OUR PEOPLE

Board Members

BOARD MEMBERS

Steve_Gittings_pic
Steve Gittings

Dr. Steve Gittings has a broad range of experience in conservation science, characterizing and monitoring marine ecosystems, assessing damage and recovery following ship groundings and oil spills, and applying science to management.  He has over 40 years of experience in scientific diving, ROV operations, and submersible use.

Dr. Gittings was inspired to become a marine scientist during a college field course in tropical ecology.  He received a B.S. in Biology at Westminster College in 1979, then M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Oceanography at Texas A&M University.  In graduate school, he studied the ecology of a natural brine seep, as well as biofouling ecology and the taxonomy and biogeography of barnacles.   He investigated the effects of brine discharges of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, produced a field guide to the barnacles of the Gulf of Mexico, and conducted investigative work for the National Transportation Safety Board.  He also helped characterize the reefs and banks of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, and studied deep reefs in the northeastern Gulf.  His doctoral research was on the processes affecting recovery of coral reefs following extensive mechanical damage.

After graduate school, he established a monitoring program on two reefs in the Gulf of Mexico called the Flower Garden Banks that is still operating.  In a series of saturation missions on the undersea habitat Aquarius, he monitored changes in deep reefs habitats in the Florida Keys.  He became NOAA’s first manager of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in 1992.  In 1998, he became Chief Scientist for the National Marine Sanctuary System, and now works with scientists to better understand the ecosystems of the nation’s marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments, track changing conditions, and reduce human impacts that diminish environmental quality.

Dr. Gittings works in the U.S. and internationally in the Caribbean and Mediterranean on invasive lionfish response planning.  Recently, he has been developing traps designed to catch lionfish in waters beyond scuba depth.  The traps minimize by-catch, eliminate ghost-fishing, and could help fishermen provide a steady supply of lionfish to seafood and other developing markets, supplementing their income while protecting native ecosystems.

IMG_9457
Sydney Coleman

Sydney qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1966 following his education in the United Kingdom. He has worked in the off-shore financial industry for over forty years, initially in the Bahamas and the Isle of Man before relocating to the Cayman Islands in 1973. Much of his career was spent as Chief Executive Officer of Paget Brown Trust Company Ltd, a position he retired from in 2013.

Throughout that period Sydney has been actively involved in the Cayman Islands business and accounting community. He is a Past President of the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants and the Company Managers Association, Deputy Chairman of the Maritime Authority and has sat on many committees including the Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, the Government Pension Steering Committee, the Shipping Sector Consultative Committee and the Financial Industry Consultative Committee. He served as a Notary Public for many years.

Outside of work, he is an avid sportsman and has represented the Cayman Islands in hockey and rugby. He played a role in the development of rugby on the island serving as team captain and later as President of the Cayman Islands Rugby Football Association. In 2003 he was elected President of the North America Caribbean Rugby Association, the governing body of the thirteen Unions in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

He is married to Claire and has four daughters Natalie, Danielle, Fleur and Hollie.

Peter H
Peter Hillenbrand
Chairman of the Board

Once on the pathway to becoming a marine biologist, Peter Hillenbrand took a detour from becoming a scientist by deciding to own and operate the Southern Cross Club, the famous diving and fishing resort in Little Cayman, in 1995. Not long after, in 2002, Peter become involved with CCMI in its seminal years, helping to launch the ocean literacy programme and the fundraising campaign that resulted in a state of the art marine research facility (with sustainable bathrooms, one of Pete’s legacies!). He served as Chairman of CCMI for many of those years until 2015, when he took a break to focus on his Indiana business Walhill Farm, a 250 acre farm with  sustainable principles at its core,  providing the backdrop to a successful events business and restaurant. 

Pete was awarded the Lifetime achievement Award by the Cayman Islands Stingray Awards in 2016, for his contribution to tourism in the Cayman Islands. His passion and dedication to the environment has always been at the fore, via his own business endeavors, his unwavering support for important conservation and environmental projects in the Cayman Islands, like Grouper Moon and of course, his role at CCMI. 

JS de Jager Profile Photo
JS de Jager
Treasurer

JS, originally from South Africa, moved to the Cayman Islands in 2007 and immediately fell in love with the Islands and the pristine oceans surrounding his “new” paradise home.  JS joined the board of CCMI in November 2017 following the introduction though mutual personal and professional contacts. It was an easy decision for JS to take on the challenge and join the CCMI board considering his passion for conservation and his love of the Caribbean Islands and surrounding ocean waters, reefs and life.

Since JS’s move to the Cayman Islands JS has been involved in a range of on-island nonprofit organization through fundraising activities and active board level involvement. JS’s background in financial services and specifically in the accounting and investment field and his management of an extensive portfolio of financial industry clients including investment companies, financial management companies, captive insurance/reinsurance companies, non-profit organisations and general commercial activities puts him in a good position to add valuable in put to the financial controls and management of CCMI.

Team-Carrie-Manfrino
DR CARRIE MANFRINO
President and CEO

Carrie is an oceanographer and in 2016 was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for work on the effects of rising sea level on coastal communities in the Indian Ocean. She established CCMI in 1998 and developed the Little Cayman Research Centre with a vision to advance the frontiers of coral reef science, conservation and education. Her Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics is from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. As President, CEO and senior scientist for CCMI, her deep-rooted curiosity is in the extinction risks of modern corals and she is concerned about the influence reef degradation has on coastal communities. She leads a diverse research programme with collaborators from all over the world who work on topics including impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on corals, algae, and fish.

In an effort to bring attention to threats to reefs she organized the 2016 symposium in London to “Rethink the Future for Coral Reefs’ with CCMI royal patron, HRH the Prince Edward. She is a recent contributor to the United Nations Chronicle writing on the Sustainable Development Goals for the ocean and as a member of the UN World Commission on Marine Protected Areas. As an educator, her greatest aspiration is for children to be ocean literate and she is invested in supporting early career scientists, especially in bringing science to society and in engaging women in science.

Team-Chris-Humphries
CHRIS HUMPHRIES

Chris has been with CCMI since 2004, when he helped set up the organisation as a Cayman Islands company. He joined the board of directors in 2010 and has held several positions in the organization, finally taking up the challenge of Chairman in 2015. Chris believes that education and awareness are a focal part of preserving the marine environment and that the Cayman Islands have one of the most spectacular reef systems in the world.

