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Understanding how sea turtles react to heat stress

Posted by: Fiona McFarlane

August 31, 2017

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchling on sand
Loggerhead sea turtle hatchling. Credit: Wo de Shijie CC 2.0.

Sea turtles are the most widely distributed group of reptile in the world. Many sea turtle populations are in decline and climate change is expected to exacerbate these declines because turtle eggs are vulnerable to high temperatures. But, it appears that some turtles carry genetic variants giving them different capacities to deal with temperature.

In recently published research, PhD student Blair Bentley, co-supervised by FSP leader, Dr Oliver Berry, employed de novo transcriptomic profiling of sea turtle embryos to identify the genes that help them respond to high nest temperatures.

Read the paper here.

Image credit: Loggerhead sea turtle hatchling by Wo De Shijie available at under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at