Connie Y. Kot's Publications & Presentations
Connie Y. Kot
Associate in Research
Duke University

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Publications:

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

  • Lewison, R.L., L.B. Crowder, B. Wallace, J. Moore, T. Cox, R. Žydelis, S. McDonald, A. DiMatteo, D. Dunn, C.Y. Kot, R. Bjorkland, S. Kelez, C. Soykan, K.R. Stewart, M. Sims, A. Boustany, A. Read, P. Halpin, W.J. Nichols and C. Safina. 2014. Global patterns of marine megafauna bycatch. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 111(14): 5271-5276. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1318960111 [Abstract] [PDF] [Supplemental] [Data] [Online Link]

  • Fujioka, E., C.Y. Kot, B.P. Wallace, B.D. Best, J. Moxley, J. Cleary, B. Donnelly and P.N. Halpin. 2014. Data integration for conservation: Leveraging multiple data types to advance ecological assessments and habitat modeling for marine megavertebrates using OBIS-SEAMAP. Ecological Informatics 20: 13-26. doi:10.1016/j.ecoinf.2014.01.003[Abstract] [PDF] [Online Link].

  • Wallace, B.P., C.Y. Kot, A.D. DiMatteo, T. Lee, L.B. Crowder and R.L. Lewison. 2013. Impacts of fisheries bycatch on marine turtle populations worldwide: Toward conservation and research priorities. Ecosphere 4(3):40. doi: 10.1890/ES12-00388.1 [Abstract] [PDF] [Online Link] [Media Mentions]

  • Kot, C.Y., E. Fujioka, L.J. Hazen, B.D. Best, A.J. Read, and P.N. Halpin. 2010. Spatio-temporal gap analysis of OBIS-SEAMAP project data: Assessment and way forward. PLoS ONE 5(9): e12990. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012990 [Abstract] [PDF] [Supplemental] [Online Link]

  • Wallace, B.P., R.L. Lewison, S. McDonald, T. McDonald, C.Y. Kot, S. Kelez, R.K. Bjorkland, E.M. Finkbeiner, S. Helmbrecht, and L.B. Crowder. 2010. Global patterns of marine turtle bycatch. Conservation Letters 3(3): 131-142. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00105.x [Abstract] [PDF] [Online Link] [Media Mentions]

  • Kot, C.Y., A.M. Boustany, and P.N. Halpin. 2010. Temporal patterns of target catch and sea turtle bycatch in the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishing fleet. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67(1): 42-57. doi: 10.1139/F09-160 [Abstract] [PDF]

  • Halpin, P.N., A.J. Read, E. Fujioka, B.D. Best, B. Donnelly, L.J. Hazen, C. Kot, K. Urian, E. LaBrecque, A. DiMatteo, J. Cleary, C. Good, L.B. Crowder, and K.D. Hyrenbach. 2009. OBIS-SEAMAP: The world data center for marine mammal, sea bird and sea turtle distributions. Oceanography 22(2):96-107. doie: 10.5670/oceanog.2009.42 [Abstract] [PDF] [Online Link]

  • Dunn, D.C., C.Y. Kot, and P.N. Halpin. 2008. A comparison of methods to spatially represent pelagic longline fishing effort in catch and bycatch studies. Fisheries Research 92(2-3): 268-276. doi: 10.1016/j.fishres.2008.01.006. [Abstract] [PDF]


    Reports and Short Articles:

  • Mast, R.B., B.J. Hutchinson and P.E. Villegas (eds.). 2017. Special Feature: Africa. SWOT Report Volume XII, State of the World's Sea Turtles, Oceanic Society, Ross, CA. Data and Maps only. [Online PDF] [Website]

  • Virdin, J., T. Vegh, C.Y. Kot, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin, C. Gordon, M.-C. Cormier-Salem, A. Mensah. 2017. Blue Carbon of Mangrove Conservation in the Abidjan Convention Region: A Feasibility Study. T. Bryan (ed.) and A. Bamba (co-ed.). United Nations Environment Programme, Abidjan Convention Secretariat and GRID-Arendal, Nairobi, Abidjan and Arendal. [Abstract] [PDF] [Website]

  • Mast, R.B., B.J. Hutchinson and P.E. Villegas (eds.). 2016. Special Feature: South America. SWOT Report Volume XI, State of the World's Sea Turtles, Oceanic Society, Ross, CA. Data and Maps only. [Online PDF] [Website]

  • Mast, R.B., B.J. Hutchinson and P.E. Villegas (eds.). 2015. Sea Turtles of Costa Rica. SWOT Report Volume X, State of the World's Sea Turtles, Oceanic Society, Ross, CA. Data and Maps only. [Online PDF] [Website]

  • Kot, C.Y., P. Halpin, J. Cleary and D. Dunn. 2014. A Review of Marine Migratory Species and the Information Used to Describe Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAS). Information document prepared by Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) for the Convention on Migratory Species. Assessment conducted by Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University. United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Migratory Species Information Document UNEP/CMS/COP11/Inf.23. Duke University, Durham, NC. [Abstract] [Online PDF]

  • Mast, R.B., B.J. Hutchinson, P.E. Villegas and B.P. Wallace (eds.). 2014. Are We Succeeding? How Trends in Turtle Conservation are Shaping the Future. SWOT Report Volume IX, State of the World's Sea Turtles, Oceanic Society, Ross, CA. Data and Maps only. [Online PDF] [Website]

  • Mast, R.B., B.J. Hutchinson and B.P. Wallace (eds.). 2013. Persuasion: The Case for Saving Sea Turtles. SWOT Report Volume VIII, State of the World's Sea Turtles, Oceanic Society, Ross, CA. Data only. [Full Report PDF] [Website]

  • Mast, R.B., B.J. Hutchinson, and B.P. Wallace (eds.). 2012. The World's Most (and Least) Threatened Sea Turtles. SWOT Report Volume VII, State of the World's Sea Turtles, Conservation International, and IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group, Arlington, VA. Maps only. [Full Report PDF] [Website]

