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Headshot of Joseph Pfaller smiling

Joseph Pfaller, Ph.D.

Branch Chief
Marine Mammal and Turtle Division
Sea Turtle Branch
Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation
Office: (305) 361-4216
Email: joseph.pfaller@noaa.gov

Joseph Pfaller, Ph.D.

Branch Chief

Joe started working with sea turtles at the age of 15 while volunteering on the Caretta Research Project (CRP), a non-profit organization decided to studying and protecting loggerhead turtles nesting on the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge (near Savannah, Georgia). He completed his B.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Florida and M.S. at Florida State University, while serving as an intern and Research Director of CRP and a Research Associate of the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency in Australia. In 2020, Joe joined the Marine Turtle Specialist Group as a Co-Editor for the North Atlantic and Wider Caribbean Regional Report.

Joe's research on sea turtles has ranged from evaluating methodological biases associated with estimating population demographic rates to understanding the ecological roles that sea turtles play as hosts to epibiota to testing the sensory mechanisms that attract sea turtles to ocean plastics. Within the sea turtle community, Joe has worked with academics, state and federal wildlife managers, NGO and non-profit researchers, and private consultants from both national and international organizations.

Joe joined NOAA SEFSC as the Sea Turtle Branch chief in August 2022. He is featured in our Faces of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center Series. Read more about Joe

See Joe's scientific publications here.