Internships at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) provide an exciting opportunity for early career scientists to gain real life experiences in marine science education, communications, research, and field station operations. We maintain active field research and education programmes in the Cayman Islands supported by a team of scientists, educators, outreach and communications coordinators.

Information about current internship positions available can be found HERE. Read on below for bios of current and past CCMI interns.

Ocean Science Scholars

The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Ocean Science Scholars Programme supports students at the beginning of their science careers, serving to inspire, mentor and create a flow of opportunity for local students with an aptitude in this discipline.

This programme provides for two local, Caymanian students annually to come to the Little Cayman Research Centre for a period of 3 to 6 months and work alongside researchers and educators, building skills and opening doors to future educational and professional opportunities.

Liv Barnett
Ocean Science Scholar - Marine Education Intern

Born and raised in Grand Cayman, Liv developed a passion for nature and the environment at an early age. While at Cayman Prep, she participated in the Year 6 Marine Ecology Course, sparking her interest in the marine world. Last summer (2023), Liv worked as a Marine Education Intern at CCMI, a role she continues this summer.

Liv attended Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where she embarked on unaccompanied mountain expeditions, participated in sail vessel training, and discovered her passion for photography. She volunteers with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment on the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Response Team and recently earned her Divemaster certification.

In 2022, Liv sailed over 1,700 miles from Svalbard in the Arctic Circle to the west coast of Scotland. Liv is studying at Falmouth University, pursuing a BA Honours degree in Marine and Natural History Photography, documenting the natural world above and below the surface.

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.

Georgina Healey OSS MEI 2023.2
Georgina Healey
Ocean Science Scholar and Marine Education Intern

Georgina is originally from the UK, but she has lived in Grand Cayman for most of her life. Growing up around the ocean incited a lot of curiosity, which later sparked a passion for marine biology and environmental conservation. Georgie recently graduated from the St. Ignatius A-Level programme, and before graduation, she was chosen to participate in CCMI’s Young Environmentalist Leadership Course. Through YELC, she was certified to the level of Rescue diver and received an introduction in marine science and environmental conservation. Since then, Georgie has received her Divemaster certification at DiveTech and has volunteered with the Cayman Islands Government-Department of Environment on their Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) Response Team. She began the Marine Education Internship under the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation's Ocean Science Scholarship programme (January 2023) and plans to attend Dalhousie University and major in Marine Biology.

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Jasmine Lambert-Wragg
Ocean Science Scholar - Marine Education Intern

Born and raised in Grand Cayman, Jasmine has been an avid water enthusiast since she learned to swim at the age of six months! She graduated from Cayman Prep and High School with honours, and is now excited to join the CCMI team in Little Cayman for the summer, a place she visited for the Marine Ecology Course during a year 6 trip.

Jasmine is a competitive international swimmer who has an inherent true love and deep respect for the ocean and all it contains. Her swimming has taken her to the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation to swim 5K open water and to the 2022 Guadeloupe Caribbean Games swimming 5K and 10K open water, where she proudly represents the Cayman Islands. Jasmine is also trained in CPR, lifeguarding, scuba diving, and she plans to attend Bath Spa University in the UK to pursue a bachelor's degree in biology with a goal to major in genetics.

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.

Bijou Forget CCMI OSS EDU Intern Spring 2022
Bijou Forget
Ocean Science Scholar – Marine Education Intern

Bijou Forget was born and raised in Cayman, and since he was young, he has shown passion for conservation of the environment. He became a PADI Open Water diver at the age of 12, took part in turtle nest excavations, and participated in mangrove conservation efforts as a teen. He completed his A-level’s in Biology, Chemistry and Art, at boarding school in the UK, with his favorite topic of course being Biology.

