Conservation researcher
Ana Rita Patrício

Sophia Coveney

I am a marine researcher and conservationist studying population genetics in sea turtles. Using genetic analysis, my research examines how sea turtles are connected across the oceans and how their migrations make them vulnerable to threats.

During an MSc in Marine Vertebrate Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, I conducted a mitochondrial DNA assessment of the Ascension Island green turtle (Chelonia mydas) rookery. I characterised its genetic composition and performed Atlantic-wide population structure and connectivity analyses, using mixed stock analysis to assess the contribution of the Ascension population to Atlantic foraging aggregations. At MARE-ISPA, I am expanding on this work, investigating further populations to improve our knowledge of South Atlantic green turtle connectivity and inform the international collaboration necessary to conserve this incredible species.