  • Kot, C.Y. and E. Fujioka. 2009. OBIS-SEAMAP - a spatially and temporally interactive marine megavertebrates archive. The Seabird Group Newsletter 111:9-11. [PDF]

  • Pittman, S., B. Costa, C. Kot, D. Wiley, and R.D. Kenney. 2006. Chapter 5 - Cetacean distribution and diversity, pp. 265-325. In: NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), An Ecological Characterization of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Region: Oceanographic, Biogeographic, and Contaminants Assessment. Prepared by NCCOS's Biogeography Team in cooperation with the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Silver Spring, MD. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 45. 356 pp. [Abstract] [Chapter PDF] [Online PDF] [Website]


    Online Datasets:

  • Kot, C.Y., E. Fujioka, A.D. DiMatteo, B.P. Wallace, B.J. Hutchinson, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin and R.B. Mast. 2017. The State of the World's Sea Turtles online database: Data provided by the SWOT Team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP. Oceanic Society, IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University. http://seamap.env.duke.edu/swot. [Abstract] [SWOT Website]

  • Kot, C.Y., E. Fujioka, A.D. DiMatteo, B.P. Wallace, B.J. Hutchinson, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin and R.B. Mast. 2016. The State of the World's Sea Turtles online database: Data provided by the SWOT Team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP. Oceanic Society, IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University. http://seamap.env.duke.edu/swot. [Abstract] [SWOT Website]

  • Kot, C.Y., E. Fujioka, A.D. DiMatteo, B.P. Wallace, B.J. Hutchinson, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin and R.B. Mast. 2015. The State of the World's Sea Turtles online database: Data provided by the SWOT Team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP. Oceanic Society, IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University. http://seamap.env.duke.edu/swot. [Abstract] [SWOT Website]

  • Kot, C.Y., E. Fujioka, A.D. DiMatteo, B.P. Wallace, B.J. Hutchinson, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin and R.B. Mast. 2014. The State of the World's Sea Turtles online database: Data provided by the SWOT Team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP. Oceanic Society, IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University. http://seamap.env.duke.edu/swot. [Abstract] [SWOT Website]

  • Kot, C.Y., A.D. DiMatteo, E. Fujioka, B.P. Wallace, B.J. Hutchinson, J. Cleary, P.N. Halpin and R.B. Mast. 2013. The State of the World's Sea Turtles online database: Data provided by the SWOT Team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP. Oceanic Society, Conservation International, IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University. http://seamap.env.duke.edu/swot. [Abstract] [SWOT Website]


    Master's Thesis:

  • Moy, C.Y. 2004. Development and evaluation of an estuarine biotic integrity index for South Carolina tidal creeks. Master's Thesis, University of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina [Abstract] [PDF] [Conference Abstract]

  • Select Presentations:

  • Kot, C.Y., D.C. Dunn, C. Curtice, E. Heywood, G. Ortuño Crespo, J. Cleary, E. Fujioka, B. Donnelly, and P. N. Halpin. 2017. Advancing area-based planning and network approaches in areas beyond national jurisdictions: A global review of data on migration and areas with spatial connectivity for sea turtles. Presented at the 37th International Sea Turtle Symposium, April 15-20, 2017, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. [Abstract]

  • Piatkowski, D., J.J. Levenson, and C.Y. Kot. 2017. Partnering with dredging industry and sea turtle technical experts in the development of a decision support tool to reduce entrainment risk. Presented at the 37th International Sea Turtle Symposium, April 15-20, 2017, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. [Abstract]

  • Wallace, B., A. DiMatteo, T. Lee, C. Kot, and R. Lewison. 2012. Global Assessment of Bycatch Impacts on Marine Turtle Regional Management Units. Presented at the 32nd International Sea Turtle Symposium, March 11-17, 2012, Huatulco, Mexico. [Abstract] [PDF]

  • Hazen, L.J., E. Fujioka, P.N. Halpin, A.J. Read, B.D. Best, C. Kot , K. Urian, B. Donnelly, A. DiMatteo, E.A. LaBrecque, M. Soldevilla, and C. Good. 2009. OBIS-SEAMAP: an online portal for marine mammal observations. Presented at the Society for Marine Mammalogy Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, October 12-16, 2009, Quebec City, Canada [Abstract] [PDF]

  • Žydelis, R., P.N. Halpin, A.J. Read, B.D. Best, E. Fujioka, L.J. Hazen, and C. Kot. 2008. OBIS-SEAMAP as a Toolbox for Managing Sea Duck Tracking Data. Presented at the 3rd North American Sea Duck Conference, November 10-14, 2008, Quebec City, Canada. [Abstract] [PDF]

  • Hazen, L., E. Fujioka, P.N. Halpin, A.J. Read, B.D. Best, B. Donnelly, C. Kot, and K. Urian. 2008. OBIS-SEAMAP Version 2.0: Improvements in Mapping Marine Megavertebrates. Presented at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium, March 28-30, 2008, Charleston, South Carolina. [Abstract] [PDF]

  • Halpin, P., A.M. Boustany, J. Roberts, D. Dunn, and C. Kot. 2008. New innovations to reduce fisheries bycatch. Presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, February 14-18, 2008, Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Bjorkland, R., D. Dunn, L. Crowder, K. Eckert, S. Eckert, C. Kot, S. McDonald, and A. Boustany. 2008. A summary review of sea turtle bycatch in the wider Caribbean. Presented at the 28th Sea Turtle Symposium, January 19-26, 2008, Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico. [Abstract] [PDF]

  • Moore, J.E., L. Crowder, R. Lewison, A. Read, T. Cox, W. J. Nicols, P. Halpin, C. Safina, B. Wallace, R. Žydelis, M. Sims, R. Bjorkland, S. Kelez, C. Kot, and D. Dunn. 2007. Project GloBAL: assessing bycatch of marine megafauna in the world's fisheries. Presented at West African Talks on Cetaceans and their Habitats (WATCH), under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), October 16-20, 2007, Tenerife, Spain.

