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Charles E. Schmidt College of Science



Jeanette Wyneken
PhD: University of Illinois, 1988
Research interests: integrative biology, comparative & functional morphology

Contact information
Office: SC 266
Phone: (561) 297-0146

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Neonate Sea Turtle Tracking

Nelligan Sea Turtle Research Support Fund

Professional Interests and Research Program

My professional goals emphasize maintaining an active research program, training students, and educating the general public. These three goals are the key components of an exciting and rewarding professional career. Training students individually or in the classroom is an important interaction that not only helps the students but also helps me to keep my analytical abilities sharp. Speaking to the public serves an important function not only in the education of my audiences but also provides me with insight into how science and scientists are perceived by nonscientists. These interactions, too, are never one-sided.

My research program addresses how organisms contend or interact with their environment. I draw upon ideas and methodology from many biological disciplines including evolutionary biology, conservation biology, functional morphology, ecology, ethology, physiology, and developmental biology. Evolutionary processes and adaptation are important considerations in my work. My broad-based training enables me to address such diverse questions as how behavioral patterns are associated with migratory swimming in sea turtles and how effective are hatcheries, a common sea turtle management technique? How sex ratios in sea turtle skewed and if so what does that imply? Other, current research stresses the implications of an animal's structure and behavior to how it functions within its environment. I examine how suites of morphological characters either constrain behavioral options or are exploited to allow behavioral plasticity. My studies are comparative and include morphological, behavioral, and physiological analyses of swimming behavior in hatchlings of three sea turtle species as they undergo offshore migration, and how sea turtle visual systems differ among species. Other ongoing studies include empirical assessments of predation on sea turtle hatchlings in urban settings and studies of egg and hatchling energetics. I am currently writing a book entitled The Anatomy of Reptiles that summarizes available information on a variety of ecologically and phylogenetically diverse reptile taxa. Recent work explores the use of CT and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to investigate morphological adaptations in reptiles. These new imaging techniques are ideal for understanding the normal form of skeletal elements and soft structures (e.g. stomach, brain, kidneys), tracing blood flow, and identifying anatomical positions and landmarks of structures in vivo.


Salmon M, Carthy RR, Lohmann CMF, Lohmann KL, Wyneken J. 2012. Collecting a sample of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings before a natural emergence does not reduce nest productivity. Endangered Species Research. Vol. 16: 295–299, 2012 doi: 10.3354/esr00409

Perrault, J*., D.L. Miller, E. Eads, A. Merrill, C. Johnson, L.J. Thompson, and J. Wyneken. 2012. Maternal Health Status Correlates with Nest Success of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from Florida. PloS ONE 7(2): e31841 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031841

Rivera A. R. V., J. Wyneken and R.W. Blob. 2011. Forelimb kinematics and motor patterns of swimming loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): are motor patterns conserved in the evolution of new locomotor strategies? The Journal of Experimental Biology 214:  3314-3323

Perrault, J., J. Wyneken, L. Thompson, C. Johnson, and D. L. Miller. 2011. Why are hatching and emergence success low? Mercury and selenium concentrations in nesting leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and their young in Florida. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62: 1671–1682

Alava, J J, J M. Keller, J. Wyneken, L. Crowder, G Scott, and J.R. Kucklick. 2011. Geographical variation of persistent organic pollutants in eggs of threatened loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from southeastern United States. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 30(7):1677–1688.

Wyneken, J., Epperly, S.P., Higgins, B., McMichael, E, Merigo, C, and Flanagan, J.P. 2010. PIT Tag Migration In Seaturtle Flippers. Herpetological Review 41(4), 448–454. (Click here for PDF)

Salmon, M., M. Hamann and J. Wyneken. 2010. The Development of Early Diving Behavior by Juvenile Flatback Sea Turtles (Natator depressus). Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 9(1):8–17

Dougherty, E, G. Rivera, R. Blob, and J. Wyneken. 2010. Hydrodynamic stability in posthatchling loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles. Zoology. 113:158–167

Chung, C.F., N.J. Pilcher, M. Salmon, and J. Wyneken. 2009. I. Frenzy and postfrenzy activity of hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata L) hatchlings. I. Quantitative analysis of activity, with comparisons to green turtles (Chelonia mydas L). Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 8(1): 28–34

