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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

Graduate Student Directory

Michael Arendt

Degree Program: Integrative Biology
Major Professor: Dr Joe Quattro

In fall 2013 I enrolled in the Integrative Biology program to pursue a Ph.D. while continuing to work full-time for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in Charleston, SC where I have been employed since May 2000.  My education includes a B.S. in Biology from the Virginia Military Institute and a M.S. in Marine Science (Fisheries) from the College of William and Mary/VIMS.  During the past 14 years I have worked on a diversity of assignments as a Wildlife Biologist, but have primarily focused on population dynamics and environmental influences on temporal and spatial distribution patterns of vertebrate species.  I am currently the Principal Investigator for three research projects involving (a) multiple sea turtle species, (b) diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), and (c) Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhincus).  For my dissertation research, I will analyze temporal trends in size distribution, genetic haplotype, and sex ratio data from on an extensive regional in-water capture data set, as well as evaluate relationships between sex ratio and annual survival.  The purpose of this research is to assess whether loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the southeast U.S. are likely to achieve nesting demographic recovery criteria by 2027, which Arendt et al. (2013) suggested is possible for south Florida, where the vast majority of nesting for this species occurs in the NW Atlantic Ocean.


Selected recent publications:

Arendt MD, Schwenter JA, Witherington BE, Meylan AB, Saba VS (2013) Historical versus Contemporary Climate Forcing on the Annual Nesting Variability of Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. PLoS ONE 8(12): e81097. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081097

Arendt MD, Schwenter JA, Segars AL, Byrd JI, Whitaker JD, and L Parker (2012) Temporal trends (2000–2011) and influences on fishery-independent catch rates for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at an important coastal foraging region of the Southeast U.S. Fish Bull 110(4):470–483.

Arendt MD, Boynton J, Schwenter JA, Segars AL, Byrd JI, Maier PP, Whitaker JD, Owens DW, Blanvillain G, Quattro JM, Roberts MA (2012) Spatial clustering of loggerhead sea turtles in the Northwest Atlantic: implications for management surveys. Endang Species Res 18:219–231.

Arendt MD, Segars AL, Byrd JI, Boynton J, Whitaker JD, Parker L, Owens DW, Blanvillain G, Quattro JM and MA Roberts (2012) Seasonal distribution patterns of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) following capture from a shipping channel in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Mar Biol 159(1):127–139

Research program websites:

In-water sea turtle trawl survey:

Ecology of diamondback terrapins at Duck Island (website in winter 2013-14)

Occurrence of Atlantic sturgeon in coastal marine habitats (website in winter 2013-14)