  • Buja, K.R. and C.Y. Kot. 2007. A GIS management tool to reduce sea turtle bycatch. Presented at the ESRI User Conference, June 18-22, 2007, San Diego, California. [Abstract] [Conference Abstract]

  • Costa, B., T. Battista, S. Pittman, R. Clark, C. Kot, K. Eschelbach, F. Huettmann, and I. Hartwell. 2007. An ecological characterization of the Gulf of Maine region. Presented at the ESRI User Conference, June 18-22, 2007, San Diego, California. [Abstract] [Conference Abstract]

  • Kot, C.Y., D.C. Dunn, and P.N. Halpin 2007. Alternative methods to spatially distribute fishing effort within the Hawaiian longline fishery and corresponding effects on the calculation of bycatch rates. Presented at the Coastal GeoTools Conference, March 5-8, 2007, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. [Abstract] [PDF] [Conference Abstract]

  • Dunn, D.C., C.Y. Kot, and P.N. Halpin. 2007. Alternative methods to spatially distribute fishing effort within the Hawaiian longline fishery and corresponding effects on the calculation of bycatch rates. Presented at the 27th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium, February 22-28, 2007, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. [Abstract] [PDF] [Conference Abstract]


    Select Abstracts:

    Advancing area-based planning and network approaches in areas beyond national jurisdictions: A global review of data on migration and areas with spatial connectivity for sea turtles.
    Connie Y. Kot, Daniel C. Dunn, Corrie Curtice, Eleanor Heywood, Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, Jesse Cleary, Ei Fujioka, Benjamin Donnelly, and Patrick N. Halpin

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has developed scientific criteria and guidance for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) to represent open ocean areas that serve important purposes, including areas that are required for highly migratory populations to survive and thrive. In an effort to assist the CBD to move the EBSA process forward from isolated sites to a network approach and advance area-based planning for the conservation of highly migratory species in areas beyond national jurisdictions, an in-depth literature review of data gathered by various methods (e.g., telemetry, mark-recapture, stable isotopes, genetic samples, etc.) is currently being conducted to examine global migratory routes and connected sites used by sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds, and fishes. Standardized protocols for reviewing and collating sea turtle data are initially being tested on loggerhead Caretta caretta and leatherback Dermochelys coriacea. Information on sites (areas used for a particular activity such as feeding or nesting) and routes (paths animals use between sites) will be summarized and digitized to evaluate migration and connectivity. Data extracted from the literature or from direct contributions of collaborating partners will be further aggregated to higher-level features, including nodes (aggregations of sites), corridors (aggregations of routes), and connections (aggregation of connected features). These data will be accessible within an online geospatial database and application to better enable analyses of the current state of and identify knowledge gaps on migratory corridors and connections. Furthermore, the literature review can facilitate the identification of mesoscale pelagic habitats and future habitat modeling needs in support of global biodiversity indices and large-scale marine spatial planning, particularly in the high seas.
    This project is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) International Climate Initiative (IKI), Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI). The authors would also like to thank the project partners, collaborators, and advisory board members (current and future) for their valuable contributions.

    Partnering with dredging industry and sea turtle technical experts in the development of a decision support tool to reduce entrainment risk.
    Douglas Piatkowski, J. Jacob Levenson, and Connie Y. Kot

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Marine Mineral Program (MMP) authorizes the use of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) sand resources for shore protection and coastal restoration projects. The potential for entrainment and mortality of federally protected sea turtles is one of the significant factors that impacts how and when projects can be conducted using Trailing Suction Hopper Dredges (TSHD) to extract these resources. As a responsible steward of OCS resources, the BOEM seeks to minimize adverse environmental effects related to project specific dredging operations through deliberate planning efforts and the implementation of relevant and effective mitigation measures. Historically, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Industry, Academia, and other partners have made significant investments in improving protective measures and best management practices, principally focusing on dredging windows, the use of sea turtle deflecting dragheads, dredging operational parameters, and relocation trawling. However, there has been little effort to analyze existing data and subsequently tailor these mitigation strategies on a project and/or geographic-specific level. Based on an analysis of historic incidental sea turtle takes in offshore borrow areas, several factors have been linked to increased take risk beyond assumptions of presence/absence relative to water temperature including: (1) temporal and spatial relationship of sea turtle behavior within the water column (e.g., foraging, migrating, etc.) relative to draghead operating parameters and (2) borrow area design relative to turtle deflecting draghead efficacy. Considering the full array of all risk factors within the project specific context, targeted mitigation strategies may be more effective than conservative presence/absence-based dredging windows. The purpose of this study is to bring together a select group of technical experts with a broad knowledge base and understanding of the relationship of dredging entrainment risk relative to sea turtle distribution and behavior, dredge operational parameters, and the implementation of existing mitigation measures. Technical insight will be used to inform the development of standardized geographically and temporally based decision support tool for use by practitioners in the Atlantic and Gulf region to assess project-specific dredging entrainment risk within a common framework. The tool will be used to guide mitigation planning decisions within marine mineral resource areas. More informed decisions may minimize impacts to sea turtle species while also decreasing dredging costs through reduced downtime associated with entrainment incidents and potentially allow more flexibility of environmental windows in areas with less risk.