His real love is the research however – as this is the key to making a real difference and Chris has personally contributed to several pioneering research projects, including helping to establish the Coral Reef Early Warning System collaboration with NOAA. Chris is the managing director and partner of Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries (SWHH), the boutique law firm based in Grand Cayman. SWHH have also supported CCMI through extensive funding initiatives over the years. Chris has been a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London for more than 20 years and is a keen diver and underwater photographer.

Team-Tim-Kary
TIM KARY

Tim is a business professional with more than 30 years of experience in consulting and corporate operations (HR, Finance, IT) spanning multiple industries and companies including private, public, and non-profit organisations. He served as the VP of Finance and Administration for a Canadian-based energy company operating in Canada and the United States. Additional roles include Director of HR Operations, Global Director of HR, as well as the VP of HR in two India-based acquisitions.

Tim has volunteered on numerous non-profit boards and he has been involved with CCMI since 2007, when he first participated in the “Dive With a Researcher” programme. Tim has served as an advisor to CCMI for many years now, including developing several educational modules and is a volunteer instructor and counsellor for Sea Camp. Tim accepted the position as Treasurer in 2015 and continues to volunteer on education courses.

Team-Tom-Frazer
DR. TOM FRAZER

Tom is a Professor and Chief Scientist in the State of Florida, working primarily on climate change and pollution issues in the state. He was previously the Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida and served as the Acting Director of the UF Water Institute. Tom holds a Bachelor degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and a Masters Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research is, by nature, interdisciplinary, involves collaborators from disparate disciplines and is carried across broad space and time scales in an effort to effectively address contemporary and emerging environmental issues. Tom is particularly interested in anthropogenic impacts on aquatic systems and his current work is focused on eutrophication of fresh, estuarine, and coastal waters; invasive species; and the impacts of climate change on the health and integrity of marine ecosystems. During his tenure at the University of Florida, Tom has secured nearly three dozen multi-investigator and collaborative research grants totaling more than 13 million dollars. He has authored and/or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and book chapters. Tom currently serves as Chief Specialty Editor for the Coral Reef Research section of Frontiers in Marine Science and regularly serves as referee for other leading international journals and granting organizations. Tom and his team from UF have been working with CCMI for many years and this relationship has resulted in many seminal projects and publications.

STAFF

Staff-Desrine
Desrine Daley

Desrine has been an invaluable member of CCMI’s team since 2023, serving as our dedicated Facility Specialist. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for maintaining a clean and welcoming environment, Desrine plays a crucial role in ensuring the Little Cayman Research Centre is always in top condition.

Her commitment to cleanliness and organization not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of our space; it also contributes to the health and safety of our staff and visitors. Desrin’s work ethic is unmatched, and her friendly demeanor makes her a favorite among colleagues and guests alike.

Her dedication to her role is evident in every corner of our facility, making her an indispensable part of our team.

Staff-Devon
Devon Robinson
Chef

Devon Robinson joins CCMI with more than 30 years of experience in international and local cuisine. Cooking has always been his passion, and he has obtaining many certificates and a diploma in his chosen career. Devon has a lot of experience in high-end restaurants where he jointly worked with other executive chefs to ensure efficient and timely preparation of meals. Devon enjoys creating menus and preparing foods from scratch using a mix of authentic recipes that he has mastered over the years. This includes a strong background in vegetarian cooking!

Staff-Balt
Balt

Balt grew up in the coastal island town of Arrowsic, Maine. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, he worked as a biological field assistant, surveying everything from ticks in New Hampshire to mosquitoes in Greenland to hermit crabs off the Maine coast. In 2018, Dartmouth’s Biology Foreign Study Program brought him to CCMI, which rekindled a love for marine life from early childhood. He graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies.

Prior to joining CCMI in 2023, Balt worked for the California Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey. As a hydrologic technician, he was involved in water quality monitoring in the Sacramento River Delta and San Francisco Bay, included calibrating instruments, troubleshooting data buoys, maintaining time-series data as a local data manager, and cruising through the Delta at the helm of various small research vessels.

At CCMI, Balt is involved with boat operations and general station upkeep.

Staff-Brooke
Brooke Enright
Marine Education Intern

Brooke Enright graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo with a B.S. in Biology and a certificate in the Marine Option Program. During her undergrad, Brooke worked on a research project analysing sewage pollution and water quality along local beaches in Hilo, HI. She also conducted research on fish predation prevalence on coral species in Hilo, HI. During this project, she surveyed more than 3,000 corals! Brooke is a past REEF Environmental Education Intern where she fell in love with sharing her passion for the marine environment with others. Most recently Brooke worked as a divemaster in the Florida Keys, and she worked closely with the nonprofit organization, Diveheart, which aids in scuba therapy for people with disabilities and veterans. Brooke is excited to be in the Cayman Islands for the first time and to be at CCMI as an education intern to aid in her personal mission of having accessible knowledge for all and focusing on underrepresentation in marine science.

Staff-Connor
Connor Childs
Ocean Science Scholar – Marine Education Intern

Raised in the Cayman Islands, Connor says that growing up on an island resulted in a very early love for the ocean and the environment in general. It was this passion for his island home that inspired him to become an ambassador for 4Ocean, Sustainable Cayman, Plastic Free Cayman, Protect Our Future, Nauti Nomad, Mangrove Rangers, and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. His love for the natural world has also taken him as far as Madrid and Dubai, where he participated in international climate conferences COP25 and COP28 on behalf of the Cayman Islands. He has also had internships at the Department of Environment and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. For his internship at CCMI, he looks forward to educating students and sharing his passion for the ocean with them.

Connor is a CCMI alumnus, having attended the Marine Ecology Course (grade 5) and with Protect Our Future in high school. He plans to return to college later this year to study marine science.

Staff-Leon
Leon Schlenger
Darwin Plus Research Intern

Leon is a passionate sea cucumber enthusiast from Berlin, Germany. At CCMI, he will be collaborating with Matt to study the impact of sea cucumbers on coral growth and reef health. He is fascinated by the often-overlooked species that shed light on how complex and interconnected ecosystem’s function.

