Sea sex focus of reef report

Visiting scientists Elizabeth Whiteman will be giving a special presentation on 23 July at the Cracked Conch.

This Reef Report is the second in a series of three reports presented by the Central Caribbean Marine Institute.

‘The social lives of fish are complicated and varied with drama that can rival any soap opera,’ said Ms Whiteman. The CCMI Reef Report will describe the social interactions that place every day among coral reef fish and why understanding these behaviours helps understanding how fish evolved and the best way to conserve threatened populations.

Ms Whiteman grew up in the UK where coral reefs and tropical marine research seemed an unlikely path. However, after completing a PhD from the University of East Anglia, during which most of her time was spent underwater in Barbados, Liz has since worked in many different Caribbean countries. Her work has encompassed fisheries and conservation questions surrounding grouper spawning aggregations as well as research to understand how reef fish diversity formed. Liz is now the lead scientist developing a program for monitoring the success of marine Protected Areas in California.

The first CCMI Reef Report of 2008, which was held 3 July, was welcomed with a packed room of marine enthusiasts. John Bothwell from the Department of Environment was on hand to introduce the visiting scientist David Gruber, and many CCMI supporters and friends heard first hand about his research.

CCMI is working to hold the Reef Reports series twice per year in an ongoing effort to educate the community on the marine environment. ‘We would like to again thank the Cracked Conch for their ongoing support’, comments Lindsay Luttermann, volunteer event coordinator. ‘The Reef Reports are an event open for anyone to attend free of charge and without such generous support, it would not be possible.’

Persons interested in attending these Reef Reports should contact Kellie at 949-1938 or [email protected] . Space is very limited.

Guests at the lecture will also be updated on the 2008/2009 educational initiatives that have been undertaken by CCMI, including Ocean Literacy, a program to increase our (children’s) understanding of the important links between our lives and the ocean.

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit 501 ©3 organization. CCMI was established as an international charitable organization after becoming incorporated in the Cayman Islands (2002) and in the UK in 2004.

Since its first years, CCMI has proven a valuable asset to the effort to understanding changing coral reef and tropical marine environments, and its research and education programs have established a solid foundation for future reef education and awareness in the Caribbean and for students and researchers from around the world.

For more information on the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, please see www.reefresearch.org

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