This fall Read Lab member Wendy Dow Piniak teamed up with Drexel University PhD student Lori Lester and the aquatic veterinary group at North Carolina State University’s Center for Marine Sciences led by Dr. Craig Harms to collect measurements on underwater diamondback terrapin hearing sensitivity. Diamondback terrapins are the only aquatic turtles in North America to reside in brackish water. They were considered a delicacy and almost hunted to extinction in the early 1900s. While today diamondback terrapins are afforded state protection throughout their range, they still face threats such as interactions with fishing gear and boats, habitat loss due to coastal development, and pollution. Lori is examining at the impact of frequent boat strikes on populations of terrapins in New Jersey. The hearing research provides an important piece to this overall study – can terrapins hear the boats? The project was recently highlighted in Carolina Salt – Diamondback terrapins: Local scientists working together to help save a species (by Heather Broadhurst).
Photo: Lori Lester