Dr. Matthew Chatfield with a spotted turtle. SUBMITTED PHOTO

A wood turtle, one of Maine’s species that is facing unprecedented challenges in the modern world and rank among the most endangered vertebrate groups on Earth. SUBMITTED PHOTO

FARMINGTON — Western Maine Audubon is proud to present a talk by Dr. Matthew Chatfield titled, “Everything you didn’t realize you needed to know about turtles in Maine.” The talk will be held live in Thomas Auditorium, Preble Hall on the UMF campus at 173 High Street in Farmington on Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

It is free and open to interested guests of all ages. For those not able to attend in person, it will also be available live via Zoom. For more information and the Zoom link, visit the Western Maine Audubon website on the day of the presentation at https://western.maineaudubon.org/. In addition, the talk will be recorded and made available on the WMA website a few weeks after the presentation.

Turtles are somehow so familiar to us—having found a place in many cultures’ creation stories, being featured in countless children’s books, and making Hollywood appearances—yet researchers are only now appreciating their unique biology and ecological roles.

They have existed for 230 million years and have proven extraordinarily resilient, even surviving the mass extinction event that killed off the non-avian dinosaurs. Despite our affection for them and their resilience, turtles are facing unprecedented challenges in the modern world and rank among the most endangered vertebrate groups on Earth.

Maine is fortunate to be home to many of these beautiful, enduring, and vulnerable creatures. This talk will explore the turtles of Maine – their biology, how to observe them, and what we can all do to ensure their continued existence on our fragile planet.

Matthew Chatfield is an assistant professor of Evolution and Eco-Health at the University of Maine where he studies the evolution, ecology, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. He received a BA in Biology from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan. He subsequently spent five years at Tulane University and six years at Unity College. Dr. Chatfield also serves as the Principal Investigator of the Maine Wood Turtle Project.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: