I am a citizen of the twin-island Caribbean nation Trinidad and Tobago. This is where my avid interest in the ocean and coral reefs began. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, at Florida Institute of Technology, graduating in 2009. I went on to the Universiteit van Amsterdam, obtaining a Master’s degree in Limnology and Oceanography in 2013. For the Master’s programme, I was involved in research projects in the Curaçao at the Carmabi Research Station, and then at the Heron Island Research Station in the Great Barrier Reef, associated the University of Queensland.
In 2012, I joined XL Catlin Seaview Survey, and spent two years on survey expeditions to numerous sites throughout the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, and the Caribbean collecting imagery for the Global Reef Record. Using the data collected from this project, I am currently working towards my PhD in Biological Sciences from the Coral Reef Ecosystems lab, The University of Queensland, under the supervision of Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Professor Sophie Dove and Professor Peter Mumby (Marine Spatial Ecology Lab). My research focuses on determining broad-scaled spatial patterns in coral reef structural complexity and understanding the natural drivers of these variations. I will relate these patterns to the types of coral reef communities present in order to understand the distribution of coral reef habitats along the reefscape.
I will be using the hi-resolution imagery collected on the Meso-American expedition, alongside automated image recognition programmes, to assist in identifying the types of coral communities present and then linking these patterns to the reef structural complexity data derived from stereo-imagery.
The reefs around the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as throughout the Caribbean, are critically endangered. I am hoping to be able to use my learning, and to apply scientific research to help in implementing environmental management policies.