The Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project seeks to better understand the life history and population dynamics of the hawksbill sea turtle in hopes that our findings will serve as a foundation for wise management and sound scientifically-grounded policymaking. We strive to promote the successful conservation of sea turtles in Antigua and across the region through increased public awareness of marine turtles. Only through long-term public support will hawksbills in Antigua and Barbuda - and the greater Caribbean - have a chance at survival and recovery.
WHAT WE DO
The Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project is a long-term research and conservation program, monitoring the hawksbill sea turtle nesting colony on Long Island, Antigua in the West Indies. The JBHP stands as the longest, continuous running hawksbill research program in the world. Since the project’s inception in 1987, close to 500 nesting hawksbills have been individually identified and tagged, and hundreds of thousands of hatchlings have scurried down the sand into Pasture Bay to begin their life journeys. Many of those turtles first tagged back in the late 1980s are still returning Jumby Bay’s beaches more than two decades later! And new, first-time nesters join the population as new recruits every year.
While the island and the project continue to evolve, the core of our research program – nightly, hourly beach patrols to tag nesting hawksbills – remains the same as it has for the past quarter-century. This research consistency is one factor that sets the JBHP apart and highlights the project’s value to the sea turtle conservation community.
WHO WE ARE
Seth Stapleton, Director and Principal Investigator
Seth has served as Director and PI since 2007 after first joining the JBHP as Field Director in 2004 and 2005 with his wife Carol. For his day job, he oversees the Minnesota Zoo's wildlife conservation projects, ranging from black rhino research in Namibia to wood turtle tracking in Minnesota. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota and at NC State. Seth completed his PhD at the University of Minnesota researching polar bears, and earned an MSc in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Georgia and BS degrees in Biology and Environmental Science from the College of William & Mary. He enjoys hanging out with Carol and their three young sons Jonah, Leo and Cole, walking his dog, traipsing through the woods, and traveling to far flung places.
Alexandra Fireman, 2016-2019 Field Director
Alex has served as a Field Director since 2016. She is currently a Masters student at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Her research involves an assessment of the diet and foraging strategies of the nesting hawksbills on Jumby Bay using chemical tracers.
Katie Gorey, 2019 Field Director
Katie graduated from Eckerd College in May 2019 with a degree in Biology and Environmental studies. While studying at Eckerd she focused on conservation ecology and has most recently conducted field work in the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica. Her love for sea turtles started after working the 2017 & 2018 loggerhead sea turtle nesting season on Egmont Key in St. Petersburg Florida.
Andrew Maurer, Research Collaborator and 2015-2017 Field Director
Andy served as Field Director in 2015 and 2016. He is now collaborating with the JBHP for his PhD research at North Carolina State University. His research is focused on how different types of vegetation impact nesting, as well as how climate change is affecting several aspects of population demography.
Kate Levasseur, Research Collaborator and 2008-2011 Field Director
Kate served as a Field Director from 2008-2011 and is currently collaborating with the JBHP as a PhD student at the University of South Carolina. She is studying the fine-scale genetic structure of hawksbills nesting at JB and surrounding beaches of Antigua and Barbuda. She previously studied at the University of Connecticut and has conducted conservation research in Brazil and South Africa.
Carol Guy-Stapleton, Communications Director and 2004-2005 Field Director
Carol served as a JBHP Field Director in 2004 and 2005 with her husband Seth Stapleton. She continues to serve the project by supporting communications initiatives. In her day job, Carol works to accelerate the shift to clean energy while protecting wildlife on the environmental team at Apex Clean Energy. Previously, she was an environmental consultant in Hitachi Consulting’s Sustainability Practice, having earned an MEM in Environmental Economics from Duke University and BSFR in Wildlife from the University of Georgia. She loves laughing with Seth and their three sons Jonah, Leo and Cole.