Eric Suarez is a graduate student in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida in Gainesville. For several years, Eric has worked as a volunteer with Dr. Gerald Johnston (Santa Fe Community College), studying the ecology of turtle assemblages in blackwater streams in the lower Santa Fe River system. He received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida in 2010 and went on to work for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to research alligator snapping turtles in the Suwannee River and three other major rivers across Florida's panhandle.
During his time working for FWC, Eric got the opportunity to branch out and work with diamondback terrapins in the Gulf of Mexico. His Master's research focuses on understanding the interactions between terrapins and crab traps. The primary goal of his research is to develop a standardized survey methodology for sampling terrapins on barrier islands, estimate population size and determine population demographics for a large terrapin population, and to understand what features of commercial crab traps inhibit terrapins from escaping once trapped inside.