For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Faculty Experts

James R. Spotila

James Spotila, PhD

L. Drew Betz Chair Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science

College of Arts and Sciences

Contact:

james.robert.spotila@drexel.edu

215.895.2627

Spotila's research interests are centered in the areas of environmental science, physiological and biophysical ecology, fisheries biology and ichthyology and conservation biology. He is an expert in the physiological and population ecology of sea turtles.

A pioneer in the field of sea turtle research, Spotila has made key contributions to the understanding of their physiology and behavior, and brought awareness to the threats they face. He was part of the team that attached a transmitter to a sea turtle for the first time, was first to recognize the impending disappearance of the leatherbacks from the Pacific Ocean and the first to document the connection between sex determination and nest temperature.

In 2005, Spotila published the award-winning illustrated book Sea Turtles: A complete guide to their biology, behavior and conservation and donated all proceeds from sales to The Leatherback Trust. He is a professor of environmental science at Drexel and director of its Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. He worked in the Clinton Administration as Chief Environmental Scientist for the Department of the Army.

 

For news media inquiries, contact Emily Storz at els332@drexel.edu or 215.895.2705.

In the News

  • In 'Pandas' Film, Drexel Team Helps Release Artificially Bred Bears Into the Wild

    James Spotila, PhD, L. Drew Betz Chair Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a June 5 Philadelphia Inquirer story on the new IMAX movie "Pandas" that will hold a sneak-peek this week. The story also features Spotila's former doctoral students and current student Wenlei Bi.

  • ECOVIEWS: Alligator Questions Are on the Rise

    James Spotila, PhD, L. Drew Betz Chair Professor of BEES in the College of Arts and Sciences, was mentioned for his past study on basking alligators in a Feb. 25 Tuscaloosa News story.

  • China’s Pandas, Flowers Threatened by Global Warming

    James Spotila, PhD, L.D. Bets Chair Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a June 14 Climate Home story covering his study into giant panda metabolism and how climate change might threaten them. The study’s lead author, graduate student Yuxiang Fei, was also mentioned.

  • Identifying Danger Zones Could Help Prevent Sea-Turtle Deaths

    James Spotila, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a LiveScience article on Jan. 18 about his research mapping danger zones in the Pacific for leatherback turtles’ encounters with industrial longline fisheries.

  • Drexel prof helps effort to keep sea turtles free of life-threatening lines

    James Spotila, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a story on WHYY-FM/Newsworks.org on Jan. 13 about research he conducted to map areas of the Pacific Ocean where critically endangered leatherback turtles are most likely to interact with fisheries where they may be killed.

  • Thousands of turtles killed by longline fishing in Costa Rica

    Research by Dr. James Spotila, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, on the impact of Costa Rica’s longline fisheries on sea turtles and sharks, was featured in a Discovery News article on October 3 that also ran on FoxNews.com.

Related Articles