The Little Cayman Research Centre at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute will soon be able to do more and better research into how climate change affects the health of coral reefs:
The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) was the recent recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation which will enable the Institute to improve scientific facilities at the Little Cayman Research Centre (LCRC) by constructing a new outdoor wet lab with a research focus on Climate Change and Coral Reef Stress. The new facility will improve the ability of the centre to pursue research that requires maintaining live specimens. Dr. Carrie Manfrino, President and Director of Research and Conservation at CCMI it was an important grant at a time when the risks the oceans are increasing.
“The oceans are under threat like never before, from coral diseases, ocean acidification, climate change, non-native species, and overfishing. CCMI’s long-term commitment to monitoring the local coral reef biodiversity continues to be important for addressing some of the most significant challenges facing our over-crowded planet.
This award from the NSF will enable CCMI’s in-house scientists, visiting scientists and Universities to further explore these critical topics in one of the most under-developed regions of the Caribbean,” Manfrino added.
The new outdoor wet lab will support research into climate change and coral reef stress, ensuring the facility is one of a kind within the Caribbean region. The lab will consist of three separate lab spaces: a climate controlled lab, a screened lab, and a shaded outdoor area for experiments requiring sunlight. This new building will provide ample space for a variety of studies, and will contain deep, large tanks with which to grow, store, and preserve living organisms. Conditions such as flow rate, temperature, and water chemistry will be easily adjustable to compare a variety of environmental conditions. This new equipment will enable studies of animal behavior, behavioral ecology, and growth, none of which has been possible in the existing facilities.
This increased research space will support a new range of in-house and visiting scientist research at the LCRC, which will allow CCMI to continue growing and working to sustain the marine environment for future generations.