Flegra Bentivegna

Country: Italy

Occupation: Researcher in Marine Biology at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, an Italian public research institute. Director of the Naples Aquarium and of the Marine Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Centres.

Specialty: Rescue, Husbandry and Rehabilitation of Sea Turtles. Conservation Biology of Mediterranean Fauna.

Best part about my job: Having been successful in convincing my institute to establish marine sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation centres and being supportive of the activities of the other scientific laboratories.

Biggest challenges I face: To avoid making compromises based on recommendations or advice of people that lack scientific competence or those whose motivations are not in the interests of real conservation. I work 10 hours a day because I always feel that I have not done enough and must do more.

The most unusual or exciting thing that’s happened to me while working in the field: In 2002, I worked on a project to protect a loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle nest that had been deposited on a beach near Naples. Never before had eggs of this species been found in the Campania Region. As I am almost always dealing with seriously hurt or near-dead turtles, it was moving to see 44 live hatchlings emerge from the protected nest and enter into the sea.

Why I like being a member of the MTSG: To help to educate and inform the public, on a global scale, about the problems that threaten marine turtles and what the real principles of conservation are.

Turtle researcher / conservationist I most admire: Karen Eckert and Jack Frazier

When I’m not working on turtles I like to: Read books, watch old films, go to the theatre, spend time with my family and work with other animals.

Ten years from now, I hope I will be doing: Enjoying retirement, confident that my turtle group will continue and improve its conservational, educational and rehabilitation activities. 

Relevant links to find out more about me and my work: www.szn.it