidate a holistic approach to the analysis and conservation of this species and their coastal habitats by using drones to collect standardized and high-definition images. Efforts will be directed to the investigation of an endangered species with the application of new technologies, the reinforcement of regional conservation and management networks, and integration of these components with community capacity-building. Since juvenile green turtles have high fidelity to feeding grounds in the SWAO, this project will use UAS to analyze the ecological role of the green turtle in these coastal habitats and to evaluate how their distribution patterns are affected by climate-related habitat variability.

Find out more about the Boyd Lyon Sea Turtle Fund here.