Occupation: Research fellow, currently at Cornwall Campus (University of Exeter, UK)
Specialty: “Specialty”? Well, I work mainly on nesting ecology, and also with stranding networks, interactions with fisheries and loggerhead feeding ecology.
Best part about my job: Traveling a lot and getting to know very interesting people everywhere.
Biggest challenges I face: Boring bureaucracy required in the ongoing search for money for research; in the field I am always searching for a better mosquito repellent (any suggestions?).
The most unusual or exciting thing that’s happened to me while working in the field: It is either: a) having to ration my food for two weeks while in an isolated field site during an attempted coup d’etat in Equatorial Guinea in 1998; or b) trying to explain to narco-traffickers that we are interested only in sea turtles on our beach surveys in SW Dominican Republic.
Why I like being a member of the MTSG: Because this group can really move and change things related to conservation. Furthermore, I feel good being part of an international organization like this, since it is a good forum for discussion and exchange of knowledge. Finally, this is a good way to motivate sea turtle research in Spain.
Turtle researcher / conservationist I most admire: All my sea turtle “teachers”: Roldan Valverde, Peter Dutton, Andreas Demetropoulos, Myrula Hadjichristophourou, and Brendan Godley. And also all the people who helped me in my job and pushed me forward, such as Dimitris Margaritoulis, Karen Bjorndal, Nick Pilcher. My admiration also extends to two people that have done a lot for sea turtle research and conservation in a short time: Angela Formia and Carlos Carreras.
When I’m not working on turtles I like to: Read about international conflicts and contemporary history, dance Salsa and Bachata.
Ten years from now, I hope I will be doing: The same, plus teaching, but with a permanent position (that would be utopia).
Relevant links to find out more about me and my work: It’s not updated but… http://www.uv.es/cavanilles/zoomarin/index.htm