Coral resilience expert joins CCMI

| 31/01/2020 | 10 Comments
Cayman News Service
Dr Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley

(CNS): A leading marine scientist with an expertise in how coral could stand up to climate change has joined the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) as its new director of research. Officials at the Little Cayman facility said Dr Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley will support CCMI’s research objectives to identify coral reef resiliency in a changing climate, ensuring healthy oceans and vibrant reefs for the future.

Coral reefs have seen serious declines in the last 30 years, but the team at CCMI believes there is still hope to identify resilient species that need to be protected now so they can flourish in the future. Dr Goodbody-Gringley will be establishing a new Reef Ecology and Evolution Lab, which will be a step closer for CCMI to achieve this vision.

With her background and experience in the field of coral reef science, the new director will expand the research programme and build capacity. And while CCMI President and CEO Dr Carrie Manfrino will retain a role as senior scientist, she will focus on developing company strategy and continuing to build CCMI into the premier marine research institute in the Caribbean.

Dr Goodbody-Gringley outlined a vision for CCMI as a unique state-of-the-art dive center and molecular and genetics laboratory that will place the Cayman Islands at the forefront of scientific research in the region, Manfrino said.

“She has an excellent publication record on topics that focus on population structure, reproductive ecology and genetic connectivity of reef organisms. Her work examines mechanisms that could boost coral resilience to climate change,” Manfrino said. “Ultimately, the goal is to understand how coral reef ecosystems might continue to function as climate change continues to heat up the ocean.”

Manfrino also said that Goodbody-Gringley has an excellent network of international collaborators who will help build the capacity of the work here in Cayman.

Understanding the mechanisms that enable populations to persist will ultimately guide the conservation strategies at CCMI in an effort to maintain ecosystem function and protect biodiversity in the ocean.

“My new research programme aims to increase our understanding of the resilience of coral reefs through examinations of adaptation and acclimatization of coral reef organisms using a combination of large-scale ecosystem observations, small-scale laboratory experiments, and molecular ecology,” Goodbody-Gringley said, adding that she was thrilled to be in Cayman.

“The Cayman Islands is the perfect place to conduct this work, not only because of its central location within the Caribbean, excellent and expanding marine protected areas, but it offers access to one of the healthiest coral reef systems in the region,” she added.

Before coming to CCMI, Goodbody-Gringley established and led the Reef Ecology and Evolution Laboratory at BIOS. She is currently working on a project using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in combination with technical diving to map deep reef systems and couple the physical environment with biological communities. She is also working to determine thermal tolerances of corals to climate change and the capacity for corals to adapt over a single generation.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wherever you look you will see an expert. Leave corals alone, no experts needed to do so.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I believe what she will find is that coral is resilient. Plus when affected by climate change will come back stronger just like trees after the hurricane. We need to stop the ANTI-FA movement to this country. The world was not created by us. We did not come from MARS and VENUS. We were made here on the Earth and have been changing it for hundreds of thousands of years.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe not ripping up a coral reef for a stupid cruise ship dock will help with coral resilience.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is everyone taking in this post right?
    Honestly, breath and read clearly: “Coral resilience expert joins CCMI” and then reading in the post “Coral is in serious decline”?
    Now, does it make ANY sense to “relocate” coral or even get anywhere close to destroying the geography around it just to build a dock? For what, a short-term gain??
    Caymanians, I pray all of you join forces and say HELL NO!!
    Your island, your choice

  5. Anonymous says:

    Go Triple G!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant, we need people that care in important positions. Good luck and blessings to the good doctor.

  7. Concerned diver says:

    Well done and congratulations to Dr Goodbody Gringley. This is just what we need, especially with global temperatures rising. Thank you to CCMI for all that you do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another one collecting big dinero just to kick back in paradise…sheeiitt

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh you complete entitled moron. I would strongly suspect the Dr has done more hard work in a week than you have managed in a lifetime. Look at her bio my friend…Harvard, numerous other universities in the US and Europe, respected scientist at the renowned Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science, papers produced on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. You dont get that by kicking back anywhere…


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