Chung, C.F., N.J. Pilcher, M. Salmon, and J. Wyneken. 2009. Frenzy and postfrenzy of hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata L) hatchlings. II. Swimming gaits, swimming speed, and morphological comparisons. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 8(1): 35–42

Miller DL, J Wyneken, S Rajeev, J Perrault, DR Mader, CA Baldwin. 2009. Pathological findings in hatchling and posthatchling leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from Florida. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 45(4):962–971

Salmon, M., J. Wyneken, M. Hamann C. Schauble. 2009. Early Swimming Activity by Hatchling Flatback Sea Turtles (Natator depressus): A Test of the “Predation Risk” Hypothesis. Endangered Species Research. Vol. 9: 41–47

Wyneken, J. 2009. Reptilian Cardiology: Normal Anatomy and Function. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice, 12: 51–63

Wyneken J., S. V. Madrak, M. Salmon, J. Foote. 2008. Migratory activity by hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta L.): evidence for divergence between nesting groups.  Marine Biology156:171–178

Gless, J.M., M. Salmon, and J. Wyneken. Behavioral responses of juvenile leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) to 3 lights used in the longline fishery.  Endangered Species Research Published online March 20, 2008: 1-9

Ceriani, S.A. and Wyneken, J. 2008. Comparative morphology and sex identification of the reproductive system in formalin preserved sea turtle specimens. Zoology 111(3):179-87.

Wyneken. J. 2008.  The Structure of Cardiopulmonary Systems of Turtles.  213-224. In, The Biology of Turtles. Wyneken, J., M. Godfrey, and V. Bels, eds. CRC Press/Taylor and Frances Grp. 389 pp.

Wyneken, J., M. Godfrey, and V. Bels, eds. 2008. The Biology of Turtles.  CRC Press/Taylor and Frances Grp. 389 pp. 

Wyneken J.  2007.  Reptilian Neurology: Anatomy and Function. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice. (Vet Clin Exot Anim) 10 (2007) 837–853. L. Tell. M.E. Knipe Eds., Elsevier Press. 

Wyneken, J. 2007. Reptilian Neurology: Anatomy and Function. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice, 10(3): 837 – 853

Epperly, S.P., Wyneken, J., Flanagan, J.P., Harms, C.A., and Higgins, B.  2007. Attachment of popup archival transmitting tags to loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Herpetological Review 38(4): 419-425

Whelan, C.I. and J. Wyneken.  2007. Estimating Predation Levels and Site-specific Survival of Hatchling Loggerhead Seaturtles (Caretta caretta) from South Florida Beaches. Copeia, 2007(3):745–754

Wyneken, J. S. Epperly, L. B. Crowder, J. Vaughan, K. Blair. 2007. Determining Sex in Posthatchling Loggerhead Sea Turtles Using Multiple Gonadal and Accessory Duct Characteristics. Herpetologica 63(1), 2007, 19–30.

Stokes, L., J. Wyneken, L. Crowder, and J. Marsh. 2007. The Influence of Temporal and Spatial Origin on Size and Early Growth Rates in Captive Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) in the United States. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 1(2):71-80 .

Alava, J.J., J.M. Keller, J. R. Kucklick, J. Wyneken, L. Crowder, G. I. Scott. 2006. Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) and Organochlorine Pesticide Concentrations Increase in Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Egg Yolk Samples during Embryonic Development. The Science of the Total Environment 367 (2006) 170–181 .

Govett, P.D., C.A. Harms, K.E. Linder, J.C. Marsh, and J. Wyneken. 2005. Effect of Four Different Suture Materials on the Surgical Wound Healing of Loggerhead Sea Turtles ( Caretta caretta). Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery.14(4):6-11.

Wyneken, J. 2005. Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Reptile Anatomy.  In. Reptile Medicine and Surgery. D.R. Mader, ed. Elsevier Press. Pp. 1088-1095.

Wyneken J., D.R. Mader, S Weber, and C Merigo. 2005.  Medical Care of Seaturtles.  In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery. D.R. Mader, ed. Elsevier Press.

Wyneken, J., B. Brainerd, and J. Hanken. 2004. Introduction to the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology. Journal of Morphology. 260(3): 271-273.

Stewart, K. R. and J. Wyneken. 2004. Predation Risk to Loggerhead Hatchlings at a High-Density Nesting Beach in Southeast Florida. Bulletin of Marine Sciences 74(2): 325–335.

