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Karen Anne Bjorndal

Distinguished Professor
Ph.D. University of Florida, 1979

320 Carr Hall
Personal Website

Research Interests

I have two research fields: nutritional ecology with an emphasis on vertebrate herbivores and the biology of sea turtles. My nutritional ecology research focuses on how and to what extent nutrition acts as a controlling mechanism on an organism’s growth and reproductive output. I am also interested in the interrelationships of diet selection, digestive processing, gut fermentations, and gut morphology. My sea turtle research interests are very broad, but studies are integrated into two themes: the past and present roles of sea turtles in marine ecosystems and connectivity of sea turtle populations in the Atlantic. I am particularly interested in studies of foraging ecology, growth, and demography.

Representative Publications

Bjorndal, K.A., B.W. Bowen, M. Chaloupka, L.B. Crowder, S.S. Heppell, C.M. Jones, M.E. Lutcavage, D. Policansky, A.R. Solow, and B.E. Witherington.  2011.  From crisis to opportunity: Better science needed for restoration in the Gulf of Mexico.  Science 331:537-538.

Vander Zanden, H.B., K.A. Bjorndal, K.J. Reich, and A.B. Bolten.  2010.  Individual specialists in a generalist population: results from a long-term stable isotope series.  Biology Letters 6:711-714.

Bjorndal, K.A. and A.B. Bolten.  2010.  Hawksbill sea turtles in seagrass pastures:  success in a peripheral habitat.  Marine Biology 157:135-145.

Pajuelo, M., K.A. Bjorndal, J. Alfaro-Shigueto, J.A. Seminoff, J.C. Mangel, and A.B. Bolten.  2010.  Stable isotope variation in loggerhead turtles reveals Pacific-Atlantic oceanographic differences.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 417:277-285.

National Research Council.  2010.  Assessment of sea-turtle status and trends: integrating demography and abundance.  National Academies Press, Washington, DC.  162 pages.  Authors:  K.A. Bjorndal (chair), B.W. Bowen, M. Chaloupka, L.B. Crowder, S.S. Heppell, C.M. Jones, M.E. Lutcavage, D. Policansky, A.R. Solow, and B.E. Witherington.

Roark, A.M., K.A. Bjorndal, and A.B. Bolten.  2009.  Compensatory responses to food restriction in juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas).  Ecology 90:2524–2534.

Roark, A.M. and K.A. Bjorndal.  2009.  Metabolic rate depression is induced by caloric restriction and correlates with rate of development and lifespan in a parthenogenetic insect. Experimental Gerontology 44:413–419.

Bjorndal, K.A. and A.B. Bolten.  2008.  Annual variation in source contributions to a mixed stock:  implications for quantifying connectivity.  Molecular Ecology 17:2185–2193.

Pfaller, J.B., C.J. Limpus, and K.A. Bjorndal.  2008.  Nest-site selection in individual loggerhead turtles and consequences for doomed-egg relocation.  Conservation Biology 23:72–80.

Reich, K.J., K.A. Bjorndal, and A.B. Bolten. 2007. The lost years of green turtles: using stable isotopes to study cryptic lifestages. Biology Letters 3:712–714.

Moran, K.L. and K.A. Bjorndal. 2005. Simulated green turtle grazing affects structure and productivity of seagrass pastures. Marine Ecology Progress Series 305:235-247.

Pryor, G.S. and K.A. Bjorndal.  2005.  Effects of the nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis on development, gut morphology, and fermentation in bullfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana): A novel mutualism.  Journal of Experimental Zoology 303A:704-712.

Tiwari, M., K.A. Bjorndal, A.B. Bolten, and B.M. Bolker.  2005.  Intraspecific application of the mid-domain effect model: spatial and temporal nest distributions of green turtles, Chelonia mydas, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica.  Ecology Letters 8:918–924

Current Graduate Students

NameEmailResearch Interest
Robert Johnson johnson.robert@ufl.eduEcology of sea turtles, role of sea turtles in new habitats
Mariela Pajuelo mpajuelo@ufl.eduSea turtle migrations & foraging ecology
Joe Pfaller jpfaller@ufl.eduEcology and evolution of rafting crabs; biology and conservation of sea turtles; epibiosis of marine vertebrates
Luciano Soares lsoares@ufl.eduHybridization in sea turtle populations

Current Postdocs and Visitors

NameEmailResearch Interest
Marco Garcia marcogarcia@ufl.eduEcology, genetics and demography of sea turtles