Why sea turtles?
Dr. Eckert is world-renowned for his expertise on the leatherback turtle. As he told National Geographic, these wide-ranging creatures were "on the beaches when T-Rex was the primary predator." And although they look ungainly on land, in the water "they are the most graceful creatures you’ve ever seen. This is one of the finest hydro-dynamically designed animals on the planet."
A great moment in the field:
Dr. Eckert can claim many firsts. He pioneered the use of microelectronic tags on sea turtles to track their movements and behavior, and was first to successfully follow long-term turtle movements with satellite data. He also made the connection between the collapse of major sea-turtle nesting colonies and commercial fishing happening far across the ocean. He has since worked to help leatherbacks and fishermen coexist by testing nets designed to catch fewer turtles with Trinidadian fisherman.