By Dr. Franziska Elmer
This month, four of our CIEE staff, Dr. Peachey, Dr. Elmer, Courtney Klatt, and Maddie Emms, travelled to Merida Mexico to exchange scientific knowledge with other Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean at the biennial AMLC meeting. Dr. Peachey was in charge of organizing the conference and making sure it ran as smoothly as it did. Meanwhile, Dr. Elmer, Courtney and Maddie presented our newest findings on the black spot disease in Ocean Surgeonfish, eDNA as a tool to detect lionfish, and population connectivity of the giant anemone in the Indo Pacific. Maddie did an excellent job on her presentation and won the best student presentation award, valued at $200. Our other presentations were also well received and will likely lead to collaborations with other Marine Laboratories.
AMLC stands for Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, a society founded 60 years ago to facilitate scientific exchange within the Caribbean and to give students based at Caribbean Marine Laboratories a change to present their findings. Even now 60 years later the association still fulfils these goals by bringing scientists from the whole Caribbean together and providing travel funds for students. Currently the organization includes 38 marine research, education, and resource management institutions and more than 370 individual members, which is the biggest the organisation has ever been.
CIEE Bonaire profited largely from attending this conference including getting expert advice and collaboration interest regarding the ongoing Ocean Surgeonfish parasite research. We also learned about exciting new research going on in the Caribbean, which Dr. Elmer can’t wait to incorporate into her lectures. Last but not least, we got a taste of the amazing Mexican food and culture Merida has to offer.