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Photo of Zandy Hillis-Starr ZANDY HILLIS-STARR

Zandy Hillis-Starr is Resource Management Specialist at Buck Island Reef National Monument on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. After graduating from Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, she earned a B.A. in zoology/marine biology from the University of Maine at Orono.

In addition to her research at Buck Island, Zandy has been involved in studying turtles in other areas of the world. In 1996 she received a grant to study hawksbill sea turtles and collect genetic samples in Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela, South America. The year before she traveled to Australia to train with Dr. Colin Limpus in Brisbane and to assist with a hawksbill turtle research program on an uninhabited barrier reef island for six weeks. She also helped to establish coral reef baseline for monitoring along both east and west walls of Salt River Canyon, in St. Croix.

Zandy has been recognized with several awards for her work in natural resource management. Most recently, she received the 1997 National Park Service's Directors Award for Natural Resource Stewardship and Research. She makes frequent professional and public presentations about her work and was guest speaker at the International Workshop on Management of Marine Turtles in Tokyo, Japan, in 1995. She received another honor in 1993 when a new species of Coleoptera (beetle), endemic to Buck Island Reef, was discovered and named in her honor as Longitarsus zandae

Zandy has acquired many skills to help her in her work as a marine biologist. She is an accomplished underwater photographer and videographer, certified as a motor boat operator and has completed basic aviation training. She is an NOAA Certified scuba diver and completed a saturation scuba mission, living 10 days underwater in an NOAA/NURP Aquarius Habitat in Salt River Canyon, St. Croix.

See Zandy Hillis-Starr's answers to Ask the Scientists questions.

Zandy is also featured in Cool Careers in Science.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.