As a biologist and a veterinarian, Dr. Claire Petros has always had a passion for nature and has known from a young age that she had wanted to work with wildlife. After completing her undergraduate course in Biological Sciences at Oxford University she went on to complete her veterinary training at Bristol University with the Bristol Zoological Society Prize for Zoological Medicine.
During her time in Oxford Claire Petros specialised in marine ecology, and undertook her final year dissertation studying coral bleaching in the Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia. It was during this time that she developed her love of diving, which inspired her desire to work closely with protecting marine life.
Whilst at Bristol Claire Petros spent her final year elective in North Carolina State University (NCSU), she joined the exotic and Turtle Rescue team. During her time in NCSU, she witnessed a cataract surgery on a Loggerhead sea turtle. It was an invaluable experience that led to a deeper fascination in turtle medicine. After graduation Claire Petros spent some time in Grenada working as a research assistant for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. It was here that her ambition to combine being a ‘sea turtle vet’ and marine wildlife conservationist began.
In November 2016 Claire Petros joined the Olive Ridley Project and moved to the Maldives to open a Marine Turtle Rescue Centre for ghost gear entangled sea turtles, the first veterinary clinic in the country.
She is now their lead veterinarian at the Olive Ridley Project. Dr. Petros is also a Sea Turtle consultant for OceanCare since 2018, and is focussing her research on Aquatic Wildmeat in the Indian Ocean. Claire Petros’s work with OceanCare instigated the foundation for the creation of the Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance STRA which was launched in 2021.
In 2021, she commenced a Ph.D. at the University of Oxford using the behavioural sciences to tackle unsustainable trade of sea turtle products in the Maldives.