Leadership Team

Sea Turtle Trackers founder Bruno FalkensteinBruno Falkenstein

Bruno Falkenstein has been the marine turtle permit holder for St. Pete Beach and Shell Key since the inception of the FWC Statewide Nesting Beach Survey. Bruno has managed and monitored hundreds of sea turtle nests since 1979 and enthusiastically educates members of the public at every opportunity about all aspects of marine turtle conservation. A natural teacher, he has inspired the interest of, mentored, and recruited untold numbers of turtle advocates both on the beach and in his off-the-beach life as a successful restaurateur and sometimes politician. Bruno is the heart and soul of our organization and still actively patrols and responds to stranding calls.

"Turtle Joe" Widlansky

“Turtle Joe” Widlansky came to Sea Turtle Trackers from Clearwater Marine Aquarium where he was a Sea Turtle Biologist (2005-2013) and a volunteer in Sea Turtle department (2002-2004). While at CMA, Joe was responsible for sea turtle nest patrols in south Pinellas and worked with sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release. During that time, Joe worked closely with Bruno and served as his backup.

Joe is a founding member of the Sea Turtle Trackers, Inc. Board of Directors, serving as Vice President of Operations. You can typically see Joe driving the Turtle Truck during Nesting Season.

Theresa Arenholz

Theresa Arenholz founded the nonprofit organization Sea Turtle Trackers, Inc. to support the work that Bruno and his team have been doing for decades. She has served a variety of roles on the Board of Directors and on the Operations team, and is responsible for nonprofit operations, social media, community outreach, program management and information technology. Theresa has volunteered in sea turtle nesting and rehabilitation since 2004. She is a supervisor on St. Pete Beach Patrols.


Melinda McKenna

Melinda McKenna started as a beach walker at the beginning of the 2018 season.  In late fall, she joined the board as Treasurer. Melinda is a regular St. Pete Beach driver, runs the Calendar team, works many events and is the board liaison/chair of the fundraising committee.  In her other life, Melinda is a Disney fanatic and works as a realtor with Luxury & Beach Realty.



Paula Tusia

Paula Tusia started as a beach walker in the 2018 season.  In 2021 she took over the Adoption Team.  During the 2022 season she became a supervisor and in 2023 she joined the board as Secretary.  Paula is a regular St. Pete Beach driver, runs the Marketing team, works many events and still helps out with the Adoption Team.  In her other life, Paula is a Communications and Program Analyst with The Department of Veterans Affairs and loves to travel, snorkel, and spend time with her Florida Jeep Girl Club.


Julia Marchant

Julia Marchant started as a beach walker in 2017 and also became the T-Shirt/Clothing Sales Committee Chair that same year.  During the 2018 season she became a supervisor and in 2023 Julia joined the STT Board of Directors.  When not saving Sea Turtles, Julia is a paralegal who loves to travel and shop at Aldi.