Dr. Justin Perrault, VP of research, Loggerhead Marinelife Center

by | Nov 15, 2023

Dr. Justin Perrault–vice president of research at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education, and conservation operation in Juno Beach, FL—recalls the early, pioneering work on sea turtles performed by Juno resident Eleanor Fletcher, establishing the beginnings of what became LMC. Perrault unspools what became an overlapping narrative of his academic and professional journey to this pivotal position at LMC, an unlikely arc given that his formative years were spent in landlocked Memphis, TN—though he hastens to point out a photo exists of Perrault at LMC, at age 5, suggesting a precocious interest in sea turtles. There were also Perrault  family roots in south Florida, accounting for trips and visits to  the area over the years, and later earning his PhD there: Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton. He addresses what serving as vice president at Loggerhead entails, outlining his extensive areas of responsibilities, among them management and other duties across the Research and Conservation department, including the relentlessly-long days (and nights) of nesting season, which runs roughly March to October.  Perrault discusses that he and his team counted a record-setting number of nests (25, 025, to be precise) in the nearly 10-mile expanse of beach–spanning Juno Beach, Jupiter, and Tequesta—which constitutes LMC’s parcel of land for conducting such research, and represents a 38% increase over the number of nests tallied last year. This surge in turtle nests is a phenomenon experienced in other parts of Florida. Perrault shares the prevailing theories about the increase in nests statewide, with some minor exceptions, noting the number of nests will likely decrease next year. Veering off-topic, I ask Perrault about this unusual circumstance reported relatively recently, in a beach on Poipu, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, whereby dozens of greens emerge from the water in the afternoon, ease onto the sand and proceed to nap. This behavior is called “basking,” only engaged in by green turtles, and, Perrault explains, only seen in three or four parts of the world. [Photos by Jeff Beige, Christian Del Rosario, others] (https://marinelife.org/, https://www.facebook.com/loggerheadmarinelifecenter/, https://www.instagram.com/loggerheadmarinelifecenter/)


ALSO: I spoke briefly with Nadia Tenouri, an organizer of ThanksVegan, the 14th annual powerhouse potluck, to be held on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, at Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa. Tenouri outlines the history of ThanksVegan in Tampa, noting when she began attending the event and when she became an organizer. She explains some of the day’s key details (social time at 1:30pm, potluck starts at 2pm, raffle held at 3:30, food table closes at 4, event ends at 5:30), and the formulas by which those attending bring a dish and offer a certain donation to participate in ThanksVegan. Tenouri notes there other requirements for bringing a dish, starting with all food must be vegan, of course. And providing a serving utensil and ingredient list for the dish you bring. Tenouri adds that they’re seeking volunteers to help with various aspects of the event, and to respond to this entreaty, or for any inquiries, folks can email [email protected] (https://www.floridavoicesforanimals.org/thanksvegan)

COMEDY CORNER: Drew Lynch’s “Touchin’ Turtles” (https://drewlynch.com/)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.


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