Pamela Plotkin

Pamela Plotkin

Associate Research Professor

Director of Texas Sea Grant

Biological Oceanography: Behavior of Marine Vertebrates, Feeding Ecology

  (979) 845-3854

  Eller O&M 504


Ecology and conservation of large marine vertebrates; sea turtle behavioral ecology; Gulf of Mexico restoration; healthy coastal ecosystems; resilient communities and economies; sustainable seafood and aquaculture.

Selected Publications

  • Benny J. Gallaway, William J. Gazey, Charles W. Caillouet, Jr., Pamela T. Plotkin and 34 others. In press. Development of a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Stock Assessment Model. Gulf of Mexico Science. 
  • Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R., Balazs, G.H., Johnson, J.B., Peterson, T.D., Wicksten, M.K. and  P.T. Plotkin. 2015. High frequency of occurrence of anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles in the North Pacific ocean. Marine Biology DOI 10.1007/s00227-015-2738-1. 
  • Plotkin, P. and J. Bernardo. 2014. Sea turtle funding dries up. Science 343:484. 
  • Plotkin, P.T. 2010. Nomadic behavior of the highly-migratory olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Endangered Species Research 13:33-40. 
  • Plotkin, P.T. and J.R. Spotila. 2002. Post-nesting migrations of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta from Georgia, U.S.A.: Conservation implications for a genetically distinct sub-population. Oryx 36(4). 
  • Spotila, J.R., Reina, R.D., Steyermark, A.C., Plotkin, P.T. and F.V. Paladino. 2000. Pacific leatherback turtles face extinction. Nature 405:529-530. 
  • Plotkin, P.T. 1998. Interaction between behavior of marine organisms and the performance of satellite transmitters: A marine turtle case study. Marine Technology Society Journal 32:5-10. 
  • Plotkin, P.T., Rostal, D.C., Byles, R.A. and D.W. Owens. 1997. Reproductive and developmental synchrony in female Lepidochelys olivacea. Journal of Herpetology 31:17-22. 
  • Ortiz, R., Plotkin, P.T. and D.W. Owens. 1997. Predation on olive ridley sea turtles by the American crocodile at Playa Nancite, Costa Rica. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2:585-587. 
  • Plotkin, P.T., D.W. Owens, R.A. Byles, and R. Patterson. 1996. Departure of male olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) from a nearshore breeding area. Herpetologica  52:1-7. 
  • Plotkin, P.T. 1996. Occurrence and diet of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2:78-80. 
  • Spotila, J.R., A.E. Dunham, A.J. Leslie, A.C. Steyermark, P.T. Plotkin, and F.V. Paladino. 1996. Worldwide population decline of Dermochelys coriacea: Are leatherback turtles going extinct? Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2:209-222. 
  • Plotkin, P.T., R.A. Byles, D.C. Rostal, and D.W. Owens. 1995. Independent vs. socially facilitated migrations of the olive ridley, Lepidochelys olivacea.  Marine Biology 122:137-143. 
  • Plotkin, P.T., M.K. Wicksten, and A.F. Amos. 1993. Feeding ecology of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Biology 115:1-5. 
  • Amos, A.F. and P.T. Plotkin. 1990. Anthropogenic and natural debris on a south Texas barrier island beach. Pp. 367-368. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Marine Debris. NOAA TM-NMFS-SWFSC-154. 

Recent Books and Book Chapters 

  • Plotkin, P.T., A. Abreu-Grobois, and R. Briseño-Dueñas. 2012. Interpreting Signs of Olive Ridley Recovery in the Eastern Pacific. In: J.A. Seminoff and B.P. Wallace (eds.). Sea Turtles of the Eastern Pacific: Advances in Research and Conservation.  Pp. 302-335. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ. 
  • Plotkin, P.T. 2007. Near extinction and recovery. In: P.T. Plotkin (ed.). Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 
  • Bernardo, J. and P.T. Plotkin. 2007. An evolutionary perspective on the arribada phenomenon and reproductive behavioral polymorphism of olive ridley sea turtles,(Lepidochelys olivacea). In: P. T. Plotkin (ed.). Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 
  • Morreale, S.J., Plotkin, P.T., Shaver, D.J. and H.J. Kalb. 2007. Adult Migration and Habitat Utilization: Ridley Turtles in their Element. In: P.T. Plotkin (ed.). Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 
  • Plotkin, P.T. 2003. Adult migrations and habitat use. Pp. 225-241. In: P. Lutz, J. Musick, and J. Wyneken (eds.). The Biology of Sea Turtles: II. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Mortimer, J.A., Donnelly, M. and P.T. Plotkin. 2000. Sea turtles. Pp. 59-71. In: C.R.C. Sheppard (ed.). Seas at the Millennium: An Environmental Evaluation. Volume III. Global Issues and Processes. Elsevier Science Ltd., Oxford, U.K. 
  • Lutcavage, M., P. Plotkin, B. Witherington and P. Lutz. 1996. Human impacts on sea turtle survival. Pp. 387-409. In: P. Lutz and J. Musick (eds.). The Biology of Sea Turtles. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.   


Ph.D., Zoology, Texas A&M University, 1994  

M.S., Zoology, Texas A&M University, 1989  

B.S., Wildlife Science, Pennsylvania State University, 1984 

Additional Information


  • Director, Texas Sea Grant College Program; Associate Research Professor, Texas A&M University, Department of Oceanography; Graduate Faculty, Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program; Graduate Faculty, Texas A&M University at Galveston. 2011 – present 
  • Deputy Director, Office of Sponsored Programs, Cornell University, 2007 - 2011 
  • Assistant Vice President for Research, East Tennessee State University, 2002- 2007 
  • Director of Research & Sponsored Programs, Frostburg State University, 2000 – 2002           
  • Senior Scientist, Center for Marine Conservation, 1999 - 2000 
  • Assistant Professor of Ecology, University of Delaware, 1997 - 1999
  • Postdoctoral Lecturer/Researcher, Drexel University, 1995 - 1997
  • Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1994 - 1995

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