Witherington, D. and J. Wyneken. 2003. Chelonian Anatomy. Exotic DVM 4(6):35-41.

Wyneken, J. 2003. The External Morphology, Musculoskeletal System, and Neuroanatomy of Sea Turtles. Chap. 2. pp 39-77. In The Biology of Sea Turtles. Vol. II. In: The Biology of Sea Turtles (P. Lutz, J. Musick, and J. Wyneken, eds). CRC Press, Inc.

S. J. H. Divers, S. M Hernandez-Divers and J. Wyneken. 2002. Angiographic, Anatomic and Clinical Technique Descriptions of A Novel Venipuncture Site For Chelonians. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery. 12(2):32-37.

Wyneken, J. 2001. Respiratory Anatomy – Form and Function in Reptiles. Exotic DVM 3(2):17-22.

Jones, T. T. M. Salmon, J. Wyneken, and C. Johnson. 2000. Rearing leatherback hatchlings: protocols, growth and survival. Marine Turtle Newsletter No. 90: 3-6.

Wyneken, J. 2000. The Migratory Behavior of Hatchling Sea Turtles Beyond the Beach. Pp. 121-129. In: Sea Turtles of the Indo-Pacific. N. Pilcher and G. Ismail eds. ASEAN Academic press. 361 pp.

Oliver, L. J, M. Salmon, J. Wyneken, R. Heuter and T. Cronin. 2000. Retinal Anatomy of Hatchling Sea Turtles: Anatomical Specializations and Behavioral Correlates. Marine and Freshwater Behavior and Physiology. 33:233-248.

Wyneken, J., G. H. Balazs, K. K. Murakawa and Y. Anderson. 1999. Size Differences in Hind Limbs and Carapaces of Hatchling Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Hawaii and Florida, USA. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 3(3): 491-495.

Divers, S and J. Wyneken. 1999. Surgical Anatomy of the Serpentine Kidney with Particular Regard to Surgical Nephrectomy. Proceedings of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians.

Steinitz, M. J. , M. Salmon, and J. Wyneken. 1998. Beach Renourishment and Loggerhead Turtle Reproduction: A Seven Year Study at Jupiter Island, Florida. J. Coastal Research. 14(3):1000-1013.

Wyneken, J. 1997 Sea Turtle Locomotion: Mechanisms, Behavior, and Energetics. inThe Biology of Sea Turtles (P. Lutz and J. Musick eds). CRC Press, Inc. pp 168-198.

Wyneken, J. 1997. The 17th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium– Largest Ever. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 2 (3):457-459.

Wyneken, J. and D. Crouse. 1997. Resolutions of the 17th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Conservation and Biology. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 2 (3):442-444.

Wyneken, J. 1996. 17th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology & Conservation.

Marine Turtle Newsletter No. 77. p. 27-28

Salmon, M., R. Reiners, C. Lavin and J. Wyneken. 1995. Behavior of Loggerhead Sea Turtles on an Urban Beach. I. Correlates of nest placement. J. Herpetology 29(4):560-567.

Salmon, M. and J. Wyneken. 1994. Orientation by Sea Turtles: Implications and Speculations. Herpetological. Natural History. 2:13-26.

Wyneken, J. 1994. Ontogenetic changes in sea turtle body shape: Morphological analyses and adaptive implications. Journal of Morphology. 220 (3): 413.

Wyneken, J. and M. Salmon. 1992. Frenzy and Postfrenzy Swimming Activity in Loggerhead, Leatherback, and Green Sea Turtles. Copeia. (2):478-484.

Salmon, M., J. Wyneken, E. Fritz and M. Lucas. 1992. Ocean-finding by Hatchling Sea Turtles: Role of Brightness, Silhouette and Beach Slope as Orientation Cues. Behaviour. 122(1-2):55-77.

Wyneken, J. and M. Salmon. 1990. Orientation by Hatchling Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta L.) in a Wave Tank. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 139:43-50.

Salmon, M. and J. Wyneken. 1990. Do Swimming Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta L.) Use Light Cues in Offshore Orientation? Marine Behaviour and Physiology. 17:233-246.

Lohmann, K.J., Salmon, M. and Wyneken, J. 1990. Functional Autonomy of Land and Sea Orientation Systems in Sea Turtle Hatchlings. Biol. Bull. (Woods Hole). 179:214-218.

