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Nature Marine Life

My Life with Sea Turtles

A Marine Biologist's Quest to Protect One of the Most Ancient Animals on Earth

by (author) Christine Figgener

translated by Jane Billinghurst

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
May 2024
Marine Life, Marine Biology, Environmentalists & Naturalists
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price

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“A WONDERFUL READ … Christine's deep love for turtles comes through on each page."—CRAIG FOSTER, MY OCTOPUS TEACHER • “Will appeal to anyone interested in the world around us.”—DR. JANE GOODALL

Filled with reverence and wonder for the natural world, this captivating book reveals the secret life of sea turtles, one of the oldest living creatures on Earth, alongside one female scientist’s fight to save their future.

In 2015, a team of researchers carefully removed a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nostril off the coast of Costa Rica. The disturbing incident, which was captured on video, went viral, leading to corporate straw bans around the world. In this evocative book, reminiscent of Jane Goodall’s memoir In the Shadow of Man, the marine biologist behind the camera, Christine Figgener, recounts her own life spent studying and protecting sea turtles.

From the time she was a young girl, Figgener was determined to become a biologist, and study the marvels of the marine world. In My Life With Sea Turtles, she shares how she went from a small, gray town on the edge of industry to the lush coastline of Costa Rica, where she fell in love with the local environment and its famous residents: the sea turtles.

Figgener describes patrolling the beach at night, swimming with turtles in the open ocean, watching tiny turtles emerge from sandy nests, and risking her life during tropical storms. We learn about her experience as a woman in conservation, a male dominated space where she struggles to be taken seriously. Through discovering the fascinating science of sea turtles and the threats they face today, readers will be inspired to live their own lives differently to ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures.

About the authors

Christine Figgener's profile page

Jane Billinghurst holds an M.A. in German and Philosophy from Oxford University and is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including Temptress: From the Original Bad Girls to Women on Top. She is also an editor and has been the director of Simon Fraser University's Summer Book Editing Workshop. She lives in Anacortes, Washington, where she can often be found tending her foxgloves and forget-me-nots or relaxing in a garden chair.

Jane Billinghurst's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Of interest to young wildlife enthusiasts and experienced sea turtle biologists alike.”
—Terry M. Norton, DVM, Diplomate ACZM, Board Certified Specialist in Zoological Medicine, Lead Veterinarian at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida and Founder of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island, Georgia

"Protecting endangered sea turtles — and anything else we care deeply about— requires attention to both the little things and the big picture, persistence, patience, creativity, resilience, fearlessness, and wild, unstoppable love."
—Wallace J Nichols, author of Blue Mind

“In My Life With Sea Turtles, Christine Figgener has given us part memoir, part field guide. But more importantly she has given us a way to fall in love with sea turtles and their world, a world we share—and indeed a world that includes us. And nothing is more in need of love than that.”
—Carl Safina, author of Voyage of the Turtle, Alfie and Me, and Becoming Wild

"A wonderful read to enter the world of sea turtles.... Christine's deep love for turtles comes through on each page."
—Craig Foster, My Octopus Teacher

One thing is for sure about Christine's works is that the lives of thousands upon thousands of these incredible Sea Turtles have survived, lived, and thrived as a result of this one dedicated person. The [book is a] glimpse into something most of us will never touch. Christine is bringing us into her world of sea turtles to find the miraculousness that happens when one person is dedicated to making a difference.
—Darin Olien, author and co-host with Zac Efron of the Netflix series Down to Earth

The life of a sea turtle is fraught with danger but if I was a sea turtle, I'd want Christine Figgener on my side.
—Dr George McGavin, zoologist, author, and broadcaster, presenter of the BBC documentary Nature’s Turtle Nursery: Secrets From the Nest.

Other titles by Jane Billinghurst