Bijou first visited CCMI on a Year 6 school field trip, where he learned about coral reefs ecology. Enthralled by all he had learned and how much fun he had, it became a dream to work there one day. In 2021, the dream became a reality, as he was accepted as an Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation - Ocean Science Scholar Education Intern. During his internship, he assisted with school trips, guided nature trail walks, enforced safety regulations, supervised kayaking and snorkeling excursions, created marine themed Kahoot quizzes, and much more. His favorite accomplishment was teaching his own lionfish lecture and leading the class in a lionfish dissection. His time with CCMI was infinitely valuable, and he feels more confidant in his public speaking abilities, along with being more comfortable with the responsibility of managing others. This experience was a jump into the marine biology working world that Bijou will never forget!

Sabrina Weber
Ocean Science Scholar – Marine Research Intern

Sabrina grew up in Grand Cayman and has been diving since the age of 14. She twice attended the CCMI Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp (CMEC) while in high school. Since that time, she developed a passion for ocean science, wanting to pursue a career in marine research and education. Sabrina graduated from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in environmental science, and she has spent several summers working for the conservation group, Operation Wallacea, as a marine scientist in Akumal, Mexico. There she assisted with research and education initiatives, helping run a fast-paced, dynamic research site.

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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.

Dimitri Myles - Diving Pic
Dimitri Myles
Ocean Science Scholar - Marine Education Intern

CCMI’s first Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Ocean Science Scholar Marine Education Intern was Dimitri Myles, a 19-year-old Caymanian who matriculated from Caymanian government schools, East End Primary School and Clifton Hunter High School. He attended CCMI’s Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp in 2015 and returned to the programme in 2016 as a camp counselor’s assistant. Dimitri began taking courses toward an associate degree at the University College of the Cayman Islands, where he was a member of the Eco-Club. At the same time he became certified as an open water scuba instructor and began work with Ocean Frontiers on Grand Cayman. He has also taken advantage of any opportunities available, including volunteering with Guy Harvey to research the stingrays at Stingray City, volunteering with DoE turtle nesting and shark logging as well as helping to maintain the coral nursery at Ocean Frontiers. Dimitri applied for and was accepted as CCMI’s Marine Education Intern, a position he held from October 2018 through January 2019.

Dimitri developed new skills and grown as a young professional during his time with CCMI. He became a confident public speaker, delivering lectures to student and citizen science groups as well as to the local community through the Reef Lecture Series. He also gained skills in task management, logistical organization, group coordination, and teaching. Dimitri put his scuba instructor experience to use guiding students on snorkelling excursions and scuba dives and took on an added level of complication as some groups were conducting surveys and collecting data in water. During his internship, Dimitri assisted with a dozen education programmes and gained experience by assisting with research and maintenance of projects in CCMI’s coral nurseries and with visiting scientists from the Smithsonian Institute. With this new boon of skills and experience, Dimitri now plans to finish his associate degree at UCCI and then continue on to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science. He hopes to be able to attend James Cook University in Australia (where he has already been admitted). Dimitri hopes to return to CCMI throughout his academic career as an intern and potentially as a researcher or educator in the future.

Erasmus+ Intern

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.

Reefs Go Live Intern

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.

Bennath Chillingworth
Reefs Go Live Intern

Bennath recently graduated as a Master of Research from Newcastle University (UK), where she completed her bachelor degree in marine biology the year prior. Her studies focused on seagrass ecosystems, specifically the impacts of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment on global seagrass meadows, and the carbon storage potentials of seagrass sediments in the Maldives.

While fundraising and increasing awareness of endangered species with the Cross River Gorilla Project, Bennath developed an interest in the use of social media and visual content to encourage pro-environmental attitudes and actions. At CCMI, Bennath will help with the production and development Reefs Go Live. She believes passionately about connecting people with the ocean as a means to motivate them to stewardship. Her time at CCMI is her first visit to the Caribbean; she is excited to contribute to ocean literacy outreach and allowing students to experience the reef virtually from around the globe!

Art & Phyllis Grindle Foundation Interns

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.