Wyneken, J., T.J. Burke, M. Salmon, and D. Pedersen. 1988. Egg Failure in Natural and Relocated Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nests. The Journal of Herpetology. 22(1): 88-96.

Wyneken, J. and J. Hicklin. 1988. A Confirmed Nesting of a Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata, in Florida. The Marine Turtle Newsletter. 42(May):4.

Salmon, M. and J. Wyneken. 1987. Orientation and swimming behavior of hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta L. duing their offshore migration. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 109: 137-153.

Wyneken, J. and M. Salmon. 1986. Effective Communication with Conservation Groups: Are We Doing the Job? The Marine Turtle Newsletter, 39(December):11-12.

Books, Book Chapters, Training Videos, and Technical Manuals

Wyneken, J. in press. Reptilian Anatomy through CT and MRI Imaging. In. Reptile Medicine and Surgery. (D.R. Mader, ed.) Elsevier Press.

Wyneken. J. 2004 Indique a la Anatomíade las Tortugas Marinas . NMFS Tech. Publication. NOAA Tech., Memo NMFS-SEFSC-470. 172 pp. (Black & White book and color CD).

Wyneken, 2004. La Anatomía de las Tortugas Marinas. 25 min video. La Anatomíade las Tortugas Marinas

Lutz, P. L., J. A. Musick and J. Wyneken, Editors. 2003. The Biology of Sea Turtles . Vol. II. CRC Press, Inc.

Wyneken, J. 2002. Sea Turtle Marine Observer Training. 35 min video.

Wyneken. J. 2001 Guide to the Anatomy of Sea Turtles. NMFS Tech. Publication. NOAA Tech., Memo NMFS-SEFSC-470. 172 pp. (Black & White book and color CD). The Anatomy of Sea Turtles

Wyneken, 2000. The Anatomy of Sea Turtles. 26 min video.

ARAV abstract


J. Lawrence Glenn

The Orientation and Survival of Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings (Caretta caretta L.) in the Nearshore Environment [M. Salmon Co-Chair]

Lisa Decarlo Oliver

Comparative Studies of Retinal Design Among Sea Turtles: Histological and Behavioral Correlates of the Visual Streak [M. Salmon Co-Chair]

Erin Redfearn
A Comparative Approach to Understanding Sea Turtles Hatchling Metabolisms During Emergence
Jeanne Alexander
Calcium Requirement and Growth in the Hatchling Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta L.)
Kelly Stewart
The Risk of hatchling Loss to Nearshore Predators at a High-Density Loggerhead Nesting Beach in Southeast Florida
Dale Youngkin
A Long-Term Dietary Analysis of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) Based on Strandings from Cumberland Island, Georgia
C.F Chung
The Early Swimming Behaviour of Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) Hatchlings [Universiti Malaysia-Sarawak (External Chair)]
Megan Obernasser
Non-Thesis M.Sci
Lesley Stokes
A Seasonal and Latitudinal Assessment of Early Growth Rates in Northern and Southeastern Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta L.)
Kimberly Blair
Determination of Accurate Sex Ratios and their Relationship to Nest Temperature of Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta L.) Hatchlings Produced along the Southeastern Atlantic Coast
Niki Desjardin
Spatial, Temporal and Dietary Overlap of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and Ocean Sunfishes (Family Molidae)
Christie Whelan
Estimating Predation Levels and Site-specific Survival of Hatchling Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) from South Florida Beaches
Emily King
Gopher Tortoise Habitat Use and Spatial Distribution in a Southeastern Florida Population
Grace Kwong
Developmental Morphology of Flippers in Sea Turtles and Penguins
Lauren Cole
A Radiation of Convergences: A Phylogeny of Mexican Ambystoma Salamanders (Caudata: Ambystomatidae) from Larval Morphological Characters
Jennifer Davis
Home Range And Activity Patterns in a South Florida Population of the Tortoise Gopherus polyphemus on Savannas Preserve State Park
Jeremy R. Conrad
The Effects of Vegetation (Ipomoea pes-caprae) on Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Nest Productivity
Erin Dougherty
A Comparison of Stability in Swimming Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Green (Chelonia mydas) Sea Turtle Posthatchlings
Rachel Welicky
A retrospective analysis of sea turtle nest depredation patterns at Canaveral National Seashore, Florida


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