BSc. University of the West Indies, Mona 2011, MS Dual Degree UMaine 2016
I grew up in Falmouth, Antigua where I developed my love for the ocean. I've pursued a career in environmental studies with a focus on marine sciences. I currently study marine ecosystems, particularly tropical atlantic coral reefs, from a ecological and social perspective. I aim to focus my career on the marine ecosystems around Antigua & Barbuda and the wider Caribbean.
My work will be for a Masters of Marine Biology degree and will be focused on reefs and their management on the Southern coast of Antigua. My advisor is Robert Steneck.
Antigua and Barbuda’s coral reefs provide a variety of ecosystem services and are among the most endangered ecosystems in the Caribbean region. Climate Change, ocean acidification, pollution and overfishing are some of the stresses reefs face which have resulted in a phase shift from coral-dominated to algal-dominated ecosystems. Reserves have been used to reduce the impact of overfishing in other reef areas but the Antiguan government lacks the resources to adequately manage these reefs and when designated, they become “paper parks” with little to no compliance from the fishing community. Reserves function by allowing herbivorous fish to increase in abundance and biomass which results in increased herbivorous pressure on the algal population. We propose to take a different approach to this issue in which we encourage the members of the fishing community to actively manage and protect their own fishing resources through the creation of a community-based, co-managed reserve. This will not only increase the abundance of the fish valued by the fisherman, but also improve the overall health of the reef.
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