Personnel: Madrak

 


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Sheila V. Madrak

Position: Graduate Student Researcher

Campus Address:
Department of Biology
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
Office: PS 157

Phone: (619) 594-8698

Email: spam free email link to Madrak

Degrees:

Present:   Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology (San Diego State University/UC-Davis)

2007:   M.S. Biological Sciences - Florida Atlantic University

2005:   B.S. Animal Science - University of Vermont

Research Interests:

I grew up in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, but spent my summers at the beaches of Ocean City, New Jersey and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. During these summers I developed a deep love for the ocean and its inhabitants, declaring at a young age that I would be a marine biologist one day. Well, as it turns out, I am actually en route to becoming a marine ecologist (minor detail).

Marine turtles, in particular, have captivated my attention for as long as I can remember. But it was during my freshman year at the University of Vermont where I became aware of the impressive movements and migrations of marine turtle species. The one challenge was gaining research experience with marine turtles while completing my degree in Vermont; apparently there are no marine turtles in Lake Champlain...Nonetheless, I persisted and gained laboratory research experience looking at mammary gland development in fetal pigs supplemented by a summer internship tagging loggerhead sea turtles in Cape San Blas, Florida. My undergraduate advisor, Dr. Russ Hovey, often reminding me that sea turtles DO NOT, in fact, have mammary glands.

I went on to complete a Master of Science degree in the Biological Science department at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida working with Drs. Michael Salmon and Jeanette Wyneken. Through their guidance, I feel I truly gained insight in what it takes to "make it" as a scientist. And through hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma I experienced the trials and tribulations of relying on nature to cooperate with scientific research.

Upon completion of my MS degree, I took a position as Biological Science Technician in Flagstaff, Arizona working with Dr. Jeffrey Lovich. During this time I worked on a population study of Sonora mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense) at Montezuma Well, Yavapai County, Arizona and a population study of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at the Mesa Wind Park, Riverside County, California. Through these research experiences, I solidified my goal to continue with my graduate studies and attain a doctoral degree somewhere in the biological sciences.

The decision to apply with Dr. Rebecca Lewison was a natural one given the conservation focus of her research and after having heard her speak while I was a graduate student at FAU. In addition to working with Dr. Lewison, I have the pleasure of also working with Drs. Jeffrey Seminoff and Tomo Eguchi from NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center. With our powers combined, I am studying movement and thermoregulatory behavior of a small population of Eastern Pacific Green Turtles (EPGT) in San Diego Bay, San Diego, California.

Publications:

Wyneken, J., S. Madrak, M. Salmon, J. Foote. Migratory activity by hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta L): Evidence for divergence between nesting groups. Marine Biology (2008) 156 (2):171-178.

 

 

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