Leon has worked for the Charité Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for the past two years. He is currently enroled in a Master’s programme at the University of Potsdam, studying ecology, evolution, and conservation. His primary research interest is the dynamics of ecosystems under extreme environmental conditions. He aims to contribute to our understanding of how species and ecosystems respond to the dramatic environmental changes of recent decades. From exploring glaciers in Sweden’s Arctic Circle to working on coral restoration in the Seychelles, Leon has already participated in various research projects and is excited to continue research here at CCMI. Leon’s three-month internship at CCMI is funded by the UK Government through Darwin Plus.

Abbie CCMI_Bio_photo
Abbie Dosell
Head of Engagement and Fundraising

Abbie grew up in central England, about as far away from the ocean as physically possible in the UK. Despite this, she was fascinated by the marine world from an early age, and driven to make a difference with her career, which led her to an undergraduate degree in journalism and masters in marine ecology and conservation.

Abbie's early career was spent working on research projects across the Caribbean and Indo-pacific, primarily focused on coral reef ecology, followed by the last five years working in science-to-policy with a statutory scientific advice body for the UK and UK Overseas Territories Governments. Since joining CCMI at the end of 2023, Abbie's focus allows her to combine the two facets of her experience, her love of science with her passion for communications to bridge the gap between research and public engagement with conservation.

 

_DSC0008
Haley Davis
Research Intern

Growing up in Austin, Texas, Haley Davis became enamoured with the ocean through her early childhood experiences in the Gulf of Mexico. After getting scuba certified at 18, she began to pursue an education in environmental science through a combination of undergraduate studies and unique internship opportunities. It was these experiences that gave Haley a greater understanding of coral ecosystems, eventually enabling her to pursue a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute under the guidance of Dr. Joshua Voss.

For her graduate thesis work, she conducted a series of highly actionable ex-situ coral stress experiments, all the while remaining involved in community outreach, scuba instructing, and increasing her experience as a boat operator.  Haley is also assisting in assessing the resilience of corals to climate change in collaboration with URI and BIOS funding by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Ryan photo
Ryan McLaughlin
Education Assistant

Ryan McLaughlin is originally from California, and even though he did not grow up on the coast, the ocean was still a major part of his life. His passion for the ocean lead him to attend Humboldt State University in Northern California. Throughout his studies, he monitored and surveyed the rocky reefs of California with ReefCheck. Ryan first visited CCMI in 2019, through a summer program with Rutgers University, completing a three-week Coral Reef Ecology Course. In the spring of 2020, he graduated with a major in Marine Biology, a minor in Scientific Diving & a certified Divemaster with NAUI.

After graduation, Ryan furthered his diving career by getting certified as a SCUBA Instructor & First Aid Instructor through NAUI and working at Catalina Island Marine Institute as a dive Instructor and helping kids ages 12-18 explore the island and marine life through hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Jack Johnson
Dr. Jack Johnson
Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Jack Johnson is a postdoctoral researcher at CCMI working on multiple projects, such as investigating temporal and spatial variations in shallow water coral reef community structure throughout the Cayman Islands, to the relationship between reef fish and benthic composition on mesophotic reefs. Jack previously completed his PhD at Queen’s University Belfast after studying for his MSc at the University of Essex, and his BSc at the University of South Wales.

Jack is a Macroecologist and evolutionary biologist with particular interests in fieldwork, data science, code reproducibility, scuba diving, and global scale modelling. These interests combined have led Jack to be involved with multiple projects where organisms and ecosystems have been used as model systems to test key questions in evolutionary biology. These model systems include coral reefs, Trinidadian guppies, amphibians, and native & invasive amphipods. An overview of Jacks work can be found here, with all code and data used by Jack in his work available here.

Caiti Allison web
Caiti Allison
Reefs Go Live Intern

A South African by birth and spirit, Caiti hails from the East coast of South Africa, where her love for the ocean grew in kind with her upbringing in the surfing, fishing, and diving community. Caiti has recently completed her master’s degree in ichthyology and fisheries science, in which she examined the effects of ocean acidification on the aerobic scope of juvenile red roman (Chrysoblephus laticeps) - a prominent recreational and commercial line fishery species in South Africa. Having realised during the infancy of her career that there was a paucity in effective communication between scientists and the communities whom we serve, Caiti has poured her passion for writing, videography, and human connection into a science communication career. Caiti recently worked as the science communicator for the One Ocean Hub Deep Sea Capacity Development Cruise off the Amathole region of South Africa.

She now fills the role of the Reefs Go Live intern at CCMI, where she assists with the production of this project for the 2023 season.

Lucas Le Gall
Lucas Le Gall
Research Intern (Erasmus +)
Lucas Le Gall grew up in Brittany, by the sea, using the tides, the waves and the kelp forest as a source of thrill and interest. After completing a biology and environment bachelor’s degree at the marine-oriented University of West Brittany in Brest, and conducting research on invasive clams, he went to Gothenburg, Sweden for the Sea & Society master’s program.
 
He interned at the Tjärnö marine station, researching the adaptation of the pacific oysters to low salinity conditions. Lucas also wrote his master thesis while there, on the dynamic management of the pacific oyster, an invasive species that threatens the Baltic.
 
After graduating, a desire to learn about different ecosystems than the ones of north Atlantic led Lucas to CCMI where he is an Erasmus+ intern with the research team.
Leaav Cohen
Leeav Cohen
Research Assistant

Originally from the United States, Leeav Cohen received his bachelor’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Miami. Throughout his studies, he helped conduct surveys in the Keys as a scientific diver with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Leeav is extremely passionate about anything water-related, stemming from his summers spent in Israel along the Red Sea. It was there that he first learned to dive and has since become a passionate technical diver. Witnessing the degradation of an ecosystem that he held near and dear to him throughout his life inspired Leeav to pursue a career in marine science. He is especially interested in examining the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on marine ecosystems. Leeav first joined CCMI as a research intern and has since returned as a research assistant.

IMG_3671
Abi Gretta
Marine Education Intern

Abi spent five years working as a PADI Divemaster and Open Water Scuba Instructor in various parts of the world certifying and guiding people through their underwater adventures. Since she was diving on reefs up to five times a day, she became familiar with the corals, observing subtle changes with both the coral themselves and the marine life inhabiting the reefs. As a result of witnessing harmful impacts of anthropogenic factors on marine ecosystems, in 2020, Abi decided to leave the islands to return back to school to pursue a career in reef restoration.