    Blue carbon financing of mangrove conservation in the Abidjan Convention Region: A feasibility study.
    John Virdin, Tibor Vegh, Connie Y. Kot, Jesse Cleary, Patrick N. Halpin, Christopher Gordon, Marie-Christine Cormier-Salem, and Adelina Mensah

    This report explores the potential of international carbon finance mechanisms to help fund mangrove conservation along the coast of West, Central and Southern Africa that is covered by the Abidjan Convention – from the southern border of Mauritania down to the northern border of Angola – and the scale of economic benefits that this conservation might provide for communities and countries in the region. Extensive mangrove forests in this region have long provided wide-ranging benefits to coastal communities, including support to fisheries, protection of towns and structures from flooding and erosion, as well as a range of cultural and spiritual benefits in different contexts. However, as these benefits are not always recognized in traditional assessments or valuations, as in so many areas of the world, mangrove forests in West, Central and Southern Africa have become vulnerable to conversion into other systems that support more measurable or readily apparent benefits, such as deforestation for agriculture, fuelwood or coastal development. In response, many countries throughout the region have prioritized mangrove conservation in policies and laws, in some cases with the support of development partners. In this context, the growing recognition of the overall range of benefits that the region’s mangrove forests provide to the international community could potentially provide a new source of support to communities’ and countries’ conservation efforts. However, exploring this possibility will require a minimum level of key information and knowledge on the global benefits of the region’s mangroves – where little has been documented relative to the rest of the world.

    The State of the World's Sea Turtles online database: Data provided by the SWOT team and hosted on OBIS-SEAMAP.
    Connie Y. Kot, Ei Fujioka, Andrew D. DiMatteo, Bryan P. Wallace, Brian J. Hutchinson, Jesse Cleary, Patrick N. Halpin, and Rod B. Mast

    SWOT - the State of the World's Sea Turtles Project - is a partnership led by the Oceanic Society and the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG), with support from the OBIS-SEAMAP project at the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL), Duke University. This online database and mapping application is built with sea turtle nesting and telemetry data contributed to SWOT since 2004 and also incorporates earlier efforts that produced the WIDECAST nesting database. Since 2012, the data collection and database management are conducted by the OBIS-SEAMAP team at the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University.
    Currently, SWOT collects data from a network of more than 550 people and projects (SWOT team) for the only comprehensive, global database of sea turtle nesting sites and satellite telemetry data. The SWOT team has provided global nesting locations and satellite telemetry data of all seven marine turtle species: green, leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill, flatback, olive and Kemp's ridley. These data have been highlighted here and in annual SWOT reports, available freely in print and online. Furthermore, SWOT supports recommendations for monitoring effort schemes (minimum data standards or MDS) that will allow for comparison of long-term nesting abundance and trend estimates for regional and global populations of sea turtle species. All data contributed to SWOT must include MDS level information to facilitate a standardized global monitoring system for sea turtles.

    A review of marine migratory species and the information used to describe ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAS)
    Connie Y. Kot, Patrick Halpin, Jesse Cleary, and Daniel Dunn

    Through a series of regional workshops organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), over 200 sites have been described as meeting the CBD criteria for ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs). Products and results from the EBSA process were assessed with respect to marine migratory species listed under the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS). The aim of this study was to determine: (1) to determine how marine migratory species have factored in the description of EBSAs; and (2) through the use of preliminary case studies on cetaceans, seabirds and marine turtles, to explore the potential for the scientific data and information describing EBSAs to contribute to the conservation of migratory species in marine areas within and beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, particularly with respect to ecological networks and connectivity. Results showed that migratory species data contributed to the description of EBSAs on two different levels. First, migratory species data played the principal role in approximately 10% of all EBSAs because these sites were described to support the life history requirements and / or were a globally unique location for a particular migratory species. Second, 80% of all EBSAs had descriptions that relied on migratory species data as a contributing factor in their justification, particularly sea turtles, large cetaceans, and seabirds. Detailed analyses of the EBSA workshop reports showed that although some EBSAs may not have been described primarily to support migratory species, the reports cited a large number of CMS listed migratory species as present or using the areas for reproduction and foraging. The information gathered from the EBSA workshop process contributed to the general knowledge of CMS listed species’ distribution and habitat needs. Migratory sharks and rays were also included in EBSA descriptions, although to a lesser degree than marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles. The different roles CMS listed migratory marine mammal, seabird, sea turtle, shark and ray species data have in the description of individual EBSAs, along with the different numbers of migratory species mentioned, criteria migratory species were used to justify particular EBSAs, or how a site was described to be used by migratory species can all have implications for the conservation and management priorities of CMS listed migratory species. In addition, these results suggested that data within the EBSA descriptions could be used to provide regional states and other intergovernmental organizations information on the needs and requirements to promote the connectivity of ecological networks for migratory species. At the same time, it was clear that such networks require further consideration within areas already examined by the EBSA process, along with areas outside of the current extent considered for EBSAs or recognized by other criteria.

    Global patterns of marine megafauna bycatch
    Rebecca L. Lewison, Larry B. Crowder, Bryan Wallace, Jeffrey Moore, Tara Cox, Ramūnas Žydelis, Sara McDonald, Andrew DiMatteo, Daniel Dunn, Connie Y. Kot, Rhema Bjorkland, Shaleyla Kelez, Candan Soykan, Kelly R. Stewart, Michelle Sims, Andre Boustany, Andrew Read, Patrick Halpin, Wallace J. Nichols, and Carl Safina

    Recent research on ocean health has found large predator abundance to be a key element of ocean condition. Fisheries can impact large predator abundance directly through targeted capture and indirectly through incidental capture of nontarget species or bycatch. However, measures of the global nature of bycatch are lacking for air-breathing megafauna. We fill this knowledge gap and present a synoptic global assessment of the distribution and intensity of bycatch of seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles based on empirical data from the three most commonly used types of fishing gears worldwide. We identify taxa-specific hotspots of bycatch intensity and find evidence of cumulative impacts across fishing fleets and gears. This global map of bycatch illustrates where data are particularly scarce—in coastal and small-scale fisheries and ocean regions that support developed industrial fisheries and millions of small-scale fishers—and identifies fishing areas where, given the evidence of cumulative hotspots across gear and taxa, traditional species or gear-specific bycatch management and mitigation efforts may be necessary but not sufficient. Given the global distribution of bycatch and the mitigation success achieved by some fleets, the reduction of air-breathing megafauna bycatch is both an urgent and achievable conservation priority.

