Samuel Shrimpton

Samuel Shrimpton

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Samuel Shrimpton

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Start Year

2020 (Cohort 7)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Predicting the response of endangered sea turtles to a changing climate

Research Theme

Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
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Predicting how the distribution of species will be affected by global climate change is fundamental for the conservation of threatened populations. Highly philopatric species can be considered disproportionately vulnerable to climate change, as their distribution is restricted to a single location essential for life history traits such as reproduction. This may have significant ramifications should climate change shift species range away from natal nesting grounds on render nesting sites unviable. Here, I will focus on the Cabo Verde loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) population, to investigate the responses of a highly philopatric species to climate change. Specifically, I will identify the primary intrinsic and extrinsic factors driving sea turtle movements and consequent distribution during their nesting season. Furthermore, I will mathematically characterise those movement patterns and place them into a spatially explicit predictive model. To this end, I will produce an individual-based mechanistic model, which I will use to generate simulated distributions of nesting turtles in Cabo Verde under current and future climatic conditions. Finally, I will utilize the extensive literature available regarding sea turtle movement to extrapolate my generated model to a global level and generate predictions regarding the distribution and viability of all global sea turtle rockeries.

Policy Impact
Background Reading


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