By Sydney Gorak
Flagler College Science Professor Barbara Blonder’s research investigation with two Flagler students on changes in coastal Gopher Tortoise burrow characteristics was recently published on ScienceDirect.
Flagler College Science Professor Barbara Blonder has teamed up with two Flagler students in a research investigation recently published on ScienceDirect. The research focuses on changes in coastal gopher tortoise burrow characteristics.
But just as important as their research into how Gopher tortoises deal with any coastal species that is being impacted, especially by human nature and natural causes, was the fact that they are an all-female team of researchers.
The research deals with how gopher tortoises deal with any coastal species being impacted, especially by human nature and natural causes. While this research is important, the project showcases the work of an all-female team of researchers.
“We worked really, really hard and we got a paper and a really good high quality primary scientific international journal. As three women from a small college. that’s really not on the map for science,” Professor Blonder said. “I’m really proud of that.”
It is rare to see a female scientist having their work published, and the team of three female scientists are providing a new perspective on the local species. The two students, Kyra Liedkte and Sloane Stephens, were chosen by Blonder for their expertise skills and contributions needed for the job. Gender wasn’t a consideration when determining roles for the research.
Any research completed, data analyzed, and reports written has to go through an editing process before being published. The authors names are included in the submission process, reviewed and then determined if publishable. Editors may have bias towards specific names and genders and if that is the case, the research may not be published.
Biodiversity in our habitats and ecosystems that exist in the world play an important role in survival. Gopher tortoises help revegetate and stabilize our sand dunes also protecting our roads and coastlines. These processes are natural for tortoises and without them we will suffer with greater costs.
Species such as birds, plants, and insects are endangered or threatened with extinction due to the progression of climate change. Coastal species have already been affected even before climate change and now it is our responsibility to plan how to help these species adapt to the changes we’ve introduced into their environments.
The three female scientists’ article can be accessed on ScienceDirect. The research investigates changes in coastal Gopher Tortoise burrow characteristics following hurricane events in Northeast, Florida and how our natural world is adapting.