    Data integration for conservation: Leveraging multiple data types to advance ecological assessments and habitat modeling for marine megavertebrates using OBIS-SEAMAP
    Ei Fujioka, Connie Y. Kot, Bryan P. Wallace, Benjamin D. Best, Jerry Moxley, Jesse Cleary, Ben Donnelly, and Patrick N. Halpin

    Spatially explicit conservation efforts to identify, designate, and prioritize protected areas or biologically significant areas require analyses beyond basic species distribution and abundance studies, including assessments of migration patterns, habitat use, and ecological drivers of behavior. With the advent of alternate survey methods and platforms within the marine environment (e.g. satellite telemetry, passive acoustics, photo identification, nesting site monitoring and genetic sampling) in addition to traditional shipboard or aerial visual surveys, researchers have been developing novel analytical and modeling methodologies to fulfill such in-depth ecological assessments. This trend has raised interests and needs not only in filling spatial, temporal and ‘ecological’ gaps but also in the synthesis of these disparate data from multiple methods/platforms. OBIS-SEAMAP, a thematic node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) specializing on marine megavertebrates, takes a unique approach to data integration into the OBIS-SEAMAP database to enable novel applications of a global biogeographic database. In this paper, we summarize our efforts to accomplish this integration and to develop novel mapping and visualization tools available on the OBIS-SEAMAP website. We also discuss advantages and implications of an integrated database in advancing ecological assessments and modeling efforts based on preliminary assessments of the OBIS-SEAMAP data and derived products. Finally, we make critical suggestions for the design and function of biogeographic databases to make contributed data more useful for conservation efforts.

    Impacts of fisheries bycatch on marine turtle populations worldwide: Toward conservation and research priorities
    Bryan P. Wallace, Connie Y. Kot, Andrew D. DiMatteo, Tina Lee, Larry B. Crowder, and Rebecca L. Lewison

    Fisheries bycatch is considered the most serious threat globally to long-lived marine megafauna (e.g., mammals, birds, turtles, elasmobranchs). However, bycatch assessments to date have not evaluated population-level bycatch impacts across fishing gears. Here, we provide the first global, multigear evaluation of population-level fisheries bycatch impacts for marine turtles. To compare bycatch impacts of multiple gears within and among marine turtle populations (or regional management units, RMUs), we compiled more than 1,800 records from over 230 sources of reported marine turtle bycatch in longline, net, and trawl fisheries worldwide that were published between 1990–2011. The highest bycatch rates and levels of observed effort for each gear category occurred in the East Pacific, Northwest and Southwest Atlantic, and Mediterranean regions, which were also the regions of highest data availability. Overall, available data were dominated by longline records (nearly 60% of all records), and were nonuniformly distributed, with significant data gaps around Africa, in the Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. We found that bycatch impact scores—which integrate information on bycatch rates, fishing effort, mortality rates, and body sizes (i.e., proxies for reproductive values) of turtles taken as bycatch—as well as mortality rates in particular, were significantly lower in longline fishing gear than in net and trawl fishing gears. Based on bycatch impact scores and RMU-specific population metrics, we identified the RMUs most and least threatened by bycatch globally, and found wide variation among species, regions, and gears within these classifications. The lack of regional or species-specific patterns in bycatch impacts across fishing gears suggests that gear types and RMUs in which bycatch has the highest impact depend on spatially-explicit overlaps of fisheries (e.g., gear characteristics, fishing practices, target species), marine turtle populations (e.g., conservation status, aggregation areas), and underlying habitat features (e.g., oceanographic conditions). Our study provides a blueprint both for prioritizing limited conservation resources toward managing fishing gears and practices with the highest population impacts on sea turtles and for enhancing data collection and reporting efforts.
        Media mentions for Wallace et al. 2013:


    Global assessment of bycatch impacts on marine turtle regional management units
    Bryan Wallace, Andrew DiMatteo, Tina Lee, Connie Kot, and Rebecca Lewison

    Incidental capture in fishing gear is the most serious and acute threat to marine turtles globally. Published reports of marine turtle bycatch typically focus on specific fishing gears and/or in a certain area during a defined time period, which are quite useful for generating crucial data, but are insufficient by themselves to provide assessments of gear-specific, population-level impacts. Recent studies have taken a global view of marine turtle bycatch in multiple fishing gears, and have revealed patterns in bycatch severity as well as data gaps that highlight priorities for bycatch reduction and enhanced bycatch assessments. However, despite the utility of these global perspectives, bycatch impacts have yet to be assessed for individual marine turtle populations, which would provide a blueprint for bycatch reduction efforts by identifying the populations most threatened by bycatch, as well as particular fishing gears toward which mitigation efforts should be directed. To assess bycatch impacts by fishing gear on individual marine turtle populations, we first georeferenced all available reports of marine turtle bycatch from 1990 to 2011 (more than 1,000 records) and overlaid these data on marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMU), i.e., a framework for geographically and biologically explicit population segments for all marine turtle species globally. Next, we compiled total turtle bycatches, bycatch rates, amount of fishing gear observed, and mortality rates of marine turtles in broad gear categories (e.g., longlines, nets, trawls) and in more specific sub-categories (e.g. surface longlines, bottom-set longlines, pelagic longlines) reported to impact each RMU. Finally, we compared the relative severity of bycatch attributed to each fishing gear by integrating the information on bycatch rates, amount of observed effort, mortality rates, and conservation status of RMUs to identify 1) the gear(s) with the highest bycatch impact for each RMU, and 2) gears that consistently impact multiple RMUs, especially those RMUs with the most threatened conservation status. We anticipate that this study will provide guidance to decision-makers responsible for sustainably managing multiple fisheries and/or multiple marine turtle RMUs, and will provide a framework of priorities for targeted bycatch mitigation efforts as well as enhanced reporting of marine turtle bycatch in fisheries worldwide.

