This week we bid farewell to our winter gap students...their presence on campus is already missed! Are you interested in joining the next gap adventure? There is still space in our spring term which begins on April 15. Check out the website for more information: http://www.ceibahamas.org/gap-year
Meet me Monday!
Sierra Ison grew up in Toronto, Canada and completed her undergraduate degree in History studying African slavery through North America. Sierra's interest in marine conservation was sparked at the young age of 11 when she became a scuba diver. She followed this passion and became a scuba diving instructor. Throughout her university degree she spent her summers as a scuba instructor working in Indonesia and the British Virgin Islands. After graduating, Sierra t...ravelled the world for two years scuba diving in South East Asia, hiking in South America and leading a marine conservation project in Fiji. She then decided to pursue her passion for marine conservation by completing an MSc in Marine Science at Newcastle University. There, she completed her thesis on Sustainable Financing of a National Marine Protected Area Network in Fiji collaborating with the University of the South Pacific and the International Union for Conservation and Nature. Eager and appreciative to support education and research in Eleuthera's marine environment, Sierra is currently a Senior Research Assistant at CEI on the Sustainable Fisheries Team. She is leading research on coral reef conservation and the potential sea cucumber fishery.
Meet Me Monday!
Meet Danielle Orrell, CEI Research Assistant
Danielle grew up in South-West England and studied her bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool, and her master’s by research degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology at the University of Glasgow. She spent the last year living between a research station on the shores of Loch Lomond in Scotland and a hut in the North-East Scottish Highlands, where she carried out her masters research tra...cking over 700 juvenile Atlantic salmon migrating through Scottish lakes. After completing her BSAC Divemaster and Assistant Dive Instructor in the UK, she enjoyed her first warm-water dive when she joined CEI as a Research Technician in fall 2017.
Danielle now works on the Sustainable Fisheries Team as a Research Assistant, and is involved in a number of projects, including: investigating movement of pelagic fish species, identifying triggers of spawning in bonefish and reef fish abundance surveys.
Happy Monday everybody - it's time for another Meet Me Monday.
He's back! Logan Zeinert grew up on the North Island of New Zealand in Whakatane, and stayed close to home for his higher education at the University of Waikato, where he completed a diploma of Marine Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, and also received his PADI Divemaster certificate. After graduation he joined the Cape Eleuthera Institute for the first time as an intern in fall 2015. His div...ing took him to a variety of tropical locations, including Florida in the US, where he worked as a divemaster. He worked in America for 1 year and over this time completed a variety of exciting certifications, mainly involving technical diving. He then returned in spring 2017 on the reef team as a Research Technician for six months where he was largely involved in investigating the use of crabs to control algae on our famous dive location "The Cage," an offshore aquaculture cage with visiting scientist Dr. Iain McGaw. After his time here, he was invited to join Dr. McGaw to complete a masters degree in aquaculture at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and has since returned to CEI to continue research on local Spider Crab populations and how they may graze algae off aquaculture cages.
It started out like any other afternoon going to clean the coral nurseries, but when our gap year students and other visiting scientists got in the water, they noticed something very unusual. The gap students were excited to see an adult male loggerhead turtle on the reef, but they could tell something was wrong when they saw a long piece of metal protruding from its neck.
After a few unsuccessful attempts to remove the spear underwater, the turtle was guided to the surface... and secured while the team radioed to campus for bolt cutters. Dr. Nathan Robinson arrived and managed to remove all but the tip of the spear.
It is rare to see loggerheads (Caretta caretta) around Eleuthera and these turtles are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. Fortunately, this turtle was large and strong enough to survive being hit with the spear, and after the spear was removed, the turtle swam away without any risk of entanglement.
Have you ever wondered how declining predator populations might impact the structure of their broader ecosystem? In a paper co-authored by our very own Edd Brooks, researchers describe how they tracked the photosynthetic fixation of carbon atoms that ultimately became the muscle tissues of thousands of sharks, in order to determine their ecological roles in the ocean.
Check out this graphic to better understand their study, then follow this link to learn more: https://natureecoevocommunity.nature.com/…/29356-global-fee…
For the first time ever, in a project led by our Flats Ecology Research Team, bonefish have been successfully strip spawned with viable fertilised eggs hatching into larvae, providing essential information on future larval development, and the conditions required to successfully spawn and culture larvae in captivity. Check out the full article on our blog!
When students, visitors, educational programs and local groups visit our campus to spend a day in the field with one of our researchers, they are contributing to real scientific studies which often go on to be published in various journals. Don't forget to check the publications page on our website regularly to stay up to date with the projects we collaborate on! http://www.ceibahamas.org/publications
Dr. Owen O'Shea returned to the Cape for a few days this week for his work with the Centre for Ocean Research and Education. He stopped by CEI to do our first ever Caribbean whiptail stingray (Styracura schmardae) dissection on campus. The ray was found dead at Page Creek, brought back to campus, and frozen before Dr. O'Shea arrived. The dissection was done with the visiting University of Exeter students.
Candice, our Director of Outreach & Partnerships, just presented at The Abaco Science Alliance Conference on fisher and consumer perceptions of parrotfish. Lately Deep Creek Middle School students have also taken a leadership role in advocating for the ecologically important parrotfish in their communities. Keep up the good work!
Wondering what the Flats Team has been up to? Check out the follow-up to our bonefish spawning post: http://www.ceibahamas.org/…/11/understanding-bonefish-spawn…