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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Turtle project triumphs in engaging the public

A conservation project led by Senior Lecturer Dr Christophe Eizaguirre in collaboration with NGOs has been shortlisted for a national award in public engagement, and has won funding from QMUL’s Centre for Public Engagement.



Marine turtle populations are decreasing, with only 7 species left in today’s world, all of them threatened according to the Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.  The project combines state-of-the-art technology with high level, hands-on education to raise awareness of the fate of the endangered marine turtles from Cape Verde, Africa.

The project has been shortlisted for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) category of this year’s National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) Engage Competition 2016, a national awards event that inspires universities to engage with the public.  Being shortlisted for the NCCPE award is a remarkable achievement, as most UK universities put forward entries for the competition.

A loggerhead turtle with a tracking device
A loggerhead turtle with a tracking device

Collaborating with national and international NGOs and the Cape Verde University, Dr Christophe Eizaguirre’s team has created programmes to train local students in modern conservation biology.  Students work with NGOs across the Cape Verde archipelago, living and working with local communities to conduct research and spread their knowledge.  

The winners of the NCCPE Engage Competition 2016 will be announced on 29 November 2016.

Dr Christophe Eizaguirre’s outreach project in Cape Verde has also been recognised by QMUL’s Centre for Public Engagement, who award grants to QMUL staff and students for projects that engage the public with university research or teaching.   

As part of this project, the Cape Verde team will make the largest turtle-dataset for Africa to date publicly available through an open access database matched with educational activities, using the data to inform schools and the public about conservation and marine environments.  The activities will be delivered by Cape Verdean Student Ambassadors in Cape Verde and will ultimately reach UK schools.

Learn more about the partners for this project:

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