Annual Meeting

40th Annual Gopher Tortoise Council Meeting

Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, FL

October 12-14, 2018

The 2018 annual meeting will be held at Archbold Biological Station, located on the southern end of the Lake Wales Ridge in south-central Florida. Except for the Saturday night social and awards dinner, all activities will take place at the Station, utilizing the Frances Archbold Hufty Learning Center (a LEED Platinum-certified meeting facility) as well as the old campus of 1930s-era buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The unique field station setting will provide plenty of opportunities to unwind and experience the stunning biodiversity of the surrounding Florida scrub ecosystem. See for more information about the meeting location.

Registration is now open and we are accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentations. In addition to presentations about Gopher Tortoise biology, we welcome presentations on:

  • commensals and other species associated with tortoises and southeastern upland habitats
  • general ecology of upland pine ecosystems
  • habitat management and restoration
  • conservation initiatives
  • policy, regulation, or economics
  • monitoring and field techniques

Instructions for Submitting Abstracts (Oral Presentations and Posters)

The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 1, 2018. Abstracts should be 300 words or less and conform to the general style of Journal of Wildlife Management abstract format (see sample abstract below). The name, affiliation, address, and email of the corresponding author should be provided with the abstract. Please indicate if you wish to present an oral or poster presentation. Student presentation awards are given for the top three student oral presentations at the annual meeting. Please indicate clearly in your abstract if you are an undergraduate or graduate student so that you can be considered for this award. Abstracts must be submitted in MS Word. Please submit abstracts via e-mail to

Presentations will be strictly limited to 15 minutes, including 3-5 minutes for questions. An LCD projector will be provided. Overheads and 35 mm slides are not acceptable. Posters should be no larger than 48” x 36.”

Sample Abstract:

The Effects of Fish Size on Net Energy Intake of Snowy Egrets
Toobee R. Estord1 and Mork Ritters2
1Everglades Division, South Florida Water Management District, 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
2Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 3200 T. M. Goodwin Road, Fellsmere, FL 32948

Draining wetlands reduces their hydroperiod and causes a shift in the size structure of the fish community toward smaller and younger fish. Reduced fish size could potentially impact snowy egrets (Egretta thula) if it reduced their net energy intake. We tested the hypothesis........... MAXIMUM 300 WORDS.


Registration options for the 2018 GTC meeting are as follows:

Early-bird (through Sept. 14):

Student Meeting Registration
Professional Meeting Registration

Regular (after Sept. 14):

Student $90 ($105 including membership)
Professional $115 ($140 including membership)

Registration costs include on-site refreshment breaks, lunch and dinner on Friday, and Saturday lunch.

Saturday Poster Social & Awards Dinner

The Barn at Paso Fino, Lake Placid $23 – dinner and drinks included

Saturday Dinner


Every meeting attendee must register as a visitor to Archbold Biological Station no later than Sept. 28th. This Archbold registration form also allows you to reserve on-site lodging and sign up for your choice of nature walks on Friday morning.

GTC Membership

Please don’t forget to renew your membership or become a member of the GTC if you are not including it in your registration fees!


Follow this link to reserve on-site lodging at Archbold Biological Station. Space in the Archbold lodge is limited so book early!

Driving directions to Archbold

Otherwise we have arranged discounted group rates at two hotels in Lake Placid:

Holiday Inn Express 863-465-9916 (standard room $89 plus tax, suite $99 plus tax; block of rooms guaranteed until Sept. 14) – 10 mi from ABS at 608 S. Lakeview Rd

Ramada Inn 863-465-3133 ($69 plus tax) – 7 mi from ABS at 2165 US Hwy 27 South

Online booking is unavailable. Be sure to mention Gopher Tortoise Council to receive these discounted rates.

The nearest campgrounds are:

Lake Placid Camp Resort (863-465-2934) – 8 mi from ABS at 1801 US Hwy 27 South

Fisheating Creek Outpost (863-675-5999) – 19 mi from ABS in Palmdale

Conference T-shirts

T-shirts for the upcoming annual meeting are now available!

We are using Custom Ink for the first time, therefore, you have more shirt choices to pick from. You can choose to have your shirt(s) mailed to you in advance, or select the option to pick it up at the meeting on October 12. The order page will be open until Sept 12. Orders will be shipped soon after Sept 12 and you will receive you order by the end of September.

We will have a shorter online order window during the annual meeting as well, but WON’T be selling T-shirts at the meeting.

More Information

For more information contact Betsie Rothermel, GTC Co-chair and host for this year’s meeting (863-465-2571 ext. 231; Hope to see you all in October!