Specialty: Marine turtle reproductive biology, and more recently community based conservation.
Best part about my job: Field work in the Great Barrier Reef/Torres Strait and Southeast Asia, spending time in remote communities and learning about the cultural importance of marine turtles to Indigenous Australians.
Biggest challenges I face: The high financial costs of working in remote Australia, and the relatively small number of funding opportunities for conservation/research in these areas.
The most unusual or exciting thing that’s happened to me while working in the field: Most exciting would be either standing on the beach at Raine Island in the middle of 15000 green turtles as they jostled for nesting sites … not much free sand to walk in; or, hand feeding wild green turtles on Hawaii’s north shore with George Balazs. Most unusual event was being courted by a female green turtle. As I jumped in the water to catch her she turned and tried to wrap her flippers over my shoulder. When I finally got hold of her Col et al. were laughing too much to pull her aboard the boat.
Why I like being a member of the MTSG: I find it exciting to be part of a diverse and global network that is dedicated towards developing equitable management options for marine turtles and their habitats.
Turtle researcher / conservationist I most admire: Col Limpus for his dedication and contribution to sea turtle biology and conservation, his supervision and his willingness to readily share his immense knowledge of sea turtles with others.
When I’m not working on turtles I like to: Study some of Queensland’s cool freshwater turtles, read, and spend time with family and friends.
Ten years from now, I hope I will be doing: I hope to be still involved in projects that aim to enhance marine turtle populations and their habitats and be able to show my daughter marine turtles in the pristine environment of the Great Barrier Reef.
Relevant links to find out more about me and my work: http://www.tesag.jcu.edu.au/staff/markh.shtml