Creating 3D digital and physical specimens of live flatback turtles for science, conservation and education

What? This collaboration with Professor Duncan Irschick, leader of the Digital Life Project, aims to create 3D "digital specimens" of living animals using the emerging technique of digital photogrammetry and the Beastcam™ technology. The main goals of this collaboration are to create a 3D digital specimen of a live flatback turtle that will be used for research, conservation and education purposes, and to organize hands-on talks that would teach colleagues the science and art of photogrammetry and explore the uses and benefits of novel 3D imaging techniques and the educational opportunities of 3D models of living animals.


Why? One of the main objectives of the NWSFTCP's Strategic Conservation Plan is to establish information and education programs. Having access to a 3D digital specimen of a live flatback turtle offers opportunities for creating state-of-the-art communication and education material such as 3D printing, apps, educational computer games. 
What have we found? Hands-on talks have been delivered in November 2017 in Perth by Professor Duncan Irschick. Duncan also came to Thevenard island to photograph nesting flatback turtles. A 3D digital specimen has now been created and is freely available for download here:
This 3D model is now being used for augmented reality projects and for creating 3D prints of flatback turtles.
A paper has been submitted to Copeia and is now under review. The paper is titled: