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Christian Hayes: Graduated Master's student
Christian Hayes

 

Recreational diving and hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in a marine protected area

Click here to open his Thesis (pdf)

Publications:

Hayes, C.T., Baumbach, D.S., Juma, D., Dunbar, S.G. 2016. Impacts of recreational diving on hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) behaviour in a marine protected area. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. PDF here

Published Abstracts:

Hayes, C.H., Baumbach, D.S., Juma, D., and Dunbar S.G. 2016. Does recreational diving alter hawksbill sea turtle foraging behavior? Results from a marine protected area, Honduras. Seventh Annual Research and Scholarship Symposium. April 20, 2016. Cedarville, OH. PDF here. Poster PDF here

Hayes, C.T., Baumbach, D.S., Wright, M.K., Baeza, L., Macpui, M., Salinas, L., Dunbar, S.G. 2015. Does recreational diving impact hawksbill sea turtle sighting rates? Preliminary analysis for a marine protected area, Honduras. 35th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation.19-24 April, 2015. Dalaman, Mugla, Turkey. Poster PDF here

Baumbach, D.S., Hayes, C.T., Wright, M.K., Macpui, M., Salinas, L., Dunbar, S.G. 2015. Potential hawksbill prey item distribution among dive sites in a marine protected area in Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras. 35th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation.19-24 April, 2015. Dalaman, Mugla, Turkey. Poster PDF here

Baeza, L., Hayes, C.T., Wright, M.K., Salinas, L., Dunbar, S.G. 2015. Photo Recognition for in-water identification of hawksbills in a marine potected area of Honduras. 35th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation.19-24 April, 2015. Dalaman, Mugla, Turkey. Poster PDF here

Wright, M.K., Baeza, L., Hayes, C.T., Salinas, L., Dunbar, S.G. 2015. Sightings records of hawksbills in a marine protected area of Honduras. 35th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation.19-24 April, 2015. Dalaman, Mugla, Turkey. Poster PDF here. Poster PDF here

 

 

Update on Christian's current studies and activities (2018)

Christian Hayes Christian Hayes is a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Mississippi studying the use of turtlegrass (Thalassia testudinum) by blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) in the Gulf of Mexico. The overall goal of his research is to conduct a Gulf of Mexico-wide assessment of turtlegrass habitat use by nekton, and evaluate the support provided to blue crabs, a commercially valuable fishery species that has seen recent declines in harvest in many Gulf States.

The results of this research project will provide much needed information for management and conservation. Data on the relationship between turtlegrass structural complexity and nekton abundance across the Gulf of Mexico will give us a deeper understanding of the mechanistic processes underlying seagrass structural complexity and blue crab abundance, as well as and a basin-wide analysis of turtlegrass food web structure. 

Christian discusses his life in Mississippi:
“Life down here in southern Mississippi is very different from the west coast. For the most part, I have been thoroughly enjoying it, but I have lived all over the USA, so adapting to different subcultures has never been difficult for me. In general, people are extremely (occasionally somewhat scarily) nice, and polite in a way that I have not experienced anywhere else. The graduate community at Southern Miss, is significantly larger and more tight-knit than any I have experienced before and I have already become involved with multiple student organizations on campus. All in all, I enjoy living down in Southern Mississippi and look forward to many more years of research to come.” 
Christian Hayes 2

 

P.S. If you want more information about Christian’s life and research here in MS feel free to visit his blog at
http://christianinhisnaturalhabitat.blogspot.com/

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Christian examined the impacts of recreational diving on hawksbill sea turtles in Roatan, Honduras. He spent summer 2014 in the Roatan Marine Park (RMP) measuring recreational diver interactions with turtles, behavior changes in turtles, and habitat variation in hawksbill foraging areas. As part of PoTECTOR's ongoint work in Honduras, Christian's has expanded our limited knowledge of Honduran hawksbill ecology, tested hypotheses regarding the effects of SCUBA diving on hawksbill behavior, and increased local and global awareness of human-turtle interaction impacts. A working knowledge of turtle-diver interactions will enable RMP managers, conservation agencies, and government officials to design more effective management strategies for high diving areas, and implement better protocols for turtle-diver interactions in marine protected areas.

Christian Hayes Christian Hayes
Christian taking observations of hawksbill sea turtle behavior Christian arrayed in his full scuba attire
   
Christian Hayes
Christian measuring the effect of diver presence on sea turtle behavior Mugshot of juvenile hawksbill for photo ID analysis
   
Christian hayes
In addition to measuring their behavior Christian is also looking at hawksbill habitat in areas of recreational diving A hawksbill closely following Christian's movements