Egg Processing and the Importance of Genetic Study

Sadly, we had no new crawls yesterday morning, but we did process our first batch of fresh eggs on Friday. For those of you who don’t already know, we extract a fresh egg from every new loggerhead nest for two very important research projects. The first is a genetics project by Dr. Brian Shamblin at the University of Georgia. Northeast Florida beaches, with only a few exceptions, have been participating in this study since 2016. Georgia and the Carolinas have been doing it for at least 10 more years than us.

Dr. Shamblin is able to track every nest of a female in every season she has nested. He has also been able to track the nests of daughters and granddaughters. There are many valuable research uses of his data, including the enhancement of other research projects, including that of the Florida FWC, the other study in which we are participating.

Dr. Simona Ceriana, with FWC, is able to determine where a turtle is foraging when she is not nesting. Dr. Ceriana’s research depends on Dr. Shamblin’s genetic analysis. Dr. Shamblin is able to extract the mother’s DNA from the inside of a fresh egg, and Dr. Ceriana does her isotope analysis using the separated yolk and albumin. Here are our prepared samples.

The egg shells go in these vials.
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The yolk and albumin are separated into identified cups and frozen.