Currently enrolled as a student at College of Charleston in South Carolina, Abi is pursuing her Bs in Marine Biology with an emphasis in coral ecology. Abi was certified as a PADI Junior Open Water student in Grand Cayman when she was 10 and is excited to give back to the place that sparked her interest in the marine environment. Not only is she eager to work with students, but she is excited to glimpse at what her future looks like as a coral ecologist.

matt_photo
Matt Doherty
Research Associate

Matt Doherty is originally from England, where he earned his bachelor's degree in marine science from Swansea University and his master's degree in environmental management from Nottingham Trent University. Matt's most recent post was in the Seychelles, where he managed the restoration programme for the Marine Conservation Society. Prior to that, he worked at the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute in Sint Eustatius where he completed his master's research and assisted with various research projects. Matt also has extensive experience with photogrammetry, having worked remotely for the University Haifa to create 3D models of coral reefs using machine learning technology as well as a strong background with statistical analyses and programming.

At the Little Cayman Research Centre, Matt's focus is primarily on CCMI's long-term coral monitoring projects, including the Healthy Reefs campaign, as well as monitoring involved with restoration and laboratory work for the National Science Foundation project.

Sheyla photo - ed intern
Sheyla Scott
Ocean Science Scholar – Marine Education Intern

Sheyla Scott is a young Caymanian who has lived in the Cayman Islands her whole life. Growing up near the ocean, she has always had a fascination for the water and marine life. A recent graduate of John Gray High School, Sheyla is currently enrolled as a student at the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) where she is in the process of earning her Associates in Sciences.

Sheyla first heard about CCMI from an acquaintance, who encouraged Sheyla to attend the one-week Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp at the Little Cayman Research Center, knowing that she was interested in becoming a marine biologist. The camp showed Sheyla more about what CCMI did for research, conservation, and education, providing insight about to potential career paths in the field as well as in the Cayman Islands. Sheyla decided to apply to an internship at CCMI to further her experience and knowledge as a step to better prepare herself for her chosen career.

Janna CCMI
Janna Randle
Research Technician

Janna has been scuba diving since the age of 11, and she is a PADI Assistant Instructor. But that’s not all - she is also an amateur surfer, stand-up paddle boarder. and avid freediver. Janna has seen first-hand the effect of anthropogenic influences on an ecosystem that gives her pure joy and relaxation, so she personally sees it as a duty to try and repay this back.

While working on her Bachelor’s degree in marine and freshwater biology at Aberystwyth University, Janna developed a strong interest in climate change ecology, investigating thermotolerance of temperate macroalgae for her Bachelor’s project. This led to a Research Assistant position at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, where she later earned her Master’s degree in marine science. From there, she targeted her interests to assisted evolution and coral restoration, which has taken her to Australia with the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program and Palau at the Palau International Coral Reef Research Centre.

Janna plans to devote her career to working on solutions to mitigate coral reefs to climate change. Her work at CCMI as a Research Technician will primarily focus on coral restoration, including the RESEMBID project, which will examine how variations in thermotolerance translate to out planting success.

Fiona1
Fiona Ryan
Education Specialist

Fiona Ryan was raised in both Grand Cayman and Costa Rica, helping her to fall deeply in love with the ocean and everything in it. She began scuba diving at the eight years old, and she continued her path in diving, becoming a dive instructor 12 years later.  

At university, Fiona studied philosophy and politics; however, through time working in Costa Rica and sharing the beauty of the underwater world with new people while diving, she realized she had to pursue her true passions. She plans to go back to university in the next few years to further her education in marine science. Of particular interest to Fiona are the small organisms in the water. She eagerly points out and talks about marine animals such as nudibranchs and shrimp she finds during dives. Fiona hopes sharing her passion for the marine environment will instill a sense of urgency and care for our environment in others.  

Victoria Mann
Victoria Mann
Education Co-ordinator

Victoria Mann has been a member of the Cayman Islands community since 2019, when she moved here from the UK to work in a school. She earned her bachelor's degree in biology from University of Chester (UK) with a specialty in conservation. Prior to joining CCMI as the Education Co-ordinator, she spent four years working in a school environment, gaining teaching experience in both the UK and Grand Cayman. Victoria is familiar with CCMI as she has been an enthusiastic volunteer, supporting various events and programmes with us.

Whilst working in a school to obtain her PGCE teaching certificate, she shared her passion for conservation with students, including starting an environmental committee and an environmental club (which merged with the island-wide group Protect Our Future). Victoria has also volunteered with local conservation efforts through Cayman EcoDivers and their coral nurseries, Plastic Free Cayman with arranging underwater and above water clean-ups, and supporting the Cayman Islands Department of Environment Turtle Team.

Cali G 2
Cali Grincavitch
WIOSA Intern

Cali is a senior at Harvard College who is studying integrative biology. She has known since her sophomore year, after taking a tropical biology course, that her future work clothes would be a wetsuit and bucket hat—not a blazer and stockings. Her interest in the field has taken her across the globe, from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science in Bermuda - and now to Little Cayman - where she continues to utilise her field and laboratory skills to investigate thermal tolerance in corals. Cali is specifically interested in the thermal tolerance of corals and hopes to continue building her skills and confidence in coral biology research before applying to graduate school.

Meg Thompson
Meg Thompson
Education Intern

Born on Grand Cayman and raised on Little Cayman, Meg return to CCMI is like coming home. Meg has been a certified diver since she was 11, becoming a PADI Dive Instructor at age 18. A middle-school visit to CCMI as a participant of an MEC camp had a lot to do with those choices, introducing her to the world of marine biology and influencing her chosen career path.

Meg has thus far completed two years at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada, in the Marine Biology and Ocean Sciences programme. In Canada, Meg organizes clean-up dives for the community and helped create a woman’s dive club to encourage other women to get in the water. As CCMI’s Marine Education Intern, Meg is eager to work with young Caymanians so they better understand their ocean playground, encouraging them to be advocates for conservation whenever and wherever they can.

Lars2
Lars Elstrodt
Reefs Go Live Intern

Lars grew up in the Netherlands where he went to college to study theatre. In 2009, he moved to Australia for a gap year where he learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef - and found his love for the ocean. Not long after returning home, Lars decided that the cold and murky waters of the Netherlands werent going to cut it. He decided to pursue a career underwater, preferably in warmer waters. Since making that decision, Lars has worked as a dive Instructor and underwater videographer/photographer in Australia, Thailand, Bonaire and in 2017, he moved to Grand Cayman. These days you will find Lars mostly underwater filming or taking photos, especially if there are sharks involved. 

