Dr. Carrie Manfrino

President and Director of Research & Conservation

Carrie founded CCMI in 1998 and has since built CCMI around her dream of sustaining biodiversity through research, education and conservation. As a professor of oceanography, Carrie has dedicated over 12 years to marine research in LittleCayman.



Rob Hedges

Director of Operations & Field Station Manager

Rob has a degree in Coastal Marine Biology and a wealth of experience as an operations manager.  The Little Cayman Research Centre is a complex operation and Rob is responsible for its upkeep, smooth running, booking and staffing. He is also a qualified diving instructor and EFR instructor.



Katie Lohr

Conservation Coordinator

Katie has an M.P.S. in Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Since qualifying, Katie has become an integral part of the CCMI research team, with her broad field research experience and an intimate knowledge of lionfish and coral restoration.


Pauline Simpson

Programmes Coordinator

Pauline has now been volunteering for CCMI for 5 years. She has a degree in Geology with Oceanography and has worked in  marine science research all her life, specialising in the field of data and information, yet her talents cover many aspects of her volunteer role. Pauline provides invaluable support for the enrollment, fundraising and administration within CCMI.

Lowell Forbes

Boat Captain and Maintenance

Lowell has been with CCMI for over 5 years and is a talented boat captain and diver. A resident of Little Cayman for over 15 years, his experience both in the water and out is invaluable to CCMI. Lowell is also responsible for helping to keep the LCRC maintained (which is no easy feat on this small island!).



Sue Thomas

Admin Assistant

Sue joined our team in 2011, but we are wondering how we coped before! Sue has PA and administration experience from around the world, in a plethora of industries. Her rich background ensures she keeps us all on our toes.

Emily Lopez


Emily is the heart and soul of the Little Cayman Research Centre, as many of our staff and visitors will testify! Her importance is simple to explain: She provides excellent quality Caymanian cooking for groups of all sizes.




Jade arch

Marketing Coordinator

Caymanian born Jade joined the CCMI team in late 2012 as Marketing Coordinator. She completed her BSc. Tourism and the Environment in the UK in 2010 and returned home to the Cayman Islands, where her passion for the natural environment began. Jade has a rich background in educating primary and secondary school students in marine sustainability. Her knowledge of the Cayman Islands environment and academic background ensures she can effectively communicate CCMI’s mission and projects clearly to a wide range of stakeholders. Jade is based in Grand Cayman where she coordinates our membership programmes, and education and outreach events.



‚ÄčThomas quigley 

Education and Programme Coordinator 

Tom joined CCMI at the beginning of 2013 as Education and Programme Coordinator. After receiving his BSc in Biology at Emory University in 2011, Tom travelled to Australia, where he worked in a variety of positions from rehabilitating injured marsupials, to Divemaster work on sailboats and dive vessels, to assisting researchers in marine and terrestrial conservation efforts. In 2013 Tom moved to Madagascar, where he worked with researchers and undergraduates to create a baseline monitoring program for the coral reefs of Nosy Be in the North-West. Tom uses his wide experience base to transmit his passion for science and the environment to student groups from kindergarden straight up through undergraduate.


 Emily darani

 Education Intern

 Emily joined CCMI in Spring 2014 as the new Education Intern. After completing her BSc. degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology in the  UK, she knew she wanted to venture out into the tropics. Emily completed a turtle conservation internship in Africa last year - where she  learned about and educated the public on the reproductive and nesting behaviours of Loggerhead turtles. She uses her experience of  public education and outreach to help teach groups of students who visit CCMI's Research Centre during tropical marine courses.



ccmi fellowships

dr. Steffan hetzinger

REU Mentor

Steffen has a PhD in Marine Geology from Kiel University (Germany) and completed a Postdoc as a Humboldt Fellow at University of Toronto, Canada. He is a Research Assistant at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel since 2010. Steffen's research interests centre on the extraction of past environmental signals from the skeletons of marine organisms such as corals by using microsampling techniques and geochemical analysis. 
Around Little Cayman massive coral colonies can grow continuously for up to several hundred years. Steffen expects that the reconstruction of past natural climate fluctuations from these high-resolution archives provides an important baseline to better understand the dangers of global warming to modern Caribbean reefs. 



Dr. marguerite koch

REU Mentor

Dr. Koch hosts an active research programme in marine ecology. She received her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami’s Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), an M.S. in Marine Science from Louisiana State University (LSU) through LSU’s Center for Wetland Resources and Wetland Biogeochemistry Lab, and a B.S. in Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She also studied coral reef ecology at the Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Laboratory in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, fisheries and estuarine ecology at the University of Washington in Seattle, and was a graduate exchange scholar at the University of Exeter in England investigating nutrient cycling in coastal marine ecosystems. During Dr. Koch’s 25 years as a marine ecologist, she has worked across a broad range of habitats from the Bering Sea, Alaska as a fisheries biologist, to studying the biogeochemistry of seagrass ecosystems in the Virgin Islands. Her primary research interest is in the sustainability and productivity of marine habitats, primarily tropical marine ecosystems, such as seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs. The majority of Dr. Koch’s research over the last 15 years has focused on investigating stressors associated with tropical marine ecosystems living at the edge of stress tolerance to multiple parameters, such as high temperature and salinity. This focus on tropical stressors has led to Dr. Koch’s keen interest in climate change effects on coastal marine ecosystems. Her present research focuses on biogeochemical changes in tropical marine ecosystems and ecophysiological responses of marine plants under a rapidly changing climate and increases in pCO2, including thermal stress and ocean acidification.