Dr Carrie Manfrino

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.

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.   

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.

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.

Rob Hedges
Business Manager

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.

Research Team

Sabrina Weber Research Intern
Sabrina Weber
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.


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.

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.

Education Team

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.

Operations Team

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.

Support Team

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).

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.

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.