    Spatio-temporal gap analysis of OBIS-SEAMAP project data: Assessment and way forward
    Connie Y. Kot, Ei Fujioka, Lucie J. Hazen, Benjamin D. Best, Andrew J. Read, and Patrick N. Halpin

    The OBIS-SEAMAP project has acquired and served high-quality marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle data to the public since its inception in 2002. As data accumulated, spatial and temporal biases resulted and a comprehensive gap analysis was needed in order to assess coverage to direct data acquisition for the OBIS-SEAMAP project and for taxa researchers should true gaps in knowledge exist. All datasets published on OBIS-SEAMAP up to February 2009 were summarized spatially and temporally. Seabirds comprised the greatest number of records, compared to the other two taxa, and most records were from shipboard surveys, compared to the other three platforms. Many of the point observations and polyline tracklines were located in northern and central Atlantic and the northeastern and central-eastern Pacific. The Southern Hemisphere generally had the lowest representation of data, with the least number of records in the southern Atlantic and western Pacific regions. Temporally, records of observations for all taxa were the lowest in fall although the number of animals sighted was lowest in the winter. Oceanographic coverage of observations varied by platform for each taxa, which showed that using two or more platforms represented habitat ranges better than using only one alone. Accessible and published datasets not already incorporated do exist within spatial and temporal gaps identified. Other related open-source data portals also contain data that fill gaps, emphasizing the importance of dedicated data exchange. Temporal and spatial gaps were mostly a result of data acquisition effort, development of regional partnerships and collaborations, and ease of field data collection. Future directions should include fostering partnerships with researchers in the Southern Hemisphere while targeting datasets containing species with limited representation. These results can facilitate prioritizing datasets needed to be represented and for planning research for true gaps in space and time.

    Global patterns of marine turtle bycatch
    Bryan P. Wallace, Rebecca L. Lewison, Sara McDonald, Trey McDonald, Connie Y. Kot, Shaleyla Kelez, Rhema K. Bjorkland, Elena M. Finkbeiner, S'rai Helmbrecht, and Larry B. Crowder

    Fisheries bycatch is a primary driver of population declines in several species ofmarine megafauna (e.g., elasmobranchs, mammals, seabirds, turtles). Characterizing the global bycatch seascape using data on bycatch rates across fisheries is essential for highlighting conservation priorities. We compiled a comprehensive database of reported data on marine turtle bycatch in gillnet, longline, and trawl fisheries worldwide from 1990 to 2008. The total reported global marine turtle bycatch was ~85,000 turtles, but due to the small percentage of fishing effort observed and reported (typically <1% of total fleets), and to a global lack of bycatch information from small-scale fisheries, this likely underestimates the true total by at least two orders of magnitude. Our synthesis also highlights an apparently universal pattern across fishing gears and regions where high bycatch rates were associated with low observed effort, which emphasizes the need for strategic bycatch data collection and reporting. This study provides the first global perspective of fisheries bycatch for marine turtles and highlights region-gear combinations that warrant urgent conservation action (e.g., gillnets, longlines, and trawls in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean) and region-gear combinations in need of enhanced observation and reporting efforts (e.g., eastern Indian Ocean gillnets, West African trawls).

        Media mentions for Wallace et al. 2010:


    Temporal patterns of target catch and sea turtle bycatch in the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishing fleet
    Connie Y. Kot, Andre M. Boustany, and Patrick N. Halpin

    Sea turtle bycatch in pelagic longline fishing gear is an ongoing threat to the conservation of sea turtle populations. However, these bycatch events do not occur uniformly in space or time. Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) bycatch rates reported in large fishing regions exhibited different degrees of interannual variability. Target catch and sea turtle bycatch in most regions displayed strong periodicity that corresponded to seasons (~365 days) and/or moon phase (~29 days). When trends in catch and bycatch rates were examined by month and moon phase, the significant periods of higher and lower catch and bycatch related to swordfish (Xiphias gladius), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), and sea turtle temporal distributions in foraging and spawning/nesting, oceanographic and prey conditions, and foraging behavior. Catch and bycatch rates tended to depend more on a seasonal rather than a lunar time scale, although there is likely an interaction between the two. These findings provide insights to the susceptibility of target catch and bycatch, regional and temporal patterns of fishing effort, and potential guidance for resource management and conservation.


    OBIS-SEAMAP: an online portal for marine mammal observations
    Lucie J. Hazen, Ei Fujioka, Patrick. N. Halpin, Andrew J. Read, Benjamin D. Best, Connie Y. Kot, Kimberly Urian, Benjamin Donnelly, Andrew DiMatteo, Erin A. LaBrecque, Melissa Soldevilla, and Caroline Good

    OBIS-SEAMAP, an online information system for marine mammal, seabird and sea turtle data, is an open access repository and web-based data center of high quality observations.OBIS-SEAMAP brings together georeferenced sightings, telemetry and acoustics data with tools to query and assess these species in a dynamic and searchable environment. By combining data from individual research programs at multiple spatial and temporal scales into a global database, we can obtain a more complete picture of the biology, distribution and conservation status of these widely distributed animals. The open-access web-based approach utilized by OBIS-SEAMAP allows a global audience of researchers, students, educators and managers to: 1) map species distributions together with oceanographic information; 2) visualize species distributions with a multi-resolution, spatially and temporally interactive online map interface; and 3) search and download data of interest using multi-faceted criteria. Significantly, data providers benefit from the secure off-site back-up service, the opportunity to reach a global audience and the resultant collaborative potential, increased data quality assurance and quality control, and a suite of visualization tools to examine their own data geographically and temporally.


