CCMI opens new wet lab for coral research

| 19/03/2014

(CNS): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman has opened a new wet lab facility at its centre on the Sister Island. The open-air and climate controlled wet lab pavilion will be used to observe and process coral reef organisms in a variety of environments with free-flowing seawater. It also contains large aquariums and specimen tanks for multiple studies. "The wet lab is a much needed addition to the Little Cayman Research Centre,” said CCMI founder Dr Carrie Manfrino. “With our growing education activities and research programmes, expansion became imperative."

She added, “In 2012, CCMI were the proud recipients of a National Science Foundation grant for a new Climate Change and Coral Reef Stress lab at the LCRC and we are excited to announce that construction is nearly complete."

Designed by local architect John Doak, the new lab facilities are up and running in time for CCMI’s newest education programme. CCMI has been awarded the Research Experience for Undergraduates grantby the National Science Foundation. The grant funds eight US undergraduate students to be paired with a professional research mentor and they will live and work together at the Little Cayman Research Centre to develop a research project on the topic of 'Coral Reef Biodiversity and Resilience'.

“The timing couldn't be more perfect. Little Cayman's reefs are showing unique and remarkable signs of recovery from the 1998 El Nino event, which resulted in high sea temperatures that killed corals on a global scale. The next step is to discover exactly why,” Manfrino added.

The lab was formally opened by the premier, Alden McLaughlin, and his deputy, Moses Kirkconnell, during their recent visit to the Sister Islands.

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Category: Science and Nature

Comments (6)

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  1. John Milburn says:

    Keep up the good work over there in Little Cayman at the Research Station.So glad to see that SOME people take our environment seriously not like so many politicians over the past MANY years.Wake up folks and get some permanent moorings in place over in the Brac so that we can help save the damage that Grand Cayman has suffered through lack of foresight with our past Governments.Our natural environment is ALL we have to boost our tourism numbers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about our children? Why do we not see any Caymanians moving towards this field of work? I am all for those coming to visit for the sake of research and efforts to promote preservation of our reefs/marine life etc, but we need to ensure our people get a chance to be involved with these sort of initiatives also. It is only fair.

    CNS: The DoE is full of very highly qualified Caymanians in this field of work. 

    • Qualified Marine Biologist says:

      The question remains is DO our children want to be in this field? I have gotten my education in this field and have come back to my country to work and give back to the environment. If a lot of Caymanians are not studying for this field then how can we ensure our people get the job. Just becuase you are Caymanian does not mean you get the job and if the children are not interested then we have to find other people. It is only fair.

    • Anonymous says:

      CCMI hosts school aged children from many schools throughout the Cayman Islands each year so the Caymanian children are not being left out. And the facility is open to anyone that visits Little Cayman to tour, take an interest, learn of the work being conducted.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ah politicians. Can’t pass up a ribbon cutting.

  4. Jack Flash says:

    Did Alden ask them to research what happens to coral when cruise ships drop their anchors on the reef or when the coral is cut apart to make way for developments?