Nick DiLuzio




Tracking the ever elusive Diamondback Terrapin

My name is Nick DiLuzio and I am a junior biology major at Davidson College in Davidson, NC. I have been involved with the herp lab since January of 2006, and just recently started doing research on pond turtles. Along with my research, I also assist in running the drift fence on the Davidson Ecological Preserve and assist Steve Price and other lab members in the sampling of stream salamanders for a three-year, landscape-scale study. I have always enjoyed being outdoors, and my work in the lab has deepened my appreciation for nature, and the need to protect it.



I am currently participating in a three-year mark-recapture on pond turtles that began in the summer of 2005. My partner, Leigh Anne Harden, is investigating the potential effects of residential development on the turtle populations. We are in the process of sampling six ponds, three of which are in the process of being developed.

I am looking at the issue of detectability in pond turtles. I will be looking at individual detectability within each species captured, as well as species detectability within the pond population as a whole. Within each species, I will be looking at how age and sex affcts the detectability of individuals within each species.



Leigh Anne and I recently finished an intensive week-long telemetry study on Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) in Kiawah Island. Upon arriving on the island, we captured and attached iButtons and radio transmitters to six terrapins- three males and three females. The terrapins were immediately released at the spot of capture, and were tracked three to four times a day. iButtons were also placed in the water and the mud on the stream bank to obtain the temperatures of the various habitats the terrapins are likely to be found in. We hope to determine the movement patterns of diamondback terrapins in a marsh environment where the tides are constantly changing.


Questions? Please feel free to e-mail me!

Herpetology at Davidson College

Davidson College









A terrapin before release