Gabby REEL Research Intern
Gaby Carpenter
Research Intern

Gaby Carpenter recently graduated with an MS in marine biology from Northeastern University where she worked on an independent project with Dr. Steve Doo to assess the impacts of thermal history on future heat stress of large benthic foraminifers (LBFs). This study aimed to understand the acclimation and/or adaptation potential of LBFs and she is eager to examine similar potential in corals as an intern for the Reef Ecology and Evolution Lab (REEL) at CCMI. Gaby is originally from Southern California where she first learned to scuba dive in the temperate kelp forests. She completed her BA in Environmental Science and Economics (honors) at Colby College in Maine, and she worked briefly in environmental consulting. After leaving that position, Gaby pursued her passion for travel and the oceans during a divemaster internship with Marine Conservation Philippines. While there, she studied the effectiveness of marine protected areas and coral restoration techniques. Since that time, she received her certification as an open water scuba instructor as well as an open circuit and closed circuit technical diver. Gaby is excited to combine her research and dive interests as an intern at CCMI.

Tom Pegram
Tom Pegram
Field Station Manager

Tom Pegram comes to CCMI with a background in marine biology, having graduated from Newcastle University in 2009, and a love of scuba diving and the underwater world. Prior to his arrival in Cayman in 2021, Tom most recently spent a year in Indonesia as a scuba instructor, managed a dive operation on the remote Pacific island of Niue, and worked two years as a marine biologist in the Maldives, where he managed coral restoration projects.

Tom is a jack of all trades, having worked with anything from monitoring algae and zooplankton for Anglian Water in the UK to photo identification of humpback whales, manta, and turtles. He has volunteered in nightingale surveys and worked in roles that included servicing dive equipment and compressors. His wide range of talents and skills will come in handy at the field station in Little Cayman.

A keen diver and conservationist, Tom spends his time engaging people with the ocean. As a manager and instructor, he has a strong focus on safety and delivering quality work in whatever he does.

Seron headshot cropped
Terri Seron, PhD
Marine Education Manager

Dr. Terri Seron is an avid scuba diver and divemaster who has studied corals, sea turtles, and bottlenose dolphins, and she has explored coral reefs all around the world. She grew up in Connecticut, USA, and completed her BS degree in Biology at the University of Connecticut. Terri received her PhD from the University of Florida (UF), where she combined molecular biology with Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Her pre- and post-doctoral research at UF’s Whitney Lab included cloning and expressing genes from marine organisms, including fluorescent proteins from corals.

As a professor for the past 14 years, Terri established a Natural Sciences Department and developed a science curriculum based on coastal environmental science and biology for Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Dolphin Biology and Shipwreck Ecology in Bermuda are just two examples of courses she created that immersed students in authentic scientific research above and below water. Terri brings her vast experience in scientific research, curriculum development, and teaching to expand and invigorate the marine education programs at CCMI. Her persistent goal in designing and delivering science courses is to encourage the students to think like a scientist by asking questions and seeking data-driven answers. She hopes to inspire all her students to experience the spectacular biodiversity on planet Earth, protect the environment, and bravely do more than they think they can.

Sabrina Weber Research Intern
Sabrina Weber
Ocean Science Scholar - Research Intern

Sabrina has grown up in Grand Cayman and has been diving since the age of 14. She twice attended the CCMI Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp while in high school. Since that time, she has had a passion for ocean science and wanted to pursue a career in marine research and education. Sabrina graduated from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, with a Bachelor's of Science (Honors) in environmental science. Sabrina has spent her past couple of summers working for the conservation group, Operation Wallacea, as a marine scientist in Akumal, Mexico. There she assisted with research and education initiatives and helped run a fast-paced, dynamic research site. Sabrina plans to pursue a master’s degree in marine biology in September 2021. In the meantime, Sabrina is living in Grand Cayman, interning for CCMI, learning and gaining as much research experience as possible.

 

Gretchen-Goodbody-Gringley
Dr Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley
Director of Research

Dr Goodbody-Gringley is CCMI's Director of Research, heading up CCMI’s Vision 2025 Reef Resilience and Restoration Research team. Previously, Dr Goodbody-Gringley was an Assistant Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) where she led the Reef Ecology and Evolution Laboratory.  

Dr Goodbody-Gringley's research focuses on population structure, reproductive ecology, and genetic connectivity of a variety of organisms that inhabit tropical coral reef ecosystems ranging from inshore shallow reefs down to the mesophotic zone, with the goal of understanding how ecosystems function in order to maintain biodiversity. To address questions related to reef health, evolution, resilience, and recovery, she combines large-scale in situ ecological surveys, small-scale laboratory experiments, and molecular ecology. Dr Goodbody-Gringley’s current projects include a collaboration with A. Trembanis from the University of Delaware using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in combination with technical diving to map deep reef systems and couple the physical environment with biological communities. She is also working with H. Putnam from the University of Rhode Island and J. Bruno from the University of North Carolina to determine thermal tolerances of corals to climate change and the capacity for corals to adapt over a single generation. In 2019, she traveled to Israel to work with T. Mass from Haifa University to explore how patterns of development differ between corals on shallow and deep reefs in the Red Sea.  

Gretchen completed her BSc at the University of Georgia and her Ph.D. at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. She then held postdoctoral positions at Mote Marine Laboratory and University of Bologna, Italy. Gretchen has a broad background in benthic marine ecology and is particularly interested in the evolution of life history strategies and how that in turn serves to structure population dynamics and maintain genetic diversity.   

73482818_2988344984528285_2077388196886347776_o
Rickeem Lashley
Research Intern

Rickeem is originally from Grand Cayman and has been studying abroad in Wales to complete his Bachelors of Science degree from Aberystwyth University. Rickeem will be with us until May 2020 as a volunteer research intern, completing his Year in Industry, a relatively new and valuable component of the UK higher education system. Currently he is studying marine and freshwater biology. As part of his undergraduate programme, he is at CCMI to gain hands-on marine research experience, assist with education programmes, and learn about the operations of a fully functioning field station.

Kate H
Kate Holden
Director of Advancement

Kate has worked with CCMI since 2009. She has an MSc in Sustainable Development and over 20 years experience as a marketing and communications professional. Kate and her team manage the grant writing, donor management, fundraising, communications and strategic advancement for CCMI – everything is done in house.

