New researchers at marine institute

The Central Caribbean Marine
Institute has a new research team in residence for the summer.

Jessica Flower Moye, from Pasadena,
California, is the institute’s scientist in residence and Amber Little is the
research associate in residence.

Ms Moye’s interests lie in reef
fish and coral reef health and disease that ultimately contribute to coral reef
resiliency. Her main focus, while studying at marine institute’s Little Cayman
Research Centre this summer, is coral bleaching and reef resiliency and
connectivity in and around Little Cayman.

She is working with Dr. Carrie
Manfrino, the institute’s director of research, to finalise 10 years of data
collection on these topics.

Ms Moye received her bachelor’s
degree in earth systems science and policy with an emphasis on marine and
coastal ecology from California State University in Monterey Bay. During her
studies in Monterey, she spent a year abroad in Australia, where she took
numerous courses in coral reef ecology.

From there she worked as a research
associate for Mark Hixon’s zoology lab at Oregon State University and conducted
field research in the Bahamas at the Caribbean Marine Research Centre for three
seasons. In late 2009, Ms Moye moved to Oahu to work as a free diver for the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine debris removal programme
in the north-western Hawaiian islands. 

Amber Little, from the Texas Gulf
coast, has had a passion for the oceans since she was a young girl. She
received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Louisiana State University and
her master’s in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida in
2008.

Her travels and studies have taken
her to the northernmost islands of the Galapagos Islands, the Sian Ka’an
Biosphere Reserve of the Yucatan coast of Mexico, and the Roatan Marine Park in
Roatan, Honduras.

One of her biggest accomplishments
was bicycling on the Pacific Coast of the US, from Portland, Oregan, to San
Diego, California.

She is working with Ms Moye,
studying coral reef resiliency, as well as with various local and international
school and university groups at the marine institute’s field station to teach
them about marine biodiversity, conservation and sustainability. 

She also assists the Central
Caribbean Marine Institute’s Grand Cayman office in local community outreach.

LOCALccmiSTORY

Amber Little is one of two visiting research team members working at CCMI this summer.
Photo: Submitted