MEET AND GREET: UMT Turtle Research Community

By Uzair Rosli

A casual networking event for sea turtles’ advocators from UMT has been conducted on 22 December 2020 at INOS Seminar Room. The most significant number of researchers Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) gathered all internal researchers working on the various disciplines related to sea turtle conservation.

This event intended to get to know each other and understand how each ongoing research within our own circle supports conservation benefits. More than 30 researchers from different faculties and institutes had introduced their works. They also exchanged their research direction for this 2021 sea turtle nesting season.

The Director of INOS, Assoc. Prof. Dr Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir, mentioned in his welcoming remarks on the importance of integrating all different academic disciplines to boost our conservation effort’s benefits. He further encouraged researchers to get involved in bridging science and society programs run by the SEATRU such as Marine Awareness Program, Public Viewing Lab, Kem Si Penyu, an Educational day trip and workshops with the local community. Talented researchers should actively engage the public and share the knowledge of conserving sea turtles effectively with exposure to first-hand conservation fieldwork. 

Since the establishment in 1984, SEATRU has developed into a multi-disciplinary programme over three generations of legacies, which aimed at studying all aspects of sea turtle biology and ecology, threats to their survival, information technology on a cloud database and photo ID, and how conservation management initiatives can be established to restore the threatened species to a stable population level.

The vital information resulting from these studies have formed the basis for many essential recommendations made by SEATRU to relevant government agencies for the conservation of sea turtles, especially within the state of Terengganu. By means, SEATRU also offers its field stations the availability to initiate strategic collaborations upon research both locally and internationally to become a leading global reference centre for sea turtle research and conservation in South East Asia.

Dr. Mohd Uzair bin Rusli is the Head of Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) at INOS.