    OBIS-SEAMAP as a Toolbox for Managing Sea Duck Tracking Data
    Ramūnas Žydelis, Patrick N. Halpin, Andrew J. Read, Benjamin D. Best, Ei Fujioka, Lucie J. Hazen, and Connie Kot

    Our ability to understand, conserve and manage marine biodiversity is fundamentally limited by the availability of relevant taxonomic, distribution and abundance data. The OBIS-SEAMAP is a web-based geo-database of marine mammal, seabird (including sea ducks) and sea turtle distribution and abundance data globally. The OBIS-SEAMAP information system is aimed to support research, management and conservation of marine megavertebrates through promoting scientific data commons and providing users with a broad array of web-based products and services. The database supports georeferenced data of animal distributions at sea, colony based counts and tracking information and is open to all marine biologists sharing vision of data commons and partnership. Boat, shore and aerial surveys and telemetry data are submitted by government, academic, industry and non-profit providers by communicating directly with archive developers and using data content management system. Contributing satellite tracking information might seem particularly appealing to sea duck investigators and ongoing tracking data could be assimilated directly through Satellite Tracking and Analysis Tool (STAT). The OBIS-SEAMAP archive is equipped with multi-faceted data search and extraction, state-of-art online mapping and cutting edge viewing features, including animated animal movements, which will be demonstrated at the Sea Duck Conference using a sample of an actual sea duck tracking dataset. Contributed datasets are standardized, integrated with rich species profiles and compliant metadata. In addition to benefiting from the toolset available at OBIS-SEAMAP, data contributors increase their visibility, public outreach and develop potential for new collaborations. We encourage you to contribute your datasets to OBIS-SEAMAP and to contact us with suggestions of how to refine and improve the archive. The OBIS-SEAMAP database is accessible online at: http://seamap.env.duke.edu.


    OBIS-SEAMAP: The world data center for marine mammal, sea bird and sea turtle distributions
    Patrick N. Halpin, Andrew J. Read, Ei Fujioka, Ben D. Best, Ben Donnelly, Lucie J. Hazen, Connie Kot, Kim Urian, Erin LaBrecque, Caroline Good, Larry B. Crowder, and K. David Hyrenbach

    The science needed to understand highly migratory marine mammal, sea bird and sea turtle species is not adequately addressed by individual data collections developed for a single region or single time period. These data must to be brought together into a common, global map based on a coherent, interoperable and openly accessible information system. This need was clearly articulated by the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation when they sponsored a new effort to directly address this issue in 2002. The result is OBIS-SEAMAP: The world data-center for marine mammal, sea bird and sea turtle information. OBIS-SEAMAP brings together georeferenced distribution, abundance and telemetry data with tools to query and assess these species in a dynamic and searchable environment. In a second round of NOPP support beginning in 2007, the National Science Foundation is helping expand this effort into new technologies and data types. To date, the OBIS-SEAMAP information system includes more than 2.2 million observation records from over 230 datasets, spanning 73 years (1935 - 2008) and growth of this data archive is accelerating. All of these data are provided by a growing international network of individual and institutional data providers.


    OBIS-SEAMAP Version 2.0: Improvements in Mapping Marine Megavertebrates
    Patrick N. Halpin, Andrew J. Read, Benjamin D. Best, Ei Fujioka, Lucie J. Hazen, Benjamin Donnelly, Erin LaBrecque, Connie Kot, and Kim Urian

    We report on the ongoing development and improvement of a digital information system which provides critical data on the distribution of marine megavertebrates to scientists, managers and educators. The OBIS-SEAMAP (Ocean Biogeographic Information System - Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations) program (http://seamap.env.duke.edu) is designed to make high-quality data sets, ecological models and expert knowledge available to these communities. The archive currently hosts 212 datasets including over 1.15 million observations. We are in the midst of a comprehensive inventory and data exploration, so these numbers will markedly increase in the near future. Now in its fifth year, the project provides a suite of advanced web services for the storage, analysis and visualization of geospatial datasets related to the biogeography of marine mammals, seabirds and sea turtles. Boat, shore and aerial surveys and telemetry data are submitted by government, academic, industry and non-profit providers through an automated data content management system. With three additional years of funding secured from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program and the National Science Foundation, we are working to enhance this archive by incorporating new data types (acoustics, photo-id, 3D dive profiles), model outputs, web services, environmental sampling capabilities, and automated population of metadata clearinghouses. We encourage you to contribute your data sets to OBIS-SEAMAP and to contact us with suggestions of how to refine and improve the archive.


    A comparison of methods to spatially represent pelagic longline fishing effort in catch and bycatch studies
    Daniel C. Dunn, Connie Y. Kot, and Patrick N. Halpin

    Bycatch in fisheries has been recognized as a threat to many endangered populations of sea turtles, sea birds and marine mammals. Interactions between pelagic longline fisheries and critically endangered populations of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) have led to temporary closures of the Hawaiian pelagic longline swordfish fishery and severe bycatch quotas. The negative impact of these events on both the populations of certain endangered species and the economic livelihood of the fishermen has resulted in a strong push from all sides to better understand bycatch events. Typically, analyses of longline catch and bycatch have examined fishing effort summarized over large areas (=1 degree). Although aggregation of effort to this level may be necessary to account for uncertainty, confidentiality concerns, or to make comparisons across regions, it specifically limits the researcher's ability to characterize the local oceanographic factors that may drive individual bycatch events. Higher resolution analyses must be undertaken to identify such features. However, for these higher resolution analyses, the methods currently used to spatially represent pelagic longline fishing effort may significantly affect researcher's results. Here, we look at different methods to represent this fishing effort (i.e., points, centroids, polylines and polygons) at various resolutions (2 km to 5 degrees) to better understand which method and spatial resolution are most appropriate. Our results validate the use of point features to represent fishing effort in previous low resolution studies of the Hawaiian pelagic longline fishery by showing that the set point method is suitable for studies with resolutions lower than 15 km. However, at higher resolutions (= 15 km) and in areas with more sparsely distributed fishing, aggregated effort values differed significantly between spatial representation methods. We demonstrate that the use of polygons to describe pelagic longline fishing effort is more representative and necessary for such high resolution analyses.