Kate took a sabbatical from her career in 2007, to work as a dive instructor in the Cayman Islands. This was her first move to immersing herself in the marine environment for a living and remains her passion today. Kate is determined that the general public is given the opportunity to have a better understanding of the marine environment, via outreach and education from key research discoveries, so they can protect it for the future.

IMG_3907
Rob Hedges
Director of Finance

Rob Hedges is on his second stint with CCMI - he is well remembered for his leadership and abilities as our Ops Director from 2011-2015. Joining us again in 2019 as the Business Manager and based in the UK, Rob oversees the financial, HR and systems aspects of the company.

Rob has an academic background in coastal marine biology and over 10 years experience managing marine and tech operations. Previously, he was an ops and training manager at busy dive operation in Grand Cayman, and is also an IDC staff instructor. Rob combines a fantastic understanding of marine research in the field with the application of running a business. Rob therefore brings a wealth of experience to CCMI and will be responsible for keeping us compliant and up to date, as per the UK, US and Cayman Islands charity/non-profit regulations.

Image from iOS (7)
Sonny Culkin
Field Station Assistant Manager

Sonny joined CCMI in 2019. He has a first-class degree from the University of Bangor in Zoology and Conservation. During his degree, he spent a year on exchange with the University of Oregon, which is where he discovered his passion for both diving and adventure. After earning his degree, he moved to a small conservation center based in Malaysian Borneo for a three-month science internship. Staying considerably longer, he worked his way up through the ranks, resigning his position of director in 2018. Sonny is genuinely worried about the state of the world’s oceans, and he believes that the only way to make a real and lasting difference is by supporting unique field stations, such as CCMI, that conduct vital research, conservation and education initiatives in an effort to mitigate our impacts.

Sophia Bio Pic
Sophia MacVittie
Marine Research Intern

Sophia joined the CCMI team in May of 2019. She is originally from New York City and completed her BSc in Marine Science with a minor in Chemistry at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. She also spent a semester abroad at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. During her undergraduate career she conducted research on a small-scale aquaponics system, as well as working in Israel studying chimerism in corals of the Red Sea, and working with anemones as a model for understanding changes in the coral holobiont. Sophie is also an SDI Open Water Scuba Instructor. Sophia will be assisting with the various research projects being conducted, including helping to support coral nursery projects, and the projects of visiting scientists. She is incredibly excited to share her passion for marine research and to have the opportunity to work towards a more resilient future for coral reef ecosystems.

Cass 2
Cassandra Macdowell
Ocean Science Scholar - Marine Education Intern

Cassandra is a young Caymanian from Cayman Brac who has a passion for education and environmental conservation. After graduating high school, Cassie volunteered with the Department of Environment to tag and monitor Sister Islands Rock Iguanas as well as managed and assisted in developing the green iguana culling initiative, Green GO, on Cayman Brac. She has also volunteered with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, including working on multiple stingray surveys in Grand Cayman and travelling to Mexico with the team to film a documentary on whale sharks and manta rays.

Cass was awarded the Rising Star Award at CCMI’s Festival of the Seas Gala in 2018. She has since completed an internship as an Ocean Science Scholar (spring 2019) with CCMI in Little Cayman. She then served as a field officer for the Blue Iguana Conservation Programme in Grand Cayman for almost a year before returning to the water, where she worked as a dive master and photographer. We welcome Cass back for a second internship through the Ocean Science Scholars Programme.

YU5A9318
Giacomo Santoro
Marine Operations Coordinator

Giacomo is originally from Italy, and he moved to the Netherlands for his undergraduate studies, earning his BSc from Leiden University College in The Hague. He majored in Environmental Sustainability and minored in Policy Science. Giacomo then pursued his MSc in Applied Marine Science at the University of Plymouth. He got most of his field experience in Mexico, doing volunteer coral reef conservation work. Giacomo is also a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.

When it comes to conservation work, Giacomo highly values interdisciplinary approaches. He has a passion for photography and film making, and he believes in the power of these media to convey spread important information and inspire change on a large scale.

Dagny
Dagny-Elise Anastassiou
Marine Research Coordinator

Dagny-Elise joined the CCMI team January 2019. She is Cypriot-Norwegian and studied environmental science at the University of York. Spending her summers in Cuba studying the manatees, seagrass and the coral reefs there, she realized her true passion was the ocean. Soon after graduating, she moved to Belize for two years to work for a marine conservation and research programme. As the Marine Research Coordinator, Dagny-Elise maintains the coral nurseries and outplant sites around Little Cayman and assists in all research aspects at CCMI.

Dagny-Elise's project with CCMI was completed in May 2020.

Angela Bio Pic
Angela Pretorius
Financial Controller

Angela Pretorius is a Senior Manager with HLB Berman Fisher. She has 12 years of experience in auditing, financial reporting, accounting and finance including 9 years in the Cayman Islands. Originally from South Africa, Angela served 3 years at Deloitte in South Africa before moving to Deloitte Cayman for 2 years. She then was employed as Senior Manager at Baker Tilly Cayman for 7 years before joining the team at HLB Berman Fisher in October 2018. Angela is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants.

Lauren Christie Bio
Lauren Christie
Financial Controller

Lauren Christie provides the accounting and Financial Controller role at CCMI through the Grand Cayman accounting firm, HLB Berman Fisher. At CCMI she is working with the directorship to achieve efficiency savings, transparency, and serves the financial reporting functionalities for the organization.  Lauren started her career with KPMG Audit in London in 2005 and moved to the Cayman Islands in 2008 where she specialized in financial services. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder and holds the Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency and has over 12 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Lauren is a board member and Treasurer of both the CFA Society of the Cayman Islands and the Museum Association of the Caribbean, and a member of the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants, 100 Women in Hedge Funds and the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) as well as the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ICAEW).

Maisy Profile Photo
Maisy Fuller
Education Programme Coordinator

Maisy joined the CCMI team in 2018. She has a Msci in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton and spent her third year abroad at the University of Western Australia. Since leaving university, she has worked on marine conservation projects in Panama, Malaysia and the Philippines as both a marine researcher and educator. In addition, Maisy is a PADI Divemaster.

