CIEE Bonaire Staff to AMLC Meeting in Curaçao

by. Dr. Patrick Lyons1948223_1104036849625121_1900919404105886545_n
From May 18 through 22, the Association of Marine Labs of the Caribbean (AMLC) held their biannual scientific conference in Curaçao. The meeting hosted scientists from various countries surrounding the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and tropical western Atlantic and hosted a number of posters, talks, and special plenary talks. The theme of the conference was Marine Ecosystem Science and Policy – New Ways Forward, and centered around getting past the doom-and-gloom message that us coral reef ecologists often adopt and changing our message to focus on the success stories (including Bonaire with its relatively high coral cover) and how to replicate them. All of CIEE Bonaire’s academic staff attended the conference including Dr. Rita Peachey, who is the executive director of AMLC, and Dr. Arboleda, Dr. Lyons, and Casey Benkwitt who make up the scientific committee for AMLC. Several CIEE staff gave talks, all which were well received, including Casey Benkwitt who spoke about Movement and ecological effects of invasive lionfish in multiple habitats, Serena Hackerott who gave a talk on Low lionfish no problem? The effects of lionfish on reef fish communities along the Mesoamerican barrier reef in Belize, and Dr. Lyons whose talk was titled, The effect of recreational scuba diving on the benthic community assemblage an structural complexity of Caribbean coral Reefs. All of the staff of CIEE were thrilled to attend the conference and learned considerably from the experience, us now having a better idea of the conservation and research going on in the rest of the tropical western Atlantic and geared to move our own research and education forward with that in mind. We look forward to the next AMLC meeting, where we plan to bring along some of our students.

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