    A summary review of sea turtle bycatch in the wider Caribbean
    Rhema Bjorkland, Daniel Dunn, Larry Crowder, Karen Eckert, Scott Eckert, Connie Kot, Sara McDonald, and Andre Boustany

    Fisheries bycatch has been identified as an important source of mortality for many sea turtle populations in the Western Central Atlantic. Formal assessments are scarce and are typically restricted geographically (e.g., Trinidad and Tobago; the Guianas) or by gear type (e.g., industrial or semi-industrial trawls and longlines). Our objective was to develop a region-wide assessment of sea turtle bycatch as part of a global, multi-taxa assessment sea turtle, marine mammal and seabird bycatch. Using multiple approaches (literature review, interview-based surveys, and observer data) our analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of knowledge of sea turtle bycatch. The results are used to generate a preliminary model of the relationship between fishing intensity, oceanography and bycatch risk.


    A GIS management tool to reduce sea turtle bycatch
    Ken R. Buja and Connie Y. Kot

    Five species of sea turtles inhabiting the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico are listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). None of the species have yet met the recovery goals outlined in their respective recovery plans. To help meet ESA recovery goals for sea turtles, NOAA's National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) is implementing a strategy for sea turtle conservation and recovery in relation to Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico fisheries to reduce incidental capture of sea turtles in commercial and recreational fisheries. A strategic approach evaluating fishery impacts by gear types across state, federal, and regional boundaries will increase management effectiveness. The development of a dynamic GIS by NOAA's Biogeography Program for sea turtles to facilitate the implementation of the strategy is a key baseline need and will also assist NMFS in meeting other ESA and legislative responsibilities.


    An ecological characterization of the Gulf of Maine region
    Bryan Costa, Tim Battista, Simon Pittman, Randy Clark, Connie Kot, Kate Eschelbach, Falk Huettmann, and Ian Hartwell

    The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment's (CCMA) Biogeography Team collaborated with the National Marine Sanctuaries Program (NMSP) to perform a biogeographic assessment of the marine region surrounding Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. This work integrated physical and biological GIS and remotely sensed datasets in an effort to temporally and spatially characterize fish, seabird, macroinvertebrate, and marine mammal distributions in the Gulf of Maine. The resulting statistical relationships among these variables were used to predict cetacean and seabird species distributions where there were gaps in the survey effort. Predictive models such as these offer promising opportunities to extrapolate information to broad spatial scales, allowing resource managers make informed decisions in support of ecosystem-based management.



    Alternative methods to spatially distribute fishing effort within the Hawaiian longline fishery and coresponding effects on the calculation of bycatch rates
    Daniel C. Dunn, Connie Y. Kot, and Patrick N. Halpin

    Bycatch in longline fisheries has been recognized as a threat to many endangered populations of sea turtles, sea birds, and marine mammals. The health of endangered species populations, combined with the economic and social importance of the fisheries, have led to studies that investigate the spatial distribution of longline fisheries effort to understand catch and bycatch rates. These analyses generally ascribe effort from an individual set to the point at which the gear is deployed or hauled. Typically, reported fishing effort summarizes these values over large areas (>1 degree). Although the set or haul locations may be sufficient for large-scale summaries of general fishing effort, finer-resolution models, such as those associating local oceanographic effects to catch or bycatch rates, may be strongly influenced by the method used to spatially allocate fishing effort. As part of a larger Duke University and Blue Ocean Institute bycatch assessment project (Project GLOBAL), we look at alternative methods (i.e., centroids, polylines, and polygons) for distributing fishing effort of the Hawaiian longline fleet. This assessment helps to determine the appropriate method for distributing fishing effort based on the resolution of the model.



    Cetacean distribution and diversity, Chapter 5 - An Ecological Characterization of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Region
    Simon Pittman, Bryan Costa, Connie Kot, David Wiley, and Robert Kenney

    The effective management and conservation of cetaceans within SBNMS and the wider Gulf of Maine requires baseline information in the form of accurate and spatially explicit maps of cetacean abundance, as well as characterizations of cetacean-environment relationships. Information on the spatial and temporal distribution of cetaceans can be a valuable tool in the analysis and mitigation of threats from human activity. In addition, investigating cetacean-environment relationships can be extremely useful for: (1) identification and characterization of high-use areas; (2) prediction of spatial and temporal shifts associated with environmental change; (3) interpretation of historical population trends estimated from sightings data; and (4) optimization of cetacean survey designs.
    To examine cetacean-environment relationships and the spatial and temporal patterns of relative abundance in the southern Gulf of Maine, cetacean abundance across the region was mapped and seasonal species patterns were interpreted. A wide range of environmental variables that include key ambient water parameters, bathymetric structure, and prey densities were also mapped for each season. The spatial extent of the study area included known feeding grounds and other high-use areas, such as corridors of cetacean movement within the SBNMS and the surrounding southern Gulf of Maine.



    Development and Evaluation of an Estuarine Biotic Integriy Index for South Carolina Tidal Creeks
    Connie Y. Moy

    Large-scale environmental monitoring studies require a great amount of time and energy to complete. Often, a more efficient method to monitor environmental condition is to concentrate on biological communities. Fish communities are desirable environmental indicators due to their ability to directly integrate physical, chemical, and biological conditions. Data collected in tidal creeks for the South Carolina Estuarine and Coastal Assessment Program (SCECAP) during the 1999-2002 sampling seasons were used to determine the relationship between environmental quality and fish community measures. Statistical analyses, previous studies, and ecological concepts directed the selection of fish metrics that were the best discriminators of environmental quality. Potential multimetric estuarine biotic integrity (EBI) indices used combinations of fish metrics to calculate a single score to predict environmental quality. The final EBI index developed and evaluated for South Carolina tidal creeks used metrics that described fish life history, ecological composition, tolerance, and community structure. These metrics were sensitive in determining environmental quality as described by water, sediment, and upland quality parameters, and should be among the primary metrics considered for the development of future indices.



  • Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab 135 Duke Marine Lab Road
    Nicholas School of the Environment Beaufort, North Carolina, USA 28516
    Duke University Phone: +1 252-504-7640
    Duke University Marine Lab Email: connie.kot@duke.edu