Maisy is passionate about the marine environment and firmly believes that scientific research and community outreach and education go hand in hand. Through her work at CCMI, Maisy hopes to be able to educate and inspire a wide range of audiences about the ocean and its inhabitants. This includes spreading awareness about the threats currently facing the marine environment and how everyone has a part to play in reducing human impacts.

Robyn Larkin
Robyn Larkin
Project Manager

Robyn joined CCMI in 2018, and has lived in Grand Cayman since 2009, when she moved to the island from Bermuda. An environmental educator by trade, Robyn worked as project manager with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and Tower Marketing, where she planned and organised projects such as Taste of Cayman and the Cayman Finance Student Education and Work Experience Programme. Her passion in life is helping people find their passion, especially if that is protecting and conserving ocean ecosystems. At CCMI, Robyn is the Grand Cayman based contact, responsible for organizing fundraising events, supporting education programmes on Grand Cayman, and supporting the development efforts as CCMI grows and implements new and exciting programmes.

Team-Emily-Lopez
Emily Lopez
Chef

Emily joined CCMI in 2007 and she is the heart and soul of CCMI. Emily provides excellent Caymanian style cooking for groups of all sizes. For those researchers that spend long periods of time in the field, often with long and exhausting days, Emily’s range of deliciously home cooked food is always a welcome treat.

Team-Beth-Chafin
Beth Chafin
Science Communications and Development Manager

Beth came to CCMI in 2017 as a current resident of Little Cayman, where she had been working as a dive instructor/dive center coordinator. Beth has a Masters in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University, where she also worked in communications and event management. Prior to Little Cayman, Beth has worked elsewhere in the Caribbean as a dive instructor, and in her role at CCMI she is merging her passion for marine life with her skills as a communicator.  She is responsible for helping to develop and establish a Little Cayman communications plan and is supporting the development team in grant submissions.

Lowell
Lowell Forbes
Maintenance Manager

Lowell first came to the Cayman Islands in the early 2000's to work seven years with Sam McCoys Lodge in Little Cayman before leaving on roll over for a year. When he returned to Cayman, Lowell came to CCMI in 2008, starting as a part-time employee and quickly  moving into a full time role after Hurricane Paloma. As Maintenance Manager, Lowerll is responsible for keeping CCMI’s facilities maintained and captaining the boats. Originally from Guanaja, Hondurs, Lowell is a PADI divemaster and has an outstanding knowledge of the waters surrounding Little Cayman. He runs a safe and successful dive operation at CCMI and has developed a strong reputation among the repeat researchers and education groups. He has participated in many field research activities and has invaluable experience of the overall operations of the research facility. Lowell enjoys passing this knowledge onto to young students and researchers alike.

Reefs Go Live 2
Katie Ebanks
Education Manager

Katie first joined CCMI in February 2016, recently rejoined the team in March of 2022 as a volunteer, and she has now been named as Education Manager. She has a BSc in Marine Science and Coastal Geology from Coastal Carolina University and training from Nova Southeastern University's MSc in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management. In addition, Katie is a SDI Open Water Scuba Instructor and a DAN DEMP Instructor.

In her current role, Katie is responsible for the development, planning, execution, and support of the education programmes at CCMI, including providing oversight of CCMI's internship programmes and citizen science programmes. Katie leads all university level courses and further education programming, while assisting various research projects and teaching some K-12 programmes.

Katie’s love for the environment and oceans in particular has been a lifelong passion, one that fuels her desire to teach and engage with everyone about its beauty and importance. Her goal is to ensure that every person who comes through CCMI’s doors leaves inspired, with a better understanding of and a passion for our marine environment.

Team-Clair-Dell
Dr Claire Dell
Research Scientist

Claire Dell is originally from Zimbabwe but grew up in Scotland where she obtained her Master’s in Aquatic Bioscience from Glasgow University. After several years working on Caribbean coral reefs, including those of Little Cayman, she completed her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from Georgia Tech in 2016. Her research focuses on how species acclimatise to conditions in healthy and degraded coral reefs.

Claire conducted substantial field work in Fiji for her dissertation research under the direction of Mark Hay. She is excited about returning to Little Cayman and working to keep the reefs healthy! Claire is funded by the Darwin Plus grant, exploring mechanisms that boost coral reef resilience including fish herbivory. Dr Dell's project with CCMI was completed in May 2020.

Team-Carrie-Manfrino
Dr Carrie Manfrino
Founder

Carrie founded CCMI in 1998 and developed the organisation with a strong focus on protecting the biodiversity of coral reefs through research, education and conservation. As a professor of oceanography, Carrie has dedicated over 20 years to marine research in the Cayman Islands.

Carrie is an oceanographer and in 2016 was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for work on the effects of rising sea level on coastal communities in the Indian Ocean. She established CCMI in 1998 and developed the Little Cayman Research Centre with a vision to advance the frontiers of coral reef science, conservation and education. Her Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics is from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. As CCMI's founder, her deep-rooted curiosity is in the extinction risks of modern corals and she is concerned about the influence reef degradation has on coastal communities. She has partnered with collaborators from all over the world who work on topics including impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on corals, algae, and fish.

In an effort to bring attention to threats to reefs, she organized the 2016 symposium in London to “Rethink the Future for Coral Reefs’ with CCMI's royal patron, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. She contributed to the United Nations Chronicle, writing on the Sustainable Development Goals for the ocean and served as a member of the UN World Commission on Marine Protected Areas. As an educator, her greatest aspiration is for children to be ocean literate and she is invested in supporting early career scientists, especially in bringing science to society and in engaging women in science.

Team-Jon-Clamp
Jon Clamp
Director of Operations

Jon was the first research station manager at CCMI (2005-2009) and is currently on his second appointment, having taken a few years break from Little Cayman. He was part of the founding team of the Little Cayman Research Centre, designing and developing the aquatic systems for the facility. He is familiar with all aspects of station life and is responsible for the daily running of the station, overseeing all of the station logistics.

His goal is to maintain the level of excellence that CCMI brings to both Research and Education. Jon has a rich background in both environmental research and operations. He initially moved to the Cayman Islands from Venezuela in 1994, spending several years in the dive industry before becoming the captain of the prestigious Little Cayman Diver II. Jon also worked for the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Belize managing the Glover’s Reef Research Station and World Heritage Site. Jon has a wealth of experience that ensures safe professional operations in the field and is always ready to support the local community and CCMI’s stakeholders.

