Bermuda Expedition: Sun, Science and Turtles


Scientist, Researcher and Adventurer Sue Wieber Nourse

On the sunny shores of Southampton, Bermuda, even the most adventurous scientist takes a few moments to rest and recuperate from a hectic research schedule.  The Reefs resort of Southampton provides the perfect setting to relax and a great venue from which to prepare for and recover from each day’s adventures.

The Reefs Resort, Southampton, Bermuda

Turtle Journal invites you to join us on our research expedition to Bermuda to confirm the presence of diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) rumored to populate a few salt ponds south of Harrington Sound in and near the Mid Ocean Golf Course.  To hook up with the lead researcher addressing the issue of these cryptic reptiles, Mark Outerbridge, we visited BAMZ (the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo).  A BAMZ researcher, Mark was then conducting fish studies in these salt ponds when he had encountered the turtles.


BAMZ: One of the Best Small Aquariums in the World

We delighted at the prospect of touring BAMZ which we knew ranked as one of the best small aquariums in the world.  We arrived several hours early for the meeting, so that we could wander through the aquarium, museum and zoo.  Right out front in open air tanks swim giant green sea turtles to welcome visitors to BAMZ.


BAMZ Offers Up-Close, Personal Experiences

One of the key assets of the aquarium is the way that it highlights Bermuda marine species with up-close & intimate displays.

BAMZ: Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo

BAMZ: Green Sea Turtle in Coral Reef Tank

While these video clips focus on the aquarium, it’s worth noting that the museum offers exceptional environmental displays and interactive exhibits that brilliantly illustrate the natural history and fragile habitats of Bermuda. 


Don Lewis with Bermuda Diamondback Terrapins

We met the BAMZ turtle team and discussed a host of issues, ranging from diamondback terrapins to methods, procedures and equipment to protect sea turtle nests and incubating eggs.  The Turtle Journal team provided background information on terrapin natural history, morphology and lifecycle; we shared research protocols, as well as data collection sheets and collection procedures.  We arranged to visit the salt ponds within and bordering the Mid Ocean Golf Course the next day with lead researcher, Mark Outerbridge.

Diamondback Terrapins in Bermuda

Mark Outerbridge, Don Lewis & Sue Wieber Nourse

Following our expedition to Bermuda, Mark Outerbridge and colleagues pursued more detailed research on the genesis of this terrapin population on Bermuda.  Their interesting findings are published in “Introduced delicacy or native species?  A natural origin of Bermudian terrapins supported by fossil and genetic data,” which can be accessed by clicking on the title.


Beautiful Terrapins from Bermuda’s Mid Ocean Golf Course

Meeting the only population of diamondback terrapins outside the U.S. proved a wonderful experience for the Turtle Journal team, as did the chance to dive on Bermuda reefs and a sunken wreck, to tour the exquisite BAMZ facility and to enjoy the five-star accommodations of the Reefs in Southampton.  We hope you, too, enjoy this virtual expedition as much as we did in reliving it. 

3 Responses to “Bermuda Expedition: Sun, Science and Turtles”

  1. […] Bermuda Expedition: Sun, Science and Turtles « Turtle Journal […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Don Lewis, Yvonne Smith-Patmore. Yvonne Smith-Patmore said: Bermuda Expedition: Sun, Science and Turtles « Turtle Journal […]

  3. Very interesting post I enjoy your blog keep up the amazing articles