Everyone recognizes a turtle! But how much do you really know about turtles and tortoises? Do you even know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Why is a box turtle a turtle and not a tortoise? Jennifer will discuss these questions and many other fun facts and interesting tidbits about turtles. She will also discuss her current research at UNG that involves turtles, and highlight conservation issues regarding turtles and tortoises world-wide.
Dr. Mook is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Georgia – Gainesville. She received her BS in Biology at Penn State University where she was involved in student research on stone flies, zebra mussels, and biodegradation of hydrocarbons by fungi. After a year off and volunteering with a wildlife rehabilitator, she decided to fly south to Clemson to escape the snow belt and to delve into a MS program involving genetic research on tortoises. Since working with tortoises was not enough, she also got involved in a sperm physiology research project that ultimately led to her PhD from Clemson and used her molecular skills to help with the international peach genome sequencing project. During this time she also worked at the Greenville Zoo, and that is ultimately where she acquired her current 140 lb pet tortoise. She moved to Virginia for a post-doc researcher position on semen storage and motility, but quickly returned back south to Gainesville. She also returned to her love of turtles in research. She is currently involved in research studying box turtle habitat use and phenotypic variation in musk turtles.