Miriam
Miriam Pierotti
Marine Education Intern

Miriam joined CCMI in June 2019. She is originally from Italy where she completed her BSc in Biology with major in Environmental Science. After spending one year in Ireland volunteering for Estuarine Environment Research at UCC, she took her MSc in Applied Marine Science at the University of Plymouth. She has worked on different research projects including microplastic particles distribution and plastic pollution impacts on protected marine species in South Italy.

Miriam firmly believes in scientific education as a powerful tool to raise awareness on marine threats and conservation methods. Miriam's project with CCMI was completed in May 2020.

ROYAL PATRON

Team-Prince-Edward
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh
Royal Patron of CCMI

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has been the patron of CCMI since 2003, and was present at the groundbreaking of the Little Cayman Research Centre. At that time, His Royal Highness heralded a dedication that remains today: to sustain the biodiversity of coral reefs so that children of the world may forever discover the treasures of the sea.

On a subsequent visit in 2007, he launched the Ocean Literacy programme, the mandate of which is to ensure that “every child in the Cayman Islands is ocean literate by the time they are 12 years old.” To date, some 1,000 children in the Cayman Islands have participated in the CCMI residential programmes. In his 2007 message, His Royal Highness said "As Patron, I am delighted to support the CCMI's vision and plans for the creation of the Little Cayman Research Centre as a permanent field station for marine research and education. If it helps just a few of us to understand and appreciate the most important issues facing coral reefs today it may well benefit future generations. As the plaque on the beach at Bloody Bay states, "For the children of the world, so they may forever discover the treasures of the sea."

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has visited the research centre on five different occasions, including a visit in 2016 where he was accompanied by his wife. Most recently, he spent time in Little Cayman in February 2023, where he launched the Coral Fund to support the construction of a new facility for CCMI. Each year, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh holds a dinner for CCMI to communicate the current research themes to an intimate group of supporters, and further the organisation's mission.

AFFILIATED SCIENTISTS

Visiting and collaborative scientists

Visiting scientists who have conducted independent and collaborative research or who have participated in workshops include:

Tom Frazer, James Hendee, Chuck Jacoby, Karsten Shein, Peter Minnett, Tsuyoshi Watanabe, David Bellwood, Courtney Cox, Joe Pawlick, Marilyn Brandt, Isabel Cote, Elizabeth Whiteman, David Gruber, Roger Hanlon, Mark Hixon, Charles Jacoby, Nate Truelove, Chris Langdon, Joan Kleypas, Geir Johnsen, Mark Moline, Diego Lirman, Ken Anthony, Derrek Manzello, Atsuko Yamazaki, Steffen Hetzinger, Celia Chen, Gillman Ouellette, Kate Peach, Charles Kerans and Ian Enochs.

Team-Steffan-Hetzinger
Steffen Hetzinger

Dr. Hetzinger was a Coral Reef Fellow with CCMI and is a CCMI Research Associate, specializing in geochemistry, geology, and paleoclimatology. Dr. Hetzinger earned a PhD in Marine Geology from Kiel University (Germany) and completed a Postdoctoral fellowship as a Humboldt Fellow at University of Toronto, Canada. He is a Research Assistant at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel since 2010. Dr. Hetzinger 's research interests center 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. Dr. Hetzinger 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. Hetzinger has published over 40 articles on related to historical coral health and climate events based upon the study of coral and algal records, including four publications based upon research conducted at CCMI.

Team-Tom-Frazer
Tom Frazer

Tom is a Professor and Chief Scientist in the State of Florida, working primarily on climate change and pollution issues in the state. He was previously the Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida and served as the Acting Director of the UF Water Institute. Tom holds a Bachelor degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and a Masters Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research is, by nature, interdisciplinary, involves collaborators from disparate disciplines and is carried across broad space and time scales in an effort to effectively address contemporary and emerging environmental issues. Tom is particularly interested in anthropogenic impacts on aquatic systems and his current work is focused on eutrophication of fresh, estuarine, and coastal waters; invasive species; and the impacts of climate change on the health and integrity of marine ecosystems. During his tenure at the University of Florida, Tom has secured nearly three dozen multi-investigator and collaborative research grants totaling more than 13 million dollars. He has authored and/or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and book chapters. Tom currently serves as Chief Specialty Editor for the Coral Reef Research section of Frontiers in Marine Science and regularly serves as referee for other leading international journals and granting organizations. Tom and his team from UF have been working with CCMI for many years and this relationship has resulted in many seminal projects and publications.

Team-Marguerite-Koch
Marguerite Koch

Dr. Koch is a professor of biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Koch earned her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Her research interests include primary productivity of tropical marine ecosystems such as seagrass; mangroves; and coral reefs, the effects of climate change on tropical marine autotrophs, stress response and adaptations of tropical marine autotrophs, and nutrient cycling in tropical carbonate ecosystems. She has authored and co-authored over 50 publications on these topics. Dr. Koch was a Coral Reef Resilience Fellow and is a CCMI Research Associate.

Team-Courtney-Cox
Courtney Cox

Dr. Cox is a research scientist/program coordinator with the Smithsonian Institute’s Marine Conservation Program. She received her PhD through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Broadly, Dr. Cox’s research centers on evaluating the effectiveness of conservation strategies for restoring parrotfish populations and using molecular techniques to develop and improve coral reef conservation and management strategies. Much of her work is conducted in Belize and across the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. She is focused on assessing population connectivity and larval dispersal of parrotfish across the Caribbean using population genetics and incorporating this information into management plans. She is also using genetic barcoding to identify fish and shark species used in local markets across the Caribbean. Dr. Cox is presently involved in ongoing research in conjunction with CCMI and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, studying herbivorous fish populations and behavior in a project supported by the Darwin Initiative.

Team-Jim-Hendee
James Hendee

Dr. Hendee is the Director of the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Hendee earned his Ph.D at Nova Southeastern University in 2000, following a MS in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology from Florida State University. He is a CCMI Research Associate and has conducted research on coral bleaching in Little Cayman. Dr. Hendee was involved in the establishment of the Little Cayman Research Centre’s Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) buoy as part of the ongoing Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON) with NOAA. Jim has authored and co-authored dozens of academic papers, primarily focused on coral bleaching and environmental stressors affecting reef ecosystems.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER